This year is all about discovering how I can be better at mothering you, inside and out.

I remember this year to be another year of power struggle; striving to respect your choices and acknowledge your emotions.

I remember you entered second grade with so much excitement because it was another school year to learn new things, make new friends, and discover new likes and dislikes.

I remember hearing good things from your classmates; they said you’re smart and that you write quickly or answer the teacher’s questions enthusiastically. I remember loving your Tr. Aly so much. I remember being so active in school events, making sure you know we are always present.

I remember you meeting new friends; I remember Faith wanting to be your best friend and you were so happy having her. I remember you telling stories about how cute Faith is and how nice she is to you. I remember hearing the names of Pilar and Oona and Amira and seeing the tons of notes inside your bag.

I remember you already having a crush and how it made you smile. I like that for you, having a crush means someone is really nice to you.

I remember making new friends too. I enjoyed this stage of motherhood where most of our activities and plans involved our newfound friends from school. I recall being really happy in the company of fellow parents—singing, drinking, hanging out after school, on weekends, and celebrating birthdays together.

I remember you going on your first field trip alone. It was scary at first, but I trusted that you would be safe and enjoy yourself. Some said you were too young to be on your own, but I believed in you and in the school. True enough, you had a great time, and it was a truly memorable experience for you.

I remember celebrating my birthday in Boracay with the whole family, including Grandma, Ninong Rom, and Ninang Dar, all of us having a great time. Afterwards, we drove to Baguio a few days later and spent Christmas together, just the three of us.

I remember going on camping trips with our school friends; we made camping trips a priority this year and so happy that you have spent valuable time outdoors with your best friends. I remember you laughing so loudly, running so extensively, and playing so happily. I remember your dirty clothes, sweaty body, and the smile that won’t fade easily.

I remember you feeling angry at me whenever I yell or get mad; and I remember how you would choose some time alone to process your emotions. I remember us apologizing to each other every after fight. I remember not being able to control my triggers, I am very sorry for that. Know that I really want to be as gentle as possible, but I am still learning and it’s really hard for me.

I remember being honest with with whatever I feel and you have always been so kind to understand. I remember you always validating my feelings and always telling me I am a good mother despite my shortcomings. I remember this year to be not just about you but also me growing up and learning from you, too.

I remember you finding your tribe and I am happy witnessing that. I remember you talking nonstop about your friends and always coming home happy because of them. I remember being thankful to them especially to Faith because she really loves you and was always there to protect you. I remember taking you, Pilar, Oona, and Faith to a date and I loved seeing you girls smile. I love that you have friends who are like sisters to you, even at this early age.

I remember your first heartbreak when Pilar and her family left for NZ. It broke my heart seeing you cry so deeply when we said goodbye to them. It was tough to witness, but it also showed me how deeply you can love a friend and a sister, and I’m glad you’ve experienced that same love in return.

I remember us going on with our lives after an adult “break-up”. I remember us moving on and continue being happy with our circle. I remember you saying you are enjoying the company of Lucas and Leon; especially now that both you and Lucas are members of HPFC. I remember you being comfortable and happy being one of the boys, adding Xander and Clive, too.

I remember you wanting to learn how to play piano. We got you a mini keyboard and boy you were impressive. You learned so quickly even without formal lessons; just a little help from Google and Daddy. Don’t worry because we will find you a teacher so you will learn more.

I remember you always standing your ground, always firm whenever you think you are right. At the same time, humble enough to admit whenever you thing you’re in the wrong.

I remember you sleeping in your own room just to finish a book and I remember missing you but carried on because I wanted to sleep with just daddy alone.

I remember a lot of things, but the most I treasure in my heart is the way you long for me even if we’re always together, the way you always yearn for my hugs even if we have just hugged. And the way you always forgive me after a fight.

This year we are facing yet another chapter — not having you for lunch when the school starts. I know you can do it, but it’s me who can’t. My baby is now going almost full day in school. While I am excited for you to enter another stage, I can’t help but think of the past 7 years that we are always together. Time flies, really fast. I can totally understand now.

Happiest 8th birthday our Dareen Monica. Please always remember that our love for you knows no limit, no end. And nothing will ever change that. We love you so much. <3


This year is all about power struggle, recognizing more feelings, and breaking cycles.

