Showing posts with label alado family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alado family. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2016

12 Filipino brands that my family supports – part 3

First of all, I would like to greet you a Merry Christmas, and I hope you are using the holiday season to relax and chill with loved ones.  This is the third and final installment of my article on the 12 brands that my family supports, and if you haven’t yet checked out the first two, here’s Part 1, and here’s Part 2.

If you are a Filipino, but most of the stuff you regularly buy is imported, I suggest you consider doing a similar exercise as I have done: replace 12 imported products that you regularly use with Filipino counterparts.  Here’s a maxim for good citizenship: If you want to build your country, buy what your country builds.  It’s not rocket science to realize the difference between our hard earned money staying here on these shores vs. our hard earned money going elsewhere.

But what do most Filipinos do?  Our colonial mentality takes control of our wallets, and so our kitchens, our cupboards, our bathrooms, and our closets are filled with products from America, Europe, even other parts of Asia…with hardly a Filipino product in sight.  Surely, we can be better Filipino citizens than that, and so how about making Buy Pinoy a mantra for 2017?  The three-part article gives 12 products or brands to help you get started, with below being the final group of products.

Friday, November 25, 2016

12 Filipino brands that my family supports – part 2

This is the second of a three-part series on the Filipino products that my family supports (see the first one here).  I got the idea for this article from a Buy Pinoy assignment that I give my students: they make a list of 12 products that they currently patronize and replace them with Filipino counterparts.  After a month, they will come up with and compare-and-contrast paper about their experience.

As you can imagine with our colonial-minded brethren, my students included, there were groans and complaints about the supposed inferior quality of our products, to which I replied that (a) you can very well be wrong, and (b) with our support, they can become great.  Want examples of lowly local products that are praised worldwide, especially since we Filipinos support them so much?  San Miguel beer is lauded as one of the best beers in the world, and Emperador brandy is the world’s best-selling brandy.  Of course, I do not encourage my students to include these products as part of their assignment, and I’d like to think that there’s more to great Filipino products than alcohol; but I think they get my point.

While many students said they will never ever make the switch with some products (I understand…I love my Oreo cookies, too), by and large, they found the local products as good as their more expensive importe../../search/label/alado_20family/d counterparts. _/b___160.css;Yet many students do not use Filipino goods to the point that they do not even know what they are, and therefore had great difficulty finding 12 Filipino products.  Some even mistakenly switched a foreign brand with another foreign brand (guys, Del Monte is not a Filipino brand, neither is Safeguard).  In response to this, I made this three-part blog entry on the Filipino products that my family supports.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tis the season for Balikbayan Boxes! Here are the best items to send, IMO.

Now that we are in the “ber months” of 2016, which here in the Philippines means that it’s the start of the longest Christmas Holiday season in the world; it also means ‘tis the season of the Balikbayan boxes coming from abroad to the motherland.  For nearly every Philippine-based family, receiving these boxes from their generous relatives abroad is a cause for celebration.  Though very much appreciated, for me, it does give me some reason to groan, unless the relatives abroad know the right things to send through Balikbayan boxes, at least my opinion of such.  Read on.

Friday, November 4, 2016

12 Filipino brands that my family supports – part 1

(Note: this is the first of a three-part series.  To see part two, click here.  For part three, click here.)

To this day, one of my most commented-on and beloved articles is the Buy Pinoy experiment article made way back in 2011.  It tells of a favorite assignment I give my students, based on one of the chapters of Alex Lacson’s bestselling book (required reading in the school12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country.  For a certain time (now about a month, but in the article it was just a week), my students have to list down 12 imported things that they usually patronize, and replace them with Filipino counterparts.  Read up on my students’ thoughts on this project here, the aforementioned blog post.

It’s about time for another update for that article; and this time, it’s about 12 Filipino brands or products that we personally patronize as a family.  We feel good that these products are made by Filipino hands, and the making of which brings much-needed sustenance to Filipino families.  Sadly, one of the reasons I came up with the idea for this article is that many of my students have absolutely no clue what a Filipino-made product is.  You’re probably like them, too; and so this article is for you as well.

So, here’s my 12 Filipino products or brands that my family supports:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My middle child, Mesoo’s graduation

A big congrats to my middle child, Monica Andrea (nicknamed Mesoo) for graduating from Elementary school.  Now, I have two children as my students!  How awesome (and awkward) is that?

(She also garnered one of the top scores in the entrance exam to boot!  Awesome job, buddy!)

