Monthly Archives

April 2018

Summer Summer Activities

Our Jollibee Mini Managers Experience!

Hello, hello, hello, I’m still alive!

I never thought I would be this busy during summer break — and we still have more than a full month before school starts. I think I’m busier now than I was during the school year. Yes I know, I’m such a noob hahaha. I haven’t blogged since the beginning of this month, and I’m taking some time to do it now because I’m having the day off.

A very welcome day off after weeks of getting Yuri from activity to activity lol.

Let’s start with Jollibee Mini Managers!

Way back in March, when school hasn’t ended yet, we were already choosing between Jollibee and McDonald’s. I read positive reviews from both, so for me, either option will do (also, since I have worked with both Jollibee and McDonald’s in the past — 3 years apart I think — and both had been great clients). We decided to choose just one since we think it’s gonna be pretty redundant to do both Mini Managers and Kiddie Crew in one summer. Of course, we let Yuri do the choosing.

He’s at this stage where he likes wearing polo and collared shirts (got it from the dad methinks), so he took one look at the Mini Managers uniform and he was sold haha.

He’s also at this stage where he prefers being called “Gabe”

We reserved a slot early (March 14th if I remember correctly) for Week 2 at Jollibee Buhangin since it’s the branch nearest our house. There’s actually another branch just 2 minutes away from us; unfortunately, they don’t do Mini Managers.

Jollibee Mini Managers Details (2018)

Fee: P650 (includes uniform, nameplate, snacks, materials)
Duration: 6 days, 2 hours/day (in our case, it was Tuesday to Sunday)
Schedule: 9 – 11 AM (may depend on the branch)

We were there from April 17th to 22nd. It was a pretty fun week watching Yuri and his batch mates around Jollibee, doing activities and trying to learn how stuff work. Okay, here’s my detailed review of Jollibee Mini Managers. Take note that I have no point of comparison since I’ve never tried McDonald’s Kiddie Crew either, so please use this as someone’s retelling of an experience and not a specific manual.

Activities

Even if I stayed to watch Yuri every day, I could never be too sure of their specific activities since they were inside the function room and we were outside. I do remember that they usually begin the day by singing and dancing. They did not do actual crew work like serving customers, but the older ones were allowed to help man the registers. The younger ones helped greet customers at the entrance and at the drive-through window.

Here are the other major activities I remember doing:

  • Crafts: drawing, making foam airplanes, making picture frames for family pictures
  • Song and dance number for the customers
  • Inspecting the parts of the restaurant that need cleaning/fixing
  • Getting customer “surveys”
  • Making Jollibee Yumburgers

Food

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were served a different kind of meal each day. They got the following:

  • Day 1: Spaghetti
  • Day 2: Burger Steak
  • Day 3: Jolly Hotdog
  • Day 4: Lumpia Shanghai
  • Day 5: Spaghetti, French Fries + the Burger they made during their activity
  • Day 6: Chicken Joy

I like that they were not given just generic “kiddie” food like burgers and spaghetti and that there was variety. Unfortunately, they only served soft drinks with the meals. Yuri doesn’t drink soft drinks so he drank water from his Thermos. Occasionally, I would buy iced tea and swap it with his Coke.

PS: If you’re like me, try not to eat anything before you go to Jollibee because you’re gonna be tempted to eat once you’re there haha. I never thought I’ll get tired of eating tuna pie, but I think I’ve eaten tuna pie 4 days out of 6 and have gotten pretty fed up with it so I ate Jolly Hotdog instead LOLOLOL.

Price

I honestly think we got a great deal for P650. For starters, the uniform included is one entire set, with a polo top and shorts. I inspected the uniform once we got it last month, and I think it’s very well-made. It didn’t hurt that Yuri can use the navy blue shorts for his school uniform, too, hehe. The fabric, while not thick, is not flimsy either and the buttons are well-sown. In fact, I remember that “Jollibee” is engraved in each button, which is cool.

Graduation games

Games again, this time with the parents (who’s competitive???)

With…the principal! LOL! I didn’t anticipate that there will be an actual awarding ceremony, which explains the un-ironed top…

And then we include the price of the meals they get for each day and the materials for their activities. Honestly, I don’t think they profit from this but then again I know nothing hahaha.


Overall, I think Jollibee Mini Managers is a great summer activity for the kids. It’s not very expensive and the kids learn a lot in a new environment and make new friends. Most importantly, Yuri had a memorable time there and want to do it again next year! Nah, let’s try a new activity naman! 😛

Personal

Rekindling the Fire at the World Vision Donor Cafe

World Vision Donor Cafe

I’m proud to say that I have been with World Vision for 4 years now. I began in 2014 by sponsoring one child, and then soon after that, I added another child. God-willing, I pray to someday be financially able enough to support more children.

