Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!

Sinugba Festival: Grilling With The Greats

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My husband and I love grilled food. So when we heard about the Sinugba festival here in Davao and the eat-all-you-can Sinugba buffet on Friday night, we decided to make that our date night.

We knew it was going to be good when we saw some of our favorite grill places there. From Conchings to Riley Simon, to Zabadani, there was something for everyone. We were glad we got there extra early because it gave us a chance to watch them prepare and cook some of our favorite things to eat.

Me, my sister and I waiting in line for the festival

Me, my sister and I waiting in line for the festival

Getting there early also helped ensure that we got into the buffet early. The organizers told us they expected 800 people but from we saw, there were more than a thousand guests at the festival.

Barbecue, glorious barbecue!

Barbecue, glorious barbecue!

Got the barbecue and the beer, now all we need is the beach.

Got the barbecue and the beer, now all we need is the beach.

Slowly roasted beef smothered in yogurt and herbs. It smelled so good I wanted to stay in the smoke.

Slowly roasted beef smothered in yogurt and herbs. It smelled so good I wanted to stay in the smoke.

Barbecue ribs and isaw prepared to order, both marinated in yogurt, fresh herbs and gata (coconut milk). Yum!

Barbecue ribs and isaw prepared to order, both marinated in yogurt, fresh herbs and gata (coconut milk). Yum!

You can’t help but appreciate the skill and the effort these cooks and grillmasters put into each dish. It’s hard to do everything to order, especially at an eat-all-you-can event. You risk the wrath of customers if you don’t deliver the food on time. But I really appreciated that they instead chose to deliver the best product every time.

Aren't these the loveliest little burgers you've ever seen?

Aren’t these the loveliest little burgers you’ve ever seen?

Grilled seafood, pork and chicken all in one plate

Amazing grilled seafood, pork and chicken all in one plate.

There were some complaints because it was a bit crazy and chaotic. The organizers weren’t able to anticipate the number of people participating. But I really can’t complain much. I came for good food and I got it. It was a lovely night, warm and windy. I ate under the stars with my husband and with good friends. I’m so looking forward to doing this again next year.

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For The Love Of Local Music

My sister and our friends had this pet project of promoting local music. We didn’t have much. It started out as a internet magazine and interviewed a few musicians. We started out having no money, no staff, no support. It was really a labor of love for us that bloomed into this community of music lovers and musicians. We didn’t really expect much but without realizing it, the work that we did gave a small, stagnant industry hope and helped struggling musicians realize that it is possible to reach for the stars.

I was so surprised when my sister reminded me that our magazine, DavaoMusicNation.com is now a year old. I almost can’t believe we made it this far. Considering how Davao Music Nation  started, it’s easy to see why nobody would make it. But we fought back and we thrived because we loved what we were doing and we believed in Filipino talent.

Now, we have partnerships with major music websites, artists, production outfits and regular contributors. We’re still not making any cash from it but we have the respect and support of the local music industry. We achieved what we wanted to do. We put Davao Music on the map and we survived. We did what everyone told us was impossible to do. And the crazy thing about this is we’re still gearing up for more!

 


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Zoofari/Tree Haus – Bacaca, Davao City

Zoofari/CoffeeHut at Bacaca Road

Zoofari/CoffeeHut at Bacaca Road

I’ve been wanting to go to Zoofari/Tree Haus Cafe and Restaurant for several months now ever since it opened last year. When I first passed by it, I thought it was going to be the answer to my prayers. A coffee shop attached to a kids area! You can watch your kids play as you’re having coffee and working!

Zoofari is a already a well known kids play area with a branch in SM Ecoland. The Zoofari in Bacaca is a lot bigger ( almost 3 stories high) that also caters to children’s parties and events. I was really happy when I saw that this branch was attached to a coffee shop, the Tree Haus, and that coffee shop was specifically created so that parents/guardians can relax and chill out while their kids are in the play area. Rates for the Zoofari play area are P100 on weekdays and P140 on weekends. If you plan to take your child there often, you could get ask the staff about getting a membership card so you can get a discount at every visit.

My daughter rolling in one of Zoofari's ballpits

My daughter rolling in one of Zoofari’s  ball pits

The thing I like about their play area (other than being massive and absolutely fun!) is the strict security. Parents with children 5 years old and above (kids 4 and below must be accompanied by an adult) can leave their children there without having to worry that some stranger would take their kids or their kids wandering out on their own. There’s always a guard at the door and authorized guardians are photographed prior to leaving the child to make sure the right  person picks up the right kid.

And if ever a child  does get away from the play area, he/she has to go through a flight of stairs and several guards before reaching the coffee shop and the street. The coffee shop and the play area are also connected by an intercom system to alert parents when their kid’s time in the play area is up or when there’s a child on the loose.

