January 30, 2023

Books I’ve Read in Year 2022

My goal of reading 12 books in a year was a failure because I was busy traveling, crafting, and watching Korean series. Although I still read books but I was not able to finish those books. I don’t know why, but I feel that I am having a hard time reading small letters, parang effort sa pagbabasa. Kapapalit ko pa lang naman ng eyeglasses ng last quarter of 2021 so hindi ko talaga maintindihan.

Just this month, I went back to my eye doctor and now I know why, I need reading eyeglasses na pala. Waah! This is really a sign of aging, now I need to use two eyeglasses or progressive eyeglasses. I chose the progressive eyeglasses and hopefully, it would resolve my reading concerns. I’m still waiting for my new eyeglasses. 

If I finished 16 books in year 2021, I only finished three books for the year 2022. It was funny because I finished these books when I was in Norway for three months. I still read books pero hindi ko natatapos but I’m pushing myself to go back to reading, sayang kasi yung books na mga binili ko. Hehehe! 

1. Simple Living for Busy People “God’s Guide to Enjoying What Matters Most” by CLC 
2. Simple Living for You “God’s Guide to Enjoying What Matters Most” by CLC 
3. Jesus Calling for Moms by Sarah Young 

My son finished two books, he read these books when we were in Norway too. 

1. God Has Big Plans for Me by Rick Warren 
2. How Great is Our God by Louie Giglio 

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” - Joseph Addison

January 28, 2023

How to Teach Math to Kids

Math is not an easy subject for me so I won’t consider myself as an expert. I also have a love-and-hate relationship with math but I can definitely say that math is not my weakness. So when my son was still a kid, I did not enroll him in a professional tutor or math class because I know I can teach my son the basics and I want to save money. If there are trial classes, I will take advantage of them.

Just like other kids, math is a challenging subject for my son but I always tell him that math is very important because we use it every day. We use it in school, work, at home, and even when we play so he should learn to love math. 

My son is now a teenager and fortunately, he can study on his own so I no longer need to print practice worksheets and make mock tests or reviewers. I am also thankful that math is one of the highest grades in his school card. So I am sharing the different strategies that I applied when I was still teaching math.

1. Use pictures or visuals 

The majority of the kids are visual learners so if you want to teach math, use pictures and images. I purchased picture books and flashcards when my son was still in his toddler years. 

2. Make math a daily activity 

As I mentioned before, we use math every day so we can teach math to our kids while cooking, baking, shopping, playing, and many more. 

3. Play Games 

Kids love to play games and playing games enhance their analytical thinking and curiosity. We used to play puzzles, tangrams, monopoly, and others. 

4. Answer worksheets 

I bought a printer and I searched for free math worksheets online. This makes my life easier because I don’t need to make a lot of exercises because there are free printables online. I just print the worksheets so my son can practice his math skills. 

Whenever the school year ends, I instructed my son to answer the exercises in his math book. It is one of his activities every summer. He will answer a few pages so he has something to do every summer. Practice makes perfect.

5. Online games 

We can’t deny that we live in a digital age so nowadays, kids love playing online games. My son used to play educational games too when he was young. I just can’t remember the names of the games because it’s been a decade already and he no longer uses his old iPad. 

But I recently discovered that there are free online games that will help you in teaching math. I tried some online games and here are the 3 games that I like, these games involve addition and subtraction.

1. Cashback - the goal is to calculate how much change you should give back to the customer before the time is up. 

2. Grocery Cashier - it is a game where you can practice addition and subtraction along with monetary familiarity. What I like in this game, there is a virtual cash register so you can feel that you are really a grocery cashier. 

3. Supermarket Numbers - this is an arithmetic practice game. 

Care to share your strategies?

January 26, 2023

5 Days Trip in Da Nang Vietnam

Vietnam was not on our travel bucket list but after my husband’s visit to Hanoi, Vietnam way back in 2019, we added this to our list. A few years later, my husband told me that he will attend an event in Da Nang, Vietnam and we can join his trip. 

Honestly, I never heard of Da Nang because whenever I hear Vietnam, I always think about Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, nevertheless, I was still excited because I can finally cross out Vietnam on our travel bucket list. My husband purchased our plane tickets, even though we don’t know our son’s schedule in school yet. 

Knowing my son, he doesn’t like to be absent. Fortunately, my son is still on blended learning but unfortunately, natapat yung flight namin sa face-to-face class niya. So when his classmates asked him why he was absent, he simply said “forced vacation”. Nakakaloka, nag-enjoy naman siya sa forced vacation na ito. 

5 Days in Da Nang Vietnam 

A month before our trip, the event that my husband was supposed to attend in Da Nang was canceled so we had the option to go or not. Of course, we wanted to pursue the trip because even though we have travel insurance, the reason is not valid for a refund. Also, we are looking forward to this trip. 