I’ll just show a few pics of the festivities, as well as the video of her speech (in the school where she goes to, every graduating child makes a speech).  In case you’re wondering, my child goes to a Montessori school called The Abba’s Orchard.

 I feature this fantastic school quite often in my blog.  If you are searching for a school for your children, and you live either in Manila, Davao, Cebu, or CDO, then check out my blog entries about the school for more information (and their website, too).

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A look back at 2013 through Facebook status messages

Happy new year to all my readers out there!!  Thank you once again for staying with me for another 365 days, and it has surely been quite a year.  2013 wasn’t the best of years in my book, as there have been several personal setbacks, deaths of loved ones, and trials of every sort.  There have also been some great personal victories, a new venture, and some happy moments as well.

For the past two New Years, I traditionally have made a very reflective post to recap what happened in the year that was (here's 2013's and, my favorite, 2012's).  I won’t do that this year; and instead, I’ll do something a little different.

If you have Facebook (who doesn’t), then they have a feature where you get to recap your biggest FB moments in 2013 (I guess that means your posts with the most likes and comments).  I screen captured these status messages, and for this New Year, I will replace my traditional posts with these screen captured shots plus some commentary.  So, if you’re ready, let’s go…

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reflections Of An Eventful 2012 part 2

Here is part two of my reflections of an eventful 2012.  If you missed part one, you can click here.

4. Fried from too much activity.  

No doubt that 2012 was a productive year.  The problem was, I got really, really fried.  I was wearing plenty of hats, and there were lots of expectations in each of them.  I’m not a very good multi-tasker, but I don’t think even the best jugglers would’ve be able to take on the schedule that I had without being a little burnt.  Dad, husband, blogger, asst. head teacher, GM of a few projects, Lifeshaper, young couples discipleship group leader….oh dear.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reflections of an eventful 2012 part 1

As per my blog’s tradition, every end of the year I will come up with a reflection on the year that has just passed.  Of course, since Lessons Of A Dad is only a little over a year old, this is my second such blog entry, the first being among my most popular article as it talked about Sendong, traveling, defeats, and other stuff.

So, as I type this on a restful vacation morning, I look back and reflect on an eventful 2012.

1. Be careful what you pray for, because God has a sense of humor.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My kids in their Montessori school’s Foundation Day dress rehersal

One of the things that keeps me busy as of late is the Abba's Orchard School's Foundation Day, which is already coming this Saturday. 

 It's both nerve-wracking as a teacher of the Erdkinder (high school) program, and I hope and pray that my students perform well; and as a parent of 3 kids, as I hope they do awesome in their respective performances.

Please pray for me and my kids. Pray for the weather (this would be done outdoors) and pray for everything to go smoothly. We just had our dress rehearsal last night, and so allow me to post a few pics of my kids in their costumes. Again, prayers appreciated.

My eldest, Lynn, with my youngest, Happy

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother’s Day Tribute

In honor of our mothers, my daughter, Lynn, and three talented friends of hers sung a beautiful rendition of Yeng Constantino’s hit, “Salamat” in church earlier today.  View the video below:

Indeed, we all owe a debt of gratitude to our mothers.  They’ve sacrificed so much for us.  The Children’s Ministry kids coming out to give their moms roses during the song, us asking them to stand and be acknowledged, the preacher praying for them as they stand…they’re all just little tributes to the amazing women who raised us (and raise our children).

To the beautiful mothers out there, happy Mother’s Day, from Lessons Of A Dad.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011 Year in Review (reflections on Sendong, overseas trips, and more)

As 2011’s end is still not too far back into distant memory, I would like to think back on some of the good and bad that happened over the course of last year.  It was quite an eventful year for me, as you will see.  Despite everything, I cannot help but think back with thanksgiving in my heart and enter 2012 with praise for what He has done in my life.

Remember what i said in my first blog post of the year: ""Christmas is still merry, and the New Year is still happy, not because of circumstances, but because of our joy in the Lord.""

2011 in review…including reflections

1.     The storm that was Sendong.  I can't help but start this reflection off with typhoon Sendong.  For the first time in the memory of just about everyone living in this great city, a typhoon hit Cagayan de Oro and Illigan with such deadly force that over a thousand Cagayanons perished while scores more are missing.  Homes have been destroyed, its residents losing everything they valued and worked hard for.  Never before has CDO experienced so much death and damage.  (If you have not donated yet, click here so that you can do so…people still are in dire need)

Next Monday, the school I work for will open its doors to receive students again.  Some, like my family, got through the storm relatively unscathed.  Others were not so lucky, yet, thankfully, there was no loss of life.  We are encouraged by my boss that during morning devotions, we try to help them deal with this tragedy through spiritual eyes. 

