Hi! I'm a working mom and part of my job is paying the bills. Budgeting is one of the reasons I get the monthly headaches. Plus, the due dates of our house bills - electricity, water, phone and internet. I hate waiting in queue just to pay my bills. My precious time just gets wasted. Right? Right!
So before I tell you about this online banking, and I know I'm not the first person to use online banking, I just want to put a disclaimer that I don't advertise my bank and its services. I'm just one happy client! :)
When I started earning money, online banking isn't a big thing for me. I have all the time in the world as a single lady to fall in line (in banks and bills payment centers) to pay my bills. But when I became a mom, half an hour in line or less is already considered wasted time. I mean, what creative thing can you do while you're in line? (If you have any idea, let me know.) :) So, introducing my bank's online services: www.bpiexpressonline.com. What a life saver! I have enrolled all my bills and started paying them online! Yey! Even while I'm at home cooking and suddenly remember it's my due date, I can just go online, log in, and pay my bills! It's that easy. But of course there are other downsides, like if I REALLY forget my deadline and 4 days have passed already, I can't pay my electric bill thru my bank anymore. I have to go to its nearest office or to a Bayad Center to pay. So your calendars and an alarm are very, VERY important!
So back to online banking, aside from paying your bills, there are other things you can do in BPI Express Online. First and foremost, it's 24/7 banking. Wherever you are and whatever time you're available to face your financial (problems) responsibilities, the bank is open to serve you. You can transfer funds to other enrolled bank accounts, apply for loans, purchase prepaid loads for your phone, and a lot of other things. Do I sound like one happy customer? Haha!
Anyway, I just paid my phone/internet bill while I work. :) What's multitasking? Thanks, online banking! Thank you BPI! :)
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Today, we celebrate National Heroes Day. Just as how our heroes fought for the freedom of our nation, so are the millions of Filipinos who gathered today in different places to protest against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Just a brief background as to how this #MillionPeopleMarch was formed, there's a Janet Napoles who came into the spotlight, who allegedly became super rich by using funds that are supposed to be allocated for projects that will benefit all the Filipinos, especially the poor. The PDAF, also known as the Pork Barrel, came from the taxes we pay each day.
I was instantly affected when this issue came out. I pay my taxes diligently. But everyday I see unfinished concrete roads, substandard roads, dark streets at night, flooded places. I have to fight to get a space in the train just to get to work and to get home. I've seen crowded classrooms in public schools, children begging for food, families living on the streets. Then you hear this news. You see Napoles' daughter live in a luxurious apartment in the U.S., celebrate her birthday in Hollywood, drive sports cars. She claims everything they have are from their legitimate, hard-earned money. She's just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath her are the numerous senators and congressmen who receive their PDAF and allocate them in anomalous non government organizations (NGOs). The reality, for me, is that these hoax NGOs are their very own pockets. Nothing goes to where they claim the funds should go. There are still hungry, homeless, jobless Filipinos. There are still undeveloped areas in the Philippines. Would you believe that in the 21st century, there are still places in our country that doesn't have electricity? There are baranggays that can't serve efficiently because they lack funds. There are hospitals who reject patients because they lack facilities. Every year we see the problem in public schools: less classroom, more students. I know, I don't have first hand experience on most of these (thank God!) but it still aches me to know that the income taxes deducted from my pay each month, most of them, are only being enjoyed by a few corrupt people. And yes, I blindly helped them get rich and powerful.
I still believe in God. And I know prayers can answer our country's problems. But more than these is our action to stop making us fools. SCRAP PORK!
