Family

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s moments with her husband, child and the other members of the family.

Admittedly, I had a childhood where I didn’t worry (or at least my parents didn’t make me worry) about a lot of things. For that, I am grateful. Contrary to what people might be thinking, I wasn’t a spoiled brat. If I wanted something, I had to find a way to get it (especially since my mom was against a lot of things I wanted to do… hehe! Peace, mom!). 

I really believe that it’s not the amount of money that makes a person innovative or inventive. I believe though that money may give the person more capacity for failure after trying out things, but I don’t not think that money automatically makes you creative and inventive. 

In raising and educating your kids, there will always be that struggle of choosing consumerism versus creation. When do “I” as a parent buy stuff for my child and when do I ask them to look for a way to create the solution. When do I give them the answer and when do I let them find the answer on their own?

In raising Zeeka, we follow these two simple things or two steps. One, we give her the foundation of having a good education. Every child will eventually need to learn and absorb the basics in their own time, like read, spell, subtract, add, observe, control movement, etc.  Then second, after learning the foundation, we help her utilise these learnings in life. No matter where the child learns the foundation (whether in school from a teacher, at home from the parent. etc.), I believe that the role of the parents is to encourage them to use these learning and skills.

Lyrics that we wrote!

This is a sample of how we do it. Once, she wanted to memorise the song Chillin’ like a Villain (from the Descendants). We wanted to teach her that songs comes from words, and when she knows how to spell and write words, she can create her own songs! What we did is that we wrote the lyrics of the song and she had to read it then sing it! With that, she understood the importance of spelling and writing. 

Please visit https://www.facebook.com/makerfairemanila for more info!

Also, another thing that we do is we expose her to different people and different situations. Today, we will be bringing her to the Manila Mini Maker Faire. From June 22 (Saturday) to June 23 (Sunday), the Manila Mini Maker Faire (MMMF) will be at The Mind Museum. 

The Manila Mini Maker Faire will have over 150 makers from all over the country and from neighbouring countries in Asia. For this year, most of the projects that will be highlighted are environmentally sustainable projects. Aside from the projects, their will be workshops on Bokashi mud ball making, robotics, paper engineering, 3D design, eco art organic painting, etc. 

If you want to bring your family, please check out http://manila.makerfaire.com

How about you? How do you teach your kids to be inventors and innovators? Hope you can share with us how you do it, too!

A flying carpet. An evil sorcerer. A magic lamp. A diamond in the rough. And a quest to win the heart of a princess. All of these sound exciting.

This is the reason why I think Aladdin is one of the best Disney movies of all time. And I was so excited when I heard the news that Disney is doing a live-version of the film. 

I didn’t let the chance pass when Globe invited me, my husband and my daughter Zeeka to watch it. The movie didn’t disappoint. 

Stepping Into A Wondrous Experience with Disney and Globe 

Zeeka and I got to experience what it was like on Agrabah through “A Wondrous Place” at the premiere of Disney’s Aladdin last May 25th at the SM Aura. 

We got to walk in an Agrabah-themed marketplace and enjoyed magical activities together. There was a magic carpet you can ride and take pictures on.. You can also win gold coins in fun games and activities that you can exchange for movie tickets. 

Zeeka had fun playing kinetic sand and making her own crystal necklace. 

I also had awesome freebies from Globe. I got my own Abu shirt and a purple blanket to keep me warm while watching. 

Rediscovering Aladdin’s Magical World 

I knew Disney was preparing something special for Aladdin fans. And I was pleasantly surprised with the twists they added to the movie’s live-version. 

Check out this side-by-side comparison of the trailers. 

First of all, the casting was on point! Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott were perfect for the roles. One would think Mena was the inspiration for the drawing of Disney’s Aladdin. And Naomi had the beauty and elegance fit for royalty. 

But it was Will Smith’s Genie that made it extraordinary. 

There was some criticism about him playing the Genie at first, but watching the film made absolute sense. 

Of course, Robin William’s Genie still tops the bill. But Will gave the Genie a much-needed glow-up and he made it his own. 