I’m still thinking about how I’m going to do that.  But I’m going to go along these lines (and therefore, my reflection about Sendong):

•    The climate has been rapidly changing, much of it is due to our excesses and irresponsibility:  you can’t blame God for that.

•    A huge factor in the floods was rampant illegal logging and unchecked open mining: you can’t blame God for that either.

•    This goes to show why sin is such a big deal in God’s eyes: not only because it violates His commands; but, equally as important, it hurts and even destroys others, even those who had no part in the sin in the first place.  And using up our natural resources irresponsibly, especially in the name of greed IS sin…and boy did people get hurt.

•    Sendong very dramatically showed us what really mattered.  All the toys, gadgets, trinkets, and the shallow security of the present were lost in one dark night. All thoughts and actions were towards family and friends.  Let’s not wait till the next time we have to desperately fight for our lives (or to save theirs) to realize this very important truth.

•    God is still faithful and sovereign, even if things look exactly the opposite.  Many times in the history of His people things were totally messed up, only to come back to blessing later on.  If we trust in His faithfulness and sovereignty (repentance being a part of that), the same thing will happen to CDO and Illigan. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

My theme song for 2012

This is gonna a be a very busy several days for me, so I am not sure if I can have time to make a New Year’s blog post (I have one in my drafts half done).

Well, first of all, Happy New Year to all!  As my mentor said yesterday, “Christmas is still merry, and the New Year is still happy, not because of circumstances, but because of our joy in the Lord.

I’m still gonna try to finish my New Year’s blog post before the New Year is Old News.  But I’d like to treat you all to…

my theme song for 2012.  

I’m hopeful for a lot of things in the coming year, but what I want most of all for my family is that 2012 is the year we serve…mightily. This beautiful song by John Waller (you may know him from his song “While I’m Waiting” from the movie, Fireproof) sums it up so, so well.

I hope you liked my theme song for 2012. I heard this great song from the Courageous soundtrack, which I got as a Christmas gift (thanks mom!). I can’t wait for the DVD of this great movie to come out this month! (If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, click here)

Once again, Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An ode to my lolo (grandpa) for All Souls Day

It’s November 1, a day where everyone here in the Philippines honors the dearly departed by laying flowers on their graves and hanging around in the cemetery all day.  I thought, growing up in the states, that this was a weird Filipino tradition, until my dad suddenly died and then I started to understand how nice it was to do so (and Oro Gardens having a cute playground for the kids doesn’t hurt, either).

Now Jhean’s maternal grandmother died recently, and she’s now driving all the way to Talisayan with her dad so that they can lay flowers on the stones of her paternal grandparents. 

Jhean is newly grandparent-less, her maternal grandmother being the last of the four.  I’ve been grandparent-less for a while now.  You’ve already seen my blog entry about my dad, now allow me to use this blog, as it’s All Souls Day, to give an ode to my grandfather, who was the last of my grandparents until he passed away three years ago.  Enjoy:

This is one blog that’s pretty difficult to write.  My lolo (Filipino for “grandpa”) Trinidad, the father of my mom, passed away last night, just a few days shy of his 91st birthday.  He was a lion of a man.  He had many skills and was able to not only provide for his kids’ needs, but was able to mold them into successful people.  Every one in my mom’s generation and mine are doing well for themselves, and all the married ones have remained married (I know that just sounded weird, but it seems every family has at least one member who has gone south in these areas, but by God’s grace…and likely lolo’s training, the family has been spared).  Now that’s being a great grandpa. 
Being away for so long, I wasn’t able to spend a lot of time with him, but since he and my lola often visited us in the states, some memories were made.  Easily the most memorable experience was when I had my 2nd lung operation and my parents had to work.  Who nursed a hurting teen back to health?  Lolo.  It was awesome how he fed me and spent time with me.  We’d watch hours of tennis and debate who was better, Andre or Pete (although both of us were Agassi fans).  His great service sure made the post op pain bearable.  I didn’t need my medications that much.
Another great memory was when he bought me a car, then took it for a drive with me at the passenger side.  Being the good American driver, I always followed the lines and stop signs and all that.  But where lolo came from, lines are just for decoration (in fact, he didn’t know they were lines until I screamed it out to him).  So you can imagine an old man driving Filipino style in an American suburb, with me screaming my head off at first then assuming the fetal position later.  Well, let’s just say that lolo would be proud of the way I drive now (I can’t wait to drive my Fil Am friends around…now they’ll be in the fetal position).

