An Interview with Mompreneur Joyce Miranda Romualdez, Proprietor and Executive Taste Tester of Almost Gourmet

I love Joyce and the food from Almost Gourmet! My first encounter with Almost Gourmet was when I ordered food for our house blessing party for the family. I saw their page in facebook and I decided to try them out. I was so impressed with the food that I wrote about them in Manila Reviews: House Warming with Family: Thanks, Almost Gourmet! Since the food has captured my heart, I always order from Joyce for the workshops that we organize. I later got to meet her family and saw that she was a mompreneur.

Mompreneur Joyce Romuladez

Mompreneur Joyce Romuladez



Here is my interview with Joyce.

Ginger: Hi Joyce! Can you tell my readers a little something about yourself?
Joyce: I am a 33-year old WAHM with a home-based food business. Before starting my own business, I was a manager at a French company that taught English distance learning to companies in Europe. I got married in 2009 and gave birth to my first and only child (for now!) in 2011. I love to travel and discover new places and learn new cultures. I’m battling a never-ending love-hate relationship with food (and gaining weight). I am proud to say that I am still exclusively breastfeeding my daughter. 16 months and counting!

Ginger: Wow! Congratulations on that, Joyce! I also plan to EBF Zeeka when she’s born! Now, can you tell us more about this business of yours.

Almost Gourmet: Joyce's Business

Almost Gourmet: Joyce’s Business

Joyce: My business is called Almost Gourmet. We provide party trays, packed meals, dessert like cakes and cupcakes and C.I.Y. (Cook-It-Yourself) frozen food. I started the business in August of 2008.

Pasta Carbonara

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Ginger: With all the food businesses out there, who are you tapping? Who is your market?
Joyce: My market is anyone who wants delicious, affordable food delivered to their doorstep (or office lobby).

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Joyce: I started this business when I was still working in the corporate world. My office mates, who tasted my “baon” daily, thought the food was great, so I decided to sell packed meals to them first and then venture out to other offices and eventually homes when I quit my job.

Beef Salpicao

Beef Kare Kare

Baked Herbed Parmesan Chicken Sticks
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a mompreneur? What are these?
Joyce: In starting any kind of business, the most difficult part is the beginning. Once you get past that, then things will be easier. Also, when I started Almost Gourmet, the money wasn’t as good as working in an international company. It’s still not, actually. Getting to hug and kiss my baby girl anytime I want to is what makes it so worth it.

Ginger: That’s nice! Nothing will ever compare to the time that you get to spend with your kid. What are three traits that you think a mompreneur, like you, should have when starting their own business?
Joyce: Courage, patience and perseverance.

Ginger: Any Unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Joyce: Accept your faults. No one’s perfect.

Ginger: And lastly, what advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Joyce: If I can do it, you can too! Same with breastfeeding, it does get better!

Ginger: You see why I find this lady so amazing and endearing! 🙂 Thank you so much, Joyce, for all your words of wisdom!

Almost Gourmet Contact information:
a. Website: (under construction)
b. Email address:
c. Mobile Number: +639178100110
d. Facebook Page:
e. Twitter account:

This is the day when I’m going to finally meet you, my Baby Zeeka!

*Free printable from

Hi Baby Zeeka,

Mommy and Daddy are finally going to meet our baby today! We are so excited to see you, Zeeka! At exactly 9:00 am today (By the way, mommy wrote this post exactly 3 days before today — that is how excited mommy is!), Daddy and Mommy will get to meet you for the the first time. We are so excited!

Mommy sounds like a broken record. It’s the excitement, baby Zeeka. I have no words to describe how I feel right now. All I can say is welcome to this world and I hope that you enjoy it as much as mommy and daddy enjoys it!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

For me, creating a birth plan is a nice activity to do before giving birth. I have created my general information sheet and my birth plan already. The general information sheet is the one that you will hand out to doctors, nurses and interns who keep asking you a series of questions that you already answered. I followed the format that Rome gave us in class.

My Birth Plan

My Birth Plan

For my birth plan, I created my own list of wants. This is a wishlist of all the things that I want to happen during labor, delivery and postpartum.

