10 Awesome Summer Activities for Kids



Philippine summer is almost here. It’s weird because mornings still feel like the January cold spell but by lunch time it’s so hot again. I am so scared about how hot it could be this summer considering the strange weather we’ve all been having – Polar Vortex there, sweater weather here. Good luck to all of us.

Since classes are almost over for traditional Filipino schools, I made a list of 10 awesome summer activities your kids may enjoy by the end of this month. I didn’t include swimming and theatre since those are pretty much standard.

My criteria for awesomeness includes one of all of the following — a) I’ve tried them for my kids and they loved them, b) my friends kids have done them and loved them, c) My friend own and run the activities/camps and I trust them.


1. Soccer with the Younghusband brothers

The pool of coaches that will handle the summer clinics is spearheaded by James and Phil Younghusband of the Philippine Azkals, together with Technical Director Nate Burkey.


Chelsea FC Summer Camp 2014 organized by the Younghusband Football Academy (TYFA) through their training arm, the Chelsea FC Soccer School Philippines (CFCSSPh) will begin on April 1, 2-14.

Anyone can participate in this Summer Camp. Kids as young as three (3) years old and even adults are welcome to join the training sessions at the Gatorade Chelsea FC Blue Pitch at Circuit Makati (the latest artificial football field and the first FIFA-sized blue football field in the country) and at Ayala Alabang Country Club.

Blue Pitch, BGC: Tuesdays & Thursdays 5-8PM and Saturdays 2-5PM
Alabang Country Club: Wednesdays 4-6PM and Saturdays 8-10AM

For registration and inquiries, please call: 807-0278, or 0918-837-8019 or 0917-538-7589. Or email info@chelseafcssph.com or info@tyfa.ph For more information, www.chelseafcssph.com


2. Fashion courses at SOFA



This summer the School of Fashion and Arts Design Institute has a number of programs for kids of all ages. For younger kids aged 4-7 there are arts and craft classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Fashion Design for Kids aged 8-12 . For teens there are short capsule series in Interior Styling, Fashion Design, Fashion Film Making, Fashion Immersion, Packaging Design and others.


5-yr old Lily at skirt-making class at SOFA (school of fashion & arts)
Lily and Sophia did a one-day fashion camp at SoFA a couple of years ago. They still remember how much fun they had.


Lily made this skirt at SoFA kids fashion workshop.
She “designed” this skirt and put embellishments on it.


To reserve a slot, contact 478-4611 or 478-4622 loc. 115. SoFA Design Institute is located at the Ground Floor of Enzo Building, 399 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave, Makati City.

Check out www.sofa.edu.ph for a full listing of courses.


3. Modern Dance

MDS GRAD5 march 2 2014


If modern dancing is something your kids would like to try there’s Movement Dance Studio. They have two locations listed below. Also check out their programs for adults. This is a place that mixes dance with fitness.

Register before March 15th and you get 20% off.

Makati:  2nd Floor, Three Salcedo Place, Tordesillas St. Salcedo Village 392-6220 / 0922-886-8343

Podium Mall: 4th Floor, inside Kidsville Play and Party Center 788-6527 / 0933-360-5344


4. Sewing Classes



Last year, I made a big leap and enrolled myself in sewing classes. I had owned an electric sewing machine for years and never knew how to operate it. On the first session, I successfully made a pouch bag. And on the second day, a sling bag.

This school is located in BF Homes Paranaque. It is actually a very cute sewing school for kids and I found out about it through one of my readers. The owner and instructor, Anne del Rosario, had some slots for adults when I enrolled last year. This summer, she has organized a number of sewing camps for kids.


This is the bag I made on the second day. It was a bit tricky because it had a lining inside. But I did it in a couple of hours!


For more information of kids’ sewing camp this summer, check out Sew Easy for Kids or call 0919-999-4009. Tell Anne I sent you.


5. A real summer camp… away from home



I’m sure many of you have heard of CISV or Children’s International Summer Village. It is an international organization that’s been around since the 1950’s. After World War II ended, many peace initiatives were created through the UN. CISV is unique for it believes that the ultimate source for lasting peace is in the hands of children.

The first CISV Village was held in 1951. It continues on to this day. CISV Villages are international camps that inspire 11-year-old children to imagine a more just and peaceful world. Children come together from 10-12 different countries to take part in a variety of educational, cultural and fun activities. There are local mini camps as well.

Click here to see activities of the Philippine chapter of CISV.


6. Art classes

These were the works created by children who were going through trauma. They had undergone art therapy with art educator, Bambi Mañosa of Creative Kids Studio. It was shown at the Ayala Museum during the 25th Anniversary of Consuelo Foundation.


Bambi and Creative Kids regular classes.


Creative Kids Studio runs beautiful art programs for kids in the Alabang area. I describe their activities as very “Art Attack” or “Hi-5” but in a more original way, and sometimes inspired by Filipino culture. Lots of bright colours, textures and shapes. Art therapy is something Bambi does as a special program in addition to running the regular art school. Creative Kids Studio caters to children of all ages.


summer 2014 workshop schedule


This summer Creative Kids Studio’s theme is all about Filipino Fiestas! They have arts and crafts classes for kids as young as 2 years old up to 12 years old. There are two new classes this year that look interesting- Interior Design and Paper Theater.

To reserve a slot for your kids contact 917-872-5307 or email admin@creativekidsstudio.com


7.  Ice Skating

May 17, 2008
Sophia when she was 5.


Lily when she was 5.


If you want to raise the next Filipino winter olympian like Michael Christian Martinez, you better start sending your kids to your nearest mall ice skating rinks. We’ve personally used the one in SM Mall of Asia and at the old SM Megamall. They have guides (some real athletic coaches, some just people who know how to skate) on a first come first served basis. Or you can buy a set of classes and reserve the coach of your choice.

The fee for use of the ice skating rink already includes use of skates and helmets. If you have your own skates (like we do), you still have to pay the same amount of the use of ice-skates-helmet package. There were some stressful rules like each kid can only bring one companion inside the rink area. But if you have two kids you can’t have two adults come in, only just one. Strange, but manageable. Just check in separately in two batches. Sigh.

Anyway, Sophia did lessons for a few years. Lily did one season. But I have to admit, we weren’t as dedicated as the mother of Michael Martinez. And school got in the way. Haha. Doing regular morning weekend mall sessions were tough – and you wouldn’t want to do it in the afternoon either because the rink is just so full of people. So the girls hung up their skates last year. Now we have skates in all sizes which Stella will eventually inherit. But I’m glad Soph and Lily know the basics of ice skating.


8.  Ballet with Danspace Manila



My two older daughters have both done ballet over a few summers, but poor little Stella hasn’t had her turn yet. We hope to find time this year between swimming lessons.

If you’re in the Makati area, try your kids at classical or modern ballet in Danspace Manila under the direction of Maritoni Rufino-Tordesillas, the Principal Dancer for the Philippine Ballet Theatre (PBT). Danspace trains children from 4 years old and above. The school uses the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet (ACB) syllabus which adapted the 8-year Russian Vaganova method into a 12-year training and examination program. The program emphasizes correct placement, dynamics and performance quality.

For more information, www.danspacemanila.com or check them out in Facebook.


 9.  Archery

Young archers at Aim Right Archery Range.


For something new and different, have your kids try archery. It can give your child enlightenment, help her develop discipline and self-confidence, and give her some exercise. It can encourage your child to focus, set goals, be respectful of others, and even be a better student.

The Aim Right Archery Range is at Longos, Malolos at The Garden Pavilion, The Cabanas. Price for the range is only P150 per hour. Rental of bow and arrows another P150 per hour. Coaching 200 per hour. A beginner can use the range and rent with coaching for 500 per hour. Summer classes are for 5 sessions discounted at 10% off. At Aim Right, they can teach Olympic recurve and barebow.

Contact Doods Tanabe at 0932 654 9221 or check out Aim Right Archery Range in Facebook for more information.


10. Crafting

Watercolour sessions with Alessandra Lanot


I stumbled upon Alessandra Lanot’s world while planning for Sophia’s birthday last month. My niece Bea recommended her. Soph didn’t want a party. She just wanted a hangout day with her school friends. So I asked Alessandra to host a little crafting party. Alessandra prepared a wonderful morning filled with activities that the tweens really enjoyed making – plush toys, greeting cards, tote bags. I promise to blog about that event.

In real life Alessandra does graphic design and runs a vegetarian restaurant. Crafting is her thing and she does it so well. Check out a the listing of Alessandra Lanot’s “crafternoons” in her blog Life After Breakfast.


So what are your awesome plans for the summer?



My Tag



My Tag ID bracelets are made of durable and quality materials, it comes in a variety of designs and can be used in many ways. It comes in different colors to choose from and it fits children and adults alike.


My Tag is a personalized identification product that provides basic information to those helping an individual in need. My daughters all use My Tag ID bracelets when we are traveling. My husband also uses it when he goes biking. This is a product used by many active people – those who run marathons and do outdoor sports. It comes particularly handy if someone is suffering from allergies or other ailments. The intention is to alert good samaritans, emergency first-responders, physicians, emergency room personnel or police of the condition of the wearer even if the wearer is unconscious, incoherent, too old or too young to explain.


The bracelets come in kids’ sizes too.


I also ordered one for my little nephew who has a few food allergies.


DSC_4988 STB 301113 Lifestyle Experiences in Singapore@Gardens by the Bay (AC) Preview
With Stella in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay last December 2013. She wore her My Tag bracelet. In it is her name, birthdate, and our cellphone numbers. This is to give her some form of identification in case an unfortunate incident happens and we lose her in a crowd. I hope it NEVER happens. But just in case…


To order My Tag, click here. Or you can check out these sports shops and retailers. You can also contact them through My Tag Facebook page.



Banago love



One of the many horrific images I saw of Haiyan’s destruction was of the town of Guiuan, Samar. For days, we were cut off from Samar. All lines were down. But when the first aerial images showed up, my heart sank. It looked flattened… eradicated from the map. I feared for the many lives lost. Then it dawned on me that my friend in Samar, Renee Patron, was actually in Guiuan when the storm hit.

I went back to Facebook to trace her updates. Her last communication with us was in the morning of the storm – November 8 around 1am. Her status read, “Haven’t been scared in a really long time and right now I’m scared this typhoon hasn’t even really hit yet and it’s strong and loud outside. God please. I hope everyone is in a safe place.”




It went on for days — no word from Renee. Like many of her friends, I feared for her life. Patrick kept telling me to be hopeful because at least Guiuan did not experience a storm surge — “just” the strong winds and rain. I can’t remember now when we finally received word from our mutual friend Butch Carungay, that Renee and her family made it. And in true classic Renee story, she was immediately up and helping the community.

Folks, meet Renee Patron. She is the founder of Banago, a brand of fashion accessories made in Samar and sold in some of the biggest retail shops in the US including Anthropologie, Nordstrom and Tommy Bahama. Please watch this beautiful video of what Banago is all about and the great work they did with the weavers in Samar.


Video courtesy of www.ilovebanago.com


This is Guiuan, Eastern Samar now…

Photo courtesy of Banago.


Photo courtesy of Banago.


We can help Banago and the barangays in Guiuan, Samar get back on its feet. Many of you want to help out DIRECTLY and through private relief efforts. This is a good way.




This MALAYA Tote is on sale for $88.00 USD at Banago’s Haiyan relief site here. Your donation will help to heal and rebuild the towns that were affected by typhoon Yolanda, most especially on the islands of Samar and Leyte, and handled only by members of the Banago team.



Breast cancer awareness



October is breast cancer awareness month. It’s that time of the year when we remind each other to schedule the annual mammograms (if over 40) and monthly breast self-exams.

Estee Lauder has led the campaign for breast cancer awareness for over 21 years. The 2013 theme is “Let’s Defeat Breast Cancer. We’re Stronger Together.”  The video below shows the global campaign championed by the late Mrs. Evelyn H. Lauder.


This year’s It is great to see it getting bigger and reaching more women. This year in the Philippines, Estee Lauder partners with The Peninsula Manila


ELC 2013 BCA Campaign PR Visual 3
We’re stronger together. Check out the campaign’s website here. Make your own circle of strength and tag all your female friends. Please send them all a reminder to have their annual mammogram.


BCA 2012_Elizabeth Hurley and William P. Lauder
Breast Cancer Awareness 2012 Elizabeth Hurley and William P. Lauder


France_Human Pink Ribbon_Photo by Dominique Faliez
France Human Pink Ribbon Photo by Dominique Faliez


William P. Lauder, Leonard A. Lauder and Fabrizio Freda at 2011 Bradenburg Gate
William P. Lauder, Leonard A. Lauder and Fabrizio Freda at 2011 Bradenburg Gate


Peninsula Pink Fountain
In the Philippines, Estee Lauder and Rustan’s partners with The Peninsula Manila not only in illuminating this landmark in pink, but in supporting the drive to build a breast cancer ward at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City through the Philippine Foundation for Breast Care.


Sonja Vodusek, Mel Lerma, Don Jaime Zobel, Dona Bea Zobel, Evelyn Forbes
The Peninsula Manila General Manager Sonja Vodusek, Estee Lauder Country Manager Mel Lerma, Don Jaime Zobel, Dona Bea Zobel and Evelyn Forbes


Here are highlights from the “Peninsula in Pink” fundraising — an auction and cocktail party at The Conservatory. For the entire month, other brands under Estee Lauder in Rustan’s department stores will be distributing pink ribbons and educational brochures.


Cheska Garcia-Kramer
Cheska Garcia-Kramer


Estee Lauder's Erika Reyes and Vanessa Matsunaga
Estee Lauder’s Erika Reyes and Vanessa Matsunaga


Myrza Sison and Tara Santos
Summit Publishing’s Myrza Sison and Tara Santos


Cecile Casas and Patty Betita
Cecille Casas and Patty Betita


Kaye Tinga and Andy Vasquez-Prada
W17’s Kaye Tinga and Andy Vasquez-Prada


Sevrine Miahle, Anna Sobrepena, Patsy Zobel
Sevrine Miahle, Anna Sobrepena, Patsy Zobel


Mel Lerma, Zenaida Tantoco, Sonja Voduskek leading the Illimination
Mel Lerma, Zenaida Tantoco, Sonja Voduskek leading the Illimination


Vanessa Mayuga Santos, Sigrid Villamil, Tim Yap, Chris Daez
Vanessa Mayuga Santos, Sigrid Villamil, Tim Yap, Chris Daez


Preview EIC Pauline Juan, Mel Lerma, Preview Beauty Director Agoo Bengzon
Preview EIC Pauline Juan, Mel Lerma, Preview Beauty Director Agoo Bengzon


Macy Yap, Leslie Yap, Gay Chen, Derek Wong, Cindy Tiu Wong, Myra Sy, Farah Sy
Macy Yap, Leslie Yap, Gay Chen, Derek Wong, Cindy Tiu Wong, Myra Sy, Farah Sy


Metro Magazine's Katrina Angco and Geolette Esguerra
Metro Magazine’s Katrina Angco and Geolette Esguerra



Show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness with the hashtag #bcastrength. For more information, check out www.bca.com



Fellow book lover



This blog has brought me so many blessings and surprises. I’m not just referring to the business opportunities but the ones that cannot be quantified — the personal connections and friendships I’ve made in this little community of ours.

When I first started sharing bits and pieces of my life in 2005 in Flickr, I met very kind people who shared the same interests and hobbies as I did. We shared so much of ourselves then – plans, dreams, shopping wish lists, pregnancy announcements and losses. I’m still good friends with them now. Hard to believe it started before the time of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

These days I find myself wondering what to do with the blog. It’s not like I’ve run out of stories or content. It’s just that with Twitter and Instagram, people get and share stories faster. Yet here I am still taking hours to write and edit one post.

Last week I made the most amazing connection with a longtime reader. She knew that Lily was looking for Ivy & Bean’s last volumes. She happened to be traveling overseas and found the books. Here’s our correspondence  —


Hi Daphne.

I’ve read and enjoyed your blog entries for quite a while now. I love how you and your husband are raising your girls to enjoy reading. In one recent blog entry, you mentioned that you were still looking for the Ivy & Bean Book # 9. If you don’t mind, I’d like to help you out with this.

I’d like to give you a copy of this particular book for your daughter Lily, from one book-lover to another! Thank you for sharing your blog.

Best, Mrs D.


Dear Daphne,

The Ivy and Bean Book 9 is my gift for you, an indirect way of saying thank you for sharing your blog. Book 10 apparently was just released, so I can only imagine your daughter’s excitement at the thought of two new books from her favorite series! It takes me back to my “Nancy Drew” phase. I was such a “suki” at our school library. I’d finish a book practically every few days.

I appreciate your offer to pay for the books, but I really am happy just to buy them for your daughter. Books and reading have been and continue to be a big part of my family’s life. My kids are now grown up, but like my husband and I, they will always enjoy a good read.

I’d like to ask you a favor, though. Instead of paying me for Book 10, could you just donate the money to Unicef for me? I would like that very much.

Best, Mrs D.


My reply went like this –

Thank you so much. We are actually about to launch a Unicef Trick or Treat fundraising box this Saturday. It’s the only time my kids get involved with UNICEF – most of the time my advocacy involves Mindanao, emergencies and conflict. So with the UNICEF TOT, it’s fun and simple and they learn how to help by fundraising.

I will work with Lily on how she can raise funds (from me, haha). I want her to learn the value of work and money. Whatever she makes (from me) will go to her TOT box. She will know that this was the money we would have used to pay you for Book 10.

This way, she learns and values the gift you gave her, her fundraising experience, her/your joint donation to UNICEF.


Lily got her books last Friday after school. By Saturday morning, she woke up saying she was finished with Book 9 and had started Book 10. It took her one full day to finish both books.






Thank you Mrs Diaz. Not only did you make Lily (and Sophia) happy, you also lit up a spark in me.