Hi! I’m Nini, wife to Gab and mom to a playful 2-year old boy who we lovingly call Popy. We
live in an apartment in Manila, which is the capital of the Philippines. It is part of the National
Capital Region (NCR) or more commonly known as Metro Manila. Yeah, it’s confusing. 🙂
I was born in a province in the south with lots of rice fields and coconut trees, but I have lived in 4
different cities within the NCR, a province, and in a Middle Eastern country called Oman. My
husband was born and raised in the metro and has lived in as many cities as I have.
Our Popy was an 8-pounder born on a stormy July at noon. Typhoons are common during those
months as we are in the pacific ring of fire. He is a Manileno, through and through. I’m a work-from-home mom, so our weekdays consist of trying to divide myself into typing on my keyboard, doing house chores, and telling my little action star to get off of the table.
There are a lot of places to see in Manila, from malls and flea markets to parks and museums,
but where we live is a bit far from those. We’re along the border of Mandaluyong and Makati
City, so our weekends are mostly spent there. I also blog, so at times, my little family attends blogging events. Saturdays are also when I schedule home visits for breastfeeding peer counseling, my labor of love, though most of my counseling sessions are done online nowadays.
07:00 AM – Morning and Breakfast
I wake up a bit later on weekends. Weekdays, I’m usually up by 6:00 or 6:30 AM because my full
time work starts at 7:00 AM. I try not to wake the boys up because they tend to sleep late. Actually,
I sleep late too; I get off my part-time online work around midnight and wake up a couple of times in the middle of the night because Popy crawls to me to breastfeed. We’re co-sleeping, so it makes it easier. I fall back to sleep again, anyway. I’ve been told to have a heavy breakfast, but I can’t seem to bring myself to eating heavy in the morning. I usually just make a sandwich, a cup of cold coffee and a glass of cold water. At 8:00 AM, I should be out of the house. To where, you might ask?
Teacher Nini – that’s what kids call me at the tutoring center. I teach English to public school and
out of school kids for an hour or two in a center in Makati. It’s free for the kids, and I work as a
volunteer. I ride three jeepneys to get there every Saturday morning.
My husband has regular basketball games on Sundays and I felt I needed a me-time, too. I found out that the center (which was coincidentally just a block away from the building we used to live in) was looking for volunteers a few months ago, so I signed up. I’m not a teacher by profession. I’m a marketing consultant and a copywriter. Yeah, I know it sounds like hard work on a Saturday. People have been asking me why I don’t just spend it with my family, but hey I’m with them like 6 days a week and it’s just 2 hours away on Saturdays. That shouldn’t hurt, right? Teaching is therapeutic, and it keeps me sane. As a mom, the household gets crazy sometimes.
10:00 AM – Prayers
If it’s a Sunday, we’ll be at church by this time. We go to the Victory Christian Fellowship in Makati.
Popy attends the toddler class of the Kid’s Church. Gab and I alternate in looking after him in
the class and in attending the service. Oftentimes, it’s me who joins Popy. We love the toddler class
because it has taught Popy some routine and he gets to spend time with other kids his age. They do free play, a pack away song (which has helped a lot at home), a welcome song, circle time, storytelling, learning activities and snack time.
12:00 Noon – Lunch Time
We love cooking! Weekends are spent cooking something special. This weekend, I made a warm egg drop chicken soup because it was cold and rainy, plus Popy loves noodles. If we’re coming from the church we usually eat out. I particularly love the Sunday Market in Makati, which is walking distance from the church. They sell farm produce, dairy products, seafood and meat, cooked food, toys and even household items!
03:00 PM – Off To Somewhere
If it’s a Saturday, we either go to a mall or a park. It’s an exercise for Popy because he has so
much energy and loves running around, and it’s also a chance for him to mingle with other kids. Last time, we brought him to Kidzoona. It was my dad’s treat. Kidzoona is a big play place for kids. It originated from Japan and it’s complete with inflatables, a ball pit, slides, wooden toys, blocks, pretend-play set ups, and a mini library. Popy enjoys driving and loves pretending to be a doctor, a fireman, and an ice cream shop owner.
06:00 PM – Our Favorite Restaurant
Across from the mall is a ramen place that we frequent. We’re there so often that the staff already know us, our orders and where we prefer to sit (which is always in front of their small kitchen theater). When that table is not available, they ask us if we can sit on a different area (like we own a
space there). They always get the high chair for us and the small extra bowl and chinese soup
spoon for Popy. Popy and I share a ramen and teriyaki all the time. My husband orders the spicy variation of ramen called Aka. I love that, too, but since I share with our little boy, I order the basic version. Popy’s appetite goes from 50% to 100% whenever we’re here. After dinner, we get a milkshake from DQ. What’s a meal without a dessert, eh?
09:00 PM Onwards
We’re usually home around this time. We all sleep late. Maybe we’ve gotten used to my work schedule, but we make sure Popy gets a lot of rest. Since this is considered a bit early for us, we spend sometime with play and learn. I use online images to teach Popy new words, which has been working well, so far. We’ve learned colors, vehicles, animals, shapes, food, counting and a few letters from the alphabet. We build blocks and create mini scenarios for his vehicles, too. We do this until he’s tired and sleepy. Well, that’s it!
It’s not much for city living, but we’re looking forward to moving permanently to our new home
next year, which is more refreshing for us. We recently bought a small property in-between a
mountain and the sea, and we are very excited about raising Popy there. We will be getting some
fresh air, living in a quiet neighborhood, surrounded by lots of trees and rice fields, all while listening to roosters crowing early in the morning and probably crickets chirping at night.
For the Day in a Life Series we have featured families from countries around the globe. The series aims to give our global Bebe Voyage community a personal and authentic account on what a perfect weekend day looks like for families around the world.