Watch your kids play as you work or relax

Watch your kids play as you work or relax

Like most places in Davao, it has free WiFi (even the beauty parlor I go to has free WiFi). But the problem with most places that have free WiFi is that they’re often slow or unreliable. When my sister and I were there on a Friday, their internet was strong and steady. I was using the internet on my phone in the play area at the lower ground floor and she was using her laptop in the coffee shop and we were emailing and messaging each other constantly. The good internet connection may be mostly due to the fact that there weren’t a lot of people there on a Friday afternoon. We are thinking of  going back there on weekends to see if the internet there is still as reliable.

For a coffee shop, the quality of coffee at the Tree Haus is pretty mediocre and a little expensive. But it’s really not so bad because parents like me do go there to get a break from their kids (or in my case, to catch up on some work and let my daughter blow off all her excess energy) and not for the coffee.

But what I found almost unforgivable about the  Tree Haus is the bad food. I don’t mind mediocre food because I didn’t go to  Tree Haus/Zoofari for the food. But that slice of moist chocolate cake (which costs P120 by the way) we had was not moist or flavorful. It wasn’t even fresh and they were selling it to adults. They hold children’s parties there and they cater for these parties. If they’re willing to serve bad food to adults, I worry what they’ll serve to kids!

And for P100 (or P140) per hour plus coffee (or food, ugh!) it’s a little too expensive for me. And compared to the other places I reviewed (see related articles below), it’s not as accessible. I think Zoofari is something I would save for special occasions, like when I want to treat my daughter to an hour of unrestrained play time and I need to work. But this wouldn’t be my go-to place to work. Maybe if the quality of food and coffee improves the experience will be worth it. But for now, the search continues for that perfect WAHM alternative work space.


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Figaro – Gaisano Mall

When my sister needs to take a break from working at home, one of her favorite places to go to is Figaro at the Peak in GMall. She goes there often enough to the point that the cashier and waiters know her by name. She even has an engraved membership card. That’s how much she loves this particular coffee shop.

Figaro GMall. Image Courtese of DavaoLife.com

But why Figaro? Why of all the coffee shops and work spaces in Davao City, why does my sister keep coming back to this particular place?

I have gone to Figaro a few times and have worked there a few times. The one thing I truly love about the place is the strong internet and WiFi connection. The connection is so strong, you can easily stream videos from their outdoor dining area.

Another thing I appreciate about this coffee shop is its location. It doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic so it’s much more quiet compared to Starbucks. Although the place can get crowded on Friday and weekend afternoons.

Their location also makes it ideal for mothers who don’t have a nanny and can’t leave their kids at home. Inside the mall, just a few floors down is a secure, supervised kids play area where you can leave the kids (ages 5 and up) for a fee. The mall is also close to several schools and I actually plan to enroll my daughter in one of them. This means that after dropping off my daughter, I’d be able to walk to Figaro to work and walk back to pick her up after class.

The only thing I don’t like about their location is the traffic. GMall is located at a busy intersection, so getting to and away from GMall during rush hour can be hellish.

I also like the fact that most of the tables in Figaro are not tiny. You can actually put your laptop there, plus a cup of coffee and a plate of food. Unlike another coffee shop I know that had ridiculously tiny tables that can only hold a cup of coffee and a cupcake.

In addition to the WiFi, my sister loves their coffee. It’s strong, reasonably priced, and flavorful. The large servings of good food also helped since my sister and I like to pick at our food as we’re working.

Lastly, I love the fact that they have a restroom exclusively for customers. I really don’t like mall restrooms because they’re usually, uhm, icky and not to mention the looong line. But since Figaro has their own restroom, it’s always clean, you can use it as often as needed, and no waiting!

I definitely recommend this place for WAHMs as an alternative work place. Just make sure to avoid GMall during rush hour and you should be good.


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What The Cybercrime Law Tells Us About Our Society Today

 or Why Sen Sotto May Have a Point

Like most people, I was so relieved when the Supreme Court released the TRO on the Cybercrime law. Now, months after that very emotional rollercoaster ride and in light of Malacanang’s efforts to revive the law, I’m now able to read through the all the commentaries, stories and statements about this issue with a more objective eye. Reading through all of that, I had a surprising realization; Senator Tito Sotto had a valid point in his push to pass the cybercrime law. I can see that he did see a serious problem in our society today and he was trying to address it in his own way. However, the approach was wrong and I personally don’t think the cybercrime law is the right solution to the problem that I think he wants to address.

