For Advent last night, we planned to make our own gingerbread ornaments. It was supposed to look like this: (of course this was mine ;D)

But the kids’ finished product were these:

Nathan: Thankful for our trip to Coron

Ryan: Thankful for his baseball

Janina: Thankful for her puppy, Vanilla

Part of me wanted to force them to do it the way it should be done, to follow the rules. The objective of our ornament-making activity was for them to make an ornament, write on it what one thing they’re thankful for this year, while having a great time as a family. I saw how everyone was having fun making their silly gingerbread ornaments, so I just held my tongue and let them have their way.

Rules are good but there are times, we can just throw the rules out the window and allow our kids to have fun!

P.S. And this was Paolo’s. He didn’t follow the rules too ;D


We just finished watching the movie “Elf”, a funny and touching Christmas movie that our family watches every Christmas. Though we love this movie, it is sad that it and even most Christmas movies don’t really talk about the real essence of Christmas. Not just movies, but even the songs that we hear playing on the radio hardly talk about real meaning of Christmas. Interestingly enough, the top 5 Christmas songs for this year are: White Christmas, The Chipmunk Song, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and Jingle Bell Rock, none of which really mention the coming of Jesus. Pop culture has kicked Christ out of Christmas.

I hope that we spend some time to sit down with our kids to bring their focus to what’s really important this season: JESUS. Last night we had a family huddle, which we call Advent night. We sang Christmas carols like Away in a Manger and In Excelsis Deo, and started reading the events leading up to the birth of Jesus. We have an Advent night once a week, just to make sure our kids are not too distracted with all the parties and presents and forget what we are really celebrating.

Advent Night
Paolo reading to the kids
Christmas carol
Nathan plays the piano as we sing Christmas carols

Inspite of our hectic schedule this month, we need to make an effort and deliberately teach our kids the reason behind the season.


As part of our Christmas traditions, our kids prepare loot bags with goodies and toys and we drive around the city and give them away to street children. I remember one Christmas when Ryan was compelled to give the slippers he was wearing to one boy who was walking barefoot. As we have done this year after year,  we saw how it has developed compassion in my kids for the less fortunate. Here is an opportunity for your kids to give this Christmas:

OPERATION CHRISTMAS BOX: Build a Christmas Gift Box for a Child.

Parents, here’s our opportunity to show our children how to make Christmas special for other people in need. Just one box can make a whole world of difference.

Here’s how to make that difference:
1. Use an empty shoe box or plastic container and fill it up with personal hygiene paraphernalia, school supplies and toys to one person.
2. Label your box for the age of the possible recipient and wrap it like a gift.
3. Place a rubber band or tape around your shoe box and bring your box to EVery Nation Fort Bonifacio Pastoral Services Dept. on or before Dec 15. We will be looking for a VCF community in which to bless these kids.

Christmas ShoeboxSuggested Gift List:
Personal Hygiene: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, comb, brush, towel, underwear, t shirt, shorts, socks, slippers

School supplies: pencils, papers, crayons, sharpener, calculators,coloring books

Toys: yoyos, small cars, jackstones, jump ropes, toys that light up, etc.

Personal Note: you may include a personal note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family.

For more information, you may contact Ms. Ivy Marquez.


Paolo and i were treated to a good 2-day break from city life by Jun and Vanessa Sunga who got married at Bella Rocca, Marinduque.
Bella Rocca
Bella Rocca
Bella Rocca