We are a family that loves playing boardgames. And these boardgames that we play are not your traditional Monopoly, Snakes and Ladder or Pictionary. We (and when I say “we” in this case, I’m really pertaining to my husband… haha!) have close to 50 table top games. 

We have Deck-Building games, Cooperative Games, more confrontational games, etc. For this summer, I thought about creating a list of boardgames for kids that we love! These are games that you can purchase and play with your kids, because the rules are simpler and game time is not that long.

We love them all so here is our list in no particular order!

AZUL

In the Philippines, we love playing BINGO! The objective of the game is almost similar to playing BINGO! Basically, the objective of Azul is to gather the most number of points by filling up their “colorful” tiled wall. The colors have to be laid out in a manner where a players can score the most points. There are specific patterns that score more points. Completing a colored set will also earn extra points.

Azul is an abstract board game. Abstract in the gaming world means that moves made are based on pure strategy. This game was designed by Michael Kiesling (Wikipedia). This boardgame was released by Plan B Games in 2017.

This game’s theme is inspired by the Moors (Moroccan), a Muslim population that resided in Spain and Portugal in the Middle Ages. They had azulejos (originally white and blue ceramic tiles). Azulejos are painted tiles that form beautiful artwork and are normally found inside and outside places of worship, palaces, schools, houses, etc.

What we like about the game:

The game is very aesthetically appealing. Kids will love how beautiful the game is. This game is best played by 7+ year olds. Here is how you play it!

BARENPARK

Zeeka loves this game, because there are a lot of cute little animal drawings. The objective of the game is to create 4 completed and fully filled out blocks of land and to earn the most number of points. You “complete” it by building a park and putting tiles of lands with bears on it. Some tiles have corresponding points. Completing objectives also such us being the first to have 3 tiles with the same types of bears will give you extra points.

I love that the game is based purely on strategy, too. All tiles are visible, so getting points are all based on the decisions that you make.

What we like about the game:

It’s very simple to play. It even tests and helps builds the spatial intelligence of kids. It’s also a nice game to play with adults if you want to introduce them to the world of tabletop games! 🙂 This is how you play it.

DICE FORGE


Dice Forge is designed by Régis Bonnessée and is published by Libellud / Asmodee. Asmodee is one of my favorite game publishers. They are the publishers of our first game that got us addicted to boardgames — Splendor! They also released Catan, Carcassonne, Splendor, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, etc.

For Dice Forge, the objective is to get the most points. What makes this game standout is that you can change the faces of the dice that you have. To get point, you either get to roll a die with a face that gives you points, or get cards that that are equivalent to points but you have use up the other resources that you have.

What we like about the game:

Changing the die faces is appealing to kids. They get to choose the face that they want to place and then change it themselves. To play this game on your own, you need to be at least (I would say) 9-10 years old. The younger ones (5 to 8 year olds) can help an adult play by throwing the dice, moving the pieces and changing the faces of the die.

This is how you play Dice Forge:

MEEPLE CIRCUS

The objective of the game is to get the most points. In this game, we are circus performers going through rounds of practice. We will then present what we practiced on the third round.

We base our circus acts on the cards that we drafted. Players will then score points for completing acts. There are three types of acrobat performers that score points in specific ways. In the second round, each player will also draft a Star Performer, a unique meeple.

BTW, meeples, are those small pieces in boardgames that represent “people”. It is now more broadly used to refer to nearly any pawn or figure in a game. It is believed that the term was first used by Alison Hansel as an ad-hoc abbreviation for “my people”, as noted in this 2001 session report and described in detail in this history. (https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Glossary#toc130)

The third and final round is where player draft their final performances.

What we like about this game:

We love the game pieces of Meeple Circus. The little horses, elephants, etc. are so cute! Kids will love them! The mechanics is also very simple. Kids can also practice their tactile and motor skills when they try to follow their drafted cards using the little pieces.

This is how to play Meeple Circus:

These are the four boardgames that you and your kids can play this summer.

Do you have other suggestions? Please let me know by replying in the comments section below. If you also have a video of a review or play through, please share it with me, too!

