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

So this is how it feels to be 37 weeks pregnant. During the second trimester and the first part of my third trimester, I never felt like this. I feel sooooo heavy and I always feel hot. It’s also so hard to sleep during the evenings. With this, I am so thankful for the Side Sleeper.

The Side Sleeper is a gift that I got during my baby shower. I got this from my cousin, Twinkles! (Thanks, Twinkles!).

Side Sleeper

Side Sleeper

Unique shape for pregnant women

Unique shape for pregnant women

It has really helped me a lot in looking for that right position before sleeping. They say that you always have to lay on your side when you’re pregnant, and you should have a pillow in between your legs. This is for you to be able to keep your spine aligned. You will notice that even if you don’t get to read about it, you will be able to feel that this is really the most comfortable position that you can adjust to.

This Side sleeper helps a lot since you can easily rest your head on the Side sleeper and hug one of its legs. I don’t know how much this costs, but you can find it in Baby Company.

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

It’s the first day of March and I’m on my 37th week. I finished packing things for the hospital. We are ready to go! I think I brought too much stuff though, but we’ll see. I wanted to share with you my list so you can tell me if this is quite a lot and quite ‘OA’.

All our bags are packed and we're ready to gooo!

All our bags are packed and we’re ready to gooo!

 

Here are the things that I packed for Baby Zeeka:
3 long sleeves / 3 sleves / 6 sleveless Tie sides
10 Pajamas
6 Onesies
4 Burp pads
21 Gauze Cloth diapers
12 Birds eye diapers
4 pairs of Diaper clamps
2 packs Disposable diapers
2 Bonnets
2 pairs of Socks
12 pairs of Mittens
6 Receiving blankets
3 Swaddle blankets
1 Rubber mat
3 Bibs

Here are the things that I packed for myself:
2 Pajamas with front opening for breastfeeding
1 bath robe
Underwear
2 nursing bras
1 regular bra
Disposable breast pads
Maternity napkins
8 pcs underpads
Two dresses for going home
Tummy binder
Toiletries

And, finally, here are the things that I packed for My hubby:
Shorts and sando for sleeping
2 Shorts
5 Shirts
Underwear
Toiletries

We also have a Goodie bag where other stuff are placed:
Medical documents and certificate from birthing class
Stem cord kit
Focal point for labor
Pen and notebook (to write down contractions)
Info sheet – 6 copies
Birth plan – 3 copies
Head phones
Camera
Charger for phones
Charger for camera
Baby book

What do you think? Is this enough? Is it too much? 🙂

Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

An Interview with Momtrepreneur Neva Arboleda Santos from Manila Baby Shop 

Momtrepreneur Neva with husband, Dan

Momtrepreneur Neva with husband, Dan

Today, I got to interview my beloved sister-in-law 🙂 (Finally!). She’s one of my idols. This momtrepreneur is so busy with her two sons, work (she currently works as a full time research analyst in a multinational firm), business, etc. I don’t know how she does it. She is one of the strongest people that I know and she’s a very loving wife and mother. In her own words, she says…

I love being a mom, I have two boys the eldest is aged 4 and our youngest is only 5 months. I’ve been married to Dan for 5 years but we’ve known each other for about 13 years. I also pen a blog called manilamommy.com and I run an online business called Manila Baby Shop (manilababyshop.com) with Dan and two friends.

Manila Baby Shop

My goal is to grow Manilamommy and ManilaBaby Shop and spend as much time with my growing kids as possible.

Here’s my interview with Mommy Neva:

Ginger: So, Ate Nina (I call her Nina), what is your brand/business? Can you tell us What is it about and how long have you been in business?

Neva: ManilaBaby Shop offers fun, fashionable and functional bags and accessories for families with babies and toddlers. We have been in business for 3 years.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? I actually don’t know this story. And, what made you decide to start this kind of business?

Neva: We were looking for locally made diaper bags that didn’t break the bank nor were designed with a lot of cartoon characters. I contacted my friends at FabManila to tell them if they had any plans of making baby bags. They told me that they were planning to but didn’t know how and they needed a mom to help them. In just a few emails, we both made small investments in ManilaBaby and launched our first two baby bags: the FrootLoops and the Lifesavers

back-to-school-lookbook-art-attack-1

back-to-school-lookbook-cover

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?

Neva: Finding time to do the things that we want for the shop is our greatest challenge. Dan and I have a lot of plans but it takes us weeks even months to implement them just because we can only focus on the shop during our free time, which we don’t have a lot of.

back-to-school-lookbook-tall-n-tasty-2

back-to-school-lookbook-wet-bags-1

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?

Neva: Three traits: Passion, Determination and Love (for your business). When you have these three, you won’t feel that your business is a job.

Ginger: Do you have any unforgettable lesson or lessons that you learned as a Momtrepreneur?

Neva: I’ve learned that as long as you love what you’re doing, the benefits will come.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?

Neva: My advice is to find a business that you are passionate about and to keep going at it. Surround yourself with experts and be immersed in the community that you are targeting so that you can better serve your market.

Thank you so much, Ate Nina! 🙂 I wish you more success for Manila Baby Shop!

Manila Baby Shop Contact information:
a. Website: http://manilababyshop.com
b. Multiply site: http://manilababyshop.multiply.com
c. Email address: manilababyshop@gmail.com
d. Mobile Number: 09175334209
e. Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/manilababyshop
f. Twitter account: http://twitter.com/manilababyshop

Opening a Sole Proprietorship Business in Taguig is quite easy. I love that my business address is in Taguig. I heard a lot of horror stories with people who tried to register their businesses in other municipalities. I love that Taguig has a brochure that would give you the step by step process on how to apply for a business permit in Taguig. They have what they call the Business Permits & Licensing Office or the BPLO.

This is a copy of their brochure:
BPLO Flyer

For mompreneurs who’s thinking of opening a sole proprietoership business like me, these are the business requirements/documents that you need to prepare:
1. Application form duly filled up and Notarized and with the location sketch of the place of business
2. Current Barangay Clearance (which you can also get from one of the offices of the Taguig Local goverment in Market! Market!)
3. Zoning Clearance
4. DTI registration/certificate
5. Real Property Tax (RPT)
6. Lessor permit of Lessor and photocopy of Lease Contract or affidavit of consent (no need if you own the place)
7. Occupancy permit (again, not needed when you own the place)
8. 2×2 picture of owner
9. 3R Size picture of establishment
10. List of employees and their addresses
11. Community Tax Certificate (CEDULA)
12. Official receipt of Insurance Policy (comprehensive general liability)
13. Official Receipt of Fire safety Insurance certificate

Be sure that you really gather and create a document for each of the item below before going to Taguig BPLO for opening a sole proprietorship business. For the list of employees, I even had to create a document with just my name on it (since I don’t have people under me or with me). After gathering all of these things, go to the BPLO office at the 3rd floor of Market! Market! and go to the desk that says assessment. They will check all of your documents for you.

I had to change my cedula because it was issued in Pasig. You should have a cedula from the place where you will register. You will also have to get the Zoning Clearance. There is another desk there where you can get that. After which, you will also have to get the Comprehensive General Liability Insurance. There are accredited partners and they are also situated within the area.

During assessment, the only thing that made me raise my eyebrow is that they raised my capital from Php 5,000 to Php 100,000. They said that the minimum was really at Php 100,000. Can you imagine that? Being an events coordinator would not require you to spend Php 100,000 for capital!  Oh well… I didn’t want to argue anymore . I hope that the local government does something about this. I don’t think it’s fair for those who want to go into business to be treated that way, just because their policy says that this is the minimum.

I submitted all the documents and my application is subject for approval. I have the occupancy permit that i have to submit, but I still have to get it from our Administration office.

Whew! At least, just one more document before I go to the BIR.

For licensing, be prepared with at least Php 5,000 with you. For the Comprehensive General Liability, the policy will depend on how big the area of business is. For a 72 sqm area, I had to pay around Php 3700. So all in all, fees that I paid were around Php 9000.

I hope this helps you out, especially those entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Taguig.

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you want to outsource document processing, check out https://www.taxumo.com/business-registration