Are you a “sige mom” or “pigil mom”?

Sige means yes and pigil means no.

I used to wonder why God gave me three sons instead of a daughter who could go shopping with me.
I still remember my ultrasound tests where they tell you the sex of your baby.
As soon as I heard the word “scrotum” I started bawling.
I tried to think of other moms who had all boys: Princess Diana, Victoria Beckham, Patrice Ramos Diaz, my Lola Paying.
Patrice, mother of three sons, assured me: “Boys are so much fun. And they will adore you.”

Eleven years later, I realized why God gave me three boys.
Boys basically take care of themselves, so this neurotic mom can take care of herself.
That said, I consider myself a “sige mom.”
I don’t mind if the boys come home dirty, with various cuts and scrapes from playing outside. How I wish they would do that more often, now that they’re addicted to Minecraft. Though part of the Minecraft deal is they have to take a break to either swim or play basketball outdoors, which they love.
Now I wouldn’t trade them for a girl. :)

ben & markus
Ben loves any kind of animal

We did it!
Fishing in Tagaytay

The boys in Tagaytay
Let them get dark

Lillies from Lily
And plant flowers.

The kids drawing
They like playing with chalk

Ben and Markus
Building sand castles

Ben and Markus at the court
Shooting hoops at Ronac

The boys at Jardin des Tuileries
And rough housing in Paris

Kids can’t help but get dirty and come home with stains on their clothes after spending an hour or two playing outside.
Now Breeze introduces today’s “sige moms”: award-winning actress Dawn Zulueta; women and youth issues advocate Senator Pia Cayetano; socialite and columnist Tessa Prieto-Valdes; and sought-after celebrity mom Carmina Villaroel.

“Parents nowadays get paranoid when their kids play outside. They want to keep them indoors but at the same time you don’t want to compromise their opportunity to learn and experience the things we did as kids,” says Dawn.
“I encourage my son to play outdoors and be physically active. Not only does it build his immune system, it also allows him to meet other kids. That’s why we are moving from a condominium to a house of our own so he can have more space to move around.”

Dawn Zulueta-Lagdameo pledges to be a sige mom by placing her handprint on the Breeze pledge wall.
Dawn Zulueta Lagdameo pledges to be a ‘sige mom’ by placing her handprint on the Breeze pledge wall

“It’s fun being a mom,” shares Tessa, whose children were born practically decades apart, which, incidentally, allowed her to spend as much time for each of her kids. Despite the age gap and different preferences, all her kids had their share of being outdoors and pursuing their own interests. They go to the beach during most weekends because her children are into wakeboarding.

Carmina with her two active kids Mavie and Cassie
Tessa (R) with daughter Annika Valdes

Breeze with ActivBleach was recently launched at the Manila Polo Club in an active fun event attended by a large group of excited moms and their kids, including the four Breeze sige moms who encourage their kids to learn new things and explore the world through play—even if it means getting dirty at the end of the day.

Kids expressed their creativity as they filled up the Breeze paint wall.
Kids were able to engage in lots of fun, stainful activities that allowed them to explore and express their creativity.

“My twins are very active. I want them to have the kind of childhood I had. Laking kalye ako, hindi lang halata,” Carmina beams. “I let them do what they want—play with their friends, ride a bike, go swimming, play badminton. They even play with our dogs.
“Of course there was a time I didn’t allow them to go outdoors when they were little. Like typical moms I would say, ‘Wag kasi madumi,’ but after a while I let them be. They also need to experience na madapa o masugatan because that’s how they learn,” Carminda adds.

Carmina with her two active kids Mavie and Cassie
Carmina with twins Mavie (L) and Cassie (R)

Senator Pia couldn’t agree more.
“My two girls play football in school so they really get dirty. And my youngest, who is only two years old, seems to follow the footsteps of her ates.
“Hangga’t kaya, gusto ko nakakalaro talaga sa labas ang mga anak ko because they need to explore. I don’t mind them getting dirty. I think they will miss out on their childhood kapag masyadong maraming bawal.”