Then a week before our trip, I checked the weather and I was a little bit disappointed because all I could see was rain showers. Why oh why? This is a 5 days trip and wala talagang araw? Well, no matter how we plan our trip, we have no control over the weather. As Sir Ranulph Fiennes said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” so I packed clothes for rainy weather. 

Day 1 Manila to Da Nang + Hoi An Tour 

At the time of our trip, there was no direct flight yet from Manila to Da Nang so even though Vietnam is a few hours away from Manila, we traveled for more than 14 hours. 

Manila to Ho Chi Minh City via Philippine Airlines - 2hrs and 45mins 
Layover 5hrs and 25mins 
Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang via Vietnam Airlines - 1hr and 20mins 

We had an arranged transport service from the airport to the hotel and vice versa so our travel was very convenient. There is no traffic but it took us more than 30 minutes to reach the hotel. 

Sheraton Grand Da Nang is really a grand hotel, even though I’ve seen photos of the hotel, napa-wow pa rin ako nung nakita ko. This deserves a separate post. 

Hoi An Tour 

Prior to our trip, I was checking different tours on Klook website but my husband informed me na may nag-aarranged na ng tour so it is up to us if we will join or not. When I saw the rate and inclusions, okay naman. All we need to do is prepare USD for payment. 

Hoi An Tour for $35 per person 
Inclusion: tour guide, transportation, dinner, entrance fee, and tips 

- Hoi An Ancient Town 
- Guang Dong Assembly Hall 
- Japanese Bridge 
- Night Market 
- Lantern Festival 
- Dinner at a local restaurant 

The hotel pick-up time for this trip is 3PM but because of our late arrival, we could not make it. But we wanted to join this tour so kahit namiss na namin yung ibang tourist spots, okay lang. The tour guide fetched us at 6PM and we traveled to Hoi An. Our tour lasted until 9:30PM so it was really a long day for us. 

Day 2 Sheraton Grand Da Nang 

We did not join the Hue City Tour because we wanted to recharge and rest. #signsofaging hehehe! But I will share the itinerary, just in case you are planning a trip. 

Hue City Tour - $69 per person 
Inclusion: tour guide, transportation, lunch, seafood dinner, entrance fee, and tips 

- Stop at Hai Van Pass, Lap An for photos 
- Visit Thien Mu Pagoda; the oldest pagoda in Hue 
- Visit the Imperial Citadel; one of Vietnam’s seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. 
- Visit Khai Dinh King’s Tomb; the tomb of the 12th king of the Nguyen Dynasty 
- Lunch and seafood dinner at a local restaurant 

For our second day, we just explored the hotel, ate and rested. 

Day 3 Ba Na Hill Tour 

From what I’ve read, your Da Nang trip is incomplete if you did not visit Ba Na Hill so we made sure that we joined this tour. When I saw the pictures online, I was so excited about this trip but unfortunately, we were not able to appreciate the beauty of this place because of the fog and rain. But of course, we won’t allow the bad weather to ruin our trip so we still try to enjoy our vacation despite the gloomy weather. 

Ba Na Hill - $70 per person 
Inclusion: tour guide, transportation, lunch, entrance fee, and tips 

- Golden Bridge 
- Linh Ung Pagoda 
- Flower Garden 
- Fantasy Park 
- French Village 
- Wine Cellar 
- International buffet lunch 

After our tour, we had no time to rest because we needed to prepare for our International Buffet Dinner at Table 88. Overflowing of food and drinks. #foodcoma #hangover 

Day 4 Sheraton Grand Da Nang 

We did not schedule a tour on this day because we wanted to savor our remaining days in the hotel. Like our tour guide said, we need to enjoy our hotel because it is one of the most beautiful hotels in Da Nang. 

Finally, we saw Mr. Sunshine and we had a good time with the famous infinity pool, pwede nga magkayak sa sobrang laki. 

After lunch, we were supposed to go out and buy pasalubong at Lotte Mart but it started to rain again so tinamad na kami lumabas. I packed our stuff while my husband registered us to e-travel. It is one of the requirements if you are flying back to the Philippines. 

Day 5 Da Nang to Manila 

On our last day in Vietnam, we checked out as early as 5AM so sayang ang buffet breakfast. We requested packed meals na lang so we had something to eat and drink while waiting at the airport. 

Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City via Vietnam Airlines - 1hr and 20mins 
Layover 4hrs and 10mins 
Ho Chi Minh City via Philippine Airlines - 3hrs 

It was a long trip, imagine umalis kami ng madaling araw sa Vietnam and dumating na kami ng gabi sa Manila. It was long and tiring but we were happy, Da Nang was not on our bucket list but this place surprised us and we were happy for the opportunity to visit this place.

