Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Money Saving Book Shopping!

We've been posting a lot about books and activities. I encourage you and your child to be readers.
Children's books are a bit pricey especially the hardbound picture books. Some don't have the budget to buy one.

Here are some book buying locations and money saving we can recommend:

 1. Buy during Manila International Bookfair
       Once a year September at SMX, Pasay
       International books come in 20% off,
        Local publishers come as much as 30% off with signed books!

   2. Visit warehouse sale of bookstores
       You have to rummage through a pile and choose a good book or a good copy

Daughter & I choosing books to buy

3. Online Shops
        My personal pick is The Learning Basket , they screen, review and sell only books that has substance for learning. A mix of brand new and second hand books, all books come with a description by the shop owners which they personally read. We have been buying for almost every week!


4. Second hand store
     Available in different malls mostly in metro manila
    You have to be very keen in choosing because these are not screened.
     If you don't have any idea what good books are for your children, you'll get lost in the pile.

5. Buy a lot overseas and have it shipped in a balikbayan box!
    Books are cheaper overseas.
   You may have someone from abroad arrange it for you or have a P.O. box where items will be delivered and shipped here in the Philippines.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chines New Year Activities

What to do for the upcoming Chinese New Year? Here are some ideas that we did last year and some we are doing this week:

1. Do a Binondo Walking Tour

Walk the streets and Visit the Binondo Church
Ride a Bike or take snapshots

Go Tiangge Shopping

2. Eat at an authentic Chinese Restaurant, street food, chinese lumpia or  maybe a dumpling house will do!

Dumpling House at Nueva St, Binondo, Manila

My favorite Chinese Lumpia House

Street Food

Cafe Mezzanine, Fireman Volunteer Coffee Shop

3. Dress up your little one with Cheong Sam
My daughter, photo taken last year

4. Read a Chinese story book. If you are not Chinese, then read a Chinese story.
I made a simple version for toddler of this book

 5.Listen to Chinese Songs
Three of my childhood favorite songs are here,
my daughter and I listen and sing some songs

6. Make or view Chinese Lanterns

taken at Lucky Chinatown, 2013

7. Give, Eat and Cook Tikoy
photo taken from google images

8. Watch a Dragon Dance

9. Do traditions like giving away Angpao (red envelope), put kiatkiat at your door

10. Welcome the year by learning about this year's animal sign - Horses

Enjoy and have a happy Chinese New Year!!! 新 年快乐!
Gong Xi Fa Cai! 恭 喜 发 财!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Music in Our Life

Children are naturally drawn to musical sound and rhythmic movement. Music has proven to improve child  brain development.

We heard about baby classes, but was hesitant to start so early. So we went for a trial class when our daughter was 15 months.

Playing ball while waiting for the class to start

Photo taken from
We have noticed improvement:
- vocabulary building
- comprehension skills especially when the book is sung instead of reading
- social & emotional skills
- physical movement, fine & motor skills
- creativity

We have explored songs in different languages as we play the drum and egg shakers, nursery rhymes which were acted out and sang, classical music, finger puppets as the piggys kiss my daughter's cheek.

Playing drum in the music of a Scottish folk song Aiken Drum

Our first and favorite album is Dream Pillow. The class was once a week, but we do same activities at home. Our daughter has been pulling us to dance, sing and play.

Have fun learning and enjoy every moment of it!

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Nutcracker with Lisa Macuja-Elizalde

Audience young and old await the opening
Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, 2013 Dec 01
Photo Courtesy of

Lisa Macuja danced her final performance of The Nutcracker last December. Proceeds of her performances was set to benefit typhoon Yolanda victims. It made this event even more meaningful, she was very emotional after her single performance. 

 With remarkable grace and beauty it was entertaining to watch the prima ballerina perform the music of Peter Tchaikovsky. 

Book being read  of dad to daughter
(wish I have this copy)
Seated beside us is a dad and a little girl reading a book during intermissions. I adoringly sneaked a peek and smiled as  I picture our daughter in a few years.

Little Daughter wearing a tutu inspired skirt :)
Hopefully before Ms Lisa Macuja completely retires, my daughter could still see her perform.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year Rounds!

Rounded fruits for good luck in the coming year! 
Well, we were buying fruits last day of the year, not because of tradition, but because we love fruits! There is a wide variety in the market especially for new year's eve festivity.

We have been reading the book A Day in the Market (book and animated app version), it has been an enjoyable read for my husband and daughter. With excitement, the book captured the scenario in a market, especially because it is a local book. A bilingual book wherein my daughter's favorite words are bayad po and nanay

We literally opened the book and compared items in the market. We identified fruits and my daughter saying 'same' for every one that matches her book. It was a fun market day.

Keeping up with tradition, wearing polka dots, jumping and showering coins and making noise during midnight were the activities welcoming 2014.

Our daughter enjoyed running around to pick-up coins. :)