Glenda: before, during, and after

It’s been a day since Typhoon Glenda (international name: Rammasun) left the Philippine area of responsibility. Up to now, everything’s not yet back to normal, with a lot of places still without electricity, some without water even.

I remembered Tuesday night, when my family and I prepared ourselves for the storm. Since we lived in a low-lying area in Pasig (beside Floodway), we anticipated flooding. When I heard that it packed winds comparable to Milenyo, which hit the country way back 2006, we also secured parts of the house that may be affected, most especially the roof and other things that may be sent flying about by the strong winds.

Wednesday came. We moved all the important things to a higher part of the house, tied furniture left in the main house (we live in a bungalow) that may float when it floods. My parents made a plan on how to go about when we had to move to the second floor of our former sari-sari store (an annexed part of our house). My daughter and I (since I am pregnant) will have to go up first when the water rises. Food, water, and clothes — good enough for about 3 to 5 days — will also be brought there. We’ll have makeshift beds from cots and sleeping bags that we have. We’ll also have flashlights, candles, a TV, and radio with us, too.

Throughout the morning, the dam at Floodway was ringing the alarm. The floodwater at the street rose to about 5 inches at about 10 AM, which was my parents’s signal for us to start moving to the second floor. Good thing, though, that the water did not enter our house.

The wind howling like crazy scared us, especially my daughter. I was thinking then that we were lucky that we had no big trees in the vicinity, just those that easily bend and sway with the wind. The thought of metal sheets flying by and electricity posts that might fall kept us on our toes, though.

Of course, the one thing that sucked that day was the power outage that started since 5 AM. But at least we had phones that had TV so we were still up-to-date with the news. We just had to use them at different times so as not to drain the batteries.

A little bit after noon, the rains were subsiding and the wind got less strong. By 2 PM, we saw people and vehicles on the streets. Some were already clearing up the front of their houses. We got to relax and eat lunch. By around 4 PM, my daughter and I went down to the main house. Everyone was chilling out, despite the fact that we had to contend with not having electricity yet (During that time, we kept calling the Meralco hotline, but all we got was the automated response, “Sorry, all circuits are busy now.”).

By 8 PM, our area had the electricity back. That was a sigh of relief — I thought hubby and I wouldn’t sleep because we needed to fan our daughter throughout the night. Anyways, everything at home slowly got back to normal that time onwards. Still, we’re on our guard just in case Tropical Storm Henry (international name: Matmo) enhances the  monsoon and bring rains again in Metro Manila.

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Despite the calamity that Glenda brought to many places in the country, I’m glad that many people were prepared for it. It helps that nowadays, we can lean on to many other things besides TV and radio. Social media was a big help in keeping us alert with the news. And of course, technology.

My hubby’s and brother’s TV phones gave us constant updates on what was happening outside. It also helped that, a few days before Glenda made landfall, PAGASA’s Twitter and Facebook accounts always made posts about the weather. Project NOAH‘s website was also helpful in telling me further weather updates (I also follow Mahar Lagmay, the one in charge of Project NOAH, on Twitter).

Infographics about rainfall warnings were also very helpful. Since Habagat, I’ve been keeping this in mind:

PAGASA Rainfall Warning System

PAGASA Rainfall Warning System

Of course, we can’t discount the power of prayer. During these times, besides being physically and mentally prepared, we also have to lean on God’s grace to keep us away from harm.

As of this writing, the sky is a bit cloudy, though the weather is better than the past few days. But Tropical Storm Henry is on its way and the rainy season will surely bring in more bad weather. Let’s just keep ourselves prepared in every way.

I hope everyone reading this post is now A-okay (albeit the succeeding reports of rotating brownouts) after Typhoon Glenda. :)

Let your child learn through play with Ogalala System in Play

Children nowadays learn from a lot of things: from observation, TV, and other forms of media. But, as my guidance counselor sister said, one of the best ways for a kid to learn is through play. It’s not too imposing and not too stressful for his/her young mind, plus it’s a more enjoyable way of discovery.

And this is where Ogalala System in Play comes in. This system addresses the need to adapt to how kids are able to learn new things, and that is through play. It’s an enjoyable way to discover a whole new world of knowledge and at the same time encourages the children and parents to bond and communicate.

Know about Ogalala System and Play by joining the Ogalala Child Development Workshop, which will happen on July 19 and 26, August 2 and 16, and September 6 and 20.

Ogalala System in Play Child Development Workshop

Ogalala System in Play Child Development Workshop

The workshop will cover the following:

I. AVP introduction of Ogalala

II. Welcome message from Maye Yao Co Say, COO of Internationale Globale Marques, Inc. (IGM)

III. Brief introduction of IGM

IV. The Ogalala System in Play

a. Brief rationale

b. Infant, toddler, and preschool development insights

c. The Ogalala Schedule

d. Demo of activities (with children)

V. Q&A and Insight Sharing

Know more about the Ogalala System in Play Child Development Workshop from Manila Workshops: http://manilaworkshops.com/2014/07/ogalala-system-in-play-child-development-workshop.html. You can also register for this event. And it’s free, too. Limited slots only, so be sure to register to secure your slot.