January 24, 2023

A Quick Visit to Old Grove Farmstead

I thought our Da Nang Vietnam Trip would be our last trip for the year 2022 because I know that I would be busy preparing for the holiday season but I spoke too soon. My grandmother-in-law was in Laguna for a vacation so my husband decided na ipasyal ang kanyang lola. After what happened to our family in the past, we knew that “Life is short” and “The memories we make with our family are everything.” so despite our busyness, we tried to squeeze a trip to the farm, 

“The memories we make with our family are everything.” Candace Cameron Bure 

I would normally suggest a Tagaytay trip kaso nakailang punta na kami doon and our last trip with my grandmother-in-law was Balay Dako so I need a new destination. For the past few years, I’ve been seeing Old Grove Farmstead online, and my brother and sister-in-law also visited this farm during the pandemic; the review is “Okay lang” so when we booked this place, we have no expectations at all. 

Old Grove Farmstead offers day trips and overnight trips. For day trippers, it is by reservation only and there is a limit on the number of guests per time slot so you can choose whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Mga nakailang palit din kami ng schedule because fully booked na yung mga napili namin na time slot. Fortunately, my husband and my son were on vacation so we can change dates. 

My husband inquired and booked via Facebook messenger. A 50% downpayment (bank transfer) is needed to confirm the reservation and it is not refundable. They have different rates for weekdays, weekends, and holidays. We visited during weekdays and here are the rates. 

Old Grove Farmstead Rates Weekdays 

Package 1: Farm Visit with Breakfast 
PHP750 - Adult 
PHP550 - Kid (3-7 yrs old) 

Package 2: Farm Visit with Lunch or Dinner 
PHP950 - Adult 
PHP700 - Kid (3-7 yrs old) 

Package 3: Farm Visit with Breakfast and Lunch 
PHP1470 - Adult 
PHP900 - Kid (3-7 yrs old) 

Package 4: Farm Visit with Lunch and Dinner 
PHP1,750 - Adult 
PHP1,000 - Kid (3-7 yrs old) 

Breakfast time slot: 6:30AM - 9:30AM 
Lunch time slot: 11AM - 3PM 
Dinner time slot: 5PM to 9PM 

*Bringing in food, or drink or having it delivered is strictly not allowed. Charges will apply accordingly. 

We chose the lunchtime slot which is 11AM to 3PM. We paid PHP950 per person and which includes a self-guided tour, entrance fee, and lunch set meal. 

Day Trip at Old Grove Farmstead 

Upon arrival, we received a parking coupon and we went to the front desk which is located at the windmill for check-in and signing of the waiver. After paying the remaining 50% balance, we got a coupon for our lunch set meal. While waiting for our time slot for food, we started exploring the farm.

We visited a few farms in the Philippines na rin like Fun Farm at Sta Elena and The Farm at San Benito. Old Grove Farmstead is known for its windmill and red barn and some people said, it is like a trip to the Netherlands. Well, I have never been to the Netherlands so I can’t compare. 

Old Grove Farmstead is not that big so even if you have a limited time slot, it is more than enough for you to explore and enjoy the place. If you like taking photos and posting on Instagram, then this place is for you. Have a photo of the windmill, red barn, mand-made lake, hanging bridge, and more. 

They have a mini zoo here and if you want to feed the ducks and sheep, you can buy food for PHP100. We bought sheep food but my son and I were scared to feed the sheep with our bare hands. Takot kami makagat o madilaan ang kamay. Hehehe! Buti na lang game sina grandmother-in-law and hubby. 

In less than an hour, we finished touring the place so we just stayed in the garden while waiting for lunchtime. There is a playground so if you have kids, may ibang pang activity. 

Meals are served at Harvest Cafe, the restaurant is not that big because it only has 4 tables but they have more tables outside. But we prefer indoors and I like the interiors of the cafe + Christmas decorations. 

For the set menu, they have a separate menu for adults and kids. The set menu includes appetizers, soup or salad, dessert, iced tea, and your choice of the main dish. The menu varies but during our visit, we had Crispy Kangkong, Egg Soup, and Graham Dessert. We are a group of 4 people and we ordered the following. 

Prawn Thermidor - served with mashed potato and buttered crudites vegetable 
Rib Eye Steak - served with mashed potato and buttered crudites vegetables with mushroom sauce. 
T-Bone Steak - served with mashed potato and buttered crudites vegetables with gravy 
Batangas Classic Bulalo - local beef shank soup in clear broth, vegetables, potato, and sweet corn served with steamed white rice. 

The appetizer and soup were served in a few minutes but for the main dishes, we waited for more or less 25 minutes so if you are hungry, it is better to be early. The presentation of the food looks good but the taste is just okay. I tried the three dishes except for the bulalo and according to my husband, yun pa naman daw ang may lasa. Waah! Overall, we still enjoyed our quick trip to the farm even though we immediately went home after eating lunch. 

