9 Filipino New Years Eve superstitions

If you have a Filipino background, you’ll know and either love or hate the many superstitions that your grandma or mama have told you about or made you follow.

And there is no other day more filled with them than New Year’s Eve. Here are some of the one’s I’ve grown to know over the years thanks to Mum and Lola.

Filipino food new yearsImage courtesy of English Channel

1) Wear polka dots because anything round represents lots of money and prosperity in the new year

2) Have 12 (or 13, one for extra luck) round-shaped fruits on your table again for prosperity in each month of the coming year.

3) Have lots of food on your table including seafood, pansit (noodles represent long life) and round desserts. (Some say they don’t have chicken or fish on the table as they are associated with the scarcity of food. Others may serve a whole fish as they are a symbol of wealth and prosperity – each to their own!)

4) Palitaw (Sweet Rice cakes) – Mum used to cook these round rice cakes during New Years Eve. As the clock strikes midnight the flat sticky cakes would float from the bottom of the casserole to the top representing a new year full of “ups” ie. “hindi kami lulubog sa utang o problema”.

5) Sticky round desserts – The stickiness of the various native rice desserts represent closeness and Filipinos also help the good fortune to “stick”!

6) Shake coins in your pockets and your wallet and walk around the house to bring you prosperity in the new year (Mum also would scatter coins and rice in the corner of each window sill in our house)

7) Turn all the lights on in the home and open all the doors to bring in a bright and propserous new year.

8) Jump really high as midnight strikes to increase your height – we used to have to do this as kids.

8) Honk the car horn, shake your coins, make noise with fire crackers – just make a lot of noise to scare away evil spirits. New Years Eve in the Philippines brings about so many fireworks-related injuries so don’t turn the tv on if you happen to be over there during this time – the images will make you super squeamish.

9) Clean everything before the New Year.
But don’t clean anything on New Years Day so as to not sweep away all the good fortune you brought in on New Years Eve.PalitawFront1Image courtesy of Panlasang Pinoy

One of our friends has also told us that his parents roll watermelons (the bigger the better), down the hallway from their front door heheh!

Another also says that they don’t spend any money at all on New Year’s Day as thriftiness on New Years day will set the way you manage your money in the new year.

Have I missed any? Let me know in the comments below!
What superstitions does your grandma have? I wonder if other cultures have similar traditions!

Have a safe and successful New Year everyone!


Christmas 2015 recap

Christmas Eve 2015 The Yuans


p style=”text-align: center;”>Last year there were a lot of photos of the scrumptious feast we ate over the two days of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year it was all about these two little munchkins!Christmas Day morning 2015He loves her so much. We all do.
Christmas tree 2015So excited on Christmas morning to rip open all that wrapping paper!
Hannah's first Christmas happy 2015Warming up to the camera. Her smile is priceless.Christmas 2015 familyOur little family – 2015 🙂

10 Things We Love About Christmas

1) Solitude & reflection time – the nine days leading up to Christmas is where we attend the Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi (Dawn Mass). In the early hours of the morning hundreds of us wake up to greet the new day and prepare for Christmas. This year with an active preschooler and newborn, I enjoyed the morning silence adorned with Christmas carols and hymns and of course a traditional Filipino breakfast for the masses! It was my me time and it was beautiful.

2) Driving around seeing houses decorated brightly with Christmas lights, or more so the look of sheer joy on Daniel’s face!

3) Christmas in the city – Melbourne really embraced Christmas this year and we loved it! It was like going on a big treasure hunt for Christmas lights and deocrations

4) Christmas tree and decorations around the home always make it feel so festive. I normally put up the tree in late October just before Daniel’s birthday so that we can enjoy the season much longer! This is nothing compared to the decorations that are up in September in the Philippines…now that’s a bit early. Over the past few years instead of collecting souvenirs from places we’ve been to, I’ve tried looking for Christmas decorations. So for example, when I went on a girls trip to the U.S.A I got some Christmas decorations from the different cities we went to! So even though the decorations don’t match, every year when we put them up we are reminded of all the wonderful places of the world.

5) Carols & music – When I hear the songs by Jackson 5 and Boney M, it always me reminds of Christmas as a little girl as mum used to always have her Christmas selection playing while we set up our tree. Hearing the more traditional Christmas carols, on the other hand, always reminds me of high school and singing in the choir. We sang “Joy To The World” in one of the choir competitions and blew everyone away, taking home the first place trophy. I loved singing in the small but elegant church in Williamstown with my high school friends. Music is bliss.