He was fun and hilarious, and you can tell that he knew how to work the crowd. See for yourself here: 

I also love that Jasmine wasn’t portrayed as a weak and helpless princess who cries at the smallest inconvenience. She was strong, opinionated, and she knew what she was capable of. 

Jasmine was bound by the words of people around her. Her overprotective father kept her hidden behind the walls of the palace. Jafar emphasized her lack of experience and her being a woman, which meant that she was just an eyepiece. 

In the end, she proved that she didn’t need anyone to save her. 

Aladdin was also funny, awkward, and charming at the same time. Zeeka had so much fun watching him and the Genie dance inside the cave. And the jam scene was also hilarious.

Mena’s parkour skills upped the ante, and it made Aladdin stand out even more. Mena was able to show Aladdin’s vulnerability, especially when he was conflicted about setting the Genie free or fulfilling his lifelong wish. 

The movie was everything I imagined it would be, and I’m really glad I got to see it happen in my lifetime. 

3 Life Lessons We Learned from Disney’s Aladdin 

Let me share with you three life lessons we learned while watching Aladdin. Here are some of the quotes that stood out to me while watching the film. 

You’ve got to be confident about what you have to offer

Genie

Throughout the film, you can see how Jasmine and Aladdin had doubts about themselves and what they can do. 

Aladdin wasn’t a prince but he definitely had the wits and the heart of one. And although she was a princess, Jasmine was limited because of who she was.  

The rules of the land dictated that she needed to marry a prince for the good of the kingdom. On the other hand, Aladdin was always told that he amounted to nothing.

But you know what made these two click? Both of them decided to believe in themselves and what they had to offer. Because of that, they got to take control of their lives and change the lives of others too. 

Sometimes we fall into this trap and we think that we are not enough. 

We’re not good enough as parents. We’re not expert enough to land that deal we’ve always wanted. We’re not ready to take on that huge project. 

We get scared of failure when in fact it’s a part of the process. We think too much of what others would think about us. We talk harshly about ourselves and forget the things we’ve already achieved. 

Truth is, we all have the potential to be great. The problem is, we often get in our heads too much. 

Mindset is everything. That’s why we need to change our scripts when we talk to ourselves. 

We need to be more encouraging, more patient, and kinder to ourselves. We need to be more grateful for what we have. 

And yes, we need to be more confident with what we have to offer. 

Sometimes you just have to take a risk

Aladdin

There are two kinds of people in the world. 

One are those who would stay in the balcony and sleep the whole night. The other would be those who’d hop on a magic carpet ride. 

The first ones would probably think of how dangerous the ride would be. No helmets, no seatbelts, and the chances of falling to your death is more than 95%. But the second ones are those who would be like, hey, you don’t see a magic carpet all the time right? 

Sure, you can choose to be comfortable and safe. But wouldn’t it be lifechanging to see the world from a different perspective? 

Everything in life is uncertain, and sometimes even the best-laid plans fail. But that’s the fun of it all. Your biggest mistakes can also be your best blessing. It’s all a matter of perspective. 

Sometimes the best things in life lie just beyond the safety line. And all you need to do is take a leap of faith to get it. 

I made you look like a prince on the outside, but I didn’t change anything on the inside. Prince Ali got you to the door, but Aladdin has to open it.

Genie

Most of us go out of our way to impress other people. And most of the time we end up becoming more miserable because of this. 

Just like Aladdin, we often think we need to be rich or powerful to be accepted. But in the end, it was his true self that made the princess fall for him.

So the biggest lesson here is to be yourself. The right people will love and accept you for who you are. And your truth will always be enough to them. 

Disney did a great job of bringing this classic tale up to date. The actors were great, the execution was spectacular, and the magic was kept alive. 

Even if I’ve already watched Aladdin a hundred times, Disney was still able to pull a lot of surprises. It was still as magical as ever, and I’m glad I got to share the experience with my little girl. 

Did you get to watch it? How was your experience? Share it with us below. 

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!