The Old Grove Farmstead 
Purok 5, U. Mojares Street Barangay Lodlod, 
Lipa City,4217 Batangas 
Call for Reservations: +639178952829 
E-mail: inquiries@theoldgrovefarmstead.ph

January 18, 2023

Lunch at House of Lasagna

House of Lasagna has been serving homemade lasagna since 2009, it started with their close family and friends which eventually grew into several restaurants in Metro Manila and Batangas. They also deliver in some parts of Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal. 

I’ve learned about House of Lasagna a few years ago but as expected, it took me a while to try their food. Last month, we went to Festival Mall to buy gifts for my son and sa haba ng pila sa store, inabot na kami ng gutom so we had early lunch at House of Lasagna. 

Upon being seated at the table, the staff gave us their thick menu and there are so many options but we settled for their House Bundles. We only ordered Bundle A which is good for 2 persons for PHP984. This includes Single Beef Lasagna, 1 Pergola Special Pizza, 6 pieces Original Wings and 2 Coke in Can. Good thing I did not order an additional meal because even this bundle is good for 2 persons, hindi namin naubos tatlo. May natira pa kami na pizza for take-out. 

Beef Lasagna - 100% premium ground beef 
Pergola Special - bacon, ham, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, onions, and mozzarella. 

House of Lasagna also offer party trays and naisip ko pa nga mag-order ng lasagna for our Christmas or New Year potluck kaso hassle lang sa pagkuha ng order baka matraffic pa si hubby and wala din yung area namin sa list ng delivery nila. But I will consider their party trays for other special occasions.

January 17, 2023

Lunch at Ramen Kuroda

There are so many ramen restaurants here in the Philippines but we seldom visit those restaurants because I’m not really into ramen. Rice is life for me so if I am craving for some carbs; rice or potato are my choices. Maybe that is one of the reasons why I never tried any ramen during our visit to Tokyo Japan but I promised myself, if ever I will have a chance to go back to Japan, I will definitely eat ramen. 

Anyway, I am browsing my previous posts and so far I have visited the following restaurants that serve ramen. 

Almost a month ago, we ate at Ramen Kuroda because it is the first restaurant that my husband saw when we went out from Uniqlo-Makati. At the entrance of the restaurant, the staff immediately informed us about the Holifeast promo for PHP780 + Service Charge so doon pa lang sa entrance, kinuha na niya order namin before she ushered us to our table. 


1. Choose any 2 Signature Ramen 
2. Pick 1 side dish of your choice. Limited only to Chicken Karaage, Spicy Chicken Karaage, Chicken Nanban, and Tonkatsu 
3. Holifeast is completed with 4 pieces of Gyoza and 2 glasses of Iced Tea. 

We chose Shiro Ramen PHP220, Kuro Ramen PHP220, and Tonkatsu PHP270. It was lunchtime so the restaurant was crowded, We were thankful that there was an available table for us because we were both h-angry. 

While waiting for our food, I was reading the trivia about this restaurant, nakasulat siya sa table. From what I’ve read, it is their mission to make real ramen, and hoping it will be part of Filipinos’ everyday lives. The ramen is cooked by their Japanese chef with more than 20 years of experience so we can be sure that it is authentic, homemade, and tasty. This restaurant has so many branches na pala, masyado ko nahuli sa pagtry. Hehehe! 

Gyoza PHP130 was served in less than 10 minutes and after that, one by one, they served the remaining orders. There is a small paper checklist on our table where they cross out the list once served. 

While waiting for our bill, I also checked their menu; they also offer set meals, rice dishes, and even kid’s meals. Looking at the price, it is budget-friendly compared sa ibang nakainan namin na ramen restaurants. I computed the food that we ate, sulit din yung promo na PHP780. Overall, we were satisfied with the taste of the food and the fast service. 

January 16, 2023

No Brand; A Korean Grocery Store

No Brand is a Korean grocery store that started in year 2015 and it has over 200 branches in Korea. It opened its first store in the Philippines, way back on November 22, 2019 but since I live in the province, deadma lang ako sa news. Hehehe! I can buy Korean stuff in grocery and other Korean stores in our place.

But a few weeks ago, we went to Alabang Town Center and I saw No Brand store so I checked it. The branch here is not that big, sharing some pictures of the stuff that you can buy. 

I did not buy a lot kasi kakagrocery lang din namin pero nabudol ako ng tea spoon and tea fork kahit marami naman ako ganito sa bahay. Kakaiba yung shape nung tea spoon kasi and mas mahaba yung handle, dinamay ko na yung tea fork para may kapartner. hehehe!

I also bought wipes, frying batter mix, and No Brand Potato Chip Original. Okay yung potato chips and mas mura compared sa Pringles. If ever may makita ko ulit na No Brand Store, I will buy the must-try food like Purple Sweet Potato Chip, Chocolate Chips, and other Korean snacks.