6) The uplifting mood – everyone always seems a lot merrier during this time of year and I always seem to end up conversing a lot more with strangers at the shops! I guess you could also choose to see what you want to see (I also so a bit of road rage in the carparks – calm down people!). I also love getting mail that isn’t a bill! Christmas cards with little notes to say “hi and thinking of you” are so thoughtful.

7) Santa – I hadn’t really paid much attention to Santa at the shopping centres, but this year it was different. It was sooooo cute seeing Daniel excitedly run up to every Santa he saw while we were out. He’d start chattering away in his little voice asking for a “Northern Nightmare monster truck and the school bus monster truck” hahahah! Poor Santas. Thanks for patiently listening to him and filling his stocking with them this year!

8) Time 0ff and being at home – Who doesn’t love a good holiday and time to relax whilst feasting on delicious home made treats. We love gingerbread men and this year I made my first trifle! It was also the first year I didn’t eat any Christmas ham…

9) Kris Kringle & presents – This year being three years old , Daniel was really aware and excited about all the presents – both getting them (especially all the monster trucks) and also handing them out. He made for a very happy little Santa at our family Christmas party handing everyone their presents! We also made sure we gathered up some nice toys and things to give to St Vinnie’s. I think next year we’ll also send a huge box of goodies to those in need in the Philippines.

10) Sharing a meal – Christmas Eve is always dinner with my family on my mum’s side, Christmas Day is lunch with the hubby’s side and Christmas Day dinner is with my grandma on my dad’s side. Daniel is so fortunate to have two great grandmothers to visit. It sounds a little hectic but there’s nothing like sharing a meal with those who are there for you no matter what.

What were some of the things you loved about Christmas this year?

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas this year and let’s ring in the New Year with joy and kindness.


Life Lately – December 2015

Leading up to Christmas can be both a hectic and exciting period of the year. With almost all except a couple of presents bought and wrapped before the second week of December, we were able to spend most of our time enjoying  the festivities surrounding us, including traditions like Simbang Gabi (Dawn Mass) and checking out the Christmas lights!

So while I took a mini break from blogging when everyone else was completing “Blogmas” this month, here are a few things we got up to!

Christmas lights and yum cha in the city, escaping the heatwave by camping out at home downstairs! A family photo with Santa at Crown.
  A pilgrimage walk of around 23kms from Kings Park to St Patrick’s in the city! – I only completed the last little leg of it but it was so amazing to see everyone else get through the heat and the blisters…time for reflection and meditation.The last of his swimming lessons, Daniel progressed so quickly, and it was also my first time taking out both kids on my own, phew! What a feat!
Hannah’s first movie was Star Wars and she slept through almost the whole movie and was quiet as a mouse while Mummy and Daddy had their date night! One little observation after the movie – why is it that the baby change table has to be in the women’s toilets only? Props to the hubby for freshening up Hannah in his own way, no thanks to the change room situation.
Daniel’s creche Christmas party at the play centre – he loved it! Received a book as a pressie from Santa and got to end the year playing with his friends.

 Super warm weather meant heaps of time outside!

Style Saturdays – City sessions plus two lessons for Mummy!

Mama Mondays The Urban MA blog Everyday Style

Last week we went for a little trip into the city so that I could visit my work mates and introduce them to baby Hannah. Actually, the world “little” is so misleading because even though it sounds like a simple day out, having a baby and a pre-schooler in tow totally doubles the amount of time it takes to do anything!

No wonder mums need to dress super comfy – breastfeeding, running around, dancing in the park and even just constantly being alert watching out for their safety is more than enough to get me sweaty and hot, even on a cool day

The Urban Ma blog Mommy Style

Daniel wears:
Cardigan – a market find! (Daddy did good!)
Shirt – H&M
Jeans –
Boots – Zara Kids

Mummy wears:
Cardigan – Uniqlo
Singlet – Gorman
Jeans – Jay Jays
White flats – Kmart
Sunnie – Bvlgari

Hannah wears (OMG this is Hannah’s first OOTD post!):
Onesie dress top and leggings – both from Target

  Daniel wears The Urban Ma blog Zara kids

.It was such a pleasant lunch with my team members and leader until my little Miss H decided to produce the most biggest nappy explosion ever!…the icky stuff went EVERYWHERE and I could not find a disabled toilet or parents room anywhere nearby so I spent what felt like forever, crammed into the nearest and tiniest female toilets ever, bending over awkwardly, and changing Hannah in her pram. Wahhhhhh!