Although I’ve been going with my family to Korean restaurants ever since I was a child, my sincere and personal love for Korean food started when I started watching K-Drama 2 years ago. These shows just change you! Seriously. There was this K-Drama called Let’s Eat that had a story but in every episode, the characters would gather around meals and dishes that one would them explain. After every episode, I would crave for Korean food. So Korean dishes have been one of my favorites (aside from Filipino dishes) since that time.

In BGC, we tried out this new Korean restaurant at the new One Bonifacio
High Street Mall. The restaurant was surrounded with a floor-to-ceiling transparent glass enclosure, so you could see customers grilling their dishes and enjoying their meals. The retractable Korean BBQ Exhaust and the Charcoal Grill Set was available for use at each table. We (Zeeka, me, EJ and Ate) hurriedly grabbed a seat at the couch in the almost full restaurant.

Appetizers: Pamuchim (Leek Salad), Gyeranmari (Egg Roll) which Zeeka loved, Gamja Sarada (Potato Mash), Myeolchi Bokkeum (Roasted Peanuts with Anchovies), Kongnamul (Seasoned Beansprouts), and homemade Kimchi.

After ordering, we were given the traditional Korean Appetizers called Banchan.

Banchan (/ˈbɑːnˌtʃɑːn/, from Korean: 반찬; 飯饌; banchan [pan.tɕʰan]) or bansang is a collective name for small side dishes served along with cooked rice in Korean cuisine. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banchan)

After a while, our orders arrived. Our main order was the Premium BBQ Combo Set. This set includes the following good for 4 people:

240g of meat per person with other dishes

  • 2 orders of Medium Woo Samgyup
  • Medium Yangnyeom Tohsisal
  • Small Fresh Samgyupsal
  • Small Smagyupsal (choice of any flavor)
  • 1 Medium Dak Ganjeong
  • 1 Japchae
  • 1 Panjeon
  • 4 unlimite white rice (add Php 20 per peson to upgrade to Kimchi Fried Rice)
  • Soup

Have no clue on what thee Korean Meat Variants are? Let’s go through them!

Woo Samgyup (우삼겹) is the USDA Choice Beef Belly. It is marbled beef belly. It usually is sliced thinly, too, and best cooked at “medium” instead of “well done”. I loved this! This was my favorite.

Yangnyeom Tohsisal is lean, juicy and flavorful hanger steak marinated in Korean sea salt according to Soban.

Samgyupsal or Samgyeopsal (삼겹살, lit. three-layer meat) is basically grilled pork belly. The cuts are normally thicker for this meat variant.

These meat are soaked overnight in any of Soban’s 6 signature marinades—Original, Fruity, Soy Garlic, Honey Spiced, Black Pepper, and Gochujang—all formulated in Korea.

For those who love chicken, do try the Dak Ganjeong. Dak Ganjeong is caramelized boneless fried chicken. The picture above is the medium sized order. It comes with the combo set.

We, Filipinos, love this next dish called Japchae. Japchae is stir-fried Korean vermicelli noodles with assorted fresh vegetables and pork bits.

The last dish the was part of the combo set, apart from the soup and the rice is this Haemul Pajeon. Pajeon is a traditional Korean Pancake made with squid, shrimp, Korean Mussels and green onion. I love how Soban K-town Grill prepared it as it was more chewy than the other Pajeons that I have tried. It was also mostly meat than egg!

Since we underestimated the quantity of the Soban’s Premium BBQ Combo Set, we ordered one more dish. We ordered Bibimbap. Dolsot Bibimbap is Korean mixed rice served in a sizzling stone bowl.

Apparently, we OVER ordered and had to bring a lot of left-overs home. But this was really yummy food that we ordered!

We still had room for dessert, of course! We ordered this K-Drama named dessert, Coffee Prince. Coffee Prince is homemade coffee flavored ice cream on a soft graham red bean sandwich. I don’t normally like dishes with beans but this combination works!

Soban K-Town Grill also offers a Mega Meat BBQ Set which is good for two people. This set is only at Php 1000. Ever since our visit, I have been wanting to go back.