Here are some other great memories of my lolo:
  • Me as a little kid (probably Mesoo’s age now) slamming the car door on his hand.  Ouch.
  • Me as a newly minted teen being totally embarrassed that an old man beat me 6-0, only for me to thrash him with the same score in the rematch (was he taking it easy on me?). 
  • The family going up Mt. Baldy, with my dad driving and my lolo in the passenger side.  Me being the impatient kid, I asked the usual “are we there yet?” questions.  My lola then said, “Yes we are.  (pointing to the window) Here’s the Mt. (then pointing to the back of lolo’s head) there’s the baldy”.  That made my day.
  • When I was a little kid, I once asked “Lolo, are you loaded?” (“loaded” being an American figure of speech for having lots of pocket money).  My mom relayed the story one day, and so when lolo came to visit, it was the grandkids (Lynn in particular) who asked “Super lolo, are you loaded?”, much to his amusement.
  • The loaded super lolo treating all the great grandkids to Hong Kong.  The little ones had a fantastic time, but it was the first time for me to see lolo so weak as he trailed behind the rest of us in Ocean Park. 

There were so many others, but that’s all I can think of right now.  Is the family sad?  Am I sad?  Maybe we should be sad because we lost the family patriarch and a dear friend.  But he’s free.  Free from his feeble, nearly 91 year old fleshly body that tired every time he climbed the stairs and limited his walking to a slow crawl.  Free from the irritating tube that fed him for so long.  And best of all, he’s walking down streets of gold, basking in the glorious presence of our Creator.  If anything, that should make us happy.  He’s in the greatest place in all creation, and here I’m stuck in the Philippines.
So goodbye my lolo, my friend.  You weren’t perfect, but I’ve never seen another grandparent measure up to you.  I hope that I’ll be to my children what you were to my mom and her siblings; and I hope I’ll be to my children’s children what you were to me…and those are huge shoes to fill.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The day my father died

Today marks two years since the day my father died.  We laid flowers on his grave on the way to bringing my daughter to youth group, and I can tell that a shrapnel of pain of the sudden loss is still in the minds and hearts of my children.  He was a great, great grandpa to them and they miss him dearly.

I was thinking of writing something about what took place on September 10, 2009 and the manic days that followed, but I think nothing can top the blog post that I wrote right after it all happened. 

Since many of you, if not most of you, have not seen that post (the blog, on Multiply, was just a personal journal that was frequented by my friends only), I will re-post it here.

Now here it is, made two years ago.  Enjoy:

It’s been a long, long time since I blogged, and there’s lots of writer’s rust swimming around my head.  But if there’s a reason to express myself through my keyboard again, it’s the topic at hand.  It’s taken me a while to muster up the energy to write even this, but I have to get this off my mind before too much time passes and the moment is gone. 

Before I go on to write about my dad’s death in more detail, I’d like to sincerely thank all of you for sending us your heartfelt condolences.  Whether you visited us at the wake, you sent messages electronically, or simply thought about us, thank you.  A special mention to those who never left our side through this crazy time; those who took up the cudgels of food, refreshments, and other administrative tasks; those who blessed us with song, God-glorifying messages, and testimonies…thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  You know who you are. 

Some of you think it’s the cancer that killed him, but it wasn’t.  In fact, two days before his death he visited his doctor and was given a clean bill of health: no evidence of the disease.  My dad was playing tennis with his buddies, was getting ready to serve, and then just collapsed on the court.  That was it: sudden cardiac death was the official cause. (He used to have a heart condition)

God is so, so good.  It’s as if my dad was so dear to Him that He gave him the best possible way to go out.  Heck, the tennis court was already heaven in my dad’s mind.  Then there’s the quick demise.  Papa was spared the slow death that he was so fearful of, a death that the stage 3 cancer that struck him just 2 years ago made a frightening possibility.  We’d joke around that he’d be the crankiest invalid on the planet if he would die through the cancer.  Even joining the ranks of the senior citizens was not a pleasant thought to papa.  But instead, there was no sign of struggle, no screams of pain, he just fell down and that was the end.  He was a year short of the senior citizen benchmark.   

I’d like to think that God sent the cancer as a heart prep for all of us.  He wouldn’t use the disease to kill my dad, but it was an instrument to make the family, especially papa, aware of our own mortality.  While he has been a true blue believer for quite some time, he really dove into his relationship with the Lord since the disease.  People have noticed his spiritual side bloom.  He has been quite devout since we started worshiping at CCF, but lately he truly was a spiritual leader in the family.  He gave a testimony at our church, boldly proclaiming to all in attendance that God healed him (he even sang the Don Moen song, I am the God that healeth thee).  There was not a dry eye in the building.  Yes, God healed him of the cancer, and then mercifully brought him home Sept. 10, 2009. 