As a World Vision sponsor, I must say that one of the most fulfilling things to ever happen to me is receiving letters and pictures from the kids. It makes you realise that these kids are actual and real and that they know you… and that somehow they look up to you. Wow.

To be honest, I am no model sponsor. I am embarrassed to say that even though it’s on my mental list, I keep on forgetting to send my kids letters. This is not something that I am proud to admit, but sometimes, on particularly hectic months, my sponsored kids become just another responsibility, just another item on my to-do list.

About Joshua

The author of the letter above, Joshua, regularly sent me letters. I saw him grow up from a little boy who can barely write to a young man who writes eloquently. I was always planning to write him back but it kept going down my priority list. Until I completely forgot to do it. Then one day, just this summer, I received an email from World Vision saying that Joshua’s family has already pulled him out of the program. I asked if I could send him one letter; unfortunately, this was impossible because he’s no longer with World Vision.

I needed a reminder that four years ago, I vowed to not only support these kids financially but also love them and pray for them and hopefully see them succeed, and I got a wakeup call I could not ignore.

I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I was really devastated. This boy was in my heart and in my mind, but he probably never knew because he didn’t hear from his ate/tita. This is why when I got an invitation to the very first World Vision Donor Cafe here in Davao City, I didn’t hesitate. I immediately gave them my confirmation and looked forward to being there.

World Vision Donor Cafe

The rain didn’t stop us from going, and good thing because my passion toward what I have always wanted to do — help children — was rekindled that night. I’ll show you some pictures I took that evening.

The venue was provided to World Vision for free, which was awesome. We did however had a little bit of a hard time looking for it, hehe!

The face of someone who almost got lost LOL

My co-sponsor, “Gabe.” New nickname alert!

I even bumped into my upperclassman sorority sister whom I haven’t seen in years. She’s working for World Vision now, which is #goals for me.

There were several inspiring speeches made that night but the ones that stood out for me were the ones given by “major” sponsors or those who are sponsoring more than 10 kids ~wow~ and two professionals who were once sponsored children ~double wow~ (no pictures included because I couldn’t ask them for permission).

World Vision Donor Cafe

Sponsors were given sponsor’s kits which contained stationeries for us to use to write letters to our kids. I didn’t have to be told twice – I immediately wrote overdue letters to mine.

Listening to the sponsors who are currently sponsoring 10 kids was something else. One of them shared that each time they had a new business, no matter how big or small, they sponsored one more kid. With each new blessing they receive, they give back and change not just one kid but an entire family’s life. I was determined to make that an aspiration, a personal example to emulate.

I was truly inspired by the stories of my former sponsored kids who are now successful in their chosen fields. I couldn’t help but wonder, what will my sponsored kids be like when they grow up? Is it possible that I am somehow changing their lives in my own little way?  Listening to their testimonies, I was amazed at how a seemingly small thing, at least for us, can have a huge impact.

It was then when I realised that we are supporting kids who will someday change the world.

If you want to sponsor a child or learn more about child sponsorship, please visit the World Vision Philippines website.

Recipe

Cocoa Overload Overnight Oats

I’ve had quite a tough week last week. There were so many items on my to-do list, I forgot to pay the electric bill (don’t cut off our electricity yet, Davao Light!), and on top of that, there were a few challenges that came up at work. What a nice way to begin the month of April!

I may be working from home, but the sad reality is that none of my days are “easy” or “comfortable.” My schedule is also hectic and it can be overwhelming sometimes. This is why I always need to begin my day with a healthy breakfast!

Segue: I tried intermittent fasting but it’s impossible for me to give up breakfast. I start my day really early (6-7 am is our call time at work) and I can’t focus when I’m hungry.

Right now, I’m really loving this cereal which I pair with my favourite brand of rice milk:

This Kölln Yogurt Raspberry muesli is my current favourite!

It’s a quick fix. However, when I know I’m gonna need some extra boost the next day, I prepare my cocoa overload overnight oats the night before. It’s very easy everybody can do it! Plus you can add or remove ingredients according to your needs and preferences. Here are the stuff that go into mine:

  1. Rolled oats (I buy Robinsons Supermarket’s brand, Healthy You)
  2. Chia seeds (any brand will do)
  3. Cacao nibs (the ones from The Superfood Grocer is hands down the best for me)
  4. Cocoa powder (I used to use Bensdorp but I didn’t see a difference in taste when I switched to a much cheaper local brand)
  5. Rice Dream rice milk (you can use whatever kind of milk you prefer)

The Healthy You brand of rolled oats is cheap. That is a big pack (I forgot the exact weight but it lasts me months and I consume oats regularly) and costs less than P65 if I remember correctly. The cocoa powder is also cheap and you don’t need much every time. Chia seeds cost around P150 for a small pack but it goes a long way. My cacao nibs from The Superfood Grocer, if I remember correctly again, cost around P250. However, they’re a worthwhile investment if you’re a chocoholic and trying to avoid unnecessary sugar!