Poo was in her singlet, in her onesie, all over the blankets on her pram and I had forgotten her change mat in the car.

I wanted to CRY!!!!!

Thank goodness I had a spare mini pack of wet wipes in my bag and a spare plastic bag. There was so much mess and I didn’t think I’d ever get it all cleaned up…OMG it was the worst! In the end all I could do was laugh at myself because I could either do that or get really, really angry and annoyed but what good would that do?

Mama lesson #4 – Always have a spare pack of wipes and spare plastic bags. In fact, just put wipes, tissues and plastic bags in every single bag you own, in the car and in the pram!

Mama lesson #5 – Don’t sweat the small stuff. Seriously, there’s no point! Just fix whatever needs fixing. Learn from it and get on with it.

Mama lesson #6 – This is totally random but after looking for cheap parking online before driving into the city, the cheapest I found was at Crown. I paid only $6 for the whole time we were out! Either that or catch the train but I didn’t want to take up space in the train with our pram in case we got caught in the peak hour rush!

The Urban Ma Christmas at Crown MelbourneSuper happy he is!: While I was having lunch with my work colleagues, Daniel and his aunty watched a movie at Melbourne Central before meeting back up with me and chilling out by the Yarra on our way back to the car
The Urban MA blog Christmas in Melbourne Crown CasinoKisses!
IMG_7784Love the elbow patch details on his cardigan
IMG_7790He still so energetic after being out and about for a few hours and he chased the pigeons for a good twenty minutes!
IMG_7792IMG_7793I love how much his smiling face brightens up our days
IMG_7797IMG_7806IMG_7801IMG_7810IMG_7818Such a good big brother, he holds onto the pram like he’s guiding his baby sister on which way to go! But really we just tell him to hold the pram so he doesn’t run off anywhere! 😉
IMG_7819We almost made it to the carpark but the shops were calling us! – Daniel playing around while we checked out Forever New’s goods 🙂

Hope you liked this post! Let me know if you know of anywhere else cheap to park in the city, or if you have any other #mamalessons you can bestow on this mama of only three years experience!

Thanks for dropping by! In case you missed the first three #mamalessons, you can find them in my previous post. What other tips can you give me? See you on Instagram or Twitter! 🙂


Bloggers Brunch 2015

Kids Business Bloggers Brunch – Nov 2015
Encore – St Kilda 

Baby Hannah had just turned four weeks old and I was officially four weeks post partum when I took her out on her first official outing. For both my kids, Mum insisted that I stay home for the first month to rest up as much as possible and not exert myself too much. Have any of you heard about confinement? There are a few different cultures around the world that exercise it. It sounds harsh but it didn’t feel like that at all for me. Those first few weeks after giving birth are so precious and delicate that being home and having family and friends help out around the house and with Hannah was a blessing! Everyone’s different though. It worked for Daniel so I did the same with Hannah and towards the end of the four weeks I was totally ready to get out and about to Bloggers Brunch!

The Event

Bloggers Brunch is an annual event organised by the amazing people at Kids Business helping brands and bloggers to connect with each other and create meaningful relationships. It’s a win win for everyone as reputable brands are able to showcase and educate us about their new products and we get to share our findings to help out our readers discover new products, services and events!

 The Guests

It is was my second time attending and I really enjoyed meeting not only the people behind the brands but also the bloggers that I usually interact with online. I was also extremely excited to meet Adriano Zumbo and Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band. The talented duo provided live entertainment for the kids but oh my goodness even I was enthralled and bopping along to their funky double bass sounds and pitch perfect vocals.

The Brands

Nude Food Movers
Such colorful packaging really motivates you to reduce, reuse and recycle waste
We gobbled down so many packets of the salted caramel popcorn from this Australian brand. Nothing artificial, organic and natural ingredients…no wonder we finished them in no time.
Lite ‘n Easy
I haven’t tried these meals yet but I will be needing these nutritious dishes in the new year after the wrath of silly season!
With the hubby being a DJ and our love for music now even more diverse as the kids start listening to their own favorite artists, I was impressed by Yamaha’s MusicCast app and the sleek and sexy look of their new products. I totally need to try their products out to fill my home with music this Christmas!
My parents had an ASG education account for my little sister and it really helped her get through uni so it was great to see this familiar brand at the brunch! It was also really beneficial learning that they’re not just an education fund but also provide other services to help our kids throughout their education journey – when we got home I downloaded a letters and maths program for kids 3yo and above and Daniel has been loving it!! He says that he’s a “little learner” and he likes Maths…what a champ!
– Kambrook
I loved their goodie bag which came with one of their products – green smoothies and pureed baby food is going to be so much easier this time round! With Daniel I pureed up his first solid foods with a fork!
– Medela
It was so nice talking to one of the ladies at the Medela stand. She gave me some great tips on breastfeeding and expressing! Even though I’d done it all before with Daniel, it’s surprising how much you forget and how different each baby is! It was also encouraging to know that this brand prides itself on evidence based research in order to develop truly advanced products for the market.

