Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Generation Z: Are We Ready for Them?

Just when you think, as parents, you've got it all figured out, that you know what you're doing and what to do, then you hear about something new: Generation Z. Zentennials. You start to wonder and ask: Who are they? Am I ready for them?

Who are they?
Generation Z, also known as Centennials, Post-Millenials, or iGeneration, are kids born in 2000 or later. Now in their teens or high school, the Gen Z population numbers some 2 billion globally. Gen Z make up roughly 30 percent of the population. Only two countries in the world has a big population of kids in our time, one being the Philippines.

This generation grew up with technology. These kids are digital natives who not only process information faster, but are also great multi-taskers. They can't wait to get on with their lives, opting to join the workforce at an earlier age or take the entrepreneurial route to start their own ventures. Though they are global thinkers, they place a very high value on individuality. They want to make their mark on the world... now!

With their global perspective, the Zentennials have the potential to be one of the best, if not the greatest generation on the planet given the right opportunities to grow and nurture their talents, interests, and skills. 

Are we ready for them?
Our Awesome Planet, the country's premier lifestyle blog, and Mommy Mundo, the country's most active parenting resource and community have teamed up for Raising Gen Z: The Making of the Greatest Generation slated for September 9, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Taguig.

The very first of its kind, Raising Gen Z will gather the country's top experts, advocates, and influencers from the digital, academe, business, and parenting spheres. More than gaining a deeper understanding of Generation Z, it hopes to provide those who are in the position to grow and guide Gen Z'ers with tools to properly hone their innate skills and inclinations. 

Why should you attend?
For Parents - if your child was born after the year 2000, he/she is already part of the generation called Gen Z or what we call Zentennials! A generation that is different from the generations that came before, they have talents and capabilities that are unique but may seem surprising or shocking to us parents. Through this conference, you will not only understand what goes on through your child's brain, but you will be equipped with the necessary tools and information to parent them the proper way.

For Educators - speaking the language of Gen Z can be foreign and sometimes difficult to understand. This conference will give you the proper insights as to how you can improve your curriculum, teaching styles, or how you can set a fitting environment in the classrooms (or outside of) for your Gen Z students.

For Marketers - Raising Gen Z will provide actual studies that will reveal the key characteristics of this generation, and also best practices and strategies that will be useful to any marketing practitioner.

For Bloggers/Influencers - gain a deeper understanding of this generation with the opportunity to capture insights from key speakers who will disclose how to adapt to changing audiences. 

Ticket prices for Raising Gen Z:

  • Single Rate - Php 1, 500 per person
  • Couple Rate - Php 1, 200 per person
  • Group of 5 or more - Php 1, 000 per person

This event is brought to you by Our Awesome Planet and Mommy Mundo. Major sponsors include Belo Baby, Sun Life Financial, and PLDT Home. Special thanks to SM Aura & SMX Convention Center for being our official venue partner. 

For more information, please visit: www.mommymundo.com and www.zentennials.com.

See you there!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Why I Believe My Breastfeeding Journey Was Successful

I'm back! Hahaha! It's been a while. For some reason, I couldn't find the words or topics to write.  Writer's block. Uninspired. Whatever. But I'm not happy with that. I miss writing. I miss this space. And what better way to come back than to write something about a topic that's so close and dear to me. Breastfeeding!

It's Breastfeeding Month again and I couldn't help but remember my first experience in breastfeeding. I have written about it here

When people ask me to share about my experience, I am glad enough to oblige. I believe that our little family's breastfeeding journey was a success and should be shared so others could be encouraged.

It was successful because of the following reasons:

1. We were informed (I must say though, it was not enough. See my second reason). 

Just like an engaged couple preparing for their wedding, my husband and I prepared for the coming of our baby. I searched high and low what was the best thing (in terms of milk) we could give our baby. Honestly, we looked for the best (and not to mention the most expensive) formula milk available in the grocery store. However, we found out that nothing beats the real thing, that is, the breastmilk. So, as soon as we knew the value of breastmilk and breastfeeding, my husband and I decided to simply breastfeed our baby even though at that time she was still in my womb.