I loved that it’s reasonably priced. I love that the food is so delicious and the staff was so accommodating. They explained what the dished were when lil ol’ me kept asking about each dish.

Take your family to the new branch in Megamall (3rd level of Megamall Bldg B.) Order the Mega Meat Set for 2 to feast on Woo Samgyup Beef Belly and Samgyupsal Pork Belly with unlimited rice, soup and side dishes at P550 all in per person. A duo of diners can also choose the flagship Woo, Samgyupsal and Dak Ganjeong P445 all in. Bigger groups can enjoy the Premium Set for 4 for P605 each all in. On a budget? Enjoy BBQ meats for as low as P242 to P423 all in!

Soban K-Town Grill is an original collaboration between award-winning Korean restaurateur, Mr. Sung Rah, of Sariwon Korea and the Happyfoods Group of Sariwon Philippines. All recipes are developed by Mr. Sung Rah, with his team of Korean chefs sent to train their Philippine counterparts.

Apart from the Megamall and One Bonifacio High Street Mall branch that we went to, experience real Korean favor and visit them at Eastwood Mall, Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 3 and SM North EDSA, Robinsons Place Manila. Visit Soban on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Soban.KTown and follow @soban.ktown on Instagram for more information and promos.

Thanks, Soban K-Town Grill! We give you Korean hearts and all our love!

Vlogging seems to be an “in” thing now. I can’t believe that there is this kid who earns 26 Billion US Dollars since he started way back in 2015. He earns 22 Million Dollars in 12 months. Read the full article here.

I’m sure that this is the dream of every child, because of the unlimited toys that he/she would receive. It would also be the dream of every parent since this kid is set for life!

You need not look far as we have a lot of moms and kids who vlog in the Philippines. I interviewed some mom and kid vloggers two years ago, and it was already something that was being enjoyed by a few parents with their kids: https://mommyginger.com/philippines-mommy-kid-vloggers-creating-youtube-channels.html

Personally, my daughter and I have been enjoying vlogging. Even if our main intent is to record our precious moments with each other and not really as something that we can earn from, we’d love to know how to become better at it!

So this summer of 2019, Manila Workshops is bringing you one of its Manila Workshops Originals which is its Vlogging 101 for Kids. The speakers for this workshop are the sweet couple Omni & Bryce of #TheClingyFam.

In this session, kids and parents will learn how to turn their moments into wonderful vlogs! The course covers the following highlights:

  • Doing it right the first time.
  • The right mindset, purpose, and equipment that can help kickstart your vlogging career.
  • Youtube Basics: On Branding
  • How to properly present yourself and make your vlog standout
  • Youtube Basics : Setting Your Channel Up
  • Creating your channel art and other items needed to attract more viewers
  • Youtube Basics : Building your content
  • Crafting your content plan
  • Monetization
  • Turning your passion into profit through the different ways of monetizing your content

What I like about this workshop is that it can also be a bonding activity for parents and their kids!

For those who want to learn more about the speakers, here is the profile of Omni and Bryce.

Omni and Bryce Larrosa is the couple behind the fun and quirky family vlog dubbed as Omni & Bryce or #TheClingyFam. They started their channel in March 2017 with the aim to capture their children’s milestones on video. Little did they know that people are looking forward to relevant family content and they realized this when their channel reached 3000 subscribers in just 4 months after launch and receiving thousands of heart-warming and encouraging comments from Filipinos all over the world. Since then, their passion to inspire more people that having a happy family life is possible by sharing their story grew bigger day after day.

Their story was also noticed and featured on different TV shows such as Social TV’s FamBam ABS-CBN’s Tapatan ni Tunying and GMA’s Reel Time reaching an even wider audience both on traditional and digital entertainment channels. Today, Omni and Bryce has garnered over a million watch minutes with over 400,000 watch views and more than 6,500 subscribers and counting in just less than 2 years of existence, making them one of the country’s fastest rising family vlogs. They are also trusted by over 30 companies to execute branded content for their brands including Babyzen, Foldaway, Ergobaby, Baby Dove Cheez Whiz, Eden, The Araneta Center, and many many others that cater to moms, dads or families in general.