“I don’t mind my kids getting dirty at all”, says Sen. Pia Cayetano seen here playing with her son Lucas. “I think they will miss out so much on their childhood kapag masyadong maraming bawal.”
Pia and her son Lucas

Breeze with ActivBleach is packed with a superior formulation to help moms cope with the toughest stains due to their children’s various activities. It uses a 4-enzyme technology that removes more stains, and a patented whitening agent that brings perceivable whiteness right after the first wash.
This fast-acting ingredient works right on target, freeing moms from worrying about stains and dirt.
A unique AD system was also added for better bubbles, while special melamine encaps ensure laundry smells fresh and clean.
Breeze pack shots

With these technological advancements in a laundry detergent, moms can now let their kids enjoy life to the fullest through their experiential activities.
The business of dealing with tough stains is now a thing of the past. Just like Dawn, Sen. Pia, Tessa and Carmina, they can all say Sige sa Mantsa! by simply welcoming Breeze into their homes.

To know more about the campaign, go to

Don’t be alone with a stranger

If there’s one thing I learned from my mom, is to be wary of being alone with the opposite sex.
I always used to wonder why I was the only girl who had a yaya waiting in the car when I was 22, as I partied in Subway disco or Penguin Café, back in the day.
It was much later when I found out one of my tita’s daughters was gang-raped, and a distant cousin of mine was murdered by her yaya’s boyfriend.
My mom was protecting me.

This being wary of the opposite sex is something I’ve carried on to this day, even as a married mom and homemaker.
I’m never alone when expecting the cable guy or aircon cleaner.
Whenever there are men working around the house, I make sure the maids are nearby, watching.
I remember one time when I was living alone in New York, my mouse died. As in my Apple mouse.
An Apple guy came over to replace it—for free. Not being a morning person, I looked like a total hag in my pajamas, glasses, and curly hair.
I may have brushed my teeth but hadn’t showered. I looked like the anti-rape victim.
But trust me, girls, guard yourself and don’t be alone with a stranger.

A Twitter follower of mine emailed me about his friend who was recently attacked by a Sky Cable employee who is pictured below:

Rommel Mendoza is wanted for attempted rape and homicide

Dear Chuvaness,

Thank you for replying to my tweet.
The incident happened the other night (March 13, 2013), around 8 PM at my co-worker’s apartment in Alabang, Muntinlupa.
Cable reception was bad so she called up Sky Cable to have it fixed.
The victim was alone when the cable guy arrived. He was the same cable guy who installed her cable system a month ago so she trusted him.
Things happened fast. After opening the door and letting him in, the victim directed him to her TV set.
Within seconds, the cable guy was grabbing her from the back. She felt a knife pointed at her so she didn’t move or make a noise.
She was brought to her room, her hands tied when they reached her bed. She struggled hard when she sensed rape. It was during this time that the stabbing happened. A small steel/glass table was thrown at her and hit her head. The cable guy used broken pieces of glass to further stab her. Feeling so much exhaustion she decided to play dead.
The stabbing stopped.
After the cable guy left, she took the phone that she hid under her bed and called for help.
She was brought to Asian Hospital that night. Alabang Police sent SOCO to the crime scene.

The next day, our connections in the PNP started doing their investigation. Initially, the cable guy was identified as a sub-contractual employee. But later that evening, we were given new leads that the cable guy was actually an employee of Sky Cable and not from a sub-contractor.
I posted this on Facebook and Twitter. One of the people handing the PR of Sky Cable contacted me on Facebook, requesting me to take down my entry as it’s damaging to the company’s reputation. He even told me there was no report of any incident in the cable company’s head office. It surprised me because the head of security of Sky Cable is now communicating with our boss (the victim and I work in the same company).

As of the moment, the cable guy is still at large.
The cable guy was identified as Rommel Mendoza, whose photo was supplied by his co-worker to the security department of Sky Cable.
Mendoza was positively identified by the victim yesterday morning when representatives of Sky Cable showed her the photo.
As of now, the victim is still in the hospital to undergo a series of operations for multiple stab wounds to her face down to her legs. Her lungs were deeply punctured.

Thank you.
Erik Catabas

UPDATE: ‘Cable guy’ jailed for stabbing, robbing client

Donate old furniture, get a 25% discount from Gus Modern PH

I’m a believer of updating furniture when you have to.
What you thought was cool ten years ago may not look so great today.
Or maybe you have kids who have outgrown their beds, toys, and furniture.
The playroom they used to love is no longer being used and you dream of converting it into a guest room, home office, family room, or all of the above.
But what to do with the old furniture? You might want to donate them to a good cause.

