Archives for March 2012

A Guide to Giving Flowers as Birthday Gifts

Each month of the year is symbolised by a particular flower, and what better to send that special someone as a birthday gift than a stunning arrangement of flowers which are an emblem of their own birth month. Obviously, flowers aren’t for everyone and some people would be more grateful for an alternative on their birthday. Why not look into some gift baskets filled with fruit, snacks and chocolate- something for everyone! It’s not too late to send a gift basket for someone’s birthday, but if you feel flowers are a better choice, Interflora.co.uk can help you choose the perfect flowers, whatever the time of year.

January is the month of the carnation. Striped carnations are sent to say ‘sorry I can’t be with you’, whereas solid colours denote an acceptance of an invitation. For those born in February, iris may be the flower of good news but is also the flower associated with this month. March brings daffodils, which are the first sign of spring and also a symbol of respect. For April birthdays, daisies are given. Although when most people think of daisies they imagine the tiny white flowers on their lawns, but there are actually over twenty thousand types of daisy. A stunning bouquet can be made of aster, ox-eye and African daisies, giving an exotic display of riotous colour. For those born in May, lilies are the way forward. Again, there are so many different types that it would be impossible to name them all here, but our florists at interflora birthday gifts will be happy to advise you of the best seasonal blooms to use. June is the month of roses, most commonly associated with love, but also with early summer, and the heady scent will be a welcome guest in any home. For July birthdays, larkspur, which also means ‘beautiful spirit’, should be sent to loved ones. August is the time of the gladiola, September can be celebrated with aster, and October with calendula. All these can be made up into one of interflora.co.uk’s delightful hand-tied bouquets.November has chrysanthemum as its very own flower, and as the colours have different meanings, you can say happy birthday to a friend, a relative or a lover born in November with a dazzling arrangement of blooms. And finally we come to December, with narcissus, which can be used to say ‘stay as sweet as you are’, a delightful birthday message.

Any of our florists at interflora birthday gifts can help you choose the perfect combination of flowers from our many bouquets, or guide you in making your own personalised gift.

Hubby’s Tips on Riding Safely

When hubby came home with a new motorcycle a couple of years ago, I was furious. Aside from the fact that he made a major purchase without even giving me a hint about it, I thought he was rash, insensitive and irresponsible for wanting to ride a motorcycle and putting his life at risk. That reaction just masked my fear of his getting into an accident like the many motorcycle accidents I hear on the news each week. Thankfully, hubby has stayed accident-free for the two years he’s had his motorcycle. However, this isn’t the case for other motorcycle owners, some of whom have found themselves in terrible accidents through no fault of their own and are waiting to see if they can access their accident settlement from motorcycle insurance claims.

Though I know he is a responsible rider, I still can’t help worrying about his safety when he is out riding his bike. He constantly reassures me though that he takes utmost care and even briefs me through the safety precautions he takes. Among his tips on riding safely:

  1. Wear proper riding gear. This includes sturdy, reliable, and proper-fitting motorcycle helmets and protective gear. You might even want to invest in some motorcycle helmet cameras so you can record your journey.
  2. Be a defensive driver. Being on two wheels doesn’t exempt you from certain traffic rules. You are using the very same road that other vehicles are using so be a responsible driver and follow the traffic rules.
  3. Know what do after a crash. This means making sure you know what to do if someone is injured so you can deal with it while the emergency services arrive. It also means that you could know where to go if you need to sort out any Motorcycle Accident Settlements so you can get any compensation if you’re entitled to it.

  4. Check your bike before riding. Just like any other vehicle, hubby checks his motorcycle before riding it. He makes sure that the engine is in good condition and all the other parts are working and in order. If you are noticing that it might be time for an upgrade then you may want to find out how much your motorbike is worth? There are numerous places where you can do this online.

I’m certain that hubby is a safe and responsible rider; nonetheless, I still worry that some irresponsible rider or driver would cause him harm. However he insists that he’ll be safe, I always say a quiet prayer that angels would keep him safe every single time he rides his motorcycle.

Learning How To Read Through Looney Tunes Phonics


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Are you having difficulty prying your children away from the television or the game console?  Do you have to deal with endless whining and groaning whenever it’s time for homework or for some reading?  Do you struggle with your children and get utterly frustrated trying to teach them how to read?  Well, why don’t you try teaching them how to read with Professor Wizbot’s help?  You’ve also got Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang to help you!

Looney Tunes Phonics is not just one of those run-of-the-mill online learning programs.  The program is based on a curriculum developed by Dr. J. Ron Nelson, a renowed early education research professor.  Moreover, the Looney Tunes Phonics was also tried and tested by one amazing child reviewer – my little daughter!