2. We were determined.

My breastfeeding experience at firs was not a walk in the park. I didn't know that my nipples were inverted. And though we did our assignment, we forgot one single thing that would make breastfeeding a breeze. Proper latching. We didn't know how to do it. I relied on what an obstetrician told me, "It's a natural thing. Babies would naturally latch." But she was wrong. Due to improper latching (which we didn't know at that time), I had difficulty breastfeeding my daughter and she couldn't get the best from my breasts. I had sore breasts, my baby was already getting blood, and I was crying all the time, whenever I feed her. I was torn between wanting to nurse her and saving my body from pain and hurts. BUT I love her. My husband and I were determined to give her our very best.

3. We had support. I had support.

The number one support we had at that time, that we were so thankful for, was our paediatrician. She is a breastfeeding advocate. Our family encountered all the bumps in the road but our paediatrician had been our constant and consistent encouragement. When I doubted myself, if I would be able to breastfeed my daughter because of inverted nipples, she was there. When my baby's weight suddenly dropped from 8.4 kgs to 7.2 kgs, she was there. When my breasts were bleeding and so painful, she was there. She's really a blessing to us!

I had support. I have a super supportive husband. I will never forget our feeding time and how he showed his love. As I breastfed our baby, my husband would hold my hand and I would press it so hard. He told me to squeeze it and put the pain that I feel into his hand. Isn't that sweet? I would cry buckets. Afterwards, he would prepare a simple snack for me with a glass or two of water. As I ate my snacks, he would "burp" our baby.

My husband and I
My husband showed his love and support in more ways than one. And for that, I'm forever grateful. Since then, we know that breastfeeding is not just a mother's concern. It's an active love effort from husband and wife. :)

My husband during a breastfeeding class as he encourages other husbands to support their wives in breastfeeding their babies

4. We were shown and given grace.

I was able to breastfeed my daughter for 4 years and 8 months, a feat that would not have been achieved without God's grace. Everything was by His grace - the knowledge and information, the determination, the support - all of these, I would acknowledge, His grace that is ever-present and available for us.

With my sweetheart
My daughter "self-weaned" from breastfeeding. It was on Mother's Day 2016 when she told me she wanted me to be able to eat fish and dairy products. She has food allergy and that means whatever I eat would also affect her when I breastfeed her. So I avoided the food that would affect her. But on that day, a day that brought me both tears and smile, sadness and joy, she told me she would stop breastfeeding but she would surely miss it.

With my sweetheart
Any mom's breastfeeding journey could be successful. Fortunately for moms these days, there are a myriad of breastfeeding groups. Due to my desire to encourage my friends and relatives who are in the crossroad whether to breastfeed or not their little ones, I joined a breastfeeding group that "takes guesswork out of breastfeeding". We regularly hold breastfeeding classes to inform, encourage, and support families and communities. If you are a breastfeeding mom or on the family way and would like to know more about breastfeeding and how to be successful in your breastfeeding journey, please feel free to comment your concerns on the comment box. It would be a pleasure to help you! You may also visit and like our Facebook pages, LATCH Los Banos and LATCH Philippines for more information and events on breastfeeding. 

May your breastfeeding journey be a success too! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn't Give You What You Want {Book Review}

Photo by: @HeatherMariePortraits
Nobody wants to wait. I don't want to wait. I have not (yet) known anyone who happily admits that she likes to wait, or it's fun to wait for something or even someone. To be honest, waiting isn't the word I would use if I were to describe fun, pleasure and enjoyment. Still, in one way or another, all of us have experienced waiting - for the right person, perfect job, fulfilment of dreams, healing from a sickness or disease, etc. - to occur. Because waiting is inevitable. Waiting is inescapable. But what if, what we are waiting for never comes? What if:

Waiting will make you broken?

Waiting will make you weak?

Waiting will wear you down?

In Still Waiting, Ann Swindell compellingly narrates her own story of waiting for healing from an untreatable condition. She beautifully knits hers together with the Bleeding Woman's story in the Bible. Like her, she was also waiting to have her "healing moment with Jesus", to be able to touch the fringe of his robe. However, unlike the Bleeding Woman who got healed when she encountered the Great Healer, Ann is still waiting for that time to come.

Ann invites her readers to trust God in the midst of waiting, to "keep choosing faith and the risk that must accompany it", to put hope in Jesus instead, to believe that He is good in spite of our circumstances, and that He "isn't bound by our ways, our timelines, or our demands. He is bound by truth and love and justice and mercy- by all the things He is and contains within Himself". Furthermore, she expounds what it means to experience grace in the season of waiting - the greater grace of His presence. 