If you want to see a copy of my birth plan (of course I deleted my personal information, so just replace it wit yours), you can get it from this link:
Birth Plan Template

After creating a birth plan, do not forget to discuss this with your doctor. I actually discussed this already with her last week but we had to change our plans since I am going for a scheduled Cesarean Section tomorrow (Ooops, yeah! I forgot to mention that. I’ll tell you the full story later on).

Why is it important for you to have a birth plan. This is so as to guide the doctors on nurses on what you wish to have during this special moment in your life. I already asked our hospital, Asian Hospital, and the nurses really read what you have on your list.

Did you or do you have a birth plan already?

Here are some other resources that helped me come up with my plan:

Birth Plan Worksheet from

Creating your birth plan from American Pregnancy Association

Birth Plan Creator from

What are the things in your plan? Please share it with me!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

I can’t imagine going through all of these experiences of being pregnant, preparing for the baby or having the baby without the support of my husband. I can just imaging how difficult life must be for single moms or even dads. I have friends who are solo parents and to them I give my very loud slow clap for I really admire all the effort and the strength.

For solo parents, who may be you, reading this, you are not alone in your journey. I came across this community of solo parents. They are called Bahay Amihan. Their goals are to promote the rights and privileges of solo parents, mobilize communities, stakeholders and duty bearers to provide the basic social services to the Solo Parents and their children and to empower Solo Parents through education, livelihood and psycho-social assistance programs.

Here is a copy of their brochure:

Bahay Amihan Brochure for Solo Parents (page 1)

Bahay Amihan Brochure for Solo Parents (page 1)

Bahay Amihan Brochure for Solo Parents (page 2)

Bahay Amihan Brochure for Solo Parents (page 2)

Bahay Amihan, Inc., a non-stock, non-profit, social development organization duly registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last June 13, 2012, was founded by a solo parent, Zena Bernardo Bernardo. She herself experienced all the hardships that a solo parent would go through trying to find ways to earn for her children, who were all honor students studying in the public school system.

She was granted a scholarship in the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar) by the Office of the Mayor and pursued earning her BSEd degree and acquired license to teach Mathematics. She then pursued a career in social development work in public health and education sectors for women and children. With Bahay Amihan, she has finally found the opportunity to share the lessons she had learned through her experience as a young solo parent.

If you want to learn more about the projects of Bahay Amihan, click here:

If you want to help, you can be a volunteer. You can sponsor a solo parent/child into an empowerment program or have a collaborative project partnership with Bahay Amihan. You can also donate (cash or in-kind) to the following:

Local Bank: BAHAY AMIHAN, INC. – Banco De Oro (BDO) Savings Account No. 7330 0393 11
International Bank: IBAN : BE63 0003 2599 8408BIC – BPOTBEB1 – Communication: 100/9598/84550

I hope that this post helps spread the word about this community for solo parents. Do spread the word to people whim you think might need support.

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Last November, when I was 5 months pregnant, I looked for a Lamaze class or a birthing class in Manila. The two teachers in Manila that I saw were Rome Kanapi and Chiqui Brosas. Based on the feedback and the reviews and the ‘kwentos’ of mommies, both are actually good, but I inquired about Rome’s class since my cousins studied under her. I called her up to sign up. She sent me a sign up sheet via email that I submitted back.

Her classes are composed of 6 meetings. Our classes started on January 6, 2013. We took the Sunday morning classes that ran from 9 in the morning to 12 o’ clock noon. The venue was at Room 2 Walter Hogan Conference Center also called Institute of Social Order Complex or ISO, Father Arrupe Road, Ateneo University, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. The six classes were packaged at Php 4,500 per couple. The cost was very reasonable for the amount of learning and knowledge that you will get.

Here are the things to bring to class:
1. One mat – either a local mat/banig, exercise mat with foam, yoga mat, sleeping bag or big towel
2. One small throw pillow
3. A list of your food & drink intake a week before classes begin

For the attire, be sure to wear anything comfortable like pants, shorts or leggings since you and your husband will be doing a few exercises.

There were a lot of things that I learned from Rome’s Birthing Classes. These are the things that I remember and I find very useful:

Birthing Class: Exercises

Birthing Class: Exercises

1. Stretching exercises: In your last weeks of pregnancy, the weight of your baby can give you aches and pains all over. I started feeling the weight during my 35th week. You will truly appreciate this.

2. Progressive Relaxation: The idea of being a mom soon can be quite rattling for some. I love these relaxation technique that Rome taught. I love that I can do this anytime!