I remember the first overnight at our new home — it was the eve of your 6th birthday. We surprised you with balloons, banners, books, and a staycation at Hotel Kimberly. I remember us feeling happy because our home is close to the beautiful places in Silang and Tagaytay.

I remember you asking for a sister because you want a playmate. I remember explaining to you the reasons why we cannot have one now or possibly never. I remember talking to you like an adult and telling you this and that — and you realizing that you just wanted a playmate now and it won’t hurt if we cannot give you a sibling now or in the future.

I remember tagging you along to every house visit during renovation and how you will just sit in one corner waiting for us to finish. I remember you shyly saying hello to our workers. I remember us getting excited as days went by.

I remember you entering grade one and the big school as if you’re not new to Don Bosco. You were at home right away even though you started online for the first few months. I remember you having your first friend in grade one — Celina.

I remember you finally going face to face. We were so happy dropping you off in school and I remember how big your smile was. You did very well in first grade and in big school. You loved your classmates and your teacher. You excelled in your academics. But what I loved the most is you are not shy anymore to say hello to ates and kuyas, security guards, cashier, restaurant staff, and more.

I remember you being invited to many birthday parties and how you enjoyed each time. I remember asking you if you want a big party for your 7th birthday and all you said was “mommy I am okay with pretty pink dress, balloons, cheesecake, Jollibee, and a fun place.” You are so pure and simple and my heart is beaming with joy.

I remember us finally moving in to our new home. It was our blood, sweat, and tears and I won’t forget how happy it made us feel. What a milestone for our little family. I remember you approaching the neighborhood kids and since then you’ve been playing every afternoon.

I remember you learning to help me more and more with the house chores; the smile on your face whenever you accomplish something or whenever you help me at home. I remember you choosing your own house clothes.

I remember us going to different camping trips, long drive trips to the south and north — and how it made us happy to be with friends and experience new things.

I remember you being proud of me because I learned how to drive. I remember you witnessing how patient your daddy was. I remember all the school drop offs and pick-ups.

I remember getting a new work and how it made me so happy. I remember you feeling anxious whenever I receive a job invite and it’s onsite. You never allowed me to go to the office so you were the happiest when I landed a permanent WFH job!

I remember you still reading bed time stories with your daddy; praying together before sleeping. I remember you being happy because you know God listens. I remember whenever you pray that I won’t get too tired or that I won’t be too stressed.

I remember showing you all my feelings, good or bad. How I react will affect how you will be when you get older but I do my best to manage my emotions and explain to you why. We would always hug after each and every fight.

I remember you witnessing a major fight between your daddy and I. I know we talked to you already and you understood. I felt bad that you saw it but I loved when you said “it’s normal mommy, that you have a fight with daddy because you love each other and I like that you don’t fight often, I only remember once”

I remember you telling me “I love what you and daddy have, he always makes you laugh.” I also remember you telling me “mommy, sometimes, I want to be a child forever so I won’t be stressed like you” haha.

I remember you opening up to me that you feel bad and mad whenever I yell at you. You have always been comfortable in calling me out and you always make sure you are heard and understood. Anak, we never had that childhood — and even though we love our own parents, it’s our duty to make sure you are always heard and that you have the right and chance to speak up and call us out.

And this year is all about power struggle. At times I go crazy because I know I have to manage my own triggers — and I know I take it out on you instead of being calm. I am sorry that mommy always yells and thank you for still saying I am the best even though I know I am not.

I love you anak and my prayer is for God to always guide us to be the parents you deserve and that we won’t add a scar to your heart whenever we fight. It’s tough breaking the cycle but always remember, Daddy and I always try.

Happiest 7th birthday our Dareen Monica. We love you more than you can ever imagine.

PS: I clearly remember how you became sooooo excited about Harry Potter — and how you and daddy talked about it while I sit in one corner, clueless ahahahaha :))

Breaking The Cycle

Monica was trying to show me something earlier but I was so busy watching my kdrama. It’s our relax time — usually she reads books while I watch and then sleep after.

