Aug 23, 2014

DANE Publishing Expands Its Advocacy for Education with the New DANE Blog

DANE Publishing House Inc. has been doing a noble cause for education for the last 27 years, creating educational materials for grade school and high school for both private and public schools.

Now as the educational system in our country has adopted the K-12 system, they have gone to create a new platform for enriching our country’s education.

DANE Publishing’s blog aims to expand the pool of knowledge that is available and interesting for both students and teachers. The blog contains current resources that can be used either independently or in the classroom.

Would you like to help DANE Publishing reach more individuals and do more for our country’s education? You can easily do so by liking their Facebook page at Visit their blog as well at and expand your knowledge!

The Nanay Notebook is written by Blessie Adlaon, a work-at-home and homeschooling mom of four. Check out our About page to know more about this blog's author and our policies on advertising, press releases, and reposting.

Aug 13, 2014

Is Homeschooling for You? And if It Is, How Can You Do It? [FREEBIES AND GIVEAWAYS]


After ensuring the validity of entries, The Nanay Notebook is happy to announce that the winner of the raffle is NADIA DE LEON

Congratulations! See you at the Homeschool Conference 2014! 

Please email me your full name and mobile number so I can submit them to the contest organizer, Manila Workshops.

Warm regards,

Blessie Adlaon

On a signal-number-2 day in August, my kids are all in "school."

  • My 9-year-old is learning Java Script. 
  • My 7-year-old is doing typing lessons (currently at 15 wpm), and later she will make loom band bracelets, which she will sell to our neighbors at P50 each. 
  • My 5-year-old, who has never been inside a formal classroom, is reading aloud the Act of Contrition.

Welcome to our world. This is what homeschooling in the Adlaon residence looks like.

Why Homeschool?

Every homeschooling family has its own reason. In our case, our three main reasons are
  1. protection and preservation of the children's innocence;
  2. the freedom to teach our kids what we believe is truly important, in the way we believe children should learn; and
  3. financial flexibility.
I will discuss each of these very briefly:

Preservation of Innocence. In school, away from teacher supervision, I saw and heard a lot of things that I now know children should not see and hear. In other words, garbage freely entered my mind – and once garbage enters, it's very hard to take it out. 

Now is not the time to discuss what happens when one's mind is sullied. But I know it is something I do not want for my kids. Homeschooling is one way I am able to protect them until they are discerning and spiritually strong enough to protect themselves.

Freedom to Teach. Do you ever feel that your child's school is teaching too much too soon? Does your child wake up extremely early, sleep very late, and have little to no time for play, because there is schoolwork to do? Do you feel helpless in the midst of it all?

My husband and I refuse to feel helpless in the way our kids are educated. That's why we chose to take full charge by homeschooling.

Financial Flexibility. My husband and I are both freelancers right now. Income is unpredictable. We don't always have money in June. 

By homeschooling, we can enroll in September or December or whenever the money comes. We decide what books to buy, what field trips to take, and we never have to spend on PTA fund raisers. 

Want to Learn More?

Click image to enlarge
Manila Workshops, The Learning Basket, and Unilab, supported by the Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI), are proud to present the Homeschooling Conference of 2014, entitled Educating for Life: Homeschooling with Passion, Purpose and Confidence. It will be held on September 6, 2014 at the Bayanihan Arts and Events Center (8008 Pioneer St., Kapitolyo, Pasig) from 8 a.m. (registration) to 5:30 p.m.

The speakers and topics are
  • Irma Chua (Educating for Life). Irma is a mom of six and has been homeschooling for 20 years.
  • Dennis Poliquit (The Hands-On Homeschool Dad). Known as “Big Daddy Jake” over the radio airwaves, Dennis is a hands-on homeschooling dad of two sets of twins and one singleton.
  • Moira Bunyi (The Confident Homeschool Mom). Moira has a postgraduate degree in Family Life and Child Development and has been homeschooling for five years now.
  • Yen Galagnara (Learning in the Digital World). Yen was a “housemate” at Pinoy Big Brother Season 2. She homeschools her three children while she runs a Korean language school.
  • Jen Bellosillo (Introducing Filipino Arts, Culture, and Heritage). Jen has been homeschooling for six years now. She mentors other homeschooling parents as a CFA (Catholic Filipino Academy) parent coach.
  • Tina Rodriguez (Homeschool 101: Getting Started). Tina, mom of three, is a work-at-home and homeschooling mom who advocates her faith through her blog, Truly Rich Mom.
  • Donna Pangilinan-Simpao (Conquering Homeschool Fatigue). Donna is a medical doctor. She homeschools her three children. She is also the founder of the Facebook group "Homeschoolers in the Philippines."
  • Ivy Marquez (Nurturing the Love of Learning). Ivy homeschooled her three children up to high school.