3. Info on the stages of labor: Can be quite scary to listen to the details, but knowing is half the battle! (haha!)

Birthing Class: Ej learning how to change diapers

Birthing Class: Ej learning how to change diapers

4. Diapering: I haven’t attended any diapering classes before this one so this was a great way to learn. Ej and I were early during the day that this was taught so both of us got to practice a lot of times. I think EJ is now an expert on this.

5. Etc. Etc. Etc.: What I liked about Rome’s class is that she could cite a lot of examples from previous students, or based on experience or based on research on how it is.

Our Birthing Class under Rome Kanapi (Jan-Feb 2013)

Our Birthing Class under Rome Kanapi (Jan-Feb 2013)

The best part for me, too, was that you get to meet other couples who will have the same EDD (expected date of delivery) as you. Our batch formed a facebook group where we share with each other our experiences during labor, delivery, breastfeeding, etc. It’s like a little support group.

I also asked some of my classmates about their experiences. Here is what Mommy Hann has to say:

1. What is the most important lesson that you learned during class?
The breathing methods used during the different phases of labor. it really helped me a lot when I started with the contractions. Also, it really helps to know those medical terminologies, especially the medications used during delivery as we were able to discussed it with our OB without being clueless, hehe.

2. Would you recommend Rome’s class and why?
Yes! The truth is, we’re not really the well-off couple but I would still suggest taking it (pag-ipunan!), because it really pays to be well-informed with these kind of things. Because of this class, we knew what to expect during the whole process and how to prepare for it.

3. What did you like best about the class?
What I liked best is that I met couples whom I can relate to because we’re all going the same thing!

Here is what Mommy Kat had to say:
The most important lesson that I have learned is to keep calm in everything that would happen. I would recommend this class to every expectant mom and dad, and what I liked best was when there was participation from the dads’ to be, for them to be ready and for them to be part of the pregnancy especially giving birth and after…for them to be aware of their role.

Contractions Relaxation

Here is what Mommy Gem had to say:

1. What is the most important lesson that you learned during class?
The most important lesson I learned in class was that every pregnancy is different. I have read a couple of preggy books, the usual ‘what to expect when youre expecting’ books and other books passed on from various friends to ease my worries about the whole pregnancy (since I never felt I was ready). And what I have realized that although these books tried to answer as much general questions as it could, not all of them happened to me, or will happen to every pregnancy. Information about my own pregnancy, general concerns and lesson plan from Rome’s class helped ease my mind about what to really expect while being in the situation.

2. Would you recommend Rome’s class and why?
Yes, I would recommend Rome’s class. I feel that with the information that she gave, I was more prepared with what I was going to go through. The various tips was invaluable… the cheat sheet, birth plan, things to ask the doctor, the general up to date information that she had. These really helped prepare me and Jason (hubby) with budget concerns, what to do, what to ask, what to say and where to go. I stepped into class so clueless, and when we finished I was confident that Jason would be able to swaddle, diaper change and burp the baby without too much booboos. I am happy to share tips to other mommy friends on things we learned that they never thought of, just like recently when I directed a friend of mine to go directly to the labor room (instead of the emergency room), since if they go to the ER, they will be told to go to the labor room — little things like that.

3. What did you like best about the class?
What I liked best about the class was that although Rome has been doing this for some time, her information is not outdated. The brochure she gave us was merely a guide for the class, and I appreciate that she wasn’t just reading off from it. She had other things to share, and other things to make us practice and do. I also liked having a group of other preggy mommies who had the same concerns and now we’re friends supporting each other, even if our pregnancies are different. I also liked the candid atmosphere, the short talks from baby related companies and freebies!

And Mommy Marj says…

I have super low tolerance for pain and my baby’s birth always scared me. I thought the moment I had my contractions, no matter how mild it was, I was going to ask to be sedated, but I lasted until 8cm without epidural. Thanks to the breathing exercises, stretching and pelvic exercises I learned from the class. Note: I was still doing my pelvic exercises til 6cm.

Thank you to my mommy classmates for your insights! 🙂

I highly recommend attending this class. I’m not sure on when the schedule of the next birthing class of Rome will be, but you can call her up at landline number: 436-1757 or mobile number: 0917-541-5114.

Enjoy your pregnancy!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger