We moved

I just want to thank everyone who visited and followed this blog for the past 3 years… now that we moved to our new home… I’d like to invite you to visit us there, follow and witness our trying hard moments towards a minimalist lifestyle. 🙂

TRYINGHARDMINIMALIST.COM

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I will migrate and update most of my posts here and put it on our new family blog so we’ll not miss our favorite stories and we’ll try to write new posts to document our precious Memories and Everyday Life.

Thank you once again and Merry Christmas! 🙂

Mel

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What’s New at Museo Pambata

New Museum Hours starting August 18

Maglaro at magsaya sa Museo Pambata! Please take note of our new admission hours starting August 18, 2015 (Tuesday).

Be Disaster-ready with MP Grab Bags
Prepare yourself when calamity strikes with a grab bag. This bag contains essential items for emergency situations. You can store this bag in an easy-to-grab place in your house or in your car.

Grab Bags are available at the Museo Pambata Pasalubong Shop. For bulk orders and inquiries, please e-mail us at info@museopambata.org

Php 50 off admission fee coupon
Before you visit, print out the coupon below and get a Php 50 discount on our entrance fee. One coupon is valid for 5 people.

Museum hours from Tuesday to Saturday is 9AM to 5PM and 1 to 5PM during Sundays.

Admission fee is 150 pesos for children and adults with special discounts for group tours. Manila residents with valid IDs are free on Tuesdays and can enjoy 50% off on other days.

Coupon is valid only until August 31, 2015.

The ultimate buffet experience from Citi Credit Cards and Vikings

Enjoy an exclusive 25% off when dining at Vikings and paying with your Citi Credit Card from now until September 30

Manila – True to its reputation as the leading provider of dining privileges, Citi credit cards celebrate its 25th anniversary of leadership by partnering with Vikings, the country’s largest non-hotel buffet restaurant, to reward its loyal customers with the ultimate buffet experience.

From now until September 30, 2015, Citi is giving a 25% discount on daily buffet at select Vikings restaurants when you dine in groups of 5 adults or more and pay using your Citi credit card.

“In line with our 25th anniversary, we’re putting the spotlight on the Filipino’s innate love for enjoying hearty meals with family and loved ones. We can’t think of a better way to reward our cardholders than by treating them to an irresistible offer at one of the country’s most-loved buffet dining destinations,” shares David Stoughton, Credit Payment Products Director for Citi.

Vikings has become synonymous with lavish eat-all-you-can buffet dining experience. Featuring a stylish ambiance with multinational themes, Vikings restaurants feature a wide array of mouth-watering selection of international cuisines from across the globe, especially prepared by a team of world-class chefs. Participating Vikings branches include SM Jazz Mall Makati, SM Marikina, SM City BF Paranaque, and SM Davao.

“It is a privilege to tie up with the country’s leading foreign bank Citi, which shares the same thrust in providing rewarding dining offers to its customers, in the same luxurious manner as we do.This partnership brings a lot of opportunities for us to reach to a wider market and offer our wide variety of delectable dishes from around the globe. Apart from offering great food, we take pride in providing top-of-the-line service and fine ambience, ensuring that every guest is having a delightful experience in our restaurant,” says Vikings Marketing Director Charles Lee.

While dining at Vikings is already an amazing dining experience, Citi has also launched a host of dining, travel and accommodation deals in some of the country’s top hotels and restaurants to ensure that the celebratory mood for its 25th anniversary continues year-round. Here are more irresistible offers:

  • Indulge in a 25% off on regular weekday lunch buffet at Four Seasons Hot Pot City, SM Mall of Asia.
  • Get 65% off for a 3-day, 2-night stay at Bellevue Resort Bohol for stays until December 19, 2015.
  • Grab 50% off for a 3-day, 2-night stay at Discovery Shores Boracay, 60% off for an overnight on Sundays to Thursdays at Discovery Country Suites, 55% discount for an overnight stay during weekends at Discovery Primea, 50% discount for an overnight stay at Discovery Suites, and 50% off for an overnight stay at Club Paradise Palawan, all valid for stays until December 30, 2015.
  • Get P2,500 off on your first booking at Airbnb through the Airbnb app or airbnb.com/citiph using your Citi card.
  • You can also enjoy exclusive discounts at Agoda, as much as 10% on select weekends, through http://agoda.com/Citibankph.
  • For that sweet tooth, get 6 free Original Glazed doughnuts at Krispy Kreme when you buy 6 Original Glazed doughnuts using your Citi Rewards points.