From now until April 15, 2013, Gus* Modern Philippines invites you to trade in your used furniture and get a 25% discount on any Gus* furniture purchase listed in the promo. These include selected sofas, tables, chairs, beds and storage cabinets
All trade-in items will be donated to Habitat for Humanity Philippines.

Gus furniture

Terms and Conditions

1. Items not qualified for purchase are timber tables, acrylic-I beam, cubes, lightings, pillows, ottomans, magazine racks.
2. The trade-in discount will be applied to purchases made during the promo period. Purchases made before or after the promo period are not eligible for a discount.
3. Indent orders made during the promo period are included in the promo.
4. A maximum of one trade-in item is allowed for every item purchased.
5. At the end of the promo period, Gus* will forward the donated items to Habitat for Humanity Philippines.
6. Furniture pieces for trade-in must still be usable and intact or Gus* has the right to reject them.
7. This promo shall not be used in conjunction with other promos or special discounts.
8. Trade-in items and can be picked-up by Gus* free of charge within Metro Manila. Outside of Metro Manila will be charged an appropriate fee.
9. Clients also have the option to bring their trade-in furniture to Gus* Metro Manila warehouse at #12 Tagdalit Street, Manresa, Quezon City.
10. This promo available in Gus* Studio Manila at G/F The Residences at Greenbelt, Ayala Center, Makati and Gus*@Design Pod, 59 Connecticut St., Greenhills, San Juan.

For inquiries, call (02) 621-8171 • 940-9580 • 416-0948 or email

We have a Pope

Blame it on Catholic school upbringing.
Since the 3rd grade, I got used to hearing Catholic school urban legends such as the white lady that walked in the Science Lab, because the school was built on top of a graveyard, and that the end of the world was looming due to the fact that the someone had predicted the last pope.
This was back in 1975, mind you. My classmate said there was a wall in the Vatican that had portraits of the Popes, and when that was filled up, it would trigger the end of the world.
Yesterday while watching CNN, I saw a picture of that legendary wall of portraits my classmate was talking about. So it was true! And it appeared to show two slots left!!

2013-03-13 21.34.45

Does this mean, the new Pope is good and the next one will be the anti-pope that will usher in the end times?
Ever since Pope John Paul II died, it hurt so much. It felt like nobody could ever fill his shoes.
Since Pope Benedict XVIth stepped down last month, I’ve been scared of who will be the next Pope, so I’ve been glued to CNN, watching and waiting.

Black smoke
Black smoke means no Pope

Seagull means cuteness

Black smoke
Black smoke means no Pope

Yesterday I pretty much monitored the news over CNN or Twitter since I was in and out of the house the whole day. Got home at 8:30 PM and was so stressed I wanted to take a sleeping pill to get through the night.
Good thing I didn’t. I kept tossing and turning. Finally around 3 AM, I checked my phone and found a message from my friend Dolan: “WHITE SMOKE!”
I turned on the TV in the dark, shaking. I was really scared to see the new Pope. I was scared to see a doomsday countenance.

I woke up Jeroen. “There’s a new Pope!” I said.
Jeroen looked up from his sleep mask. “What nationality?” he asked.
“South American,” I mumbled.
He had the face of an angel, like a kind grandfather.

2013-03-14 04.41.06

Jeroen went back to sleep.
And I was relieved, happy. On cloud nine. I prayed as he led the Our Father and Hail Mary in Italian.

2013-03-14 04.41.03

They called him “an inspired choice.”
Just like Pope John Paul II, he wasn’t even among the Top 10 contenders.
His marked trait is humility and a deep concern for the poor. He gave up a car and chauffeur to commute, and he cooked his own meals.


I loved him on sight. And then I saw some Twitter hate and had to look away. I went to sleep.
The Pope is not a politician. He is not there to make promises, be popular, and please everyone. His job is to continue the teachings of the Church and be true to it, not deviate. So if you don’t like him, please, walang basagan ng trip.
Give him a chance. Pray for him if you do. Pray for us.

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