Tag Archive | family

Coco Haven : Why It’s Heaven!

I have been searching for the right shampoo and body wash for Cloud for the past two years. We were afraid to try mainstream products because Cloud has the tendency to develop adverse reactions if certain products do not sit well with his skin. We sticked with Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser  and Soap during his first six months, and when Cetaphil launched its Cetaphil Baby Products, we gave it a try. Cetaphil works well with us, but it’s price is putting a considerable dent in our budget. More importantly, we are advocates of supporting locally-produced, organic products.

Thus, I am very thankful when I heard about Coco Haven. I found out about it from an online support group for mothers. Almost everyone is raving about the performance of the product, how it works and its affordability. However, since it is locally produced and the business was just starting, it is not yet available (during that time) at the supermarkets and groceries. The entrepreneur/business owner was gracious enough to host group buys for the mommies. 🙂

I first tried Coco Haven Subtle Touch Baby Hair & Body Wash. According to the packaging, the product is a gentle coconut shampoo which can protect the baby’s hair and scalp from harmful environmental damages and helps retain hair in healthy condition. A gentle foamer that smells baby’s hair soft, silky and shiny. Its ingredients are agua, lemongrass hydrosol, proteol oat, jojoba oil, No-Heat Virgin Coconut Oil, Essential Oils of Honey Dew & Melon, Tea Tree, Fragrance Oil of Talcum,Coconut Vinegar, Tocopheryl Acetate and Sodium Chlorice. Given this list, it is most definitely baby-safe and friendly!

Prior to using this product, Cloud’s hair is slow growing and due to his active nature, by afternoon, he smells like “paksiw”, too sweaty and not so baby smelling anymore. The scent was what I first noticed. With the previous products that we use, the fresh, clean scent would last only for a few hours. With Coca Haven, Cloud smells deliciously yummy and clean until late afternoon. His bath time is usually around 08:00 – 09:00 A.M. and he bathes again at 06:00 P.M.

He started using the hair shampoo & body wash around June of 2016 and now (August 2016) there is already noticeable growth in his hair. It is no longer thin but rather getting strong and thick. Even Cloud would touch his head and say “wow, hair!”. Our family member and friends had stopped teasing him “kalbo” and “notpa” because there is indeed, noticeable hair growth. Cloud also has this habit of raising his underarm and letting/forcing the elders at home smell it. Before, everyone would say “Yuck!Asim” but now, when they smell his underarms, they go “Hhhhmmm bango baby!”.

Coco Haven Subtle Touch is available in 150ml,250 ml and 500ml. The 150ml costs Php 100.00, 250 ml at Php 300.00 and 500ml at Php 600.00. You may order this at their Facebook page Coco Haven or visit the store 9 Months & Beyond at 22 Malingap Street, UP Teachers Village, Quezon City.

 

Goodbye My Rainbow

How do we ever say goodbye to the person we love? I am never good at coping with death. Even if the person I love has long been gone, their death always make me sad, and at times, bring tears into my eyes.

Last Tuesday, my good uncle and friend met a tragic vehicular accident. His death was shocking and hard to accept.

His personality is like the rainbow – ever beautiful, vibrant, happy, hopeful and full of life. My memories of him is composed of fun times together, a few green jokes and the instruction that even if we don’t have much, as long as we remain family, its what matters most.

Thinking that I will never see him again, not hear his voice,that I will no longer be able to hold his hand and laugh with his jokes is painful. 

At the same time today, last year, we were celebrating my sibling’s debut. It was a time of thanksgiving, of the family being together and celebration of my engagement. Uncle was there and was constantly bringing life to the party with his jokes and “cruel” questions. He said that “As long as we’re together, we shouldn’t care if we’re poor. We’ll have this same celebration next year. We will again, be together.”

Never did it cross my mind that our get-together this year is because of his death. I tried so much to not think about it, just accept it. But I can’t. I owe this man so much. He was my fashion critique and make up artist during my high school prom, he bullied me into getting married and in the blink of an eye he was gone.

I cannot bear the thought of not seeing him again, of not hearing him laugh. He has yet to meet my baby, he has yet to see me walk down the aisle in a church wedding. 