With Citi, experience the best of dining, travel and accommodation no other financial partner can offer.

For more information on Citi’s 25th anniversary deals, visit https://www.citibank.com.ph/25years or call the 24-hour CitiPhone Hotline at 995 9999.

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About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

YTC Launches Summer K-12 Bridging Programs – My not-so-shameless-plugging Press Release :-)

I have this PR material since last month but I never had the courage to post it, I know you will hardly believe that since I’ve been posting mostly PR materials here since the start of this year when I started to get pretty much preoccupied with so many things in life (I really wish to share it all here soon… really!). Actually, I have all the reasons to share this post – First, the topic is very (I mean very) helpful and beneficial to almost every Filipinos. Second, our family advocates the love for learning at the same time this post will benefit homeschooling families like us. Third, and probably most bloggers will agree that this is one major reason to post a PR material, the people behind the company are gracious, polite, admirable and credible. But there is one small thing that is keeping me from posting it – we’re opening YTC ANTIPOLO branch very soon… and this will look like a shameless plugging of our business – something I don’t want my readers to think of this post and of this blog.

But then again, I may be wrong (what do I know?), so I’m giving in to the itch of posting this, again not only because I’m plugging YTC ANTIPOLO, but I strongly believe that the benefits which my readers will get outweighs my worry of being tagged as shamelessly plugging YTC Your Tutorial Center.

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The world is undergoing unprecedented changes brought about by rapid advancement in information and communication technologies, trade liberalization, globalization.
– UNESCO, 2010

Change is inevitable and adapting to change is another thing. In its pursuit to improve the Philippine education system, the Department of Education (DepEd) has implemented a major education reform known as the K-12 Curriculum.

The education program includes mandatory preschool education for five-year old children before entering the 6-year elementary school as well as going through additional 2 years in the high school or secondary education. Aside from this new structure, the medium of instruction from kindergarten to Grade 3 will now be mother tongue-based. This means that the K to 12 student will be taught the core learning areas using his first language. The National Achievement Test (popularly known as NAT) will still be administered as an end-of-grade 6 assessment but this time will serve both as an exit examination from elementary and entrance examination for Grade 7. Grade 10 students will also go through an assessment to qualify for senior high school and their chosen track. The end of Grade 12 examination will not only be the end of K to 12 exam but also serve as entrance exam for university.

These significant changes, initially, may be difficult for kids. As parents, there are a number of things to help your child or teen to prepare and embrace this transition. Parents can help their child to mentally organize and emotionally process the child’s feelings such as fear of the unknown. By being a support system to your teens, you could help them cope with “anticipatory change jitters.” Aside from these tips, there are private educational sectors who can also help you and you kids adapt to the new K to 12 curriculum.

“This is not a perfect curriculum. There is much for us to work on. There will be learning curves that we will need to meet and challenges to be resolved. But with everyone’s help, we will be able to roll out the program that we can keep improving over the next couple of years.”
-Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC Deped Secretary

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Your Tutorial Center (YTC) is a 3-in-1education center which offers Tutorial, Review and Language programs. YTC primarily provides ACADEMIC TUTORIAL programs from preschool to college all throughout the year.

This summer, YTC will be offering bridging programs focusing on developing and strengthening the coping skills of kindergarten until grade 10 students – in order to smoothly transition from the old to the new curriculum.

