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


How much does it really cost to have a kasambahay (helper)?

Mommies, wives, parents, families would normally need help at home.  We are actually lucky enough to be staying in the Philippines because getting a house help is not that expensive compared to our neighboring countries. However, very few kasambahay employers get to the bottom of computing on how much does a nanny or a helper would really really cost.  If you are one of these wives who only check on the monthly pay-out, let me help you.

Disclaimer:  I am an English teacher so please pardon my explanation :).  Also, the figures below may vary depending on the family.

             3,500 - monthly salary
                385 - monthly SSS (11% of 3,500)
                200 - monthly Philhealth (will come FROM employer if salary is below 5,000)
              3000 - monthly food allowance (based on 100 a day)
                200 - monthly Meralco and water
                150 - monthly Detergent soap
                500 - monthly eat out, load, others
             7, 935

So there.

My thoughts?

1.  Do not only compute the salary but the food and utilities as well.
2.  This may be really worth it if you have a good kasambahay (I miss our Ate!)
3.  If you are earning 20,000 every month, 12, 065 goes to your pocket and the rest is to your house employee.
5.  A rough estimation of 96,000 (8,000 x 12 months) is what you spend on your kasama sa bahay every month.

Now, think again :)



Risen was overwhelmed with Rafa's (cousin from the Bagasin side) 4th bday party!  
He went sooo giddy when he saw the balloons!

I and Bryan naman got to thrilled when we saw the food carts! I went straight to the fishball stand and Bryan went (and returned a COUPLE OF TIMES, hehe buking!!) to the pastry and chocolate spread!

We were further entertained by the Photobooth (El Libramilio), games, and magic show.

It was a good day to be with family! Thanks again for the invite Rafa!! Playdate soon! :)

ROLLER COASTER APRIL: From Family Celebrations to Unending Buffet Meals to Receiving Bry's Bar Exam Grades!!

I have not had the time to write for the month of April.  I was so busy eating!!!

Tita Noemi, Mommy's sister from the US surprised the Bagasin clan as she crashed Tito Abe's retirement and birthday party.

 The feasting did not end here!  This was just the beginning of the endless meet-ups, dinner, lunch. brunch, etc with the Bagasin family members.  As I am homebased (meaning I can work while watching Risen enjoy Tito Sammy's pool) and Bryan had a pretty much flexi schedule, we were able to spend time not only with Tita Noemi but also with Mommy who filed for a two week leave.

We did not think twice of making the effort to drive,  bring Risen and stay for the night (or nightssss) to be with family.  I think, this is one of the wise decisions to always do - BE WITH FAMILY.  This is not only healthy for a restless feet like me but also for Risen.  I am glad he was able to play, run around and get to know his cousins.  Though he does not fully remember them by name, it is good to see that when Risen sees them, he recognizes them already! He instantly hugs and plays with them.

The Bagasins are not really from my side of family (Bryan's Mom is a Bagasin) so I basically have two choices, to treat them family or to let them be "Bry's family".  With these, I choose number 1 - I want make a conscious effort to see and love them as family.  I am grateful because this is not hard to do.  They have always been warm, friendly and really nice.  I may not know each one of them but I am more that glad because I am comfortable to be with them -- to call them family.  Such a wonderful feeling!

Oh yes, this month, Bryan also got his Bar Exam Grades.  His grade was 72.45.  The passing was 73. Soooo close!! haha So he is like my Atty. na kinulang ng 0.5! hahaha


Being married for one year and a few months taught me that...

1.  Sense of humor can save couples from numerous and unwanted fights.

2. Cheesy date nights (or breakfasts) are happiness. We do our best to make time for it.

3.  Kissing when saying "goodbye" and "welcome home" must not be automatic. It should be done with intent. Make sure eyes meet ;) 

4.  Children should not be the center of the home/world. I think marriage and each other should still be the priority. Happy parents make happy children.

5. Cribs are helpful. At the end of the day, it is still nice to cuddle (since day 1, Risen sleeps in his crib) 

6.  Cooked food is a MUST. I make sure a meal is ready when Bryan comes home (kahit pa sabihin nya na he is busog and won't eat when he arrives home)

7.  Praying and having devotions together helps a lot.

8.  A kasambahay could be a blessing. If you have a "good" one, it can save you from stress, problems and quarrels

PS. We are very happy with our ate Marjorie

9.  Knowing Bryan's love language makes me know how to love him (Of course he knows mine too). 

10.  Texts, surprise love notes and pasalubongs are kilig. 

11.  A husband (or a wife) could make or break a marriage.  Do not hurry love, do not settle for good.  Seek for the "best" that God has prepared for you! 

Paoay Summer Vacation 2014

Since college, I have never been a fan of 3 day trips.  I seldom stay in a new place for 2 nights, instead I always make sure to stay longer to really get to know the place, taste the local food and speak with the community.  This is so true for trips that require planes.  The first time I went to Boracay (2004), I was there for 2 long weeks.  Feeling ko kasi, pagod lang ang three day trips.  It will never be relaxing.  It will never be enough.

