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Moms & Kids

What moms-to-be need to know about the Zika virus

Nothing is more alarming for moms-to-be than the threat of exposing herself and her unborn child to illnesses that may affect her pregnancy and the health of her baby. This week, the Department of Health reported two more additional cases in Iloilo City, where a 45-year-old woman was first reported to have been the first case of local transmission. As of press time, the total number of cases reported in the Philippines has climbed to eight. Despite the low numbers, Zika is worrying not least because many of the infected may not exhibit symptoms. The last two patients did not experience anything more than mild rashes and did not require hospitalization. A new research saying Zika can be transmitted sexually also complicates the issue for many women. The studies reveal that …

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Reconnecting with me

Last week I got back from a two-week vacation in Europe "with no kids" for the first time in almost eight years. I went to celebrate the marriage of two beautiful friends. The first stop was the bachelorette in Amsterdam with the bride and a fantastic group of women, and then we proceeded on to Croatia for the wedding festivities where my husband David joined me. Prior to the trip I was a bundle of nerves with so many different emotions coursing through me. I was thrilled but anxious, excited but nervous, and wondered how I'd function without my three kids. Would they be okay, would I be okay? Should I leave them? But you need a break and some time alone with David (it had been so long), my subconscious would yell. I decided to just rip off the band aid in one fell swoop and go (for …

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Only in Manila

A three-day weekend! What could we do? What haven't we done? I booked an overnight stay at Manila Hotel. We stayed at The Grande Dame two years ago and the kids thoroughly enjoyed the amenities of the hotel. And they loved the food at Café Ilang-Ilang! This time I wanted to explore the surrounding sites. My kids have never set foot in Luneta Park, can you believe that? I wonder how many other kids have never walked or played in the park that most of the people in my era knew so well. I, however, have not gone back in decades. So I thought it would be fun to take them there and maybe even try riding the calesa. "Mom, a pony, look!" my five-year-old daughter said excitedly as we reached the last stoplight before our hotel destination. "We rode that when I was in Grade 4, in Intramuros, during the Carlos …

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FAQs about Zika

Is it really true that the Zika virus is now infecting Filipinos? What’s so dreadful about this virus? What can we do to prevent its spread? When a Zika virus epidemic erupted in North and South America two years ago, it became a distinct possibility that in time, the virus will reach the Philippines if only because Filipinos travel a lot and that we have a healthy population of Aedes aegypti, a type of mosquito, all over the country. Hence, the Department of Health (DOH) announcement last week that confirms a sixth case of Zika infection in the Philippines since 2012 came as no surprise, especially because an outbreak of the virus has been affecting our neighbor, Singapore, since last month. What is the Zika virus? Zika virus is the microorganism that causes …

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No hurries

For sure, parents want what’s best for their children.  But because of their anxieties, competitiveness, and need for control, moms and dads sometimes make their kids’ lives more stressful, difficult, and complicated.  For example, they send their toddler to school even if he isn’t ready yet, or they coerce their child to take up a tiring and time-consuming after-school activity that he has no interest in. That’s why in his recent talk titled “The Syndrome of the Hurried Child,” held at the Escaler Hall of Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, developmental and behavioral pediatrician Dr. Francis Xavier Dimalanta reminded parents and educators that childhood was not a race.  It should be savored, not rushed. “Childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, write, and count.  Childhood is a small window of time to …

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Darling little ladies and gentlemen

Katrina Goulbourn Babes’ latest collection of baptismal gowns is influenced by the Belle Epoque, the era of the early 1900s in France where Art Nouveau blossomed in art, architecture, and fashion. It was a period of peace and prosperity that promoted stability in the region and allowed the arts to flourish and society to lavish itself in fabrics that, though rich in content, were subtle with intricate detailing. Although there were extravagances during these years, they were tempered by restraint and refinement. One could see that things were better for all, from the working and middle class to the upper class, and this was clearly reflected in fashion through a more toned down, thinner silhouette. “I wanted this collection to be a hopeful and refined one that brings forth classic elegance both for the boys and the girls. Children of this era. Although more simply dressed than before, were …

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A family trip to Cubao (and the realm of imagination)

As we waited for our eldest son to come back from varsity swim practice, my husband asked me what the plan was for that particular Saturday. It’s rare that he is home for the weekend, much less have free time away from work to spend with us. “There’s an Art Fair over at Cubao,” I said. “Would you and the kids be interested to go with me?”  “I want to go! I want to go,”replied my five-year-old daughter who had overheard our conversation. Husband winked at me and an hour later we were off to Art In Island Interactive Art Museum. I’ve always been in awe of people who can create things with their bare hands. So it was a real treat to see local artisans displaying their wares and crafts at the Art Market last weekend. It was also a chance for me to take my children on an …

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Defend or forgive?

Dear Suzi and Paolo, My son is being bullied in school by a few classmates. While I want to teach him forgiveness, I also want to teach him that it is okay to defend himself. What do you teach your kids about when to fight and when to forgive? I have such a hard time with this. Cheekie, 34 Makati Suzi says: Hello there, Cheekie! It’s painful to know that your child is being bullied in school. No parent wants to hear that.  I am glad, however, that you know about the situation. Whether it was your son or the teacher who mentioned it, it’s good to know so that you can help your son do something about the situation. First of all, ask your child if he has a group of friends. It’s important that he feels that he has friends who can support or …

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Keep calm and parent on

These days whenever people ask me how parenthood is going, my face gets a bit crinkly and I start stuttering and mumbling. To be honest, it hasn’t been going that well. Summer vacations have routinely been challenging for me for the last few years because the structure and routine of the school year get thrown out the window. This isn’t conducive for children, most especially ones who are “behaviorally challenging.” This is a new way to describe Kieran that I have just learned from reading one of these parenting manuals. When summer vacation ended two weeks ago I couldn’t help but breathe a tiny sigh of relief. It’s thoroughly exhausting to struggle and fight and cajole someone every single day. Especially when you have two other children, work responsibilities, and other life obligations that need to …

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Take me back to Mario’s

Iremember Mario’s back in the ’80s. Situated at the very heart of Tomas Morato, it was the citadel of all celebrations. My most unforgettable memory, however, was waiting for almost an hour for a table on Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend then (husband now) and I agreed it was worth the wait. Fast forward to 2016. I return with my family of four in tow. Live music from an electric organ greeted us as we were ushered to our table in the main dining hall. Right next to our seats was the carving station for the roastbeef and the cochinillo (slow roasted crispy pig). The kids immediately scouted the rectangular Sunday buffet. My daughter R made a beeline for the dessert corner. She stared at the two cascading chocolate (dark and white) fountains surrounded by bowls of marshmallows and fruits on sticks and with an impish grin promptly asked, “Mom, can I have dessert first ?” On the other side of the set-up, …

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