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Before I had my 3.8-year-old daughter try Looney Tunes Phonics, I first went through the program and checked what it had to offer.  There are 100 levels in the program where reading is systematically taught.  The primary levels focus on recognizing letter sounds and letter shapes then progresses into blending phonetic sounds into words.  Sight words, suffixes, word families, and sentence construction are also taught in higher levels.  By the time a child finishes all 100 levels, he would already be proficient in reading, spelling, and typing.

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What I personally love about this program is that it not only focuses on Phonics but on teaching Sight Words as well.  Children also learn not just to read but to spell as well.  Moreover, it helps a child be familiar with the qwerty keyboard which, we all know, is necessary in this modern-age.  Lastly,  there is a Progress Report after each level which allows you to check how well your child is doing.

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However, no matter how much we believe in a learning program, everything will be for naught if we can’t get our children to use it.  This is where the short Looney Tunes episodes come handy.  Children are entertained and motivated to read while being prepared for the interactive lessons that follow.

Does the program work?  My daughter got to try it out for only a month but has already become quite proficient in typing on the keyboard and using the mouse – did I mention that she’s barely four years old?  She also looks forward to reading with “the robot” – that’s Professor Wizbot – and refuses any help with typing the letters or manuevering the mouse. She was already reading cvc’s before we started the program but I was surprised that she has progressed to reading ccvc’s and cvcc’s already.

But really, the best way to know if a learning program works is to try it out yourself.  Head on to Looney Tunes Phonics and use the code 15PERCNS15 to get 15% off on any purchase through 12/31/12.  Have fun learning how to read!

Family Congress 2012: Building The Filipino Family


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Parenting, relationship, and education experts have teamed up to organize The Family Congress 2012 with a vision to equip individuals with skills needed in whatever relationship stage they are in.

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The Love Institute in partnership with Galileo Enrichment Learning Program and F.I.D. Event Services presents The Family Congress 2012 which will provide a venue for learning by gathering the best experts in the field of psychology, parenting, and relationship to share their knowledge to family members, educators, and organizations in the most effective and simplest way. From 8am to 5pm on August 25, 2012, join the Family Congress team at the Valle Verde Country Club, Pasig City and learn from the variety of topics about relationships and love.

PARENTS who want to improve their parenting styles, to know the value of modern technology and how to manage it, and to learn more about managing and preventing bullies; COUPLES who wish to nurture, maintain, or improve their relationships; TEENS and YOUNG ADULTS who are confused with their emotions and want to learn more about relationships – Crushes, Sex , Dating and Love, are all enjoined to attend the Family Congress 2012 and choose two sessions from among 10 varied and very interesting topics:

Morning sessions:
1A – Migrating and Managing the Digital World by Queena Lee-Chua, Ph.D.
2A – Handling the Bully and the Bullied by Honey Carandang, Ph.D.
3A – Built for Forever: Preparing Singles for a Lifetime Relationship by Rissa Singson-Kawpeng
4A – Teen Talk about Love, Sex, and Dating by Dan and Nabelle Caballes
5A- From Wellness to Wholeness (for adults 21 & up) by Harriet Hormillosa, M.A.

Afternoon sessions:
6P – Being Friends Forever in Marriage: Learning the Art of Fighting by Allan Dionisio, M.D. & Maribel Dionisio, M.A.
7P – Teaching Parents to Talk to Kids & Teens about Crushes, Sex & Relationship by Michele Alignay, M.A. & Aiza Tabayoyong
8P – Managing Teen Emotions by Obet Cabrillas
9P – Career, Relationship, and Life Plan for Singles by Pia Nazareno-Acevedo
10P – Beyond the Tears: Griefwork by Cathy Babao-Guballa

Aside from attending two sessions, guests will also get to hear inspirational messages from Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle and motivational speaker Francis Kong.

Early bird rates are: P1300 if you register before April 30; P1400 if you register before June 30. Regular rate is P1500 per attendee. Promo rate: 6+1 (pay for 6, get 1 free based on regular rate). Registration fee is inclusive of seminar fee, meals, and lots of freebies.

For more information, please call 579-0100, 0917-8972903, 0922-2521896, email familycongress@gmail.com, follow them on twitter.com/FamCong2012 and like facebook.com/FamilyCongress.

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MEET THE ORGANIZERS AND SPEAKERS

Maribel S. Dionisio is a Parenting and Relationship Expert of 21 years, a co-founder of The Love Institute, and a co-author of 3 relationship books and 3 parenting books. A popular face on TV, she has guested in TV/radio programs like Umagang Kay Ganda and DZMM’s Teleradyo and Aksyon5/Radyo Singko’s Relasyon to name a few. She was one of the main organizers of the 1st Ateneo Family Congress for Grade School and High School Parents in March 2005 with almost 1300 parents in attendance.