I don’t know if I should be happy that I’m a mother in this particular generation. Haha! And I’m saying this because of the plethora of choices that are available to us. We have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to raising our children, especially on raising them to be healthy independent individuals who will contribute to society’s well being when they grow up.

And how do you measure that? How do we know if we are doing a good job as Moms or Dads? How do we know if our child is actually learning from us and picking up the right values? It’s not like as if a person can create a device that could measure if kids will grow up to be healthy and good citizens.

No one can give us a report on how our child is doing in LIFE. How I have learned to cope though is to make the informed decisions and wish for the best. Seriously! All these parenting stuff is just like starting a business. No one really knows if this new business is going to fly or fail, what matters is that we constantly keep trying our darn best.

This is the reason why, as a mom, I know I must learn new things. It’s not just for me, but it will be for the well being of my daughter, too. And these things that I need to learn will not always be about the highfalutin stuff like blockchain, investment vehicles, etc. It may also be as simple as what kind of shampoo should I have Zeeka (my daughter) use or what should I give her for snacks? Mostly, these will be decisions on simple stuff that will have an effect in the long run.

Recently, I got to witness moms who were just like me; Moms who wanted to know more about nutrition. These were the moms who joined the Let’s Build a Healthier World school tour of Lily’s Peanut Butter. Lily’s visited the students of St. John Paul II Academy Paranaque, Colegio De Sta. Cecilia in Valenzuela, Philippine Christian University Union Elementary School in Manila, Don Bosco Institute of Makati, Maranatha Christian Academy in Manila and Paco Catholic School in Manila. They made learning fun for the moms and kids, too, as they held a Lily’s Mom and Me Health Ambassadors challenge!

Lily’s chose 10 Mom-Kid finalists also advanced to the next level called the “Healthy Baon Recipe” contest in which they were given 10 minutes to prepare a nutritious snack using Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter, Lily’s Choco Peanut Butter, and Lily’s Crunchy Peanut Butter. The Grand winners from each school received Php 10,000 cash, plus Lily’s gift packs and an educational plant tour. All of the other finalists though received Php 2,000 cash, plus Lily’s gift packs and an educational plant tour at Lily’s production plant.

Because of the tour, these are the things that I learned about Lily’s Peanut Butter that will help me make an informed decision:

  • Do you know that Lily’s Peanut Butter has been in the Philippines for more than 60 years now?
  • Lily’s Peanut Butter is made from all natural ingredients! Nothing that could harm our kids.
  • It has iron, natural dietary fiber, natural potassium, natural protein, and vitamin E which are all essential for kids’ growth.
  • It contains brain-boosting vitamins and minerals that develop sharp memory and help kids reach their full potential

Zeeka wanted to us to decorate healthy dishes, too. I’m not half as creative as the moms during the school tours (haha! So please don’t judge!), but I took this as a teachable moment. We can teach our kids to choose only snacks that would boost our child’s health and brain development.

During our breakfast “activity”, I could talk to her about healthy food, and always making informed decisions. I told her that before buying things, she should research or get to to know more about the products and the brand first, before buying.

Also, it’s important to always have fun with your kids and bond with them no matter how busy you are.

Here are some snapshots from our own Lily’s Let’s Build A Healthier World Challenge (at home 😄)!

Our breakfast table!
*To check out the different variants of Lily’s, please visit this link: http://mylilys.com/products/
Zeeka spreading Lily’s Peanut Butter on her pancake!
Helping out the competition 😂
Both of us taking this challenge seriously! 😄 Making it hard for Daddy EJ to choose which healthy dish looks better!
My Creation! I used Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite!
Zeeka used Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter for her Creation!
And the winner was this Little Bunny! 🙂

It was a truly fun morning. I usually have a hard time making her stay at the dining table, but this morning was different! It was a stress-free, enjoyable morning with Zeeka.

For those who are wondering what Lily’s products we used, here are some of them:

Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter

This is the variant of Lily’s that I grew up with – Lily’s Classic peanut butter. It is made of all-natural ingredients and uses only high-grade peanut kernel.

Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite

This is my new favourite variant. The Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite is made with sweet Stevia extract!