That is why, I am so grateful for our 3 week stay here in Paoay.  It was such a refreshing and fulfilling vacation.  We got to spend time (especially Risen) with Mommy and Daddy and got to reconnect with relatives, church mates and a few neighbors.  The abundance of local food also satisfied me, I mean us. :) Naimas (delicious) and veggies dito! Always organic and fresh from the farm.  I don't think I can ever find such greens in the Metro!  Oh plus the Tupig, Bagnet, Empanada, dudol (like Maja Blanca), Carrot cake of La Preciosa , and Daddy's Dinuguan and Igado! YUM!!

I also found God here.  He confirmed some things we have been asking for.  He also provided and made a lot of things more beautiful for us.  Though I was not able to understand the preachings in Bry's home church (mostly Ilokano), my spirit was silenced and comforted with the hymns and classic Christian songs we sung.  It feels so refreshing to worship God with old and slow songs with just a piano accompanying it.  I will surely miss this!


Thank you for Paoay. Thank you for remembering my prayer in high school when I wished to have a province hours away from Manila.  Naalala mo po talaga!  Thank you for the beach that Risen got to experience and I got to swim in .  Thank you for family who have done all good things for us!  Thank you for the rest and change of environment.  Thank you because You have blessed me with in-laws that I will always look forward of visiting.  Thank you for the fun, kwentos, fresh air, and love!  God, You always amazes me!  I will  forever be grateful! <3 span="">


I did not expect my heart would be this full, happy and sentimental after we hosted missionary friends for late dinner and breakfast last Jan 8.It was definitely a dream come true!!

When I was younger, for a number of times, I visited a family in Baguio. During my stay there, I did not do anything "pang turista", instead I would just stay at their home, enjoy the Baguio weather and be excited for breakfast. Ate Dot makes the best pancakes (from scratch) and Kuya Erickson brews coffee upon request - so menu pa lang, winner na!

Moreover, what struck me most in this Baguio stay was the gift of family. I saw a happy marriage.  I witnessed 2 boys who were well behaved and tantrum free. I experienced a real home. And every time our breakfast would end, I knew I wanted something like this when I get married.

And you know what? It all happened this morning. I and Bry prepared breakfast, brewed coffee and made real conversations. When our missionary friends left, it just dawned on me that God really gives our hearts desire when we honor him. This was what I wanted and He gave it. 

To you k. Erickson, a. Dot, Zeik and Jahd, thank you for welcoming me in your Baguio home. I had the best memories and countless blessings because you showed me family.  I will be forever indebted to you. Praise God for your lives.

Thank you Lord for my 2013

2013 has been fun, crazy and unbelievable. Happy news, home transfers,
 transitions, etc. It tested my character as a woman. I felt that 10 years has been added to my age!! However, it made me see and appreciate God in a bigger perspective. I got to experience and trust him more. At the end of the day, I am grateful these beautiful things that happened in a year. Cramped as it may seem, God was the author of them all. His name be praised!!

Just to be specific, I am thankful for 2013 because...

1. we celebrated our first year wedding anniversary

2. we got pregnant and gave birth 
thru a normal delivery to Risen

3. our families have been really supportive and on-call

4. inspite our sked, we still have time for friends

5. Tessie is with us twice a week. She helps us maintain our home

6. the Lord provides! Bryan is the only one working for our lil fam

7. Bryan is almost done with Law school

8. of free vaccines

9. we were introduced to Babywise. It made parenthood easier (we are on book 2 now)

10. of technology. I can blog, talk to friends abroad, study on the side and be productive

thank you, BCF-Camella

**Last September 2012, I decided to join the Council meeting of my home church, Camella Bible Centered Fellowship and ask for their blessing to transfer to another church.  Then, on the last week of November of the same year, I shared my testimony and said thank you and “goodbye” to the congregation of BCF.

Below is the letter I read to the leaders of the council.

PS.  They all gave me their blessing.

Good evening everyone.  This is my first time to meet up with the church leaders in a formal meeting so I decided to write everything so as not to forget and or be led with emotions as I say what I came here for.  So, please allow me to read this for you po.

As you all know, I am with Bryan and are now wedding planning.  Since we both grew up in church, we both know how a church can help in the life of a Christian.  I, alone, is a testimony to this.  I started going to Sunday school at 7.  There I met teachers, Mommies, Daddies and friends whom I looked up to and friends up until now.  My confidence was built up in this church too as I joined Kid’s praise, Cantatas and Kid’s choir.  As I grew up, my High school and college life was easier because of cell groups, Tita Gerlyn and my friends who are all struggling to be good teenagers. Sabay sabay kaming lumaki and I am glad we have a church we can go to if we need a home or a safe place.  Praise God for BCF.

Our church did not stop helping me because I know this church prayed for me several times.  You were there for me when I had troubles with my parents, growing up and school.  When I passed my board exam.  When I decided to do things on my way, this church and the people in it did not turn their backs on me but instead loved me and accepted my decisions.  Kahit po mali ako, at maraming beses po yun, never po ako natakot sa church magkwento because I know at the end of the day, I will be loved, prayed for and be comforted.  And for that, I will be forever thankful. 

Now that I am with someone and we are trying to practice togetherness in our relationship, one of the things we both know we need to make a decision to is what church to go to.  Kung si Bryan po ang masusunod, sa Baptist church po kami.  Kung ako naman po, dito po kami sa BCF.  With this 50-50 choices, we have decided to choose a church that we are both okay with.    Si Bryan po ay Fundamental Baptist.  I am not.  Bryan is more comfortable with hymnals and I am more comfortable with praise and worship.  Sanay po si Bryan sa serious and solemn type of service and sanay naman po ako ng relaxed na may halong kakwentuhan pa sa tabi.  Ok po ako sa 8 am service.  Si Bryan po ay naaagahan dito.  Bryan is ok with formal dressing up sa church while ako naman po ay naka formal lang pag anniversary.  Though we are both Christians since our childhood, our church and worship traditions and culture are not the same.  So with this, we decided to go to a church where we are both comfortable with. 

I am here, in front of you to first thank you for all the help, teachings, love, prayers and support.  I consider you as my family.  The closest friends, Titas, and Titos are from this church.  From the bottom of my heart, maraming maraming thank you po.  Another thing I came here for po is to ask for your blessing.  I want to ask for your blessing to allow me to worship God every Sunday in another place.  Please remember that it is only my attendance every Sunday that will falter.  But my love, concern, support and help with this church will not. 

I decided to really seek for your blessing because I feel like I am child moving out of her parents’ house.  It is my prayer that my relationship with the church will not be affected by this change in my life.  Wag din po kayo magalit kay Bryan because he is undergoing this change too J.  Iiwanan nya din po ang simbahan nya.  Titas and Titos, I am not very happy with this decision but I know this is God’s will for us -- to be in a place where we can worship God together comfortably.  Please pray that God will provide this church for us.  We are not yet sure if this church will be in San Andres (where we plan to reside) or here in Alabang.  If you will give me this blessing, I will “officially” transfer by December of this year (after we get married). Kung wala po ako dito sa church, that means po we are church hopping.  Looking for the church that God wants us to be in. 

This is really difficult but again, thank you po and I hope you will give me your blessing as I journey with Bryan in marriage and spiritual adjustments.


I teach Filipino literature so I know what Pamamanhikan is.  Aside from the relevance of this word in my teaching life, I too know that this signals many things to the couple.  It means an announcement to get married, a kick-off to wedding planning, and a family commitment to bring a girl and a boy down the altar.

Aside from the technical and cultural aspect of this wonderful Filipino custom, I also know couples who got stressed over this getting together.   Who would not be nervous, right?  Kaya naman, Bry and myself really included this in our prayer time together.  We know how important this is for us-- especially for Bry who is very mindful of our relationship with each other’s parents from the very beginning.

Along side with our desire to make this day significant and “perfect”, we started working on the preps we have to make.  Good thing, we had a chance to visit Baguio so we asked Pastor Gerson how Pamamanhikan (the Christian way—because we believe this is not only a Filipino tradition) exactly happens.  He also gave a few tips (particularly to Bryan) and suggestions for the meet-up.  After knowing of who should speak and what one must say, we decided on the banquet our families will be sharing. This actually took planning and long funny talks!   We had to consider what one eats, can bring and should prepare.  By 10 pm before the big night, we were able to finalizeJ.  At last!

Hours before the Pamamanhikan, Bryan and I made several phone calls — asking and updating each other’s whereabouts and situations (Bryan picked his parents from the airport).  The last phone call was made and I knew they were just 5 minutes away.  Okay, this is it.  Dub dub dub dub dub….

The opening of the door, pag-mamano and greetings were quick that I was not able to process that Bryan’s parents were already seated on our dining table.  Whew!  While Bry, I and Mama were reheating the Igado (YUM) that his father cooked from Ilocos, his parents leisurely talked with Pastor Vernon and his wife and Papa.  After 10 minutes, I found us sharing meals and stories.  Ayan, less pawis na.  I am starting to relax.

After the desserts, we went down to the sala where Inay was also waiting (I fetched Inay from Alfonso).  We formed a small circle and Pastor Vernon facilitated the talk.  Since we were already mid wedding planning and our parents have been consulted several times in the past, the Pamamanhikan of Bryan’s family was not that “specific” anymore.  His father first spoke and let my family know of their intentions for the visit.  Then Bryan’s mom , Inay, Mama, Bryan said a thing or two too. 

 I witnessed how both families are more than willing to have each of us as their own son and daughter.  I heard promises, stories, wishes and prayers. I saw stares of sincerity, happy parents, and oneness of desires. I remember laughters, Bry’s caress of assurance on my shoulder, warmth in my heart.  I felt God and his affirmation to our prayers that indeed,  this marriage came from Him.    

 So that was Pamamanhikan. Ganun pala yun.  This is an evidence that God moves in our traditions and culture too.  Today, as I type this, I praise God that I am a Filipino.  I am definitely a happier “bride-to-be-Pinay”.