Ma. Rowena J. Matti has been in the education industry since she was a child, when her mother founded the Sacred Heart School in Malabon. Rowie started helping out with the operations in the school until she saw the need to supplement the learning of students, especially in Math and English. With a pool of educators and consultants, Galileo was born. Rowie shares the same passion in educating the parents of the children as well. She had several times witnessed that children get affected with their studies when the family is in trouble.

F.I.D Event Services is the exclusive organizer of the 2012 Family Congress. It is headed by Fides M. Reyes, whose expertise in PR and events organizing has been strengthened and refined by over a decade of experience as Circulation and Events Manager for MediMarketing, Inc. She is likewise very passionate in the ministry of strengthening relationships within the family and is actively serving at the Light of Jesus Catholic Community of Bo Sanchez as Pastoral Head and part of the Creative Media Team of The Feast Ortigas.

Dr. Queena N. Lee-Chua graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1987, with a degree in BS Mathematics, summa cum laude. She also received a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the same university, where she is now Professor. Her column “Eureka!,” appears in the Learning Section every Monday at the Philippine Daily Inquirer while her monthly column “Homework” is published in Working Mom Magazine. She has written 30 books on mathematics, popular science and IT, education and psychology, family businesses, and inspirational stories.

A much sought-after speaker for schools, government, civic groups, and business, Queena is also a consultant to schools, NGOs, education groups, the Department of Education, and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). A past governing member of the National Book Development Board, she specializes in mathematics and science education and learning psychology, popular math and science, communication, especially in math and science.

Queena is happily married to Smith, a banker and doting mom to teen son, Scott.

Dr. Ma. Lourdes “Honey” A. Carandang, a National Social Scientist Awardee in 1995, has made significant contributions the past three decades in clinical practice. She is a researcher and clinical psychologist, author of a dozen books, a mentor to generations of psychology students.

As a clinician she has pioneered in Child-Family Therapy and Group Play Therapy for children. She set-up the MLAC Institute for Children and Families in 2010 with the main goal of applying the scientific principles of psychology for the well-being of Filipino children and families, especially the poor, the disadvantaged and the traumatized. The Institute is founded on her solid belief in the innate truthfulness and honesty and wisdom of children. Dr. Carandang is happily married to neurologist Dr. Brigido Crandang and they are the proud parents of three grown-up sons, Ricky, Rafa and Chris.

Rissa Singson-Kawpeng is currently the editor-in-chief of Kerygma, a highly regarded Catholic inspirational magazine. She started writing and editing with the publishing ministry of the Elim community in earlier years. Serving various ministries at the time, Rissa later narrowed her focus, deciding on a career in Christian publishing, mentored by a former editor of The Wall Street Journal. Her writing and editing skills were further honed in a magazine writing course at the San Francisco State University, with a former Newsweek correspondent for a professor. She is an author to, “Stories of the Impatient Bride” and “Discover Your Inner Beauty”.

Dan & Nabelle Caballes are trainers and consultants of The Core Group. They provide training for the Conflict Resolution Group Foundation, from short 30-minute talks up to 40-hour (1 week long) training in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Mediation. They are also senior trainers and facilitators at the RCW Foundation, Inc. and are program associates at the Love Institute.

As relationship experts, the couple provides Parenting and Relationship Training and Talks as well as offer Values Education to High School Students Through the “Love, Sex and Dating” Talks. They are trainors in team building, Recollections, Leadership Training, Couple-Relationship Deepening, Self-Development Trainings and Modules at Self Employed and Loving It! Currently, Dan is pursuing his Family Ministry course at the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila.

Dan and Nabelle, have been involved in the Marriage Encounter movement for the past 18 years and have been serving as presenting couple for more than 15 of them. They have 3 grown-up children.

Harriet Hormillosa, a Marriage Counselor for over 20 years, is the President – Founder and Program Director of RCWFI (Reintegration of Care and Wholeness Foundation, Inc.) providing personal transformational seminars, commonly known as RCW or Reparenting the Child Within series. She does Counseling, Coaching, Self-Development Processes and Inner Wellness Consultancy; writes Self-care Books, Magazines and Cards. She is also founder publisher of the CARE magazine and CARE Series, the first in the Philippines on Self-care and Inner Wellness.

