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

What is a Supermom?

I think all of us moms and moms-to-be should be called Supermoms.

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Supermoms don’t claim to be perfect. Supermoms are not perfect. We succumb to the fact that there are things that you cannot control and things that you cannot foresee (We just leave it up to Him). We know that there are moments that we need to fail for these are the times we learn. We know that there are times when we need to cry, but do not mistake it as an indication that we are weak. We know that there are times that we, ourselves, need to sit on the corner and think of the things that we have done wrong. We are not afraid to say sorry and admit we’ve done wrong.

Supermoms know that we continuously need to learn about new things and read, not just for our sake, but for the sake of our children (We know that our reply couldn’t always be ‘google it’). We know that we need to breathe fresh air and live life to the fullest STILL, even if we are given added responsibilities. We know that we need to take care of ourselves for us to be able to take care of others.

Supermoms are loving, caring and respectful. We respect not only our husbands, but also our children. We know that our family is our #1 priority, but we also know that we need to live our lives and use our talents.

Supermoms make the world go round, especially the ‘worlds’ of our loved ones. We know that each Supermom has her own purpose and mission, so we help out other Supermoms fight crime and attain the own missions. We go out of our way to help (by exerting extra effort, service or just by listening) others in need. That’s just the way we are.

I love being a Supermom and i’m proud to be one! Aren’t you?

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Managing Finances for your Home

For a middle income class couple, I can say we pretty much are doing okay financially. Are we where we want to be financially? Of course, we are contented with what we have but just like any couple, we want to be in a place where we can provide a secure future for our children and save up for our retirement. That’s why we continuously seek for effective methods on managing finances for our home.

What have I learned from the past three years of marriage? What are the tips that I’d like to share with you which helps us one way or the other to keep us on track in terms of achieving our financial goals.

1. Talk about Money with your Partner
For some couples, the thinking may be that this is a sensitive topic so might as well not talk about it. But sometimes, when you already need to talk about it, that’s where the fight and the arguments begin. EJ and I, even before we got married, have been talking about finances. I guess we were ‘that’ comfortable with talking about it and that it wasn’t a big deal (even in our Discovery Weekend, we HAD to talk about it, which I think helped us).

So how do we ‘talk’ about it? First of all, both of us know what bank accounts and investments we each or both have. Since Ej is the provider of the family (and I don’t have a steady source of income), all the bills and the loan payments have to come from his pay. If we have something to save up for, we both find means and ways to build up cash for that ‘something’. This can be done through the ‘work’ that I do (either from workshops or from blogs). For example, before taking in a yaya (which is mind you very costly), we discussed on how we will be able to pay her. We decided that her pay will really be from what I earn through my mompreneur business.

You can do something like this with your partner. You can discuss on how both of you want things to be done.

2. Have clear financial goals.
Only by having clear financial goals will you be able to create clear financial methods that will help you achieve these goals. When I was still in college, it was enough for me to have a goal of becoming a millionaire when I reached the age of 30. I did not create clear ‘mini’ goals that would help me achieve my major goal. My 30th birthday came and I was not a millionaire. Boo! to me, actually!

Then I realized, if I wanted something I should have created clear goals in my head (better if you write it down on paper though). I should have said every month, I will set aside Php 5000 and not touch it (or something like that). I should have been smart enough to keep it in any form of investment. But then again, we learn from mistakes from actual experiences of managing finances. Now, my husband and I (as you have probably read in past posts) keep an excel sheet of what we want to achieve financially for the year. There are specific amounts that we need to attain. For example, by hook or by crook, we need to have Php 250,000 for the birth of Zeeka. Php 60,000 is for the down payment of the Cord Blood Banking service that we got and the Php 190,000 is for the actual delivery of Zeeka (we saved up for the Cesarean rate, just in case).

So, it is important to know what you want in building that wealth that you want to have.

3. Separate money for your business and money for the home.
My dad early on taught me this. He became an entrepreneur in his early thirties. I believed and followed this advice since I knew he had more experiences on being a businessman and a family man at the same time. First of all, it is hard to reconcile when the inflows from your business go to your personal bank account. In any business, you will also have outflows. What happens if you need to make a big expense for your business? It will be hard for you now to track what is for the business and what is for the home.

I advise mompreneurs to always, always have a separate account. This will keep you on track with your budget for your business and on track for your budget for the home.

4. Continue to learn about finances.
Managing finances can be tricky. You think you know it all, but you actually don’t. I was a banker for 7 years, but even if I have been exposed to handling money, cash flows, bank terms, etc. I know that I still have a lot to learn in managing finances. Here is a workshop that you can join, and I think you and your family will benefit from it. It’s called Clean Bill of Wealth.