So are you coming to join me for this workshop? For those who want to sign up, here are the details of the Vlogging 101 for Kids Workshop:

1st Run:
Date: April 27, 2019
Time: 9AM – 4PM
Venue: Toy Kingdom, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City

2nd Run:
Date: June 22, 2019
Time: 9AM – 4PM
Venue: Toy Kingdom, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City

LEARNING RATES:
Early Bird Rate: Php 3,995.00 (Adult + Kid)
Early Bird Group Rate: Php 5,495.00 (Group of 3)
Regular Rate: Php 4,995.00 (Adult + Kid)
Group Rate: Php 6,995.00 (Dad + Mom + Kid)

Workshop Fee is inclusive of handouts, certificates, giveaways and snacks!

You may buy your tickets at: https://manilaworkshops.com/events/vlogging-for-kids-2019

To make this deal sweeter and for visiting my blog, check out the Easter Surprise that I am sharing with you!

Hope you can avail of it! 🙂 Hurry and sign up now! For more details about the workshop, please contact VENI – veni.anabo@manilaworkshops.com | 09272816651

In celebration of Women’s Month last March, I took time off to go to First Metro Asset Management Inc.’s (FAMI) event called Smart Women Invest. I loved it that they had an event that encourages women to understand more about saving and investing.

With Rose Fausto from FQ Mom and Marcie Linao

As women, I think that understanding how investments work is important. This is not only for our own personal benefit, but to secure the future of our loved ones.

I remember the first time that I was exposed to investments. It was already late in my life. When I was 27 years old and working in a bank, I got my first exposure to investments and investment vehicles. Prior to that, my parents placed my savings in a time deposit account. Not to say that this was not important. It was, and I appreciated it. Looking back though, I should have taken bolder steps earlier to understand how money works and how I could have earned more if I had invested my money.

Today, I have 5 different policies and have tried multiple kinds of vehicles. I tried different kinds of investments because I wanted to choose the perfect one that fit each of my investment objectives. One of the investments that I have had since three years ago is a mutual fund under First Metro Asset Management Inc. or FAMI.

What is a Mutual Fund?

For those who want to know what a Mutual Fund is, a Mutual Fund is an investment vehicle made up of a pool of funds collected from many individual investors for the purpose of investing in securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets.

Check out this video:

What is a Mutual Fund?

Why should you invest in Mutual Funds?

There are several reasons of why you’d want to invest and you can check it out here to see if it’s something that will fit your investment objective.

  • It is professionally managed. The investment decisions are based on extensive knowledge and research of market conditions and on the financial performance of individual companies and securities. You need not research on what’s happening in the market because it’s managed already by people who know what they are doing.
  • For Diversification. We all know that you should not place all your eggs in one basket. Since Mutual funds is basically a diversified portfolio already, it reduces the risk of losses from securities with gains in others.
  • Offers Liquidity. You can convert investments to cash anytime. I remember withdrawing from my mutual fund some years ago since I badly needed cash. Now, I’ve managed to pick it up once more by regularly putting in money into it again.
  • Safe investments. Mutual funds are regulated by the SEC or Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act and its implementing rules and guidelines.
  • Shared information. FAMI shares information about the NAVPS or Net Asset Value Per Share every business day.
  • Its Tax Free. Income generated from mutual funds are exempted from capital gains tax as stipulated in the Republic Act No. 8424 Section 32(B)(7)(H).

Check and see if these features are aligned and will eventually help you with your investment goals.

For my own personal investment, I opened a Save and Learn Equity Fund. Here are some information about the fund that I have:

What I loved about this is that the minimum investment is at Php 5000 and I could add to it anytime. And the minimum additional investment is at Php 1000. The way I purchase units is via Bills Payment in the UnionBank Mobile App. This makes it more convenient for me to add funds (purchase units).

Here are the details of the other funds / products that they have.

