Christmas is for Children

Aki and his gifts
handing out gifts to his uncles and grandfather

I have to admit, as I grow old my enthusiasm and excitement towards Christmas is not that high compared to what I felt when I was still young. And I remember one song that says, “Christmas is for children..and the feeling young”…

I find myself contemplating on this and why children and the feeling young are the most happy folks during Christmas. And as my son enters his toddler years, I have somehow solved my own problem.

Christmas is a joyous time of the year, a time of bliss and giving and receiving. And God spared children from feeling the hardships of life, stress and world’s cruelty. And if you have kids, you will feel young.

As I received my girlfriends’ gifts for my son and as I help my son unwrap his gifts, it felt as though I was the one receiving them. The twinkle in his eyes when he saw the top or the glittering book is a magical moment..

So here I am telling myself, for once be a child and be at peace…

Merry Christmas everyone!

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How to Travel with a Happy Baby

My son is a natural-born traveler and I hope that he will be a globetrotter or host a traveling show when he grows up. While pregnant, I traveled twice to Japan and he was just a month old when we traveled by sea to visit my husband’s family.

Since then, he has been traveling by sea, land and air–he is a well-traveled baby. Maybe he is used to it already that he is such an angel during our trips and will not get sick like most babies.


Babies are also known to be very grumpy in new environments; they are anxious of the unfamiliar bed and the whole place itself. How do I keep my baby happy and myself sane during our trips? Simple, bring something that your baby is familiar with or at least reminds him of home. Here are the some things that I have to include in our luggage.

1. His favorite toy. Just skip the bulky ones, you can put his favorite stuffed toy or small car. When he throws a tantrum, it is best to hand the toy to him to make him feel calm and happy too.

2. Parents may notice that children can’t sleep well during vacations especially during the first night. I make sure that I bring his “blankie” and most babies cling to their blanket. This is their security blanket and no matter how smelly it is, I make sure that I will not forget to pack his blankie.

3. Lavender drops or baby products that can lavender and chamomile like lotion, bash and colognes. Lavender and chamomile are known to have relaxing properties which will help your child. Massage him while on the road or before going to bed.

It’s best to gradually let your child travel to make him familiarize with the concept of leaving your house for a long time. When you arrive in your destination, spend some solo time with your child and talk about what he sees even he is still a baby. Orienting him with the place yourself will give your child confidence and assurance. Don’t leave him to play or in the bed right away. You can unpack later and never rush your child to adapt to the environment quickly.

Traveling is a great time to spend time with your child, away from the daily pressure of work. Utilize travel to bond with you lovely angel and enjoy your holidays.



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The Other Side of Tourism


Tourism can greatly help a country’s economy with countries like Maldives, Fiji and the Carribean relying on their tourism industry for their national economy. With tourists pouring in, there are many negative effects to the place. Here are some of them:



The environment is the first one to be affected with tourism. Some tourists leave with the trashes around the area making a historical ruin a mere ruin with trash around.



Likewise, the developments like building hotels and other establishment will disrupt the natural environment and displace many living organism. Golf courses will deplete a country’s agricultural lands.



Whenever there is a high demand for tourists, it gives jobs and sources of livelihood for the locals. However ,with the influx of tourists; drugs, alcohol and prostitution would surely arise. Especially in island destination where partying is the way of life, these social problems cannot be avoided. They are not selling their local products but their morality as well.


To end up, tourism doesn’t unnecessarily mean that it will do good for a country. Hence, local government should be watchful in the issues and concern about environment and morality when promoting their tourism industry.






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Beach Activities in Kiawah Island, SC

Isn’t it nice to escape and pack to the nearest beach away from the mind blowing, toxic and stressful life in the city? We all love holidays and dream of strolling the sandy beach of Hawaii. But hey, why wait for Hawaii when an island paradise is right in mainland USA? In fact, it’s just in South Carolina, welcome to Kiawah Island.

Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is one of the tourist spots of South Carolina, attracting thousands and thousands of visitors each year. Kiawah Island has many holiday ideas to offer to its guests – golf, its well- preserved wildlife and most of all, its beach. With a beach that runs for 10 miles, there are many ways to enjoy the beach other than swimming. Kiawah Island has many resorts for private beaches but its public beach, Beachwalker County Park has all the top notch beach ideas for you and your family.

Things to do in Beachwalker Country Park

The Beachwalker Country Park of Kiawah Island is one of the three beach parks in the island that is operated by Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission. What so nice about these beach parks is that they are on the beach front therefore, guests can definitely enjoy a frontal view of the Atlantic while sipping their cold drinks. Furthermore, the Beachwalker County Park includes a public beach great for those travelers on a budget.

With Kiawah Island‘s calm and clean water, swimming is still definitely the top beach activity especially during the dog days of summer. The public beach of Beachwalker County Park has a lifeguard on duty that families traveling with small kids can be assured of their kids’ welfare while on the beach.

The 10 miles of unspoiled waters, strolling the beach on your bike or even barefooted tops the list of activities. There is no more romantic than strolling with your spouse as the sun sets holding hands on your honeymoon in Kiawah Island. For the sports buff, they can easily rent bikes to explore the whole beach anytime of the day.