It is interesting to note that I felt a lot less grief than I expected.  In fact, many noticed how we, especially my mom, were holding up quite well.  I remember years ago, as my friend and church mate Ian Kwan lay dying in the emergency room, his mother calmly told the doctor desperately trying to save his life to let him go.  And during his wake and funeral service, I see “Mommy Nene” smile, warmly receive guests, and bear the death of her only son admirably well.  Then I think of another CCF friend, Neil, who said that when his dad died, they were singing praise songs in the hospital.  Now it was our turn to bear the brunt of the passing of someone we so dearly loved.  And the wonderful God who gave both Nene and Neil the strength to bear this great loss was also the God who held us close and gave us this strange, supernatural sense of peace and fortitude that I can’t effectively describe here on this blog. 

Nene mentioned in Ian’s funeral that “it’s easier to let go when you know where he’s going.”  Amen.  One thing that gave us so much strength through this whole ordeal is that we’re so comfortable with where papa is now.  I don’t mean to come off as preachy or religiously haughty, but if the Bible that we believe in is true, people who have Jesus Christ in their lives, as my dad did, are promised Eternal Life the moment they leave their earthly life here. 

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12 NIV)

I can’t point this out strong enough. While the grief of losing my dad is quite great, the joy that we have knowing that papa now is in the most privileged place in all creation outweighs and nullifies that grief.  Furthermore, there’s also a future hope that we, who also have been given eternal life, will see him again once it’s our turn to cross that canyon. 

Now I know firsthand how the following verse feels. 

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.  Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
(1 Cor 15:54-55 NIV)

We may not have papa around the house anymore, but death was not victorious on September 10, 2009.    My dad is at this very moment in the most enviable place imaginable; and we will see him again one day.  And to that, I say Hallelujah!

RECOMMENDED READING when it comes to grief and loss:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

AOS Elem open house 2011…I finally found the pics and vids

Finally, I found my videos and photos of The Abba’s Orchard School’s Elementary Open House last school year.  In blogs past, I covered my son and his classmates’ Casa (preschool) presentations; then, because I couldn’t find the elem stuff, I skipped to the photo/video journal of the Erdkinder (high school), where I teach.

Well, I finally found the Elem stuff.  Better (really) late than never, right?  I’ll keep it short, though…because that ship has sailed and I’m not in the mood to type up an elaborate blog entry on their methods.  The 2012 open house will have the detailed entries again.

Anyway, again let me stress some things:

1.  Materials greatly, GREATLY enhance learning.  You can see that in the Casa video especially, but it’s also evident in my daughter’s presentation and the other video presentation here.  

2.  The kids, all of them, were trained to present to adults, and are very comfortable doing so.  I wish you were there to see their poise, confidence, and people skills in presenting.

Anyway, enjoy the pics and vids.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The reason I do what I do

Lynn (11), Mesoo (9), and Happy (6)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

12 years and counting…and marriage principles that helped us last

Yesterday marked twelve long years of marriage to my beautiful lover and best friend, Jhean.  I could say they were twelve wonderful years; and yes, the highest of highs I’ve ever experienced are credited to my life with this wonderful young woman.  She truly is a great source of happiness and inspiration…the love of my life.

But these twelve years also marked some of the greatest struggles I’ve ever had.  Marriage and raising a family sure can be hard work, so hard that many people give up.  Furthermore, many of you know that I became a father and a husband at a very young age.  I was 21, Jhean was 18; just mere university students who made a big mistake and scrambled trying to rectify things.  Scary much?

But, here we are, 12 years and counting…and it has been one ride full of highs and lows.  I believe we have been blessed tremendously with certain things as a couple, and as I pondered on what helped us stay together, I came up with a few ideals and marriage principles that helped us last, which I hope can help the dads and husbands out there, too.

Principle 1: know who your wife is in God’s eyes.  My wife is a wonderful woman, but she has a very strong personality, and, growing up, she was not really trained to be gentle when it comes to what comes out of her mouth.  That can often exasperate me.  She has a whole bunch of weaknesses and flaws, too.  But in no way will I let these be the cause of a split.  Why?  Because in the midst of my frustration, I make myself see that she is my co-heir in God’s grace.  An equal partner in marriage and in God’s inheritance for us, so obviously, someone who should be treasured.  Here’s the verse:

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” (1 Pet. 3:7)

Principle 2: Forgive much, because you have been forgiven much.  With two very different, flawed people in one roof, conflict is a given.  Forgiveness is a must, because there were times when I also had to be forgiven.  Maybe if I was Mr. Perfect, I could have the right to not forgive her.  But I have committed my share of booboos, so it would be very hypocritical of me to have a hard, unforgiving heart when she also has had to deal with occasional idiocy on my part. 