Learning Fee (and How You Can Get a Seat for FREE!)

The cost of attending the conference is as follows:
  • Php 1000 per participant
  • Php 1500 per couple (We encourage both parents to attend!)
  • Php 500 per child (7 to 18 years old)
  • Php 500 for PWD
  • Php 500 for groups of homeschoolers; with a minimum of 5 persons per group
However, you have a chance to attend the conference for free! (Yes, FREE!)

Simply join our contest via Rafflecopter below and win TWO FREE SEATS to the conference! (Yes, TWO!)

But wait. There's more. You'll also get a heaping bag of craft goodies, sponsored by Bee Happy Crafts.

So of course you want to join the contest. Now here are the mechanics. To join:
  1. Like Bee Happy Crafts on Facebook.
  2. Like Manila Workshop on Facebook.
  3. Like the Learning Basket on Facebook.
  4. In the comment box below, leave a comment using an email address we can use to get in touch with you in case you win.
Each of the above equals one entry, for a total of four. (The more entries you make, the bigger chances of winning!)

Now if you want to further increase your chances of winning, please also like my Facebook business page,, the first local online wishlist publisher in the country, and follow me on Twitter, @WishPH.

This contest runs from August 13 to 22, 2014, Philippine time. Winners will be chosen through Rafflecopter and announced on August 23. Prizes (free seats and craft materials) will be given at the conference site on conference day.

Now if you can't wait for the contest results and want to register right now, please visit

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Nanay Notebook is written by Blessie Adlaon, a work-at-home and homeschooling mom of four. Check out our About page to know more about this blog's author and our policies on advertising, press releases, and reposting.

Jul 31, 2014

The Kasambahay and Household Employer Unified Registration Form [DOWNLOAD and VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS]

A reader just informed me today that we can now register our kasambay (household helper) to three government agencies – the SSS, HDMF and Philhealth – in ONE registration step!

(Thank you, Leah. You rock!)

How to do it? Watch the video below. Then, scroll down further to download the form. 

Click a link below to download the Kasambahay and Household Employer Unified Registration Form:

The Nanay Notebook is written by Blessie Adlaon, a work-at-home and homeschooling mom of four. Check out our About page to know more about this blog's author and our policies on advertising, press releases, and reposting.

Jul 26, 2014

Filipina-Authored Breastfeeding eBook Now at, FREE on Aug 1–3!

Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking, by Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag
From August 1–3, 2014, "Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking" by inspirational author and breastfeeding advocate Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag will be available for free download at the Kindle Store.

The book features stories of triumph over breastfeeding challenges by moms from different walks of life – stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms, moms working outside the home, and mompreneurs – including Dumadag's own breastfeeding story.

"Teresa imparts helpful and practical tips, from breastfeeding positions to nursing wear. All breastfeeding mothers can certainly relate to this book. I've already kept a copy in my clinic for all my patients to read," said Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas,  lactation unit consultant at The Medical City.

"I wish Teresa wrote this book five years ago when I was struggling during my own breastfeeding journey. A must-have manual for every nursing mother," said Rissa Singson-Kawpeng, bestselling author and editor-in-chief of Kerygma magazine.

This three-day ebook giveaway coincides with the start of World Breastfeeding Week. After August 3, "Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking" will be available at the Kindle Store for $9.99.

Dumadag has previously written two books, "When My Bridegroom Comes" and "How to Have the Wedding of Your Dreams." She is the founder and current president Full Life Cube Publishing and Events Services. She maintains two blogs, Mommy Bares All and When My Bridegroom Comes. She also homeschools her kids.

The Nanay Notebook is written by Blessie Adlaon, a work-at-home and homeschooling mom of four. Check out our About page to know more about this blog's author and our policies on advertising, press releases, and reposting.

Jul 19, 2014

Professional or Sole Proprietor: What's the Difference?

If you're a freelancer registering your business to the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for the first time, one question invariably comes up: should I register as a professional or as a sole proprietor?

Even if your profession does not require a license, you can register as a professional. And even a licensed professional can register as a sole proprietor. Hence the confusion.

To find answers, I interviewed a few accountants whose job it is to handle people's taxes and registrations. Here's what I found:

Registration Process

Sole proprietor registration takes patience
To register as sole proprietor, you need to
To secure a municipal permit, you may (depending on your municipality) be required to have
  • a fire extinguisher, 
  • business insurance, 
  • the written permission of your neighbors, 
  • etc. 
The plea that your "office" is just a laptop will fall on deaf ears. Government bureaucracy has little room for flexibility.

And, of course, you need to have a tax identification number (TIN).

To register as a professional, you don't need DTI registration. Municipal requirements, if any, are far less stringent than those for sole proprietors. But of course, you will still need a TIN.