I was also given the opportunity to open a First Metro Consumer Fund (see details above) when I attended the FAMI event. The fund is comprised of stocks capitalizing on a consumption theme, with high revenue exposure to key PH industries benefitting from the structure of the Philippine family’s consumption expenditures.

Check out the video of Rose Fausto, taken during FAMI’s Smart Women Invest Event:

Smart Women Invest

Let’s see how this fund performs.

If you have any questions about FAMI’s products and services, please feel free to visit https://fami.com.ph. You can also visit https://www.facebook.com/firstmetrofunds/

We all know that we can’t live a life without worries (at least physiologically). Our bodies adjust using the fight-or-flight response or also known as the acute stress response. The response is due to the release of hormones that prepare your body to either “fight” and deal with the stressor or to flee / “flight” and run to somewhere that’s safe.

You can read about it here: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-fight-or-flight-response-2795194

What we can do though is reduce stress and stop worrying about the little things that we can control. We can aim to have a life of #ZeroWorries. Here are the seemingly little things that I do that helps a lot in the end in controlling stress.

Take a Social Media Diet

A lot of the stress and worry that we feel come from that fact that we compare our lives with other people’s lives — the ones that we see on Facebook, Instagram or on YouTube. I wrote about going on a Social Media once 4 years ago: https://mommyginger.com/social-media-diet.html

What I regularly do now is that I hardly check my messages and my emails during the weekends. I make it a point to spend more time offline and with my family on weekends. I also try to stop working come 9:00 pm at night. So if you work with me and you want to help me fulfil this, please email and only chat with me on weekdays. If it’s really important though that you get hold of me during weekends, please text me instead.

We all need to set boundaries like these!

Do things that you love without regret!

Have a cup of Coffee!

The things that I love to do are drinking coffee, watching K-Drama on Netflix, watching motivational videos on YouTube, blogging, spending time with family in the mall or watching a movie. And when I do these things during the weekend, I feel unproductive.

Being a work-work-work kind of a person, I feel bad when this though suddenly crosses my mind during the weekends or even at night, while I’m just “chilling”. After feeling guilty, I go get my laptop and work again.

Spend time with your loved ones!

But, we shouldn’t feel guilty, especially during the weekends, about just hanging out and having fun. This is especially true when you’ve finished and completed all your tasks and no one’s welfare is at stake.

So, don’t feel guilty about relaxing once in a while!

Use Things that help Achieve a #ZeroWorries Life

There are so many little things that annoy me and stress me out. One is the fact that I always get dry and chapped lips. Another thing that annoys me is not being able to wash off grease and oil when I wash the dishes.

We all think that these little things are immaterial to us living a #ZeroWorries Life, but these little annoyances help in building up stress. This is the reason why I’ve turned to things that can help me with these little stressors.

For my lips, I always use a lip sleeping mask at night. Then for my dishes, I can’t live without Joy Dishwashing Liquid. This product is amazing. With just one drop diluted in water, your dishes become squeaky clean!

So don’t hesitate to try out products that will help you achieve a #ZeroWorries Life.

Start appreciating yourself and LIFE constantly and consistently!

There are so many times when I feel I’d like to change a lot of things about myself and things about my life. I feel my nose looks weird. I feel like my face is too round. I feel like in a few years, I will lose all of my hair. In some days, I don’t like my hair because it’s too limp. I feel like I’m overweight. I’d like to see some abs, too. I feel I don’t earn enough. I wish that I have enough to secure the future of another child.

But if we constantly see what’s wrong with ourselves and our lives, we miss out on the precious moments of today. I changed the way I approached life from I wish I had to I’m thankful for.

This change in mindset has done wonders for me. I don’t feel the need to be everyone’s best friend. I am proud of what I have accomplished and I am confident I can accomplish more. I am confident with my own skin and I have learned more about my strengths and have recognized my weaknesses. I have learned to prioritize things and mind you, even people (some people just drain the life out of you — avoid them at all costs!). I have learned to love myself more.

I really hope that you, too, live a #ZeroWorries Life. It’s amazing to see what life has to offer when your ditch all your worries!