I realized that our country isn't poor. We actually have the funds to make our nation healthy and beautiful.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Today we went to our chapel to attend Mass. Every Sunday my hubby serves as the guitarist. Also, Sundays = Family time. :)
Friday, August 23, 2013
I love party invitations! They tell you what's the party gonna be like, the motiff, the theme, the feel. Also I love how they are like a piece of artwork with the right combination of colors, balancing the elements of design in a single layout, the choice of fonts, etc. So I made my own invitations for my daughters' baptisms. They're two years apart so you can see the difference between my styles. :)
My first-born daughter is Mavis. A bouncing baby girl who weighed in 7.8 pounds on her arrival. We nicknamed her Michipao. It's a made-up name, coined from the words Michelin and Siopao. Michelin because her arms and legs are like the Michelin tires' mascot. And siopao (steamed buns) because of her siopao-like cheeks. I made her a cute illustrated invitation (except her photo, of course) just like her! :)
After two years, here's our second daughter Rooney. A bubbly, all-smiles baby I once called "little blip" (inspired by the 50 Shades of Grey). But she's not even close to being little with a 7.2 pounds newborn baby weight! Because she's one jolly baby, the happy rainbow colors suits her.
Monday, August 12, 2013
I always wanted to make Mavis a house out of a huge box. So when my father sent us a package, I knew already what I'm going to do with the jumbo box after we have unloaded all its contents.
It's still a work in progress but my daughter already loved it! I had these balloons during Rooney's baptism last week. Mavis loves the movie Up so much so I thought of putting these colorful balloons on her house. I wish this house would stay with us for a longer time! But if not then I'll just have to make another one, or two, especially when Rooney gets bigger and would want to play in a house like this. Also, I think we need a bigger house. A real one! For our growing family! :)
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Our baby Rooney Jazz just got baptized last Sunday. It was a happy rainbow-themed party even if it was a rainy day. That morning we were greeted by a heavy rainfall. When we finally arrived from the church, there's another round of shower from above. But after the rain, there's a rainbow! And yes, we got rainbows everywhere in this event. Rooney was mostly awake during the baptismal ceremony and during lunchtime, probably enjoying (or staring) everyone whom she just met for the first time that day.
My sister (the one on the left on 2nd photo from below) Sho helped me in making this rainbow party come true! She did the rainbow cake (1st photo above) and most of the other sweet treats everyone enjoyed during the rainy lunch. Our caterer (Kaitlyn's catering at San Jose del Monte City) did an amazing job in making everything look rainbow! We just had one meeting and they got mostly what we wanted to achieve (plus delicious foods).
My niece Ayi (the one on the farthest right on last photo) captured this precious moment by taking beautiful photos of this event.
It was such a simple happy day for everyone! There's your family and friends from places far from our home and most of them you can only be with on special occasions like this. I suggest that events like this should happen more often! :)
(I'll have another post on the details of the behind the scenes of this event. And how we did the rainbow cake.)
Rainbow cake with M&Ms and Goya Take It (or KitKat), Baptismal dress and socks from SM Dept Store, Mommy's skirt and Daddy's pants from Oxygen
Sunday, June 23, 2013
There are times when I just become so inspired that I just begin writing down or finishing a sketch. This one I wrote in March 13, 2013:
I can't choose who your friends will be
I can't demand you to have the same faith as mine
I can't guarantee you a perfect life
I can't make the stars fall down to your feet or
Even let you sleep in the clouds
I can't dictate who you will become when you grow up
I can't choose who will be your enemies
I may not be able to be with you
Every second of your life
But I always think of you
I won't decide for you except for now
Because you still don't know how to decide
But when you do, I will support you with your decisions
But always remember that you will be the one
Who needs to face the consequences of your actions
I can be your guide, your reference about life
But i didn't experience everything
There are some you might learn from other's experiences
Or even from your own
But please don't take the path of learning things
Through painful experiences or
Through the hard way
Your mommy's heart can be as tough as a warrior
But is also as weak as a babt
I can't bear to witness your pains or sufferings
But with God, everything is possible. :)
Always remember that I love you
Since the day I felt your presence in my body.
Everyday I witness miracles. I just look at my daughters in the morning while they're sleeping and I instantly feel God's love right before my very eyes. How they started as 2 lines and how everyday they just keep on growing!
Then I look at my bills and how my husband and I find ways to pay all of them when we're just earning enough. Not to mention all our other daily necessities and emergency expenses we need to include in our budget.
Then I look at my husband and how we're able to work things through despite our differences.