Ma. Isabel “Maribel” O. Sison Dionisio is a Marriage Counselor and a Parenting Consultant, and has worked for 14 years at CEFAM and 5 years at the RCW Foundation. In 2008, she set-up the Love Institute, a center focusing on parenting curriculum, marriage curriculum and marital counseling. In August 2004, Maribel launched her first book on parenting co-authored with Dr. Queena Lee Chua, entitled, “Helping our Children Do Well in School.” (The 10 Successful Strategies from the Parents Best Practices Study of the Ateneo de Manila High School). In November 2006, Maribel launched the second book, “I’ve been Dating, now what?”, co authored with Dr. Mike Asis. In February 2007, she co-authored the book, “Magaling ang Pinoy”, best practices study of Public School Parent and wrote two other relationship books, “Thinking of Marriage” in 2011 and “Teen Crush” in 2012.

Allan R. Dionisio, M.D. is a Family Medicine Practitioner, a Toxicologist and an Addictions Counselor. At present, he is a Medical Consultant at PGH, both in the Department of Family Medicine and National Poison Control and Information Service of said hospital. He serves as a Faculty at the Ateneo School of Medicine, a Family Counselor and Addiction Counselor at the Center for Family Ministries and also at the Love Institute. Dr. Allan edited 2 books, Counseling Skills for Caring Physicians Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Allan and Maribel, are both graduates of the Family Ministry course from the Ateneo de Manila. They help prepare couples for marriage in the Discovery Weekend marriage preparation program and are regular monthly columnists for Metro Working Mom magazine. Allan and Maribel have been happily married for 28 years. They have 3 wonderful children, Rafael, 26, David, 24, and Angelica, 19.

Michelle Santos-Alignay is a licensed guidance counsellor who obtained her college degree in BS Psychology at the University of Santo Tomas, and her Masters Degree in Family Psychology from Miriam College. She was a Guidance Counselor for 10 years in various schools. Of late, she has been invited as a resource speaker for discussion on children, parenting and marriage at Umagang Kay Ganda TV show, and Radyo Singko’s Relasyon. Recently she became a contributor for MomsToday magazine. She is currently connected with the Love Institute as an associate relationship expert. Michelle is a young mom to 2 doting children, Migo & Maia, and loving wife to Koots Alignay.

Aiza Caparas-Tabayoyong is a retired hotelier who spent almost 10 years in Hotel Marketing and Events Management. Prior to that, she took up AB Organizational Communications from the University of the Philippines, Manila. In between her hotel stints, she was a Lead Instructor at The Little Gym for 5 years where she handled Parent-child Classes for kids from 6 months to 3 years old and Pre-School Classes for kids 3-6 years old. Her interest to help children, couples and families as a whole had led her to take up courses on Pre-Marital and Marital Counselling along with Family Dynamics & Counselling at the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) at the Ateneo de Manila University. Currently, Aiza is pursuing her Family Ministry course at the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila.

Since 2001, she and her husband has been active with the Marriage Preparation Foundation as a volunteer for the Discovery Weekend and as a Board Member since 2004. Since she and her marriage have been helped, she and her husband vowed to help more relationships and families become more loving and fulfilling. Right now, she is doing just that as a proud member of the “Love Team” of the Love Institute (as an associate resource person and counsellor.) Aiza has been happily married to Atty. Randall for 11 years and is a joyful mother to Ana Rocio, 6 and Roman Anton, 4.

Obet Cabrillas was born a little well off but his family went bankrupt and they spent years in poverty and hardships. Through prayers and scholarships, he and his 7 siblings were able to graduate one by one. A former hard core war freak, Obet joined the Kerygma Renewal and became: chair arranger, prayer leader, worship leader, sharer, speaker, preacher, influencer, youth leader, Feast Builder, and Spiritual Dad to thousands. He authored the popular book, “ Spell Out your Love.”

He is fan-father to Rob and Reese and loving husband to Joie.

Pia Nazareno-Acevedo, a Certified Life Coach, is CEO & Founder of One CORE. She has been a Performance Management Coach, Entrepreneur for the past 17 years and Relationship Expert for the past 12 years. She authored the book, “Born to be a Hero” published in 2010 for teens and single professionals. She took further studies in Coaching and Mentoring abroad and graduate studies on Family Ministries from Ateneo de Manila University.

She has been invited to give seminars and workshops in South East Asia and throughout the Philippines on Sales and Marketing, Life Management, Finding True Success in One’s Life and the ABC’s of Parenting. Pia continues to share basic knowledge on performance management, sales and marketing, marriage and parenting to corporate clients, schools and on GMA 7, Unang Hirit and QTV the Sweet Life with Lucy Torres-Gomez.