The bible commands us to forgive each other not once, not twice, but seventy times seven times (Matt. 18:22).  Can you actually keep count?  (“Aha, this is your 469th offense!  Just two more and that’s it!”)  No, you can’t.  So you shouldn’t keep count in forgiving others as well, spouse being on the top of that list.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That LastsPrinciple 3:  Know each other’s love language.  Gary Chapman’s classic book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts is a must have for all couples.  The principles in this book would be a tremendous help, I tell you.

Basically, it’s like this: there are five different “love languages,” or expressions of love, that we all can understand: time, touch, talk, tasks, and treasures.  However, each one of us has a particular love language that stands out above the rest.  This is the love language that a particular person expresses the most, and it’s also the one who affects him or her the most when it is done to them. 

For example if wifey buys me things (treasures) or does stuff for me (tasks), I’d appreciate it, for sure, but it won’t really ring my bell.  However, if she gives me verbal praise, it would make my day…maybe even make my week.  Guess what my love language is: talk.  This is how I express my love, too.  I’m sure if you ask any of the girls I’ve dated, they’d tell you that my love letters are so loooooong.  Also, I’m known among my friends as a great encourager and counselor.  Well, it’s because talk is my love language.

If you want to make your spouse happy, get to know your spouse’s love language and learn to execute it well.  Wifey?  Her love language is touch.  Trust me, I’ve got that one down.

Another reason why knowing the love language is so important is because it is the one that hurts the most when it is violated.  Remember earlier I said that my wife has trouble taming her tongue?  She has realized that over the years, her harsh words have hurt me very deeply, much more than any other sin she has done against me.  As for her love language, if I leave the house without giving her a kiss or a hug, she gets a bit peeved.  A very close second for her primary love language is time, and I know I caused her a lot of pain when I gave more time and effort to my work than I did to her and the kids.

(Btw, there’s also The Five Love Languages Singles Edition for those who are not married; The Five Love Languages of Children which is among the must have parenting books; and The 5 Love Languages Men’s Edition: The Secret to Love That Lasts, specifically for us, dudes.)

Principle 4: know your role, and do it well.  Can you imagine riding in a car with two driver’s seats, two steering wheels, two gear shifts, and two sets of pedals?  It would not be a nice ride, would it?  A house that has two people in the metaphorical driver’s seat would surely have the same kind of chaos.  My wife and I believe in the Bible, and in it are clearly defined roles that the husband and wife should play.  We follow them, things will flow better.

Of course, following them is easier said than done, especially if you did not grow up in a household that modeled them.  In a nutshell, husbands are wired to want to lead and to provide, and are called to love the wife like Christ loved the church (Christ loved the church more than he loved his own person.  Do you think He wanted to go to the cross?).  Wives are called to submit and to respect, and I think the Bible said this because God knew that the greatest need of men is to be respected by the people whom they love. 

Now these roles were set up not because one is superior nor subservient to the other, as some, especially women, would think (“Submit to my husband?  Whatttt?”)  The roles were laid out so that there would be order.  So that there would not be two drivers seats, steering wheels, pedals, and gearshifts.  Equal partners; different roles.

What’s amazing is, if one spouse really does his or her role well, the other will likely follow suit.  A very fulfilled wife would say, “My husband loves me so much that he always prioritizes my needs and the needs of my children over his own (like Christ loves the church).  How can I not submit to a loving man like that?” 

The husband, in turn, would say, “She shows me so much love and respect.  Because of that, putting her needs before my own is not even a struggle.”  It’s a healthy cycle.

Of course, our selfishness and sin will keep this from being easy.  My wife and I struggle with this greatly.  Trust me, we haven’t arrived yet in this principle, yet there has been a lot of growth in the past 12 years, for sure.

Principle 5: Attend marriage and parenting seminars.  Schools teach us to learn a trade.  They teach you to be a great doctor, a great lawyer, great accountant, great engineer, etc.  But do you go to school to be great at the upkeep of the most basic, and most important, unit in society?  Is there husband 101?  Parenting 101?  Last time I checked, there was none, and so we have to go by the models we have, such as our own parents…and if they’re not shining examples here, you’re at a disadvantage.

Well, my wife and I have been blessed to attend the almost yearly marriage and parenting seminars that my church does.  We haven’t missed one since we started to worship at CCF.  We make it a point to equip ourselves in this area, or else we’ll just grope in the dark and the possibility of us ending up like so many broken families out there is great. 

And we learn so very, very much; even if we attend them for the nth time (well, now we are actually breakout leaders whenever these events happen).  If we didn’t attend these, who knows what would’ve happened to us.  Yeah, marriage is work, but regular work has a training period that equips the newbie for the job.  CCF’s seminars are like that for marriage, and attending them is a must…especially if you don’t have good models anywhere else. 

Principle 6: Join a couples small group.  This is a HUGE reason why my wife and I are doing well.  We have been blessed to be part of one of the several young couples groups in CCF.  We are a handful of couples around the same age range, going through the same things, having the same mindset when it comes to family and career…and boy do we help each other grow. 

A pastor or a priest (especially a priest, since he’s neither a husband nor a father) can’t help you out much with your domestic struggles, being in charge of a congregation of several hundreds of people.  But a close network of couples?  Genuine friends who struggle with what you struggle with, who try to walk in the right path alongside you?  Definitely some genuine growth and counsel will take place, it’s impossible not to.  (That said, our pastors are exemplary parents and husbands, and are tremendous at counseling if you set an appointment…but this can never be a regular thing)

Joining a young couples group is a definite must.  I have learned as much from my good friends in the group as I have in all the marriage seminars I have attended.    And that says a lot.

Of course, it takes a lot more than just a few principles to make a marriage work.  But doing these six is a good start.  And I for one am a very blessed man to have been married to Jhean for twelve years and counting.  It’s been a fantastic ride, with the right amount of dips and weaves and exhilarating highs.  Surely, I’m looking forward to many more years, as the best is yet to come.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here’s an introduction, from yours truly

Well, this is my first entry for Lessons Of A Dad, a blog site for parents in general, yet specifically for dads.  What better way to start than to introduce myself?  
My name is Carlo Alado, and I’m a happily married, thirty-something guy living in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines.  I was born in Manila, but raised in sunny southern California when my family moved there.  My family was called to Cagayan de Oro for work reasons, and we moved here after I graduated from high school.
I live in Xavier Estates Subdivision with my wife, Jhean; three kids named Floriline (Lynn), Monica (Mesoo), and James (Happy); and my widowed mom, Caroline
 The reason for me starting Lessons Of A Dad is simple.  I care for my kids, and I want to be the best dad I can be for them.  I certainly am no expert, just a fellow student in the tumultuous journey of raising children.  Therefore Lessons Of A Dad was conceived as a heads up to everybody who would like to learn how to raise their kids better.  While this site is for every parent, I would like to put up this site for fathers in particular, as there aren’t many parenting sites for dads…and we need all the help we can get.

Oh yeah, please note that I will often go into other topics such as marriage, health/fitness/wellness, financial stewardship, and other things that I think are relevant to being a parent, but not necessarily related to it.  After all, a chair has four legs, not just one…and if one of these legs is weak or broken, the whole piece of furniture suffers.  We too have to be whole in all areas if we are to lead our families properly. 

I am very blessed to have worked for one of the better schools in the area, a Maria Montessori school that excels in developing and training the whole person of the child.  My tenure there for over the past half decade has not only fed my family but also equipped me in becoming a better father.

My family is also blessed to go to a church that is very into equipping its flock, and therefore often holds excellent and very practical marriage and parenting seminars quite often.  It is here that I also hold myself accountable to both fellow fathers in my age group and older men who serve as my mentors. 

I will heavily use both of these influences, among other things, when it comes to making content for this parenting blog site.  I believe my exposure to the Montessori method, the parenting seminars of my church (for those who are uncomfortable with this, rest assured that this will be a parenting site first and foremost, not a spiritual site), and plain school-of-hard-knocks experience as a dad, will make for some mighty good content for you.  I hope it does.

I hope Lessons Of A Dad blesses and challenges you.  Thanks for visiting and I would be flattered if you would subscribe to this site.  Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy 61st birthday mom…and a revisit to my most popular blog

No lengthy post this time.  Just want to greet my mom, Caroline P. Alado, a happy 61st birthday.  Many of you may know her as one of the senior personnel in the Brown Group of Companies and one of the people in charge of running things at Mountain Pines Place (if you haven’t visited it yet, you’re missing out a lot).