So I did not mind her, not even looked at her. Instead, I said ”Can’t you see I am relaxing? I want my time for myself. Do you want me to also bug you when you are relaxing?”

Then she kept quiet and wrote this.

Afterwards, we talked and she explained what she felt. Monica was very brave to tell me that what I did was not nice and it made her sad. I apologized and admitted I was wrong. She accepted my apology and then we hugged.

Yes she is free to say what’s on her mind — she has always been like this, open with what she thinks and feels. It’s a good reminder for me to be better.

May she keep doing this — be comfortable in telling me uncomfortable things.

It’s not easy to be humble especially if you are the parent, but this is the only way we can break the generation cycle. We can do this.????

In the end, Monica thanked me for making her feel that she’s heard. Goodnight ????

“Caught Than Taught”

Our words become theirs and our actions become their path.

One afternoon as I watch Monica play at the playground, I noticed a boy who was extra rowdy and noisy. I told myself, maybe he just has more energy to spare. One of the games they played was tug of war using the old jump rope I gave to another kid. This boy was so excited that he went all out causing the rope to break and the kid on the other side to fall hard on the ground. I thought the boy would at least feel sorry for what happened but he just left as if nothing happened.

I intervened and called the boy. I asked him “so the rope broke and your playmate got hurt. What will you do, are you not supposed to say something? He then said, “WHAT? I CAN BUY HER A NEW ROPE. I HAVE A LOT OF MONEY. DOES SHE WANT A NEW ROPE? I CAN BUY HER MORE,” I was stunned and a few seconds later, I felt my blood skyrocket and answered back: “We don’t need your money, we need you to say sorry because she got hurt. Do you think money is the answer?” I know, as an adult, I should have not reacted that way, it’s just that, I was so surprised to hear a 7-yo boy casually utter those words.

After I helped the other kid get up, I talked to the boy again and explained that he should apologize if he hurt somebody, intentionally or not. And having so much money won’t resolve the problem so he must refrain from using it as an excuse. He then said sorry and they continued to play. Kids are alright again.

I am not sure how he learned to answer like that – was it from the shows he watches, the games he plays, the primary caretakers, at home, in school? I don’t know and I am not in the position to judge. One thing is certain though, he acquired it.

And this is why, as parents and as primary caretakers, we are responsible and it’s our duty to be a good example to our kids. I admit, I easily make face, rant, etc whenever I get stressed. And you know what, I catch Monica doing the same, with matching roll eyes even. I always say “Oh my gosh” “haaaay nakuuu” and I hear her say as much. Can I blame her? Can I call her out for merely copying what I do? No. So the change must come from me and from there she’ll (hopefully) follow.

I remember in one of the teacher-parents meeting in her preschool, the Directress said “We know how the parents talk at home whenever we listen to your kids. We have an idea how it is at home with the way your kids interact in school. Your words are their words so be careful what you say and show your child.” And as Monica grows up, I cannot agree enough. Our role is very crucial in raising children; if we want them to be responsible and good adults, we have to be one first.


“Mommy, stop – it’s embarrasing” said my 6yo daughter.

Curious and shocked, I asked “huh? Why and how is it embarrassing?” I was genuinely in awe because all I remember saying was “see you can do it, I told you so!” Back story: She had a hard time getting her bike out because our car was parked in the garage and there was not much space to move around. Monica probably got so stressed in carefully moving the bike so as not to scratch the car.  

So going back; she then explained that it made her feel embarrassed and it did not feel good at all. “It’s embarrassing whenever you tell me “i told you so” because it’s like I am always wrong and you are right.”

Thoughts kept coming to my mind — those many, many times that I teased her whenever she disses food she has not tried yet only to love it after I insist for her to taste. And then I will remark “i told you!” 

All along I thought I was just teasing her. Little did I know, it created an emotion within her.

So I apologized in passing and just let her ride the bike. Business as usual, dinner, play, shower, read, lambing. 

We usually have sweet and deep convos while hugging before I put her to sleep. I saw the perfect opportunity to talk to her about the “embarrassment” incident.

I let her talk and share, explain and dig more. She doesnt feel comfortable whenever I make her try some food and then rub it to her face whenever she changes her mind and love the food instead. And I would keep saying “see haha i told you it’s yummy”. She felt like she was never right and I always make her feel that way.