Tito, why were you gone too soon? Who will manage the farm now? Who will be the life of the party?

The more I think about it, the more real it seems. The more real it becomes, the more painful it is. 

Rest in peace, Tito. Rest well and happy. And when I see a rainbow, I’ll think of you.

Miss Me But Let Me Go

When I came to the end of the day,

And the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom filled room,

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not too long

And not with your head bowed low

-an excerpt from an Anonymous poet

The Green Eyed Monster on Father’s Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I wanted to have some sort of celebration. Jay had other plans.

Early morning, I greeted him Happy Father’s Day. There was no response. Not even a “thank you.” I remembered how it was during Mother’s Day, he spent it in a league game. So, maybe that’s just how he is. Not showy.

Then I asked him if we could buy a cake for his Father. He said he would rather get some pizza. I said, well yeah, okay, pizza. Then he asked me to call the pizza delivery. I was getting pissed and I can already feel my head throbbing in frustration. I.DON’T.WANT.PIZZA.

Late in the afternoon, we went to the supermarket to buy our weekly meals. He got frustrated, he lost his money. In his frustration, he snapped at me. My resentment started to grow.

And just when I thought we are going to bed, I noticed him getting dressed. He said he’s going out with some friends of his. I knew that he’ll drink and probably smoke a stick or two. I’m starting to get angry. He had just finished his medication and the throat specialist strongly recommended quitting on alcohol and smoke. But i am not in any mood to argue. And besides, I feel like I don’t have the strength for an argument. So i let him leave.

And yet, I wasn’t able to sleep. I feel angry, frustrated and humiliated. What kind of husband would rather spend Father’s Day with his friends than with his wife and kid. He didn’t want to go out with us yet he stayed out late with his friends. My head was throbbing and I’m starting to feel shaky – out of anger and resentment.

I wanted to shout at him, lash out at him, anything just to make him feel the same way that he did to me. But I ended up praying. And God led me to Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

As humans, we are always vulnerable to worldly emotions. But as married couple, we must strive to work on our differences. As our vows say “through thick and thin, in good and bad”.

Dismantling the Walls

Devotion : Ephesians 2:14

How many of us are trapped in walls that are slowly destroying our relationship?

The book of Ephesians Chapter 2 Verse 14 promises “He himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of dividing wall.”

Many of us have created barriers in our life. Barriers firmly established with selfishness, greed, apathy, pride and hate. We put up strong walls nailed together by hateful silence, distance, unresolved issues,misunderstanding, annoyance and ridicule.

But as chosen sons and daughters of Christ, we are bound to have a heart like Jesus Christ. Look back on how He came to destroy the line between Jews and Gentiles. Let us follow His lead. Let us hammer with forgiveness, and wrecker with honour, grace and repentance.

Far too many marriages had failed because of the “nails” I have mentioned above. Jay and I struggled with communication, too. Many times that I have felt hurt but I didn’t told him. Instead, I put up my wall of silence and silently seethe in anger. While he has completely no idea what I was fuming about. There were also times that he put up his wall of annoyance. I have the tendency to be forgetful and emotional, and he didn’t like it. 

Our marriage is young, we do not have the accolades of experience, but we are slowly learning. We are now cognizant of the fact that we need to be constantly communicating.

The secret to our simple but happy union-our pursuit to be Christ-like in our living, seeking His guidance and blessing in all things.

We have learned to tear down our walls and open the door of our hearts to God and his lessons.

My partner in pursuing a Christ-centered family and a godly child.

My partner in pursuing a Christ-centered family and a godly child.

Love Your Marriage

Meet the most loving husband one can have.

Meet the most loving husband one can have.

“For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”

Nine months since the day I got married. For the short time that we are together, Jay had opened my eyes to a lot of things. Ours is not a perfect marriage nor ideal. But it is a happy, blessed union of two different individuals sharing the same dreams, values and aspirations in life. 

There had been instances when our temper and emotion got the upper hand. Several times, I felt like I was on the edge of just packing my bags, grab our baby and go. And I know, even if he didn’t say it, that there were times when Jay was at his end of the rope too.