The Still Waiting book is not just another feel-good tome. It is a book that you will not put down without shedding tears, not out of loneliness but because it gets to the core of your heart. It will encourage and comfort you, that you're not alone in your season of waiting. Saturated with biblical truths, it will assure you that yes, God sees you, your pain, your suffering, and your waiting. He might not answer you according to your timeline and the way you want it to but He knows, He understands, and He cares. 

Still Waiting comes out today, April 4th, in most major book retailers like AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Target. Get your copy (and copies for your lady friends) now!

Ann Swindell is an authour, speaker, and teacher of writing who is passionate about seeing people set free by the love of Christ. She writes about the intersection of everyday life and God's love on her website, annswindell.com, and writes regularly for other publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Relevant, Deeply Rooted, and Darling magazine. Ann holds an MA in writing from DePaul University and MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Seattle Pacific University. She taught composition and creative writing courses as a college instructor for five years and now teaches writing courses online at writingwithgrace.com. Ann makes her home in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and daughter.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

LUZVIMIN Schools Win at the 2017 Ajinomoto® Umami Culinary Challenge

Over 300 aspiring chefs from 52 schools and universities competed in the 2017 Ajinomoto® Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) at the Philippine Trade and Training Center (Manila).  This event was the culmination of the national roadshow that began last August 2016 in Cagayan de Oro and October 2016 at Cebu City.

The National Cooking Showdown Champion for My Own Umami Creation is University of St. La Salle-Bacolod

Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, who are both Ajinomoto endorsers, also graced the event to provide encouragement for all the student-competitors and kicked-off the event’s highly anticipated awarding ceremony.

Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil graced the stage of the 2017 Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge

The Grand Prize winners for the Ajinomoto® UCC’s National Culinary Showdown came from VIZMIN: University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines from Cagayan de Oro for the Best Filipino Umami Dish Category and University of St. La Salle – Bacolod for the My Own Umami Creation Category. Each school received PhP 15,000.00 in cash, medals and certificates. For the Luzon culinary competitions the big winners were Perpetual Help College –Manila, Chiang Kai Shek College and Polytechnic University of the Philippines. The Umami Bowl Award and PhP 50,000-worth of kitchen appliances were bagged by St. Dominic College of Asia for receiving the highest accumulated score in major categories.
The National Cooking Showdown Champion for Best Filipino Umami Dish is University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines
My Own Umami Creation - National entry: Pan Seared Salmon with Spicy Carrot Puree and Grilled Tomato

   Best Filipino Umami Dish – Luzon entry: Bringhe Piyanera Chicken Roulade
Best Filipino Umami Dish – National entry: Grilled Vegetables and Boneless Bangus Stuffed with Sweet Potato
The Ajinomoto® UCC is an annual inter-school culinary competition that started in the year 2009. This event provides a training ground for future chefs and nutrition professionals to enhance their cooking skills and nutrition awareness. It is part of Ajinomoto’s “Eat Well, Live Well.®” advocacy to promote the benefit of umami taste in preparing deliciously nourishing recipes. The panel of judges is composed of Food and Nutrition luminaries invited to offer valuable insights to student-competitors on how to apply culinary skills and nutrition knowledge in the creation of nourishing umami dishes. This event is presented by AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION in partnership with La Germania, Solane, Masflex, Fujidenzo and Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC), established in 1958, is an affiliate of Tokyo-based Ajinomoto Co., Inc. APC lives by its promise to provide consumers products that will always give the delicious taste to healthy and nutritious meals as embodied in APC’s slogan Ajinomoto® “Eat Well, Live Well.®” APC’s complete line of quality food and seasoning products are produced by international affiliates and local factories using Ajinomoto’s license, quality standards and technological expertise. APC’s products include AJINO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning, Ajinomoto® Brand Ginisa Flavor Seasoning Mix, Ajinomoto® Brand Chicken Powder, PORKSAVOR® All-in-One Seasoning Mix, CRISPY FRY® Breading Mix, CRISPY FRY® Seasoned Crumbs, TASTY BOY® All Purpose Breading Mix, AJI-SHIO® Seasoning Mix, Ajinomoto® Brand Sinigang Cube SARSAYA™ Oyster and Sweet and Sour Sauce and “amino FRES-C” Instant Juice Drink.