I think the only truly expensive (at least for me) is the rice milk at around P160-P180 but I can’t drink cow’s milk so… Soy milk is cheaper but I can only tolerate it when it’s chocolate-flavoured, which defeats the purpose. Almond milk is more even more expensive and I’m not a fan of the taste. So it’s rice milk for me!

Okay, enough talk, here’s how I make my Cocoa Overload Overnight Oats:

My “paraphernalia”

First I put less than a tablespoon of chia seeds. I prefer putting them first so they’ll absorb all the liquid (I think, lol)

Then I add half a cup of rolled oats. It seems little but the oats absorb the liquid and increase in volume

And then I add another half cup of milk. I make sure all the chia seeds are covered in liquid

I mix in around a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Sometimes I go crazy on the cocoa hehe (it is low in calories anyway and has no sugar added)

Finally, I add the cacao nibs. Since these are already coated in coconut sugar, I don’t need to add sweetener anymore

I put it inside the fridge overnight and in the morning, my breakfast is ready! So even when I’m rushing, I’m never out of something healthy to eat. I add bananas for extra energy — plus bananas and chocolate go so well together, right? Then I add just a few more cacao nibs for positive vibes *wink*

What is your favourite thing to eat during breakfast?

Birthday Events Restaurant Review

Yuri’s 6th Birthday Celebration + Review of Cafe Andessa

Cafe Andessa is one of my favorite local restaurants. Aside from being one of the restaurants closest to our suburb (read: mountains lol), I love the ambience and their food is always delicious!

But it’s only late last year when I discovered that they can be exclusively booked for events and private dinners. We were invited by our clients (in real estate), and I made it a mini-mission to know how much they charge for exclusive bookings. Of course, I promptly forgot about inquiring until it was almost Yuri’s birthday. We actually booked the place just a week before our desired date. Good thing they were still available!

Aside from Yuri’s birthday, we were also celebrating his Moving Up and my sister’s Moving Up, which is why we chose to have the celebration on the 28th (the day of my sister’s Moving Up). Also, it was the day before the long weekend, which was ideal.

Let me tell you upfront that I am very very satisfied with Cafe Andessa! But before I explain why, here are some pictures of the event. First, the OOTDs taken at home! Hihi pagbigyan na

And the photos taken at Cafe Andessa. I really reaaaally regret not being able to take a lot of pictures. I don’t even have a single picture of the dishes! But these were on our menu: chicken pastel pie, beef caldereta, sweet and sour fish, spaghetti, fried suman, fresh fruits, and pineapple-orange juice.

We had so much fun that evening, and I can say that our guests — both the kids and the adults — had a great time, too. We prepared silly games, guessing games, which was kinda hard because of the venue’s limited space. But we were able to do it, much thanks to Cafe Andessa’s superb customer service. Here’s my verdict!

Photo grabbed from MJ Crave’s Escape

Location

As of now, though you can easily reach the restaurant by commuting, its location is still a bit hidden. However, it’s right in front of the new Gaisano Mall that’s currently being built, so once the mall’s done, it wouldn’t be so hidden anymore! Parking is okay; there is enough space for several cars.

Price

When you book the place exclusively for your event, you have two options. First is booking the entire place and second is booking half the place. In order to book the entire place — which we did — they are asking for a minimum headcount of 45 pax. I’m not sure whether they count the kids or not, but I counted the kids on my guest list just to be on the safe side.

I’ll let you in on the price. It’s just P250 per head! It’s very sulit given these inclusions: use of the place for 4 hours, 3 viands, 1 vegetable/noodle dish, dessert, and unlimited drinks. I’ll discuss the food next.

Food

The primary reason why Cafe Andessa was on top of our choices was the food. Their food is always so delicious, authentic, and they don’t scrimp at all on ingredients. When we inquired, we were surprised at the amount of food included given the low price. Other restaurants charge much higher for less food!

It’s already a given that their food is yummy, so I wasn’t surprised when our guests went back for seconds, thirds, even fourths. But the biggest pleasant surprise was the serving. When we got there, there were already warmers for each dish. I thought that was it. As the night went by, I noticed that they kept on refilling each warmer. Super sulit! 

And that’s not all. When we were getting ready to leave, the waiter immediately packed all the food left from dinner. I thought that was it (are you noticing a pattern now?), but the manager told us to wait for a while as they’re still packing the food from the kitchen that wasn’t served. What, meron pa?! We went home with so much food that we had to distribute most of it to our other guests who remained. Super duper sulit!

I only got to take a picture of the buffet table huhu

Unfortunately, I don’t have a single photo of the cuisine because I was very busy jumping from table to table. I don’t think the other guests were also able to take a photo.