Municipal Permit Fees

Sole proprietor's wallet after municipal permit renewal
Sole proprietors need to renew their barangay and municipal permit annually. Barangay permits cost around P500. Municipal permit is generally computed at 2% of your gross sales based on your issued official receipts. (If you earn P100,000 annually, you'll need to pay P2,000 at permit renewal time.)

On the other hand, professionals only need to pay for professional tax receipt (PTR), usually amounting to P500.

BIR-required Books

The BIR these days has a nagging distrust of professionals. So in addition to the three ledgers/journals that all self-employed individuals need to consistently fill out, professionals also have an appointment book they need to register with the BIR and keep updated.

Sole proprietors are not required to have this appointment book.

Reporting of Employee Wages

Professionals work alone. If you plan to take on employees or get freelance help, you should register as a sole proprietor so you can report their wages as part of your expenses.

Possibility of Income Tax Exemption
The lovely law you will never hear about in a BIR seminar
Sole proprietors with assets totaling less than P3 million have the option to apply for income tax exemption under the BMBE law, or RA 9178. (Click on the links to learn more about BMBE in Real Life and BMBE Certification.)

Professionals cannot apply as a BMBE.

If you are approved as a BMBE, you could save much more than the difference between your municipal fee renewal and a professional's PTR fees. Compare:

Sole Prop
Gross sales
Optional standard
– 80,000.00
– 80,000.00
Net sales
Personal exemption
– 50,000.00
– 50,000.00
Total taxable income
Income tax due
*BMBE income tax rate
Municipal fees
*2% of gross sales
*PTR fee
(income tax due + municipal fees)

Percentage Taxes, Annual Registration Fees, and Official Receipts

Whether you register as a sole proprietor or a professional, you will be required to 
  • pay monthly percentage taxes, which is 3% of previous month's receipts;
  • pay an annual registration fee of P500, due January 31; and
  • issue official receipts printed by a BIR-accredited printer, not just any ordinary printing house.

Which option did I choose? 

I registered as a sole proprietor under the trade name Escrive Writing and Editing. Sole proprietorship works for me because I was approved as a BMBE. 

But if I weren't a BMBE, I would probably find a professional registration more advantageous, despite the additional book I would have to fill out.

The Nanay Notebook is written by Blessie Adlaon, a work-at-home and homeschooling mom of four. Check out our About page to know more about this blog's author and our policies on advertising, press releases, and reposting.

Jun 26, 2014

4 'Good' Things You Do that Can Be Deadly to Your Child

Vitamins, minerals, milk, and honey – all these are good, healthy stuff. But did you know that some of these "good" things are in fact dangerous, even deadly, for children?

Giving Water to Babies

Every summer, Johns Hopkins Children's Center sees 3 to 4 infants suffering from seizures because their parents gave them water to drink.

"Babies need extra fluids in the hot weather, but straight water is not one of them," says Allen Walker, head of Johns Hopkins' emergency department.

Walker explained that the body needs both water and sodium. Children on solid food can get sodium from their food, but infants rely completely on their milk.

When pure water replaces milk, the water-sodium balance is lost, resulting in water intoxication, a potentially fatal condition.

To avoid water intoxication (and malnutrition), the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends giving only breastmilk to babies 6 months old and below.

Replacing Sugar with Honey

Honey is a healthy alternative to refined sugar. Research from the American Chemical Society shows this golden liquid is full of disease-fighting antioxidants.

But the WHO warns that honey can also contain Clostridium botulinum, a known cause of infant food poisoning:
Human botulism is a serious, potentially fatal disease.

Infant botulism ... occurs when infants ingest Clostridium botulinum spores, which germinate into bacteria that colonize in the gut and release toxins.

Spore-contaminated honey has been associated with a number of cases.
Adults and older kids are safe from these toxins because their bodies have already developed resistance, the WHO says, but infants are easy victims.

Symptoms of infant botulism include weakness, loss of appetite, constipation, and loss of head control. If an infant displays these symptoms, bring the child to the hospital emergency room immediately.

Taking Iron Supplements

Iron is a crucial mineral our body needs to deliver life-giving oxygen to our cells.

Image via Wikipedia by Ragesoss
But according to research from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, iron is also "a leading cause of poisoning-related injury and death" in children from 0 to 4 years old.

The research notes that children often overdose on iron supplements taken from child-resistant containers. Parents should keep all medicines and supplements in locked cabinets out of children's reach.

If you suspect iron overdosage, call the Philippine Poison Control Center's 24/7 assistance office at (02) 524-1078.

Breastfeeding During Diarrhea

The Department of Health lists diarrhea as the number 2 cause of death among Filipino children aged 1 to 4 years old. Part of diarrhea treatment is to give the child plenty of clean, nutritious fluids – and breastmilk is as clean and nutritious as fluids can possibly get.