Lily’s Crunchy Peanut Butter

I love food with texture. This variant has real peanut bits that you chew on!

Lily’s Choco Peanut Butter

A great snack for both adults and youngsters alike. The sweet and rich flavors of fresh peanuts and dark semi-sweet chocolate are generously combined to create this all-new premium spread.

Read more about the variants at the Lily’s Website: http://mylilys.com/ Lily’s is manufactured by Newborn Food Products Inc tel: 282-3462

So Moms and Dads, don’t worry too much about the decisions that you make as parents. Just learn more about things before making decisions, especially if these are decisions that will affect your children.

Also, let your kids decide on some things on their own, too. This breakfast activity is something that you could do with your child. Aside from talking to Zeeka about healthy food when we were doing the challenge, I let her decide on what she wanted to put on her plate.

Plus it’s good practice just in case you get to be one of the mom and child contestants in Lily’s School Tour this year. I heard that they’ll be visiting more schools this year, so stay tuned!

Don’t be too hard on yourself! Enjoy and be grateful everyday. As long as you heart is in the right place, you’ll be fine 😉

Our grandparents, parents and even us (parents of this generation) were brought up in an environment where education was more about memorization. For most of us, school was a stressful environment where we needed to get good grades to be on the honor roll or to at least not get kicked out of school. This is the reason why the things that we aim for, the things that we prfioritize and goals don’t truly make us happy humans (even if we’re successful).


Happy humans live in an environment where the focus is on self – development and respect for others. The highly competitive environment that we were exposed to just bred a lot of jealousy, dependence on others for self-validation, manipulation, etc. Times have changed though, and for parents like us, we know that a lot of the formative years of people is during their younger years — when they are curious and when they love exploring and learning new things. During these years, we try our best to expose them to environments that will help them to eventually be happy and independent adults.

So how do we determine what quality education is and what kind of environment should we look for? What do we want our children to be when they grow up? What should we aim for (if aim is even the right word)?

I think as parents, the most that we can do is try to bring up our children to be independent and always curious about the things that surround them. This was what I realized when I listened to the briefing of the Izumi Philippines last week.


I’m the type of parent who’s always curious about different things when it comes to the education of my child. I want to test and try different methods and see which will work best for Zeeka. When I heard about Nippon Math (brought in by Izumi Philippines), I was curious to find out and see what it was.

Izumi under i-cube Ltd. in Japan has been in the industry for 42 years already. There mission as a company is to continue to improve themselves so that they can develop people and contribute to society. They manage 60 schools across Asia and they hope to build more that 20 centers here in the Philippines this year.

From what I have gathered, Izumi cultivates an academic culture of intellectual curiosity, independent learning and character building, embodying the principles of Japanese quality education of discipline, punctuality and cleanliness. I’ve been to Japan and truly, these values are seen in every Tom, Dick or Harry that you meet in the street. Once we
asked a saleslady for directions to exit a mall. I was so surprised that she left her post and went down the escalator with us just to lead us to the exit. We were amazed at how much concern, respect and discipline (leaving her stall showed how much she trusted people around her) the Japanese people have.

What Izumi will offer to the Philippine market is supplementary education for Math. What I have seen is that their value proposition and what makes them different is that they make learning Math enjoyable while also teaching the other values like discipline. For example, the students don’t get to touch the materials until it’s time to do so. They also have a structured but super FUN class! They have materials that make kids want to learn more. Zeeka had a fun time doing the activities! She loved the leaping frogs the most! haha!

If you want to know more about Izumi and if you’re interested to franchise and be part of Izumi Philippines, I can tell you offhand that the fees are actually very reasonable. What they look for in their Partners (franchisees) are that they:

  • Should have a passion for education
  • Should be ready for a long term commitment
  • Graduated college
  • Can foster a good relationship with students and parents
  • Can focus on their centers

Breakeven on Return on Investment (ROI) will take you around 1-2 years.

Izumi Philippines conducts orientations often. If you are interested to join, you can sign up here: https://ph.izumi-global.net/registration-form/

You can also call them via numbers (02) – 692- 5279 /  0967 207 0545