Watching the pelicans and the pristine waters can be more enjoyable with a family picnic right on the beach. There are picnic areas with grills in Beachwalker holidays for kids to enjoy and for dads to display his culinary expertise.

But a holiday in Kiawah Island is incomplete without fishing; you can rent fishing equipments and boats for very affordable prices and rates that will surely delight those who love fishing.

The beach of Beachwalker County Park is very wide and there are more activities that everyone can do. You can certainly do the activities listed above or you can creatively make up your own fun and memorable way to enjoy the charming island of Kiawah.

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I received a call from my mom last Monday, August 18 early morning. “Kolambogan was attacked!”, and finally my mom woke me up. For the past days, the whole nation have seen how forces of Moro Islamic Liberation Front attacked the


Children displaced from their own homes. The painting depicst the vinta, a Muslim boat.
Children displaced from their own homes. The painting depicts the vinta, a Muslim boat.

town of Cotabato, and there was no news of possible attack in other places of Mindanao especially Lanao. These attacks are connected with the Muslim group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who wants to control and regain Mindanao from the Philippine government.

Islam and Christianity

Philippines has been referred as the first Christian nation in Asia; brought by the Spaniards who colonized the country for more than 300 years. For hundreds of years, Spanish influences were adopted by the Filipino natives in their own culture from food to language. Every student in Philippines would tell you that Catholicism is the best gift that the Spanish colonizers gave.

However, not all Filipinos are Catholic or Christians, majority of non-Christian Filipinos are Muslims. And most Filipino Muslims reside in Mindanao. Islam was introduced to the country long before Ferdinand Magellan sat foot on the islands, and early Filipinos were Muslims. The reason why most Muslims are in Mindanao is that, the Spaniards were not able to colonized the area.

Mindanao, unlike other places in the Philippines is a big chunk of land mass; while most parts of the Philippines are islands. Hence, it was very hard for the colonizers to have full control of Mindanao so they let the Muslims alone. For years, Muslims live and controlled the whole area of Mindanao, not until the early 50s.

The Coming of the Christians

After the Second World War, when the rest of the country was in turmoil and devastation was opened for Christians to migrate. Referred as the “Land of Promise”, Mindanao was the perfect place to start their lives all over again. Christians from provinces of Bohol, Capiz and Ilocos for example were given hopes to improve themselves. My mother’s family moves to Lanao from Bohol right after the war and their lives greatly improved owning vast lands and other properties.

Christians, started to purchase lands from Muslim who sold their properties for a very small price. It is not a surprise to see many Christian families having a large piece of land where they planted crops like coconut and rice. But peace didn’t reside, shortly after Christians and Muslims were fighting at each other.

Conflict in Mindanao

Muslims are concerned by the fact that Christians became well-off but their own people became poor or poorer. The Christians began to control the agriculture and other industries s well as the politics of Mindanao, Muslims are now aware of the inequality between them and the Christians.

Conflict started with land grabbing between to camps, stealing of crops and many others. Cases of Muslims raiding each houses for money and other cruelty surfaced. Soon, Christian civilians formed groups to deal with the Muslims with the most notorious group, “Ilaga’ which means ,”Rat”. This group and other underground anti-Muslim groups in the Philippines vow to stop the Muslim cruelties in Mindanao with some resorted to ethnic cleansing. This is one of the reason why some provinces in Mindanao are “Christianized” while the others are Muslims. Take Lanao as an example, it is divided into Norte (North) and Sur (South); majority of the residents of Lanao del Norte are Christians while Sur are Muslims.

Muslim Sentiment

It’s unfair for the Muslims to be blamed for all the terror in Mindanao. They themselves are victims and most of them try to live a harmonious lives with the Christians. Muslims who want to avoid the conflict in Mindanao even moved to other parts in the Philippines like Cebu and Manila, and went into trading to support their families. Whenever news of Muslim and Christian encounter would surface, Muslims would feel anxious that they will be put into blame. Muslim civilians even help Christians by informing them of some news of future attacks from Muslim rebels.

Valerie Caulin, Basic Author

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Supplementing Your Freelance Income with Ebay

I have read several blogs about freelance writing and often times topics such as supplementing your income are discussed. What does this mean? This simply mean that you have to find other sources of income online aside from freelance writing.

And on my case as a freelance writer, I have opted for online selling. I have always wanted to have my own boutique and since I am in the online world now, I have chosen to sell online. Online shopping is a craze now – looking for uniue pieces at the convenience of your home.

Since, I am just new as an online seller, Ebay is my bff :-). I have sold three items already , some were old books and my son’s old shoes. But Ebay is not just a place to transform your trash into money. There are many items there that are new and I have decided to sell new and handcrafted products.

Elastic Bangles
Twisted Necklaces of Glass and Coco beads
Twisted Necklaces of Glass and Coco beads

As a freelance writer, it is easy for me to write product descriptions and I enjoy taking photos of my items. With the help of my bff Joanne, we are now selling several items. (I’m Ebay seller val_lumanog)

If you are interested in this kind of business, start selling your old things. Books and vintage items are popular in Ebay..Then start or expand your product line with new products like RTW, gift items, even appliances. Take a good photo that potential buyers can really imagine what the product looks like and give a good price.

Also, be nice and accommodating to your clients. Dont think too much of the profit that you will yield. So increase your freelance income with ebay!

Happy Selling!

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