Then I recall my prayers and how they're answered at the most unexpected but definitely the most appropriate time. A job, a car, a stroller, a pair of new shoes...
Then I look at myself in the mirror and just knowing that I'm healthy and alive, that I'm a woman who's born in the time where I can be someone I want to be, that I'm able to experience carrying a human being in my womb not just once but twice and delivering them healthy, that despite all the challenges i am able to stand again...
Everyday I don't just witness miracles but I experience them. And I can only thank God for everything.
Friday, June 14, 2013
When I was young, my father always reminds my mother that her daughters need to learn to stand on their own because in time they will have to raise their own families too. We, the daughters, need to learn how to sew, to cook, to wash and iron clothes, to clean the house, to wash the dishes, and a lot more other stuff. He insisted we finish college, earn a degree and get a good job. He wanted us to be ready in life when we need to stand on our own two feet. It's as if quoting Dr. Seuss, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." He would always tell us "You're not imbecile! You are educated women. Nobody should ever fool you."
I usually take his words of wisdom for granted. When he and my mother would tell us to be thankful that we're usually given what we wanted, I would answer them that it's just right because it's their duty as parents to me (and to my sisters). Now that I'm a parent too, I wanted to take back all the things I said to them before. They say you only appreciate your parents so much when you become a parent yourself. I think they're right. Now, I'm able to appreciate more the things he says. Ironic it may seem, I think I have a closer relationship with my father now that we're far apart than when I was still living with them. He misses home so much (he's in the US) that's why when he's free he would connect with us through Skype. He loves seeing my daughters when he calls, trying to be the best cyber grandpa he can be. He cyber coos my 1 month baby and asks my 2 year-old daughter to cyber mano to him. I think he's trying to make up for those times he wasn't able to be with us because of his job. And now that he doesn't need to work hard as he had to before, he would like to spend time with the kids even if it's just through Skype.
When it comes to love, I remember him saying through phone, "I'm still your father. As much as possible, I don't want to see my daughters get hurt." He's not a very sentimental kind of person. But I'm saving this to my heart.
Advance happy father's day!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I might be one of the luckiest mom (if not the luckiest) in the world to not just have these two angels but to be able to see them grow up caring for each other. I KNOW it's too early to tell if my baby Rooney will be as caring as her older sister Mavis. But with what Mavis is showing her sister or how she's treating her, I'm confident that Rooney will grow up to be as caring like her too.
Last night, Mavis noticed that one of Rooney's mittens was missing. She was so worried that she needed to call my attention to look after it. When she found it, she tried to put it back on her sister's hand. She's only 2! She couldn't do it on her own so her daddy helped her.
I love my family! :)
Saturday, May 18, 2013
I have asked myself this question before:
Will I be able to love another just as how much I have loved the first?
I had nine months to prepare myself, my husband, and my daughter for the coming of a new addition to our family. But as what my husband always says, "Let's cross the bridge when we get there." We have discussed how we're going to manage two kids, how we're going to treat them fairly, how to prepare our first daughter for her role as the older sister, how to divide household chores (especially when I finally give birth), how we're going to manage our finances, and a lot more. But he's right, we can only prepare ourselves but to actually know what's going to happen and how we're going to get through it, we need to wait for the arrival of "Little Blip".
May 9th, our little angel arrived. It was a short labor and sort of a quick delivery but definitely not an easy one. Mavis, my first born, was so excited to see me and her baby sister after an hour or less in the delivery room. I think she instantly fell in love with her sister. She was very observant as to how her sister's been treated and cared. She kisses her sister's hands or feet countless times a day. When the baby started crying, she rushes beside her and comforts her, saying "Tahan na."
When I had Mavis, I feared of not being a good mom to her. When I was pregnant with Rooney, my second daughter, I feared of not being fair. But when I finally held Rooney for the first time, I knew I love her just as how much I love her sister. I never knew I would be capable of loving them fairly, of being more understanding, caring, patient. Still, I have my moments of being stressed by my role as a mom of a preschool-aged baby and a newborn. Thankful to the people around me who help me get through each day! My life is a great balancing act and I'm loving every second of it.