The problem that I think he was trying to solve was how some people seem to turn into rude, mindless, inconsiderate monsters once they go online. I want to make this clear. I still don’t like him and his questionable methods in getting the cyberlibel clause inserted in the bill. I’m still insulted by how condescending he is in his statements about the RH bill, his plagiarism scandal, and about the cybercrime law. But I have to concede that he has a point, a lot of Filipinos are rude or “bastos” online; me included.

And Senator Sotto isn’t the only one who noticed this phenomenon. When Stella Estremera of SunStar Davao talked about the impact of social media and the youth on news at the Social Net Worth Forum in Davao City last Aug 29, she pointed out repeatedly the widespread use of profanity by the youth on social media. She even challenged the students in attendance with these questions, “How do you want to be remembered online? Do you want to be known as the ‘pak, shet, bech’ person? Or do you want to be remembered as a person who talked about things that mattered?”

Image Courtesy of the technology section of Inquirer.net

What May Be The Cause For All This

I think this has more to do with the fact that most of us who use the internet somehow have this idea that whatever we do online isn’t real. Cyberbullying isn’t real bullying because no punches and kicks were exchanged. Cybersex isn’t real sex because bodily fluids aren’t exchanged. It’s okay be to a foul-mouthed b***h/a*****e online as long as none of the expletives you use on cyberspace passes through your lips in real life.

But the problem is everything that moves; that includes content on cyberspace, are subject to Newton’s second law of motion. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The reaction isn’t as visible as those we see in real life but they’re there and the effects more lasting.

Cyberbullying is bullying. Insulting a person online is no different from insulting him in person. Threatening a person physical harm online produces the same degree of fear as when you threaten them in real life.

Cybersex is sex because you don’t need your genitals to experience sexual satisfaction. That’s because sex and sexual satisfaction has more to do with the organ between your ears than the one between your legs. This means that anyone who wants to engage in sex, including cybersex, must have the physical, mental, and emotional maturity needed to deal with the consequences of the act.

What We Need To Do

You can’t outlaw rudeness or sex because it’s impossible and it’s wrong. That’s what the cybercrime law is trying to do. What we can do, what we NEED to do is to educate ourselves and future internet users to be as responsible online as they are offline. As part of the current online generation, we have to teach by example. We have to work on being more responsible with our posts, likes, shares and comments. When we give our opinions, we have to stick to the issues, we have to be critical and we have to be tact. We have to drill into our thick skulls that whether we like it or not, we are influencing the views and opinions of hundreds, nay thousands, of people that are connected to us one way or another. We have to constantly be vigilant and remind ourselves that whatever we put online stays online forever and is virtually impossible to erase.

And with our children, we have to teach them how to translate good values like respect online. We have to explain why they have to think before you click. We have to show them that behind every online profile is a real person and that person deserves respect. We have to teach them that their online personas are extensions of their personalities and their online profiles can influence their offline lives as well.

I still don’t like Senator Sotto but I can’t deny that he has a point. There’s no reason why our online personas should be different to what we are in real life. If we make the effort to present ourselves as good, responsible, and respectable citizens in real life, we should also do the same online. There’s no need to be rude when we criticize the actions of certain people or their stand on certain issues.

What About Trolls?

I know there will always be trolls online but they should be the exceptions and not the rule. With responsible online use, trolls can eventually serve a higher purpose of testing the limits of free speech. But in order to achieve that we have to put real value on the content we see online. Let’s use our online personas to teach those who follow us to think critically, to give thoughtful opinions, and to educate ourselves thoroughly so when we do make a stand, we’re standing on something solid and unshakable.


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MyFlex’Office In Davao City

If you’re a Davao-based WAHM and you want to work outside the house but you don’t want to hang out in a coffee, there’s usually not a lot of options. But did you know that Davao City now has it’s own co-working space right in the middle of the city?

I discovered MyFlex’Office earlier this year along Sta Ana Avenue when I was supposed to cover an event there. I wasn’t able to stay long because of a family emergency but I was able to stay long enough to get a good look of the place and what it had to offer.

It’s a really simple office, with a small conference room, a couch that could serve as a lobby, and open, shared work desks with multiple outlets. They have WiFi, fax machine, copier and a mini pantry with limitless coffee for workers.

I find the P200/day rental fee a little steep but if you’re going to spend that much for coffee anyway, I think this place can be a good alternative since it does come with unlimited coffee, Wifi, and use of office equipment for that day. They have cheaper rates for those who want to rent by the week or monthly but I’m not ready to make that kind of commitment yet (and I can’t afford it).

But overall, I really liked their concept and I’m actually looking forward to working there when my daughter goes to school nearby.

For more information about this place and how to get there, you can visit their website: http://www.myflexoffice.biz/

If you guys know of any alternative workspaces that WAHMs can use, please let me know! If it’s in Davao, I can check it out and feature it here. If not, I’d be more than happy to let you guys write a guest blog here. Until next time!!