But if your breastfed child's diarrhea won't resolve, breastmilk may be the culprit.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explains that an initial episode of diarrhea can trigger temporary lactose intolerance in children, so your breastfed baby is suddenly unable to digest breastmilk properly. If you continue giving breastmilk to the baby, the diarrhea will not stop.

Temporary bottle feeding with lactose-free formula can provide your child with nourishment and fluids until the child's body is able to digest lactose again. For information on when to see the pediatrician, check out the Mayo Clinic website.

Certainly, in most cases, iron, honey, breastmilk, and water are good for children. But when given inappropriately, they can be deadly. The last thing we want to do is to hurt our children by the very same actions we intended to protect them.

The Nanay Notebook is written by Blessie Adlaon, a work-at-home and homeschooling mom of four. Check out our About page to know more about this blog's author and our policies on advertising, press releases, and reposting.

Jun 13, 2014

Villa Rivera Wave Resort: A Clean, Convenient, and Affordable Resort in Rodriguez (Montalban), Rizal

(Top left to bottom right: the ticketing office, the parking lot, the wave pool, a covered table area, the Jacuzzi pool, and the slide pool.)
Yesterday, my family and I went swimming for the first time this summer. (We were waiting for the summer vacation crowd to wane.) We went to Villa Rivera Wave Resort, and we loved it!

Here's why:

1. It's clean. I don't know if it's just because there weren't a lot of people yesterday, but the water in the pool was clear, free of debris, and completely odorless. 

There were trash cans conveniently located near the tables too, so littering is controlled.

The ladies' shower area was not completely litter-free -- there was a shampoo sachet or two on the soap racks -- but at least the litter was not on the floor, which for some reason, I find yuckier.

2. It's convenient. The parking lot is right in front of the ticketing office and less than 20 steps away from the pool area. 

There are three pools, enclosed on three sides by the table/cottage areas. The pools are always less than 50 steps away from your table no matter where you sit. You can always see your table while you're swimming. 

The tables have racks above them where you can put your stuff, so your seats don't get filled up with bags instead of people. 

It's very near McDonald's Rodriguez, so yes, you can order for your lunch to be delivered there. (We did.) Pizza Hut does not deliver there, though. Jollibee probably does.

It's also very, very near the highway -- less than a hundred steps away, I think -- so it's easy to reach it with just public transportation. 

3. It's affordable. The entrance for daytime swimming is P180 if you're 4 feet or taller, and P150 if you're less than 4 feet tall. (My 1.5-year-old baby's entrance was not free.) A set of tables and chairs good for eight people costs as little as P300. 

Granted that it's not the cheapest place to swim in Rodriguez (some resorts here have entrance fees as low as P50), it's not the most expensive either. It's a good mid-range resort: expensive enough to discourage huge crowds and inexpensive enough for me. (Ha, ha!)

Manage your expectations

As much as I loved the place, I must add that it is not perfect. 

First, the after-swim showers for the ladies have no privacy stalls. It's just a row of showers where you can see the person next to you, like a men's shower room.

If you want to take a full bath, ladies, you need to do it with some difficulty in the toilets, where there are small buckets and dippers you could use. 

There are privacy stalls but for changing only and not for bathing. There are no showers in these stalls, only racks for holding your towel and clothes.

What I did was I just rinsed myself at the shower and changed into dry clothing, then I took my full bath when I got home half an hour later. However, this may not be feasible if you're coming from a place outside of San Mateo and Rodriguez.

That small space you see behind
the umbrella is the entire parking lot.
Second, the parking lot is tiny. From my estimate, it had slots for about 10 cars. If you're a big group with multiple vehicles, you'd have a hard time finding a place to park here.

Third, there is lax enforcement of pool rules. At the entrance, I saw "Strictly NO eating, drinking, and smoking beside the pool," but at the pool area, there were people eating cake (the crumbly, handheld type, like they sell at Goldilocks) as they sat beside the pool, with their feet in the water. 

They did this for an extended period of time, and nobody stopped them.

As a client who likes to swim in a debris-free pool, this concerned me. But I went there to have fun, and it is not fun to have to tell off your fellow swimmers. Somebody else from the pool management should have done that.

Nevertheless, as I said before, my family and I loved the place. We love the wave pool, the small Jacuzzi-like pool, the chocolate/coffee vendo machine (bring whole P5 coins), and the nice ladies that sell the tickets and snacks. 

We will definitely go back on another school day, when hopefully, there will be few other people around and nobody who will eat beside the pool.

(Images from Villa Rivera Wave Resort's Facebook page.)

The Nanay Notebook is written by Blessie Adlaon, a work-at-home and homeschooling mom of four. Check out our About page to know more about this blog's author and our policies on advertising, press releases, and reposting.