Customer Service

As if my rave about their food and pricing is still not enough, I will add one more thing. The staff from Cafe Andessa is one of the most pleasant, polite, and approachable restaurant staff I’ve ever talked to. They’re really easy to talk to and was okay with most of our requests (nothing outrageous!). I called the manager a couple of times before the event and was never unpleasant or unprofessional.

During the night itself, they were very accommodating to us and all our guests and we never felt intimidated. Plus, they didn’t even have to tell us that there was still food left in the kitchen because, in the first place, we never even considered that there are still leftovers after all those refills. But they did! So thank you because the leftovers served as our food for the next couple of days LOL!


So do I recommend Cafe Andessa? If it’s not yet obvious, I very highly recommend them! The price is very reasonable (it was actually unbelievable IMO), the food is absolutely delicious, and you will be met by the kindest staff. If you’re planning on hosting a dinner and live somewhere near the north of Davao City, consider Cafe Andessa!


For Cafe Andessa’s menu for exclusive dinners, please click here.


 

Birthday Davao Events Events

Happy Coincidence: Yuri’s Birthday + Firefighter for a Day

Happy Easter everyone! So… Yuri turned 6 last Monday, March 26th.

Aaaahhhh, I have a 6-year old!

*regains composure*

There honestly wasn’t anything special planned for the day because his birthday celebration was already scheduled for Wednesday, the 28th. I had the day off so we were just planning on playing with his new gifts from his Tito and Tita and a new bike from his dad and me.

By mid-morning, we realized we needed to go back to the grocery to buy some more supplies and loot bags for the party. So we went to Gaisano Mall, where there were a lot of cheap party supplies.

Imagine our surprise when we saw that there were a lot of firefighters in the atrium. Actually, the thing that caught my eye was this!

Grabbed from the BFP Davao Facebook page

A mini rappelling station! Needless to say, we were thrilled to join the event and abandoned the mission to go to the grocery. Thank you mother for volunteering to get the supplies hihi. In my defense, she was the one who thought we should let Yuri attend this one-day event instead. Which just happened to fall on Yuri’s birthday. What a happy coincidence!

There were 6 stations to complete, and once a child completes all stations, they can get a prize. Awesome! I’m not even ashamed to say we spent 3 hours in the atrium for this. I’ll show you each station through pictures.

Coloring Area

First, we went to this area where other kids were coloring the materials given by the BFP. Yuri only colored a couple of pages (not a fan of coloring…) and we proceeded to the next station.

1st Station – Education

In this station, they showed the kids the different equipment and tools used for firefighting. I took photos of the different equipment, but they’re too many to attach here!

Red Cross Station – Rescue 

Yuri was so excited to try this one! He almost stumbled upon one of the ropes on the floor hehe. After pretending to be rescued, he then pretended to help rescue another kid.

2nd Station – Firefighting 

It’s not clear in the picture, but there was water coming out of the fire extinguisher. The goal was to put out the “fire” in the burning houses. What a creative way to teach!

3rd Station: First Aid (Bandaging)

One of Yuri’s proudest moments (and mine as well lol!) happened in this station. Out of his “batch” of kids (obviously except the kuya of the younger kid beside Yuri), only he was able to tie the bandage. The BFP personnel even asked him to do it twice, and he did it. Good job, Yuri!

Funny because as soon as the other parents who were next in line saw this, they immediately started teaching their kids how to tie a knot. At that moment, I was so glad Yuri wears bathrobes that need tying!

Tying a simple knot, like buttoning, is a life skill, guys! Don’t forget to teach your kids this!

4th Station: First Aid (CPR)

Yuri had so much fun doing CPR, complete with hand compression (proper hand placement, too) and rescue breaths. He wanted to try it on me when we got home. I saw how “vigorously” he had done it on the dummy, so I had to say no lol!

5th Station: Knot Tying

While Yuri knows how to tie a knot, he had difficulty managing the thick ropes provided, so I had to step in and help him. We need to practice, but we haven’t got ropes at home?

6th Station: Rappelling

This was the most popular station in the Fire Square, for obvious reasons! By the time we reached this station, there was already a long queue of kids. Still, we patiently waited for our turn. I asked him if he was afraid, and he said no. Yuri was so thrilled when it was finally his turn to rappel! Too bad he was wearing Crocs, which were slippery, but for a first-timer, he did quite alright IMO. He wants to do it again!

If you want to watch Yuri’s videos rescuing, doing CPR, rappelling, and more, here is my Instagram post:

Both of us learned a lot — and I was at my peek stage mom mode. Hey, I’ve never “rescued” someone before using real Red Cross equipment. I’ve never given someone (even a dummy) CPR and I have certainly never rappelled before! Yet my kid who just turned 6 did it all!

It’s a shame that it was just a 1-day event. I know a lot of other kids would love to join the Fire Square, too!