Probably my most popular blog entry of my personal website was my piece on her 60th birthday party last year.  Now would be a good time to re-visit that very heartfelt entry on that very special day (it was quite an occasion, while today we just hung out and treated the grandkids to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D).

Click here to go to that entry, which includes a speech I made in her honor.  Below is a video made for that occasion by a very good family friend.  Enjoy, and once again, happy birthday, mom!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How materials enhance preschool learning…highlights from an awesome open house.

Every year, as the school year comes to a close, The Abba’s Orchard School does an Open House to showcase what the children have been doing.  While some of the previous AOS-based blogs were done by me wearing a teacher’s hat, this article will be done by me wearing a parent’s hat, as I have my three children enrolled here and I am a huge fan of what the Montessori school is doing.

I’d like to start with my son and his classmates, in what they call Casa (the Montessori equivalent of preschool).  I’ll cover elementary and Erdkinder (high school) in future posts. Here is my James (aka Happy) as he handles a Trinomial Cube.  To the uninitiated, it looks like he’s handling a mere puzzle or a bunch of blocks, and as a 5 year old that is indeed what he thinks (and there’s even a cute story that goes along with it).

But the purpose of the material is to have the young child learn about trinomials.  Yes, trinomials.  As the child puts the self-correcting material together, he will eventually realize that he’s solving for a trinomial equation.  I don’t know how it’s done, but one of the colored blocks represents a2, the other b2 and the last is c2.

Of course, Happy will not do the pencil and paper work, he just puts the thing together.  But as he gets older, he will start doing this on paper, he will get the concept of trinomials in a flash because he has formed them with his bare hands and it’s much more tangible than simply solving equations.

The presentation of his best friend, Brent also shows how materials enhance learning.  Here he is, doing some work with the beads, materials that Montessori is very known for.

The beads really show the child that if you add 5 to 15 you get 20, and if you add five to that you get 25, and so on.  As you can see, before the child learns how to multiply on paper, he works using the bead materials, and learning is enhanced because it is more real.

Any number squared is shown in a form of an actual square, and any number cubed is truly in a form of a cube!  When the child wants to make 7 x 5, he just gets 7 pieces of the 5-beads and counts ‘em.  It makes math so much more real, tangible, and (gasp!) enjoyable.

Same with geography.  Not many of us like attaching names to countries…so boring!  But not with puzzle maps, a Montessori staple. 

Here, kids put the continent maps together like a fun puzzle and get so engrossed in it.  First it’s simply putting the puzzle map together.  Later on, as seen in the picture, they start to identify the countries.  Below are some more puzzle maps from the casa:

Later in the elementary years, they start putting capital cities into the mix.  It’s so part of them because they put these maps together since they were so small.

Now that’s learning.

One of the most amazing testimonies, from my own kids and from others, is they have grown a LOVE for work, and a love for doing things excellently.

I mean, a child wouldn’t want to leave the table, or the school for that matter, if he can’t finish his Africa puzzle map or the Trinomial Cube…and this desire to finish the job (and finish the job right) rubs off in everything he does for the rest of his life.  No need for forcing or carrot-and-stick rewards.  In AOS, all that is needed is excellence…and what an excellent school to inculcate that in children.

It’s also fantastic how kids as young as casa are trained to present to adults, and their level of confidence and social skills are fantastic.  This is especially evident in the elementary world, which I will cover in a later entry.

Speaking of which, part two of this entry, coming in a few days, will highlight my daughters’ presentations in the AOS elementary classes…including a video on Mesoo’s amazing grammar presentation.  Part three will be on the Erdkinder (high school) side, and here I’ll be wearing my teacher’s hat.

If, as a result of this, you are interested to find out more about The Abba’s Orchard, feel free to comment on this entry or email me at  Oh, you’re in luck, because the school will have a parent orientation this Saturday, May 11, 2011 at 10 AM.  I would very, very strongly encourage you to join this.

There are two campuses here in CDO area, one very near Xavier Estates, and the other (where the parent orientation will be held) is in Alwana Business Park in Cugman (very near Marco hotel).

There’s also two campuses in Manila, one each in Cebu and Davao.  If you live in that area and you’re interested to learn more about the school or wanna inquire of parent orientations, pls feel free to ask me and I’ll find out for you.

Schools are all the same, you might think…and the differences between the good ones and the poor ones have to do with number of students, talent of the teachers, etc.  That may be true for traditional schools, as it’s just a matter of doing the same thing better.

But you also have to look at the method used, and an alternative method like Montessori, and a true Montessori school that is (such as AOS) can make a huge difference, indeed.

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