But we always end up praying. Praying and remembering our vows to stay together through thick and thin, in the promise that God has given us. That His love for us will endure our human weaknesses. 

I have learned that for marriage to work, you simply don’t just love your family, your husband, your children. You should also love your marriage. You always remember your vows and why you decided to get married. Loving your marriage includes putting enough time for you and your partner to grow together and individually, giving quality time to your children and remembering that no matter how rich you are, your greatest wealth is having your partner and your children.

Our small and happy family

Loving your marriage means that you will not allow yourself to sin, to indulge in callings of the flesh and allure of gambling.

Loving your marriage means honouring your vows, remembering it and living it.

Lessons from Yolanda

As the heavy rain and wind battered the entire Philippines last November 8, 2013, I was at the office, submerged in plenty of paper works, I can barely breathe normally. My sister and cousins kept on messaging me, updating me of their situation in the Province of Aklan. Early morning, they said that only strong wind is being felt there and there were no rain yet. Mid-morning, that’s when the rain poured, they say. At around noon, I received a message from Mommy, informing me that our roof had been blown away by the storm. And my heart was crushed. Not because of just the roof, but at that very moment, I wished I was there with them. 

I was never the type of person to show my grief in public. Anger and joy, that I share with everybody. But not grief and pain. I kept on rereading my Mom’s message and emotions washed over me. First, thankfulness and relief in the knowledge that they are safe still. Next came the painful thought that we have to rebuild our house again. That structure which me and my Dad had earnestly worked hard to built last year. It meant a lot to us. It signified the fulfillment of my dream to find a good-paying job and a successful career. We were able to renovate that house as a family – my Mom and I’s financial investment, my Dad’s design and my sibling’s whim. And it was blown away just like that. As the hours passed by and the day draws to an end, the more painful it was to think about it. The thought of “we have to start all over again” kept flashing on my mind. Sleep was elusive that Friday night. 

The next day, I prayed so hard to have the strength to talk to my folks. I know how attached they were to our house. So, I gathered every bit of strength I could and dialed my Mom’s number. Relief washed over me when I heard their voice and it was ironic that it was them comforting me instead of me comforting them. Again, my folks had shown me great strength of character and determination. My Dad kept on saying, it’ll be okay love. Don’t think too much about it. But what my sister said struck me the most. ” Sis, we are still blessed. We’re all safe. We still have each other. We might loose this house, but we will never loose our home.”

And that’s when I decided to exhaust all means that I have in helping the survivors of Yolanda (International name : Haiyan). I am blessed because my family survived that storm. And I want to share that blessedness to those who were not as blessed as I. 

I know that plenty more of storms will come, but as long as God holds us in His hands, we will be still and safe.

God bless everyone. Rise up, Philippines. Bangon Pilipinas. 

Almost Home

I was hesitant on my first trip there. I had my doubts when we went there in 2012. I was a stranger, a new face. And I’m not exactly Miss Congeniality when it comes to making new friends. But since the entire Youth Ministry was rearing to go, I did. My prayer that time was for things to work out fine.

Then I saw the rice fields. Green, green, green, rice fields as far as my eyes can see. And my, oh my, the mountains. I knew from that moment on that I love this place. It’s like a secret heaven, tucked in the bosom of Central Luzon in the Philippines. The place – Malacanang, Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija.

One thing that struck me most about the place (other than the never ending rice fields) is the warmth and humor of the people in this place. They’re sweet and caring. Plus, they feed me well. They always took the extra effort to prepare our favorite dishes when we’re there. I felt at home in this place.

And I love the nights in Malacanang. Not so hot, not so cold. Just enough to lull me into the most peaceful slumber with the sweetest dreams.

Of course, I also look forward to the rip to Ibayo. It’s a parcel of land where folks there plant their vegetables and fruit bearing trees! aaaaahhh, the luxury of eating freshly picked fruits :))

Malacanang reminds me of home, of the days I used to spend in our farm in the province. Of the simple life that we lived as a child before the responsibilities of being an adult manifested and took its toll.

This is almost home. 🙂