Clean Bill of Wealth Workshop

Clean Bill of Wealth Workshop

To register, please fill out the form below:

I highly recommend this workshop so that you and your husband will be able to learn more about investments and even the attitude that you need to have in order to make things happen!

I hope that these tips that I have shared will help you and your family manage your expenses. I do have more tips, but I’ll just share more in the future. 🙂 Hope you liked this article!

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Zefina Francesca or Zeeka (Name Origin)

Dear Zeeka,

Mommy is now 33 weeks pregnant with you. I have been feeling sick these past two days. I think it’s my tummy. I have been having an upset stomach for two days now. I hope that you are not bothered by it. Oohh, I hope you are also not bothered by the paracetamol that I took the other day. Mommy will have her check up today with her doctor at Asian Hospital. Don’t worry and of course, i’ll ask her about you.

Despite the fact that mommy has been a little under the weather these pass days, I’m so glad that I still feel you tumble, kick and do that weird waving motion that you do. Your kicks are actually getting stronger, Zeeka. Daddy talked to you last night (or was it the other night) to temper it a bit, since I wasn’t feeling too good. But, it’s okay, Zeeka. I love feeling you kick. I think you’re going to be a good dancer like mommy!

People have been asking about you. They already know your name. Even your new born cousin, Kiel, knows your name. I know that in the future, you will ask mommy and daddy how your name came to be. Well, this is the story of your name.

Mommy had a hard time with her first pregnancy. She lost the baby brother/sister that came ahead of you. Mommy was sick after that and so, Mommy and Daddy prayed so hard through the intercession of Padre Pio. With prayers, God healed Mommy from her sickness.

After a year and a half, Daddy and Mommy wanted to have a child again. This time, they prayed to the Lord God through the intercession of St. Joseph. After just a few months, Mommy and Daddy found out that they were going to have a baby, and that baby was you. Mommy and Daddy promised to name you after St. Joseph and St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Francesco Forgione was his real name).

Before we could find the perfect name, we tried different combinations and variations of these saints’ names in different languages. We took a picture of how many names we came up with before we found a name that was perfect for you.
Looking for Baby Names


Did you see daddy’s suggestions? They are all too funny! He even had icons and characters the he drew for some. Those are for inspiration, he says.

Finally, your Mamu Annie and Tita Kinney suggested two names that were perfect for you. Zefina is an Albanian female variation of the name Joseph and Franceska is also Albanian for St. Pio’s name (although we decided to keep the ‘c’ instead of the ‘k’ in your name). So there you go, we decided to name you Zefina Francesca or Zeeka for short 🙂

I hope you like your name, Zeeka!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Kasambahay Law: The Bill was already signed into Law

I recently wrote about the Kasambahay Bill. It was already passed and signed into law last Jan. 18, 2013, so the Kasambahay Law is or Republic Act 10361 will already be implemented 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette.

So from the last post that I had, there were some revisions that was made. Again, here are the pertinent things that I got from reading the provisions of the law:

1. Kasambahay means anyone who renders domestic / household services. So yes, even drivers and houseboys (and even valets for those Downton abbey households) are included. Those that do this sporadically though are not included.

2. They are entitled to humane sleeping arrangements and the employer should provide at least three meals a day.

3. Access to Outside communication. The Kasambahay is entitled to use any form of outside communication granted that this is during their free time. Any costs that are incurred by the Employer shall be paid by the Kasambahay, unless the employer waives the charges.

4. Each Kasambahay will have to sign a contract of domestic service, which shall include the following:
a. Duties and Responsibilities
b. Period of employment (which shall not exceed 2 years);
c. Compensations; (note: don’t forget to indicate salary increases, too!)
d. Deductions
e. Hours of work and proportionate additional payment
f. Rest days and allowable leaves
g. Board, lodging and medical attention
h. Aggreements on deployment expenses (if any);
i. Loan agreement
j. Termination of employment and
k. Any other lawful conditio agreed by each party.

*DOLE shall create a template that we can all use!

5. All kasambahay applicants should have this prior to employment:
a. Medical certificate issued by local government health officer;
b. Barangay Clearance and police clearance;
c. NBI clearance; and
d. Duly authenticated Birth certificate from the National Statistics Office or voter’s ID, or passport.

6. The minimum wage for the Kasambahay are the following:
Php 2500 / month for those working in NCR
Php 2000 / month for those employed in other chartered cities and first class municipalities
Php 1500 / month for those working in other municipalities

7. Pay also should be given at least once a month and should not be made in tokens, chits, promissory notes, etc. It should be paid in cash.