Know how to make learning for your children more fun. Join the Ogalala System in Play workshop!

Thinking of going dot-com

I’ve been running my blog on free WordPress since 2008. And after exposing myself to the wonders of blogging, it dawned on me that I want to change my blog to hitsandmrs.wordpress.com to a blog.com site.

I realized that, while WordPress is so easy to use, there are limitations when using the free hosted version. For one, the selection of templates for the free version. Second, the ability to monetize my posts or the blog itself. I remembered turning down some paid-to-write articles because my blog just can’t. Not right now.

So now, I’m doing my research on web hosting and domains. And seriously, I’m at a loss on what to do and where to start. WordPress does offer a premium account, but I don’t know if I should get that or find a local web hosting company instead. I’m thinking which offers a better package for a Pinoy blogger like me.

Also, if I go self-hosted, how do I design my blog? Do I use a WordPress template? Or maybe I can get help from friends who have knowledge on web design? Or I just discover web design on my own?

I have so many questions in my head about going dot-com for my blog right now. Pretty sure I’ll be asking around, especially to my blogger friends, for help about this. And hopefully, I’ll find the answers and be able to self-host my blog. :)

Zee’s ice-capade and birthday mini-celebration

It’s a late post, I know. My daughter turned 5 last Friday, June 27. And as we promised her, we took her to SM Megamall so that she can go ice skating.

SM Megamall Ice Skating Rink

Dad re-learning to skate while teaching my daughter how to skate. Hehe!

After school (her class ended at 10:30 AM), we headed off to SM Megamall to, first, grab lunch and then go ice skating. We decided on going there on a Friday, her actual birthday, because we thought that it would be better if the rink wasn’t too crowded so that she could skate a bit freely. And because the weekday rate was just PHP 300 (weekend and holiday rate is at PHP 390).

Of course, since I was pregnant, I couldn’t skate with them (to be honest, inggit ako the whole time they were in the rink). But I still went inside the holding area (where the lockers are) so I can look after their shoes and our belongings. Pwede naman, I mean, some of the moms and yayas who weren’t skating were staying there, too.

Hubby had to re-learn ice skating — it’s been almost a decade since we last did so (when the rink was still at the lower ground floor of Mega A… and when we weren’t married yet). He did that while holding Zee’s hand and teaching her how to skate at the same time.

SM Megamall Ice Skating Rink

Slowly getting the hang of it…

After a few minutes, they were already skating in the middle of the rink, still holding hands. I, meanwhile, took pictures on the side — until my camera’s memory got full. Great, I forgot to bring a spare memory card. Good thing I had my phone ready and got her “Look, Ma, no hands” moment on Instagram.

There she goes, inching her way towards Mommy. :)

There she goes, inching her way towards Mommy. :)

We were in SM’s Ice Skating Rink for more than 2 hours — and my little one still wanted to skate for, like, forever. But we had to go home since we had to prepare for her mini-celebration at home. And so we left, but not without tears. Yes, she cried — wailed, actually — because she wanted to go back to the rink. Next time, we promised.

At home, we prepped her birthday dinner celebration. Just spaghetti, fried chicken, and the cake roll (the donuts, which my daughter requested my brother to buy, arrived a bit late) for her. Nevertheless, a happy night for her and for all of us.

Blow the candles!

Blow the candles!

Of course, the mandatory family pic. :)

Of course, the mandatory family pic. :)

Happy birthday, our dear Anna Zafina! Promise, we’ll go ice skating again, even if it’s not your birthday anymore. :)

Preggy diary: A not-so-good situation

I guess I just didn’t expect this pregnancy to be a stressful one.

Last June 11, I discovered a bit of spotting early in the morning. I got scared — it was my first time to experience spotting — that I decided to see my OB-Gyne later that day.

Upon checking, she said the baby’s okay, the ultrasound showed a normal heart rate. It’s just that my cervix was located lower than usual for a 12-week old pregnant woman. Since my lab tests had normal results, she surmised that it was due to stress at work, and possibly commuting, that led to this condition.

The official term was “threatened abortion”, a condition that puts a fetus that’s less than 5 months old at risk. It’s quite a morbid term, although it doesn’t mean that the abortion is planned/voluntary. It’s just that, if I don’t rest for a while, I might end up losing the baby.

That, I don’t want to happen. So she advised me to rest for 7 days and take Duvadilan 3 times a day, along with other vitamins.

I’m in the middle of the “rest period” and I’m still scared of what will happen to the baby. But seeing to it that he/she’s holding on gives me hope.

So for now, I just have to take things slowly. And probably find a new (and more comfortable) mode of transportation once I get back to work.