I wasn’t able to get around to each and every brand but some of the others were,
– Licetec
– Jura
– Infasecure

The Venue

Bloggers Brunch this year was again held inside the gorgeous Encore event venue next to the St Kilda Sea Baths. The venue, the food, the sound and lighting were all on point. Kids Business had also organised professional carers and some fun activities (a big ball pit, coloring in station) for the toddlers and babies that came along with us mamas! There were even comfy couches in the middle, comfy enough to enable me to breastfeed Hannah on demand.

The Speakers

And if all that weren’t enough to get you out and about on a beautiful Melbourne day, the team at Kids Business had also organised a few inspirational speakers. I always love this part! I love hearing different success stories and lessons learnt. We heard from:
Genine Howard
Award-winning magazine publisher and life stylist. Owner and editor of Little One Mag.
Kate Christie
Time Management specialist and author of “Me Time” – The Professional Woman’s Guide to Finding 30 Guilt-Free Hours a Month
Shusannah Morris
Shusannah is Co-Founder/ CEO at Life’s Little Treaaures Foundation and Australian of the Year nominee with a vision and commitment to support families of premature and sick babies across Australia.
Tina Harris
Tina is best known for her acting gig as Lah-Lah from Lah-Lah’s Adventures. Tina and her husband worked together to create on of the highest rating TV shows and is also a breast cancer thriver – Tina is an exemplary example of someone who embraces passion and purpose and collaborates with people to achieve her big, audacious goal.

This year some of the messages and stories included “Start with the low hanging fruit”, “Identify your rejects”, “Time is money – teach them how to put their shoes away”, “Is this the best use of my time?” and loads more golden nuggets of info.

The Charity

This year Life’s Little Treasures Foundation was the charity that the event supported. Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is Australia’s leading charity dedicated to providing information. support and understanding to the parents of babies born premature or sick. I didn’t know that there are 76 premature births every day in Australia alone.

Smash Nude Food Movers

It was a jam packed brunch with just the right amount of time for mingling, listening, and eating as you can see in my vid at the top of this post! Also check out my Instagram for more pics 🙂

Thank you Kids Business for yet another superbly run event. I can’t wait for the next one!


Mama Mondays – What a weekend! Learning a few lessons.

Daniel met such a friendly Santa at the shopping centre the other day!

Life Lately – December Week 1

‘Tis the season for lots of parties. December has gotten off to a seriously festive start with our weekend jam packed with birthdays and celebrations. This past weekend the boys went off on a road-trip to Canberra for the 2015 Australian Dance Crew Championships finals while Hannah and I attended milestone birthdays and baptisms.

Things are really turned up a notch going from one child to two! Props to all the parents out there for all the patience they constantly have to pull from somewhere to keep everything together. Three years experience of being a mum and I still have so much to learn!

   Stretchy, stretchy. Magandang Umaga! (Good Morning!) – Hannah streches so much as soon as she gets out of her bassinet in the mornings!

 Apart from pooping everywhere and every time I put a dress on her, Hannah was so good sleeping through all the birthday parties and letting Mummy eat and chat with her friends. I will however need to get her car seat detailed after an icky explosion :/

Mama lesson #1 – Make sure you have at least three set of spare clothes for a newborn when going out.
IMG_7978A Christmas BBQ catch up with the Comms team!

Mama lesson #2 – Bring folding chairs when having a catch up in the park so that you don’t have to try and secure one of the park tables and benches
Mama lesson #3 – Aldi have some good ones! It’s always good chatting with different people because you can always learn something new – this weekend I learnt a few organisation and household hacks

After coming home tired and sweaty from several engagements, it was time to do some cleaning around the house while Hannah slept. How do parents get the cleaning done with kids in the house? Tips please!

Meanwhile, these two cousins are wondering “Where are all the people?” in this small town of Gundagai in New South Wales.Brother and sister“I missed you” – Sibling love.