Aside from the basic literacy tools of reading, writing and numeracy, tomorrow’s individuals will need knowledge and skills that will equip them to participate productively in their societies.
– ADB 2008

Basic Reading and Math Programs will be offered to Kinder and Grade 1. Aside from Reading and Math, bridging programs for Science and Grammar with Sentence Construction will be offered to students from Grade 4 to Grade 6. For Grades 7 to 10, Basic Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Chemistry and Physics will be available.

YTC is one with the K-12 curriculum to produce Filipino graduates who are holistically-developed with 21st century skills through its program and services geared to prepare kids and teens for higher education, middle-level skills development and entrepreneurship.

Check www.yourtutorialcenter.com or call (02)4108-456 or (0932)8555-982 for more information on Summer K-12 Bridging Programs. And for those who wish to try the programs for FREE,call me… Oops! I think that’s considered plugging. Wink! 🙂

A Safety Reminder PR Post – Solane leads safety in the fiestas

I had a very traumatic experience with “generic” LPG delivery… imagine delivering and installing a leaking LPG tank in our kitchen while my son and his nanny are the only ones at home. I’m so relieved that nothing bad happened to them and we’re able to detect it right away. But still… it is something that I wouldn’t want to experience ever again… I mean ever. So, I am with SOLANE in this campaign for safety in the kitchen… fiestas or no fiestas. 🙂

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From the kitchen to the streets, expect the country’s top LPG solutions provider Solane to campaign on the importance of safety during this year’s most colorful festivals.

In a country where there’s always a fiesta somewhere, Solane made it a point to be present at these festivals that present a great opportunity to spread our advocacy of safety in the kitchen. Because truth be told, what happens in the kitchen doesn’t only affect one’s residence but also the neighborhood,” said Isla LPG Corp. chief executive officer Ruben Domingo.

Solane has started spreading awareness by joining parades of recent festivals honoring Sto. Niño—Cebu’s Sinulog Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan and Iloilo City’s Dinagyang Festival. Solane joined the merrymaking through its eye-catching floats, while showcasing its effective service, and safe, high-quality LPG to its customers.

These included the first-of-its-kind safety cap, which completely plugs the gas to prevent leaks before installing the tank with a hose, the seal that carries a serial number to protect Solane customers from illegal LPG refillers and the Solane Authenticity Checker on Facebook, which verifies if the tank came from a licensed Solane dealer.

There’s also the Hatid-Bahay service, where every Solane LPG delivery guarantees a 7-point safety sheck of the LPG system by the company’s well-trained riders. Residents outside Metro Manila can now order Solane LPG conveniently for their fiesta needs by going online at www.solane.com.ph or sending SMS to its nationwide textline 0918-8875555.

During the festivals, Solane also took the opportunity to offer sales promotion activities in Cebu and Aklan and gave out branded merchandise. The success of Solane’s safety campaign in the Visayas is credited to the enriching relationship of Solane provincial executives with its local distributors. These were made possible by Isla LPG Corp. VisMin sales manager Rene Gamba, VisMin packed team; ILC Cebu POE Geraldine Indangan, Cebu VisMin Supply Chain team; and partner distributors Cebu Gazland Enterprises, Jet Sales Corporation, Quickway Gas Center, Marianing & Sons, Fabson Inc.

True to its commitment to innovate and care for its customers, Solane is persistent in advocating safety, may it be an ordinary day at home, a red-letter day or during fiestas.

Starting a healthy year – Anniversary PR Post

As I am celebrating my second blog anniversary, it is very timely that I share this PR post about starting a healthy year and of course keeping it. Cheers! 🙂

The year is still young and perfect for a fresh start. Have you made a resolution yet? If not, it might be a good idea to work on improving your health and well-being.

The beginning of the year is a time for resolutions for many Pinoys. Usually at the top of our resolution list is the pledge to become healthier and fit. That is why many are keen on dropping bad habits and starting a new diet or fitness regimen,” says Dr. Nicky Montoya, president of MediCard Philippines.