Pia is happily married to Jim and doting mom to three young boys, Marco, Paulo and Joshua.

Cathy Babao-Guballa is a mother, writer, children’s health advocate, grief coach/educator, and an author. She writes a lifestyle column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer called Roots and Wings. She is also a lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University and currently a consultant at Johnson and Johnson Phils.

Her grief over the death of her four-year-old son Migi—who died from an open heart surgery in 1998—turned into her inspiration to serve others. Instead of wallowing in depression, Cathy decided to channel her grief toward helping make sick children smile. Helping others get through the pain that she herself experienced has become her “ministry”. She founded the Migi’s Corner Foundation and embarked on the project of building playrooms for sick children in government hospitals. Cathy says she is very happy because through the Migi’s Corners, the memory of her son lives on.

Recently she came out with a book, Between Loss and Forever: Filipino Mothers on the Grief Journey.

Francis J. Kong is an entrepreneur who has extensive work experiences in manufacturing and retail. He is currently President of Success Options Publishing Company and President of FunWorks Inc. a member of the Canadian based Mad Science International Group. He is also founding member and Director of Inspire Leadership Consultancy. He has a daily Radio Program called “Business Matters” and Saturday and Sunday columns in the Business Page of the Philippine Star and in several magazines. He guests in popular TV shows like Umagang Kay Ganda, Shop Talk and others.

Francis delivers more than 300 talks, training and seminars every year and is featured in many of the major business conventions and conferences both here and abroad. He is, moreover, an author of 14 books. Francis is married to the former Lilia Nolasco and has three children: Bryan, Hannah and Rachel.

 

ABC’s of Parenting: Everything Starts At Home

I remember writing about depression several months ago when two separate incidents of crimes of passion occurred just a few days apart. I mentioned in my post some signs that indicate depression and necessitate professional help. Now, I’m no expert in that field and was just sharing what I have learned from others. Some have told me that cannabis such as charlotte’s web strain canada cannabis can help support those with depression but again this is all anecdotal. I am glad though that more of that much-needed professional help is available nowadays which anyone should seek if they are struggling.

Last Monday, I was fortunate enough to have met some experts in the field of parenting and relationships who more than willingly help those who seek counselling or coaching. Over Bo’s Coffee and Sandwiches and Taters’ Potato Chips, Ms. Maribel Dionisio, Rowie Matti, and Fides Reyes shared with us their vision of helping educate families about relationships and love.

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Ms. Fides Reyes, a PR and events organizer, shared with us a riveting story about a family’s struggle with the behavioral problems of one of the children. Ms. Rowie Matti, CEO of the Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, couldn’t have been more right when she said that we parents should not wait for a problem to happen before getting help. Early intervention may be most advisable but prevention definitely would be best.

Now, how do we prevent behavioral problems? Do we shelter our children from the outside world? We don’t have to isolate them from all the negative influences outside our homes, we just have to instill in them the proper values. But that is easier said than done! Ms. Maribel Dionisio, an esteemed parenting and relationship expert, gave us a rundown of the ABC’s of Parenting that can help us raise healthy, physically and emotionally, and confident children.

Attention Giving. Have weekly dates with each child and make it a fun time to get to know each other more.
Building Self-Worth. Affirm, Acknowledge, and Encourage positive traits and good deeds.
Communicate Regularly & Well. Listen to your child. Mind your tone of voice. A friendly tone would get your point across more than a harsh one.
Disciplining With Love. To discipline means to teach and instruct not to threaten and punish.
Enhance Couple or Individual. Words of affirmation and loving acts never fail to make one’s spouse feel loved.

Two hours really wasn’t enough to fully grasp everything that I needed to work on as a parent to ensure that my children grow up as productive members of our society. Moreover, I realized that my husband should be with me during these seminars if we are to properly resolve our differences in parenting styles. Thus, I urged him to come join me at the Family Congress 2012.

The Family Congress 2012 was organized by Maribel Dionisio, Fides Reyes, and Rowie Matti to equip individuals with knowledge and skills needed for different relationship stages. It will be held from 8am to 5pm on August 25 at the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City. My husband and I will definitely be signing up for session 6P – Being Friends Forever in Marriage: Learning the Art of Fighting.

It was really an enriching afternoon meeting the “family” behind the Family Congress 2012. I had a wonderful time too chatting with moms over snacks and refreshments from Taters and Bo’s Coffee at The Forum in Fully Booked. Aside from more parenting knowledge, I also went home laden with gift certificates from Binalot and Galileo Enrichment Program, a Mommy Mundo planner, and a book authored by Ms. Maribel Dionisio. How’s that for one truly delightful afternoon?!

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