8. Pay slips should be given to the employee. Employers should keep a copy for three years.

9. If a Kasambahay leaves without any reason, the employer has the right to forfeit pay of not exceeding 15 days.

10. For Kasambahays who have rendered 1 year of service, a 5 day vacation leave with pay shall be given (cannot be carried over to the next year nor can it be convertible to cash).

11. A Kasambahay who has rendered 1 month of service should apply and is entitled to privileges under the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) and Pag-ibig Membership. The employers shall pay for the whole amount of contributions without deducting it from the employee’s pay if compensation of the Kasambahay is less then Php 5,000. If compensation is Php 5000 or higher, the kasambahay should pay his / her share and the employer will pay his / her share.

12. Any violation of this law shall be punishable with a fine of Php 10,000 to Php 40,000.

These are the things that I took note of. If you want to read the entire thing, you can download a copy here.

Thoughts on the Kasambahay Bill

I have some newly married and mom friends asking about the Kasambahay Bill. As of the moment, based on what I have read, this bill hasn’t been signed yet to become a law. I wanted to share with you though my thoughts on this bill (house bill no. 1140).

Here are pertinent information that I got from reading the bill. I have also included some helpful information for you and your kasambahay:
1. Kasambahay means anyone who renders domestic / household services. So yes, even drivers and houseboys (and even valets for those Downton abbey households) are included.
2. It is now stated that they they have rights to social protection. They should apply for Social Security System Membership. The employers shall pay for the employer’s share of the SSS contributions without deducting it from the employee’s pay. Likewise, the employee should pay for the his/her share in SSS.

For those who are wondering how much should one pay, here is a table from SSS of the contributions that need to be made.

SSS Contributions Table

3. The Kasambahay should now become a member of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).

4. The minimum wage for the Kasambahay are the following:
Php 3000 / month for those working in NCR
Php 2000 / month for those employed in other chartered cities and first class municipalities
Php 1000 / month for those working in other municipalities

5. Pay also should be given at least twice a month and should not be made in tokens, chits, promissory notes, etc. It should be paid in cash.

6. Pay slips should be given to the employee.

7. The Kasambahay has the right to free board, lodging and medical attendance. A first aid kit must also be kept in the household.

8. The Kasambahay is entitled to educational opportunities. They have the right to access opportunities to upgrade their skill.

For those who want to upgrade the skills of their helpers, have them join the Ok Ka, Yaya Ko! Workshop. It will include sessions and interactive activities on First Aid, Child Care, Self-Development and Etiquette.

9. Each Kasambahay will have to sign a contract of domestic service, which shall include the following:
a. Period of employment (which shall not exceed 2 years);
b. Monthly compensation and mode of payment;
c. Annual Salary Increase
d. Working hours and day-off schedule
e. living quarters and sleeping arrangement

10. All kasambahay applicants should have this:
a. Medical certificate attesting to the physical and mental illness of the domestic worker to be secured from a licensed physician
b. NBI clearance
c. Barangay Clearance
d. Duly authenticated Birth certificate from the National Statistics Office

11. Rest periods: should give Kasambahay 8 hours of rest daily and 1 day rest period after 6 days of work.

12. Kasambahays are entitled to a 13th month pay

13. Kasambahays are entitled to the SSS benefit (if they have been contributing) and the employer can advance the payment and be reimbursed by SSS.

14. Kasambahays are entitled to a 60 days leave for normal delivery, 78 days for c-section delivery or a 7 day paternity leave.

15. Vacation leave: entitled to 5 days with pay

16. Termination of contract: Notice of at least 5 days in advance.

Well, that’s it. These are the pertinent things that I got from the Kasambahay Bill.If you want to read through the entire Kasambahay bill, here is a copy:
Copy of the Kasambahay Bill

I personally think this will be both beneficial to the employers and the kasambahays. It’s good that there will be rules guiding all actions of both parties. This will prevent the kasambahays from demanding more than what is due them, and also this will prevent employers to abuse their power, too. In our household, I am already starting to adapt to the provisions indicated in the bill, even if it is not a law yet.

I am not asking one of our maids to get SSS already (the other one has). I just have a maid and a yaya, so it’s relatively easier to ask them both to comply. Also, I am sending them to the Ok Ka, Yaya Ko! Workshop on February 2, 2013. Manila Workshops is holding the workshop and I have seen the course outline. I am really excited for them to learn from the class. I am starting to fill their documents, too (pay slips, etc.).

How about you? What are your thoughts on the Kasambahay Bill? Love to hear them!

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger