‘I Said Goodbye to the Job I Love to Breastfeed My Baby’

I was a 26-year-old newlywed when I found out I was pregnant. I was also working full-time as a writer, book editor, and managing editor for a hugely popular magazine under the same publishing company I joined a scant two months after graduation. I met some of my best friends at my job, and I even married one of them. To say my job was my life would be pretty accurate. But, all of a sudden, there was a little life growing inside of me.

I worked until I hit 38 weeks of pregnancy, riding out deadlines, photo shoots, and proofreading throughout the trimesters. And as my belly grew, so did my certainty that I would breastfeed my child. I was not a sancti-mommy — I’ve never judged formula moms. But I felt compelled to pursue breastfeeding for my baby, in whatever form it would work for us.

In April 2016, I gave birth via an emergency C-section, and I asked for the nurse’s help to get my newborn daughter latched straight away. I almost throttled her when she answered, “Ay, ngayon na ba?” My wild-eyed glare must have scared her because she quickly shoved our damp and gooey daughter onto my chest and backed away. And at that moment, our breastfeeding journey began. My milk was already coming in while I was still in the recovery room. I’ve never had issues with latching, supply, or engorgement. Don’t hate me, but I am one of the lucky ones who can eat an oatmeal cookie and feel my boobs fill up an hour later.

All I’m saying is moms know they have hard choices to make, day after day, and this one was mine.

The real struggle started when we introduced the bottle to our daughter at 6 weeks old. To say that there were tears would be a gross understatement. She took the bottle like a personal insult. And thus started the intense Googling and asking for advice on forums and Facebook groups. My husband and I quickly assembled a motley crew of random bottles and nipples, from Mimijumi and Avent to the cheapest silicone nipples at the grocery. They all ended up collecting dust in our cupboard. You’d think we were making our daughter drink sulfuric acid the way she cried and vomited each time we offered a bottle. Her acid reflux didn’t help matters, either.

Yes, I would tiredly answer anyone who tried to help, we tried warm milk and cold milk, thawed milk and freshly-pumped milk. We tried cups, syringes, spoons. I went outside the room, the condo, even walked to the Starbucks across the street just so she couldn’t smell me. The only thing we never did was to starve her into desperation so she would take the bottle. (You gasp at the mere idea, but this was actually a suggestion by many well-meaning titas.) Lots of other moms I knew reported success with this nipple, or that bottle, or yaya wearing mom’s two-week old T-shirt (true story), but absolutely nothing worked for us.

I was tired. Bottle-feeding her consumed me. My husband just sighed every time I came home clutching a new bottle that was “guaranteed” effective. I stared jealously at little babies peacefully sucking on their Dr. Browns/Pigeons/Tommy Tippees while their moms blithely pushed them around in their strollers. I got disheartened pumping and storing milk because I was starting to give up hope that she would ever drink any of it (I ended up donating a freezer full of milk). I wished I could turn back the clock and introduce the bottle earlier, nipple confusion be damned.


As the end of my maternity leave loomed near, the frustration became panic. Slowly, I had to face the fact that maybe I wasn’t going to be that working mom toting a breast pump and a cooler to the office. And for the first time since I gave birth, I cried. I couldn’t not work. What about our finances? The job I left behind, the people I loved working with? What about me? I went from being a magazine editor to a walking mammary gland — my friends loved the joke, but the post-partum identity crisis was no laughing matter.

There was only one certainty among all the questions: I could not give up breastfeeding my daughter. I couldn’t bear to leave this tiny, red-faced creature squalling for the boob while I sat at a desk, miles away. She was mine — and the responsibility to nourish her was on me.

I don’t judge moms who came back from their maternity leaves with babies bottle-trained or not. In fact, you are probably made of sterner stuff than I am. All I’m saying is moms know they have hard choices to make, day after day, and this one was mine.

So I said good-bye to my job and feverishly worked out our finances, our new routine, our new normal, and until today, it’s a work in progress. I also said good-bye to that conveniently mobile lifestyle many of my age enjoy. There was no getting back into the swing of things. While my friends were figuring out how far they could go to watch Coldplay live, I had to figure out how far I could go until her next feed (Answer: one therapeutic grocery trip, a pedicure, and a pit stop at Potato Corner, all in the mall beside our house).

It’s made me confront how much I like myself, or if I even like myself at all.

It’s gotten easier over the months especially when our baby started solids and learned to drink water from a cup. She latches mostly for comfort now, but will only fall asleep if on the boob (that’s another story). She’s the loudest, most hyper 1-year-old I have ever met, whose first instinct is to wave enthusiastically at anything (inanimate objects included). I live for the moments her big eyes find mine while she nurses, and she touches my nose ever so gently.

I sometimes miss my …read more    

Daphne Oseña-Paez Encourages Moms to Declare ‘No Gadget Day’ for Kids

Media personality Daphne Oseña-Paez was already a step ahead in the blogging game way before it became the fashion. “I grew up with the Internet. I rode that wave before Facebook even happened,” Daphne proudly claims.

Acknowledged as one of the country’s pioneering social media influencers, Daphne has a thorough grasp of the digital technologies, which, in one way or another, has widened the generation gap.

Now that she’s a full-fledged mom herself, Daphne acknowledges the struggles and realities faced by today’s parents in dealing with their teen children. In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the Rabeanco event, Daphne says, “We are dealing with issues that other parents in another generation didn’t have. You may think it’s easier but it’s actually harder.”


And no matter how hands-on she is as a mom, she knows that her children’s exposure to gadgets is inevitable. So instead of totally restricting them, she and her husband Patrick Paez decided to regulate their usage. Here are Daphne’s gadget rules:

1. Introduce them gradually.

While her kids have Viber accounts, they know she checks their conversations because they are minors under her care. “They have protected private accounts. They don’t do Instagram. I don’t want them having a digital life outside their real life yet.”

2. You have to be very present in their lives, digitally.
“My kids are not online on their own. I follow them, of course. I don’t allow them to run around freely on the Internet,” says the mom. For Daphne, once you set your kid out on her own, it’s the equivalent of letting them walk the sidewalks at night, alone.

Child safety is a real concern and it’s something she deals with as UNICEF Philippines’ Special Advocate for Children, where child safety is an issue online. “Parents have to be aware where their kids go, what they do.”

During summer, when her kids are mostly home, Daphne has found a way to keep their digital activities to a minimum.

3. Set the limit.
Aside from imposing a “no gadget day,” her other rule is, “If you are low batt, it’s over.” She elaborates, “I tell them, you can only charge your phone once a day. They need to budget their time and spend it wisely.”


4. The iPad or smartphone is not a nanny.
It’s a no-no to give them gadgets so the mom can do other things. She also advises having mirror apps so you can see what they are doing.

5. Strike a balance between real versus digital activities.
She makes sure the kids try both digital and real-life expressions of the same discipline. “They ask me to post their work na artistic so I make sure they do not do just digital art, but real painting too. My kids read real books, write, play outside.”

She recalls an incident where her middle daughter Lily told her, “I don’t wanna sweat.” Daphne’s response was, “I was like, ‘You are gonna sweat, so you are gonna go to the park and sweat.’”

Daphne also makes sure her kids have a life beyond the cyberworld. “They have playdates with friends, which means no gadget day.” She lets them do real baking and real swimming. “The way the world is going, it is so easy and connected, so the more you need physical contact and activity for real relationships”

6. Let them talk in real life.
If the kids exist solely online, she says, “They will just have fights online. And they don’t know how to resolve it. Talking to each other is different; they have to deal with real life pa rin. That is the job of the parent.”

This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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Ali Khatibi Recounts Experience Caring for Preterm Baby Amarah with Wife Cristine Reyes

“Being a dad is amazing. It’s a fun journey for me.” This was how Ali Khatibi described his experience as a first-time dad to Baby Amarah, his daughter with ABS-CBN actress Cristine Reyes.

The 31-year-old model/athlete continued, “I’m learning new things about my daughter, and I’m learning new things as a husband. Beautiful, beautiful experience.”

But that won’t be how he would describe fatherhood the day after his baby was born prematurely on February 8, 2015. With their baby weighing 3.12 pounds, the baby was in an incubator for four days.


Ali recalled, “Amara was a preterm baby. I’d say the struggle that we had is yung nights na she couldn’t breathe. Kasi we feed her through cup, cupping pa siya nun back then, e, kasi she had no strength to feed through a bottle pa.

“So yung struggle namin yung mga times na hindi siya nakakahinga, she’d choke at night, she’d vomit so nagcho-choke siya. We have to suck out the milk from her nose, stuff like that. Ayun yung pinaka-mahirap.”

For the next two months, Ali and Cristine’s world revolved around Baby Amarah, who, according to the actress in her interview with Smartparenting.com.ph in June 2015, was very “fragile” and “would not cry.”

No matter how hard the situation then, Ali had to be strong. “When you have a kid, you know you have to be ano e automatically, parang you have to be strong for that person, e. Hindi ka puwedeng mag-break down or you doubt yourself.

“So I was being strong. Siyempre, I wanted to show Cristine na we’ll be okay and kaya namin. Kasi if I break down, of course, Cristine will also be [affected] so I had to be strong… I wouldn’t say na nag-struggle ako but yeah, of course, the fear was there but na-overcome ko naman siya.”


PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) caught up with Ali at a Converse event last March 23 in Bonifacio Global City. His daughter Amarah, a very charming tot, is now two years old, and in such a short period, Ali has learned so much and changed a lot.

The Filipino-Iranian mixed martial arts athlete told PEP, “Yung biggest learning ko is that yung love mo for someone… Paglabas, grabe yung love mo sa tao na yun, and grabe yung care mo sa tao na yun. So that’s something I’ve learned, na-discover sa sarili ko. Grabe pala, I’m so overprotective. I could be so maarte with my daughter, inaalagaan ko talaga siya.”


Between him and wife Cristine Reyes, who is the spoiler? “Sabi ni Cristine ako pero parang feeling ko naman hindi. Pero I guess so kasi sobrang daddy’s girl siya e, so I could be a spoiler, maybe.”

Who plays the bad cop? “I’d say mas nagiging disciplinarian si Cristine. Well, I do my part also but si Cristine ang mas…she sets rules. Kasi parang ang napapansin ko sa kanila, parang same personality sila. Nakakatawa nga e kasi silang dalawa yung nagtatalo, sa akin sila nagsusumbong dalawa. So it’s funny, nakakatawa.”


Will he let Amarah join showbiz? “You know, our daughter, hindi siya nahihiya sa camera. She’s very talkative, she’s very active, she likes people, she loves people. As in. Ano siya, extrovert siya. She’s like me, she likes people. May chance na baka maging artista siya kasi very interactive siya sa mga tao.”

But he will have one condition. “I’ll always push her to finish her school muna. If ever she wants to do showbiz or anything she wants to do in her life, we’ll be there to support her naman.”

One of Ali’s recent Instagram posts showed Amarah playing with her new drum set. Adorable!


As early as now, Amarah is being dubbed by netizens as one of the “next generation It Girls,” along with Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes’ daughter Zia, and Drs. Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho’s daughter Scarlet Snow. “That’s something so flattering for us kasi we read write-ups na parang ‘It Girls’ just like what you said. Nakakatuwa, siyempre, nakakatuwa para sa amin ni Cristine na our daughter’s part of that, and I’m sure the other celebrities are also happy na their kids are sinasabing ‘It Girls’ ng generation na ‘to.”

Amarah will no doubt grow up as beautiful as her mom. Has he thought about that time when his daughter would already introduce a boyfriend to them? Ali quipped, “If you guys remember the movie Bad Boys, the scene there na there was a guy trying to date Will Smith’s daughter and he was there. Ayun yung mganyayari, if anyone [tries to]…just kidding!”

Ali was actually referring to Will’s co-star Martin Lawrence who had a 15-year-old daughter in Bad Boys II. The two characters intimidated the suitor without mercy. On a serious note, he added, “Kung may manligaw sa anak ko, I’d rather na I’d get to know the person. I think it’s best na hindi sila magtago sa akin kasi maga-guide mo sila, and I think that’s the best way to do it.”

This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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Why It Matters That Our Kids Learn True Grit

“Mom, my tooth fell down the drain!” my son said as he fell limply into my arms, his face wet with tears. He had just spent days wiggling a loose tooth — most of the day twisting it — in hopes of getting a visit from the tooth fairy. He counted his chickens before they hatched, and now the egg was halfway towards the ocean.

It isn’t always easy to witness my children defeated. I am always tempted to give comfort by way of a quick solution. I considered procuring an old tooth and pretending I rescued it from the drain but six-year-olds like my son are meticulous observers. He memorized every groove and stain on that precious tooth.

Then, I recalled a viral TED talk on how children today lack one thing that they need to be successful in life: grit. We parents have done such a good job child-proofing the world. We do everything we can so that our kids can avoid pain, failure, and sorrow. What we have as a result are spunky, smart, seemingly secure, and energetic kids who fold the minute life throws them a curve ball.

I got my hand out of the secret compartment in my secret drawer that leads to the secret passage to Tooth Fairy Land. I didn’t grab that old tooth. Instead I said, “This is a problem. You’ve waited so long for this day, and now the tooth is lost. I would be really sad, too.”


He wailed more loudly, cried more tears, and collapsed on the floor.

There has to be some kind of solution. We need to think, think, think. Hmmm…”

He looked at me expectantly. I paused for so long that he decided to cry again. And because I was still scratching my chin and looking up at the ceiling while thinking, he finally said, “What if I said I’m sorry for losing the tooth? Do you think the tooth fairy would forgive me?”

“Of course. Sorry is a good place to start,” I replied.

“What if I told her where to find it? Do you think she could try and get in there?”

“You would have to be specific. Be really clear about where to find it. Tooth fairies are busy folk and won’t have enough time to look all over the house.” I could see his face light up with an idea.

“Well, yeah, I could draw a map!” Before I could even acknowledge him, he bounced away to get paper and pens. I helped him spell some words. He bit his lip, furrowed his brows, and concentrated on drawing a map of his bed and the way to the drain.


As an extra measure, he grabbed a handful of decorative shells and stones and made a trail from his pillow all the way to the bathroom drain. Then, he tucked both the letter and himself in bed and excitedly imagined the possibilities. “You’d better try and sleep soon,” I warned. “The fairy needs to get here before your tooth plops into the ocean!”

He soon went to sleep, dreaming of fairies, swirling drain tunnels, a runaway toothand sharks snapping up lost teeth in drains.

That night, the tooth fairy came, held the note to her heart, and felt really proud of this little boy’s spirit. In true form, she dove in, swam through swirling drains, and scooped up the runaway tooth before a hungry silver shark could snap it up. Then, she left a note of congratulations and a crisp bill.

My son woke up before dawn, and all was right in his world again.

That’s the thing, isn’t it? You try to teach your kids to solve problems, and you help them to succeed as best as you can. Sometimes, it’s possible to do it. Other times, you just have to hold your breath and have faith that things will eventually work out when your solutions don’t — such as when my teenage son’s best friend took his own life not more than two months ago. I watched my son deal with the sorrow of that loss, never understanding why things happen the way they do. I helped him move on without his friend, even if it was the last thing in the world he wanted to do — or could — do. I dragged him to school and encouraged him to show up for class and to plow through schoolwork and examinations even if it felt like it no longer made sense to do so.


I couldn’t pull an old tooth out of a hat for that one. I couldn’t summon the tooth fairy or create a fictitious possibility that would make everything better somehow. We try, don’t we? We summon God, angels, and saints. We create an image of our departed loved ones in the arms of a higher being who loves so extensively that they no longer feel pain or suffering. We surround our children with love, attention, and support, and hover around them until they yell, “Please stop.” We never know what to do about our children’s pain. We just want it far and away, but we succumb to the fact that there are some problems we can’t solve.

My teenage son, almost a man, doesn’t want to let go of the pain of his loss. It’s the very thing that defines him now. It’s his cause and reason to change the trajectory of his life and to define another purpose. As he chooses a college far and away and prepares himself for a journey where I cannot come along, the best thing I can do as a mother who loves him is to find the courage to let him go, wish him well, and believe in him.

What about grit? You can bet he has it. Life gifts our children with packages containing grit all the time. We just have to learn how to get out of the way so they can receive it.

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Smart Parenting magazine.


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This Girl’s Bedroom Is a 3-Year-Old’s Wonderland!

Interior designer Mickey Alingarog jokes that her family home was like the Frankenstein monster at the start. She and her husband Matthew, who is in the construction business, had access to excess materials from their various projects, which they in turn used for their home.

“Everything we used here are scraps lang from construction sites,” explains Mickey. “Kasi whenever we have a project, siyempre may sobrang materials. We would bring that home and build whatever.”

Shelves and bed frames were made out of odds and ends from construction and design jobs, and many of the materials found their way into their 3-year-old daughter, Yumi’s room. “In Yumi’s room, parang we started off with just a bed on the floor. And then may palpak yung isa naming carpenter. He over-ordered materials for cabinets, so that’s what he used to build a play house,” says Mickey. “Instead of stocking it in the bodega, we had it made into a play room.”


It may be made of scrap materials, but Yumi’s room can get any kid (or grown-up, for that matter) excited. Here are some of the adorable details:

One wall is painted a chevron pattern in gray and white. The rest of the room is in gray, with touches of white and wood. The neutral color palette serves as a soothing background against Yumi’s many colorful toys on display.

Low, open shelves make it easy for Yumi to reach—and pack away—her toys. The drawers are likewise appropriate to her height.

Renovating tip: Installing drawers and cabinets in a kid’s room? Consider self-closing hinges that close slowly, so little fingers don’t get caught.

No budget or space for show-stopping features like an in-room slide? Take a cue from the cute details in Yumi’s room: A dollhouse can serve as an interesting focal point, like the red one on top of the set of drawers. Or try bringing in inexpensive details, like a paper lantern in the shape of a hot air balloon.

Renovating tip: Give your kids’ room a lived-in, put-together look by paying attention to the walls. Store-bought prints, a mural, wall decals, or even your kids’ framed artwork can give a room lots of personality.


A room feels instantly cozier with rugs and window treatments. In the middle of Yumi’s room is a round rug with animals; on the wall are whimsical shelves shaped like clouds.

You know how all kids seem to love double-decker beds? You can imagine how they feel about lofts! The first level of Yumi’s loft includes a mattress on the floor as well as her own makeshift store. Slanted shelves hold toy food items, like bread on trays, and fruits and vegetables in wire baskets. A shopping basket is at the ready for playtime. The second level features a play kitchen where Yumi can “cook.” There’s also a thick mattress, great for naptime and sleepovers!

Renovating tip: If you have the vertical space for it, a loft is a great way to add floor space to a room. The first level can serve as a play or study area, while the second level can serve as sleeping quarters, for example.


Little details make a big difference: Bunting spelling out the occupant’s name is strung under a flower box. Striped curtains adorn both the first and second levels of the loft. A pulley system lets Yumi transport items from the first level to the second level with ease. And the best part? A slide!

Renovating tip: Safety first! A play mat lies at the bottom of the slide in Yumi’s room to prevent painful landings.

Mom Mickey says that Yumi’s room is her favorite spot in the house. “Kasi when I was a kid, parang we had a playroom also. All your good memories are there, di ba, so I wanted to create the same [for Yumi]. We had a tree house outside [when I was growing up], eh dito naman wala kaming space for outdoor play area and it’s hot, di ba? So we wanted her to have that indoor playhouse.”

She continues, “Parang here, when I’m tired from work, tapos gabi na, dito kami nagre-relax. We even eat here sometimes. If I want to de-stress, I go to Yumi’s room, and then she comes with me and we play. Very imaginative siya eh, na she likes to cook. Even when we’re just sitting around, ‘Mommy, cooking-cooking!’ So naaaliw ako. That’s why that’s my favorite room talaga.”

Styling by Beam Mariano. Photos were taken when Yumi was 2 years old.


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Look! These Specs and Sunnies are Oh-So Chic

If there’s one summer accessory you absolutely can’t skip, it’s definitely sunnies. Not only does it protect your peepers from the sun, it makes you look cool and stylish, too!

We stumbled upon Fièvre, an online brand that carries trendy clothing, beachwear, and accessories, but it’s their eyewear that really caught our attention. They have chic specs and cool sunnies that will really spice up your summer look!

Check them out:

Hannah (P495)

Cassidy (P350)

Ines (P495)

Audrey (P350)

Alice (P495)

Tara (P550)

Harry (P350)

Naomi (P495)

Tobin (P550)

Cico (P495)

You can shop Fièvre’s eyewear collection online.

For more information, log on to Fièvre’s Facebook page

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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Maggie Wilson Shares Pregnancy ‘Wasn’t the Happiest Time’ In Her Life

It would seem like mom, model and TV host Maggie Wilson has everything that any woman could want in life: a blooming career, a successful business, and a happy family life.

But Maggie is most proud about Connor, her 5-year-old son with husband Victor Consunji. He does not ‘scream, spit, scratch, and throw tantrums.’ In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last March 20, she said, “Super lucky, super proud to have a son like him. He’s such a good boy.”


But while motherhood appears to be breezy for the former beauty queen, her pregnancy was not. “I was vomiting everyday while I was pregnant. I was bedridden, it was horrible for me.”

She noted, “Believe me, my entire pregnancy and giving birth, the last six months of having it was not the happiest time in my life. The first six months of post-baby was tough on me and tough on my marriage as well.”

And postpartum depression? The books that she read helped her “recognize the signs.” She said, “So I knew I was suffering from depression because I was getting angry at my child. And that’s sign number one.”

One major cause of her stress was not having enough breast milk. “I was one of those moms who unfortunately didn’t have enough milk to breastfeed. That’s why I’m also difficult on myself because moms can be very judgy here in the Philippines when you don’t breastfeed. That’s the first thing they ask, ‘Are you breastfeeding?’ You’re just like, ‘I’m mixed feeding because I don’t have enough milk.’

“I’ve done everything, you know, to be able to try to, but … i’ts genetically, it’s just impossible for me.”

Nonetheless, she was able to breastfeed Connor for three months. So if you ask her what it is like to become a new mom, Maggie disproves what most moms say after giving birth. “You know they say, ‘Oh, the moment you see your baby, you’re gonna forget all that.’ That’s BS [b*llsh*t], that’s a lie.

“So whenever I have a friend that is pregnant, they ask me what they should expect, I give it to them. Because I don’t want them to say, ‘You lied to me, you told me that after I see my child, it’s gonna be you know, all nice and butterflies, and unicorns, no.’

“That’s the reality of being a mom.”


Maggie was 23 when she gave birth, and she realizes now that she underestimated the responsibilities and stress that having a baby entails.

“I knew what I was getting myself into. I’ve read so many books on how to be a mom, how to take care of a baby, but nothing will ever truly prepare you for motherhood.”

Maggie’s dad became her confidant. “It was actually the very first time I called my dad crying, because my parents don’t live here. My parents live in Saudi Arabia, that’s where I grew up.

“I called my dad, because I’m closer with my dad, crying. And then he called my mom, he was like, ‘You need to go home now because Maggie and Victor will kill each other.'”

Her mom Sonia Nales became a great help for her to overcome the depression. “She basically asks me what do I need, what do I want…. I said, ‘I just need time.’ I just need 15 minutes in shower doing absolutely nothing.

“She gave me like several weeks, she gave me like three weeks. She would take Connor from me for a few hours, just so I would have quiet time, sort of get back to my self.”

After all that she’s been through, are Maggie and Victor planning to have another baby? The host of Philippines’ Next Top Model answered, “I’m just like mentally preparing myself for baby number two. It will happen soon.”


This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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7 Makeup Tips to Help You Ace Your Summer Look

Consider summer as a decluttering phase for your beauty routine. The humid weather will practically force you to be more light-handed with your makeup and allow your skin to breathe. That said, we asked three makeup artists for tips on mastering summer-appropriate looks. Check them out below!

1. Focus on enhancing one part of your face.
To avoid looking overdone, pick a feature of yours that you want to highlight. According to beauty consultant Ara Fernando, she does this to keep her clients’ look simple and fresh.

For example, if your eyes are your best asset, you can make winged liner your summer staple. But if you’re a lipstick girl, a bright coral or red lip can instantly freshen up your look!

2. Don’t try too many things at once.
When you feel like trying graphic liner with glitter lips, go ahead — we’d all be rooting for you! However, Ara doesn’t recommend this for a minimal, summer-ready look. “I try to keep things simple and try to minimize combining different trends that could make [clients] look [overdone],” she shares.


3. Apply dewy serums before makeup.
Makeup artist Mark Qua recommends using anti-aging serums to give the skin a youthful glow. If your skin is already glowing without makeup, you won’t feel the need to apply too much product anymore. Summer is all about understated beauty anyway!

The Face Shop Yehwadam Revitalizing Serum, P2495, SM Megamall

4. If you’re used to fuller coverage, use a sponge to apply your foundation.
“Use a beauty blender to marry the product into your skin,” says Mark. Doing this will give you that skin-like look, even if you use a full coverage foundation. The sponge will absorb all the excess product so you won’t look cakey.

BeautyBlender Pro Sponge, P1005, Sephora.ph


5. Apply product only where you need it most.
Redness around the nose, undereye circles, or blemishes—take your pick. Skip foundation altogether if you’re comfortable, and rely on concealer if you want to cover something up. Australian makeup artist Karima Mckimmie uses this technique by tapping product onto the skin with her fingers for a seamless finish.

6. Blot before powdering.
When you retouch, blot your oils with a tissue or oil film before you apply powder over them. According to makeup artist Laila Al-Harthy, you wouldn’t want to move the makeup you have underneath. This will also prevent looking cakey at the end of the day!

7. Use a facial mist.
“Mists will be your bestfriend in this heat,” says Laila. She recommends spritzing on face mist often during the summer, since it will refresh both your makeup and your skin. Also, doing so after applying makeup will get rid of that powdery look and give your skin a soft glow. Shop for face mists here!

This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.


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No Summer Class Needed! 4 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Brain Active

Not to dampen anyone’s summer vacation mode, but researchers have noted that there’s a lot of learning loss happening during these long summer months that our kids are not in the classroom. Our kids forget many of the facts and concepts they learned throughout the school year, which means teachers must spend a considerable amount of time retraining students on essential pre-requisite knowledge and skills when classes resume. But because teachers can’t wait for each and every student to get on the same page, many kids run the risk of falling behind.

To avoid that, here are some ideas to help your child review important facts and concepts over summer break, but done in a way that doesn’t feel like they’re studying:

Recall important fact and figures with board games
In my article, “Help Your Child Ace Her Exams,” I offered some ideas on how you and your child can review for exams in a way that promotes autonomy and self-regulation. You can apply some of those same tips for summer learning.


One idea in that article involved making simple games that your child can play with friends to help them recall facts and figures. This summer, let your child invite friends for an afternoon of board games, which they have to make on their own and it is related to the topics they learned in class. This works well for subjects that are heavy on terminology, facts and figures, such as Social Studies or Science.

For instance, they can draw a simple board that looks like Monopoly on an illustration board or sheet of cartolina. Supply them with a large stack of blank index cards on which to write true or false/multiple choice questions related to the topics they learned in school. To construct these question cards, obviously, they need to crack open their textbooks and review what they learned (you sneaky, mom, you)

For each question, they can write instructions on the number of steps that each player can move, depending on whether that player got the answer right or wrong (e.g. “Move 5 steps forward if your answer is correct. If your answer is wrong, move 3 steps back”). The objective is to answer as many questions correctly and race to the finish line.
Challenge them to come up with different board games and their own mechanics, and you will be surprised at what these kids can come up with!


Let them use the camera
Another strategy I’ve used to review for exams with my daughter was to let her make videos of herself explaining some of the topics in her pointers for review, like a YouTube tutorial. You can apply this to summer learning by inviting your child’s friends over to make video tutorials of various subjects.

It will work well for reviewing math, since verbalizing one’s understanding of math concepts enhances learning. In general, this strategy is useful for any subject matter where organizing and articulating one’s thoughts deepens mastery of the content.

So, for instance, have your child and her friends make videos with the use of a whiteboard to explain mathematical concepts, formulas and procedures they learned throughout the year. You can also Google science projects and experiments that are related to the topics they learned in science, and have them demonstrate that project or experiment in a video.

Of course, make the effort to watch the videos they produce, to show them your support (and to process any misconceptions in their understanding of certain topics.) If you’re feeling particularly supportive, you might even want to plan a “Video Preview” sleepover.


Teach with travel
Since summer vacation is the time for road trips, why not visit any of the historical sites or landmarks that your child studied in social studies? Your child can prepare for this trip by reviewing what she read about in the textbook, and writing down questions or thoughts on things she would like to explore further at the actual site.

You can deepen your child’s learning even more by equipping her with a camera, a pen and a notebook to take pictures and jot down notes that she will eventually convert into a scrapbook, memoir or travel brochure.

Take advantage of online learning
Last but not least, check out the videos and learning resources on Khan Academy for Math, Science, and English grammar. They even have materials for older kids, such as economics, finance, arts and humanities. This may seem more like “studying” to some kids, but the fact that it is online may spark the interest of our digital natives.

Mom to a 17-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, Angela Abaya-Garcia earned her master’s degree in Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Psychology at De La Salle University (Manila), where she also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on child development, research methods, learning and teaching.


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20 Summer Classes for Budding Programmers, Game Designers and More!

Your child is already playing with his gadget for hours on end. Why not encourage him to actually create his own game and apps? There’s a global consensus that children should (and can) be taught how to code at a very early age. Coding enhances children’s creativity, problem-solving skills, critical thinking and develops patience. It is an effective learning tool and a life skill that can be used across all industries. The demand is also high for jobs that involves coding especially when it comes to software development, one of the most highest-paying industries in the world.

Gabe Newell, founder and president of Valve (Dota2 and Counter Strike) says it best, “The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future. You’re going to look like you have magic powers compared to everybody else.”

Our children can very well be the next great wizards. Here’s how to give them that magic wand.

Started in 2014, Coding4Kids offers private tutorials by Arvin Encarnacion, a computer science graduate of UST, web developer, former Computer Science and Information Technology college professor and Lego artist. Programs are offered year-round and are designed based on various British Code Club courses. The Robotics Engineering program uses the same elements as the UK Computer Education system. Lego robotics systems are also available.
VENUE: Private home tutorials within Makati and Mandaluyong; or California Garden Square in Mandaluyong
Programs are projects-based with a minimum of five meetings lasting between 1-2 hours each. Schedules are pre-booked and subject to availability as there are only two schedules per day: 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

The Game Developer Program (from 5 years old), P2,000

Designed to teach kids various computer programing concepts through video game projects.

The Robotics Engineer Program (from 7 years old), P2,000
Designed to introduce kids to robot design and programming concepts through various robot projects.

MOMMY TIP: If you have more than one child, Arvin extends a P500 discount for each additional student, with a maximum of 3 students per session.


Think Computer Science for kids, and this organization can help you. It has been known to push for programming as an important skill in kids, the same way as reading and writing are. It is popular for its game programming and creating Minecreaft mods, a foundation for programming skills.
CALL: 0918-658-3150
EMAIL: info@icodeacademy.com.ph

Makerspace Pilipinas: Minecraft, April 8 and 22, 1-4 p.m.

Design and program your own game!
VENUE: Mind Museum, Bonifacio Global City
Register here

Minecraft Modding Levels I & II (10-15 years old)
P6,800 per level, April and May, 2-week sessions, T-TH, 12-3 p.m.
Kids will learn how to program while “modding”—or add custom features—to the Minecraft game culminating with students create their own mini-game project at end of the Level II class.
VENUE: The Forum, 4/F Fully Booked, Bonifaco Global City.
Register here

Game Programming with Scratch (8-12 years old)
Kids will learn programming using Scratch Visual Studio to create their own personal digital game.
VENUE: Valle Verde 2 Function Room
Register here for rates and schedules.


Opened in March 2016, Junior Academy for Coding Knowledge, Inc. (JACK) is a learning center for kids with a mission to provide the highest quality learning experience in a fun and engaging environment. JACK trainers are graduates of the University of the Philippines and are current IT industry practitioners.

VENUE: Penthouse, East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, Ortigas Center, Pasig
EMAIL: learncoding@jack.com.ph
CALL: +63977-841-0482
Programs are designed for students ages 7 to 16. They can select programs depending on their interests and continue their progression after each course. Rates include snacks and equipment (except Game Salad).

P8,500 April 3-7 and May 1-5, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Learn the fundamentals of coding, this is recommended for beginners. Students learn to make their own stories, animation and games.

SWIFT PLAYGROUNDS P8,500 May 1-5, 8 a.m-12 p.m.
Using fun and interactive activities, students are introduced to Swift, a dynamic programming language used by Apple. This is also recommended for beginners.

P8,500 April 17-21 and April 24-28, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Students will design and execute their own games and publish it on the App Store and Playstore. For this class, kids are required to bring their own MAC laptops.

P9,500 April 3-7 and May 8-12, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, then you’ll love that this uses a real-life droid that can recognize your voice! Program a BB-8 to make 2D head movements, follow paths, avoid obstructions and race with other droids.

P9,000 April 24-28, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Experience the world of robotics through coding and implementation of your program design using Lego bricks with microcontrollers, servomotors, and smart sensors.


Mind Museum is launching its first “Maker Camp,” a three-day summer class that teaches kids to tinker and learn new skills. Prticipants will receive a Maker Kit, which includes all parts and items they’ll need to do their projects during the camp — such as a rover robot! All projects made during the Maker Camp will be showcased at the first ever Manila Mini Maker Faire happening on June 10-11, 2017.
DATE: April 21-23, 1-5 p.m.
VENUE: Mind Museum, Bonifacio Global City
Register here for rates

TBC4K started in 2014 and is organized by the UP System Information Technology Foundation, in collaboration with the UP Information Technology Development Center (UP ITDC). All teachers are graduates of the University of the Philippines and are IT practitioners.
VENUE: RM303, 3/F Vidal A.Tan Hall, Quirino Ave. cor Velasquez St., University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
CALL: 788-5898
April 3-7 and May 8-12, Mondays to Fridays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. All courses are five days each. Rates are P9,000 for each course, inclusive of snacks and equipment.

Scratch: Create Your Own Story and …read more