Here are some tips to stay healthy throughout the year:

Stop smoking

Most Pinoys are aware of the bad effects of smoking, but the addictive nature of nicotine in tobacco makes it difficult to quit through willpower alone. Smokers can achieve a lasting abstinence from cigarettes through the help of clinical experts in smoking cessation clinics. These treatment centers are specialized to help smokers drop the habit and avoid subsequent relapse by using different techniques, like counseling, telephone and online support and safe pharmaceutical aids.

Lose weight and be fit

Due to the extra pounds most of us gained from the holidays, it’s natural to develop a strong desire to get a leaner body by the start of the year. We can achieve our fitness goals by following a healthy eating plan and exercise routine. Simple daily habits, like eating meals in small portions and doing a 30-minute jog, can set us off to a great start.

Look and feel young

We grow older every year but we can always delay the signs of aging by taking care of our skin. Drinking adequate amounts of water and getting enough sleep can keep our body hydrated and repair cell damage. Wearing enough sunscreen and moisturizers can also minimize wrinkles, skin dryness, sagging, age spots, and even skin cancers.

Socialize more

Bonding with family and friends can uplift our mood and stop us from feeling depressed. Thus, we should find the time to socialize with other people despite our busy schedules. There’s always an opportunity to reach out to others—from talking to our loved ones at home to lunching out with our colleagues at work to hanging out with our friends on weekends. Meeting new people and making new friends in real life also develop our interpersonal skills and maturity.

Avoid stress

Stress is almost impossible to avoid, but there are ways to manage it and feel more relaxed. These include organizing our daily schedules, simplifying our activities and eliminating unnecessary commitments. Exercising, eating healthy and staying in a relaxing environment can also put our mind at ease. We also need to nurture optimism and tolerance to not get easily upset by unfavorable situations and difficult people.

Personal goals, especially those that focus on our health and well-being, are easy to start but can be difficult to sustain if they are unrealistic. The key to achieving our health goals and maintaining them is to take the transformation slowly and enjoy the process,” advises Dr. Montoya.

The MediCard Lifestyle Center is a modern edifice in the heart of Makati that offers diverse clinical, dental and specialty services. To know more about its services, visit http://mlc.medicardphils.com.

The BEST Tilapia in the Country – Tilapia N’ Chips

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photo taken last January 2015

Finally, I was able to take a decent photo of this simple (yet very satisfying) meal that me and my boys so love. I hope my picture gave justice to the taste of the this meal (specially the fish), if not, I’ll try to do better next time. 😉

Perhaps you’re beginning to question what makes this fish the BEST in the country (at least for me) and why am I claiming that (I’m not even a food blogger, remember?)?

Let me straighten out some important points here first… Number one, I’m not the owner of Tilapia N’ Chips (Oh, how I wish! – so I can have this meal everyday). Number two, I’m not being paid or compensated in any form to do this (The owner doesn’t even know anything about this, not even his staff.) and Number three, I’m just a very satisfied customer who would like to give my honest opinion and superlative rating to a rare find food item that I really really love. 🙂

So, why is this the BEST Tilapia in the Country? Because I said so… Haha! Honestly, I’ve tasted several similarly prepared Tilapia (butterfly-cut, battered and deep fried) in various restaurants here in Manila… I remember at least three but none of them surpasses the taste, freshness, consistency and overall quality of Tilapia N’ Chips. You can always taste the natural characteristic flavor of the fish (no hint of muddy taste), with a bit of crunch from the batter. They offer uniform size and age (I assume) of the fish, it is never oily and always cooked perfectly. It is offered with steamed rice and  a choice of coleslaw or corn salsa; but I prefer to eat it with soy sauce and calamansi (dipping sauce) and it always end up like this.

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photo taken last October 2013

I strongly believe that it is hard to make simple things (food included) great… because you cannot hide the flaws. 🙂

For your Tilapia cravings, try Tilapia ‘N Chips at Kamayan Bldg, Balabag, Boracay Malay, Aklan. (in front of Crafts Supermarket).