While listening, all I could tell myself was “oh no, I was becoming a bully to my own daughter even though I never really meant it to be that way.” I was just being playful when I tease her.

Soon after, I hugged her tightly and I explained my side. “Mommy never intended for you to feel that way. I did not mean to hurt your feelings or embarrass you. It was not my intention. I was wrong for teasing you all the time. I am so sorry anak. I won’t do it again.”

“It’s okay mommy. You can still be playful, but only when I am in a super duper happy mood. Like we can play our game of you making me smile and I will try not to.” 

I kept apologizing as I felt really guilty. “When you are ready and okay, please accept my apology. But if not, it’s okay, I will wait. Thank you for telling me what’s on your mind and how you are really feeling.”

“I accept your apology mommy. I love you.” And the  we hugged and she fell asleep.

Oh wow what a conversation with a 6-yo. What a humbling experience for me as a parent. Sometimes, as an adult, we really think we are always right and that our ways should be followed most of the time. Sometimes we forget that children have feelings and minds of their own. 

And this incident put a stop to all those “i am the adult so…” moments. And just because it’s funny or light for me does not mean it is for others. Sounds like another golden rule in life in general, right?

Haaaay I learn so much from Monica.

Maybe tomorrow she can read this blog, so hello anak. I love you always. Thanks for our talk. Love, Mommy.

Picture taken in Bohol. An image that signifies how much weight I have in relation to the influence I can give my child.

Face to Face School After Two Years

After two long years, my school girl is now back on the school grounds! Today is her first day of face to face classes in the big school! She waited so long to be with classmates and teachers again. She has always loved learning; online or offline, she sure enjoys every second of it. It’s just extra special this time because she’s in the first grade in a new school!

We prepared for this — sleeping time, eating habits, etc. So last night, I made her (or should I say forced her haha) to sleep before 7pm and she did! Good job anak. Haha.

I woke her up at 5am; whew, 10 hours of sleep yey!!! I prepared one of her fave breakfasts, toasted bread with melted cheese plus sunny side up egg! She super loves the egg yolk so it was a delight for her! She had a glass of fresh milk then chomped her Scott’s vitamins after! 

Then I gave her a bath and prepper her school uniform. Off we traveled to Laguna — left Makati at 5:47 and arrived in school at 6:30! Took some photos then we kissed and hugged her goodbye. She didnt even look back and went straight to her classroom! 

And how am I now? I am okay but I really miss my baby. Beej and I are now having coffee here at Tim Hortons in Vista Mall Sta Rosa. It’s like our old days before we had Monica. It’s lovely but we miss our baby so much. Life is much more complete with our Monica.

I hope she is having a great time in school today. I can’t wait to hear her stories! We love you so much anak!!!


I can’t count how many times Monica said “mommy you’re so pretty!” today. She literally tells me this even in my most unflattering moment: upon waking up; messy hair, messy clothes, sweaty, name it. I don’t know why she keeps doing it but it warms my heart. Well, at times I get really annoyed especially when I am busy and she just goes over me and kiss me nonstop. Haha.

And then I realized, maybe these are the tiny seeds I planted? I don’t know. I just remember telling her “aww my baby, why you so pretty?” Hahahaha. Baka naman sa akin pala nakuha. Ewan ko ba. Sobrang lambing na bata.

Haaaay. I love you Monica.


But I’ve been missing Monday workouts for a few weeks now. Either I am not feeling well or I have errands to run. Haaay. Today, I chose to rest because my colds are at its worst I think. No sense of smell and taste but antigen test came our negative. Haaaay. Poor Monica because she kept complaining about her clogged nose the whole time she is in class.

hopefully we’ll get better soon!!!


Our colds are not getting any better so we decided to just stay home. Sad that we missed Sunday mass but I guess it’s for the better. Did saliva antigen testing again and still negative so yay.

Monica watched Darna today and it inspired her to be superhero, SuperSonica haha. Cute. She even said her name should be Darna Monica hahaha.

anyway, that’s it. Oh btw, I finally bought our living room ceiling light. Hirap pumili ha.