Julia’s Office Toys

Since last school year, I have been taking Julia to the office with me because of practicality.  There is no available school bus route in Malabon and if ever I would request one, the cost will be similar to hiring a private driver with car.  So for the past two years, Julia has not only been my daughter but also my office mate. My co-workers and boss are so accustomed to Julia that they consider her already part of the OCA.  She’s in the office early morning doing her assignments and would have been pretty bored if not for making her paper toys. Here are three of her latest creations.

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Summer Planning


I fondly remember how my brother and I love summer! No classes, we get to sleep late, watch TV on weekdays (we were only allowed to watch during weekends), play, and most especially create something. We did not have summer classes – thank God! Because this means a whole different thing back then.  So we entertain ourselves with whatever we can make in our house. The options during that time were endless! We baked, pretend play, act out our favorite stories around the house, draw, play in our yard, and do crafts.  Come to think of it, all these are rooted by our love of books.  Our ultimate summer book was the Reader’s Digest Things to Make and Do. I drooled over the DIY doll houses that you can make with mundane everyday objects such as toothpaste caps and table tennis balls.

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7/ 25/ 2016
This was on a Monday, the morning after Uncle Ryan gave us the Duty Free loot from Ninong Marty.  There was a very pretty navy dress and a Vera Wang Perfume.  When I saw this, I thought “Wow! a designer perfume for Julia? So grown-up!” I am not a fan of perfume because of my allergic rhinitis. My nose prefers white flower, vicks, and a tangerine balm I bought from my yoga instructor.  The scents it can take are Nenuco and Bath and Body’s Cucumber Melon and for a time I hoarded these.  The princess thing is still up for tests but I instantly loved the packaging! It even has a little crown with pink crystals.
Lola Choly was also there to check out the perfume. She tried it out and loved it so she said:
Lola:  Iya dapat sa akin nalang itong perfume kasi bata ka pa hindi ka pa dapat nagpapabango.
Julia:  Ok, ako kasi ligo lang ok na!
Iya’s reminder when she was 4..


Iya’s yaya will be leaving us for a few weeks to vote and spend her vacation in her home town.  She said her goodbyes and left. Iya ran after her and said..

Iya:  Yaya kapag nasa road ka magsstop ka kapag may car ha? kasi baka masagasaan ka.


New Year’s eve three years ago..

I was taking a break from my computer and decided to give Iya a hug.  We were lying down on our bed and I was hugging her tight.

Me:  Ganito nalang tayo forever.
Iya:  Hindi na ba tayo kakain?
Me:  Oo hindi na, ganito nalang tayo hanggang mamaya.
Iya:  Hindi pwede! mamatay tayo!
Me:  Mamatay agad?! Hindi ba pwedeng magugutom muna?
Iya:  Hindi pwede na mag hug lang!
Me:  Love is all we need.
Iya:  Why? Hindi naman food ang akap eh.  Mamatay tayo! Tama na yan nanay magcomputer ka nalang.



Iya when she was still 5 year’s old..

I was driving us home and we got talking about what they have been doing every day while I’m in the office.

Nezel:  Ate si Iya ayaw sumunod sa akin tapos kapag pinilit ko umiiyak!
Me:  Bakit sinasaktan ka ba ni yaya? bakit ka umiiyak?
Iya: Yes.
Me:  Nezel totoo ba sinasaktan mo si Iya?! Iya totoo ba? Sabihin mo yung totoo.
Iya:  Yes! Sinaktan nya yung buhay ko!


Still 5..
We were in the hospital and she was confined because of asthma leading to pneumonia.  I was with her in the cr.

Me: kaya ako nandito para maghugas ng pwet eh

Iya: hindi, kaya ka nandito para magalaga
Me: kaya nga.. Maghugas ng pwet, maglinis, magpakain, magpaligo ang hirap ha! Kapag ako ba nagkasakit aalagaan mo?
Iya: e pano kita aalagaan eto o.. (Pointing to her IV)
Me: hindi kapag gumaling ka na tapos may sakit ako aalagaan mo din ba ako?
Iya: syempre naman… si lola! Si lola at si tatay!



Just last year, she’s 7

We were talking about cutting paper bunnies on a piece of wrapping paper from Juliet..

Julia:  pareho sila ng damit nitong bunny na ito.
Me: Bakit magkaiba naman sila  na bunny ah.. yung isa nakapikit yung mata, yung isa nakadilat.
Julia:  hindi nanay, pareho sila ng pagkatao!
Me: (laughing) pagkatao?
Julia:  oo iisa silang dalawa.

I mean who uses the word “pagkatao” and knows the real meaning of it?


Wedding of April and Eric

My friend April got hitched last year and it took me forever to post pictures! I have a love-hate relationship with weddings.  I love it because I get to witness people that are dear to me get married and exchange vows. I hate it because it can be superficial.  I have to dress up, wear make-up, be conscious of my words, and observant of my surroundings, ergo.. not myself.

I realized this problem after being on countless weddings.  I only identified my source of stress when I had Iya.  It was the need to “make myself up” in order to fit the formal requirement of a wedding.  To lessen this dishonesty, I as much as possible wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and wear no make-up. I still moisturize my skin, apply sunblock, and put on lip gloss.  This way I feel and act more like myself.

In April’s wedding, I had my gown made for the wedding because I don’t have any long gown or dress in her color scheme.  It was a hassle trying to find one in the store with a baby and kid in tow.  It has proven to be a blessing in disguise though because I had it made to be a breastfeeding gown.  There were zippers and the top can act as a nursing cover.

April is one of my closest friends ever since we have been together in one project in UP. And even if she has moved on to greener pastures and found the love of her life, we still kept in touch.  I was pleasantly surprised when she asked Iya to be her flower girl because she gets another chance to play princess for the day.  Here are some of our family pictures and the flower girl in action!


To April,

May you always be together forever.

May you bloom and grow in love.

May you sustain happiness and conquer fear.

May you be showered with blessings from above.

Happy 11th birthday to our Family


While we have not been to any this Holy Week, we have been busy beach hopping the past few months with Henry’s family. Our latest trip was last January 26 where we went to a beach in Bataan.  It was also very timely because it was also our 11th wedding anniversary. If it was up to me, we would be stuck at home and watching TV like what we did last year?!  Oh wait..we sneaked out and ate at Lugang Cafe for dinner. Jansen was only a month old and was breastfeeding round the clock so I can’t be out that long.


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My Breakfast

by Julia F. Bernardo

I bought some bread
And got the spread,
I thought of what I’m making,
To finish this quest of cooking.

I prepared some toasts
While the bacon roasts;
I fried the eggs
While my puppy begs.

I am so excited to eat this meal,
Because that’s how I feel.

*She finished this in under 20 minutes while we were on our way home.  We usually play word games (much to my dismay) on our 1 hour drive so this kept her occupied on the last part of our journey.