Thursday, May 30, 2013

{Teen World} What Kind of Mom Do You Have?

My daughter was reading the following article from a teen mag a day ago.  Read on, while I figure out which mom I am ;)

Not all moms are created equal!
And that is a good thing because you're not "just like everyone else" either.

But the tricky thing about most mother-daughter relationships, especially in the teenage years and onward, is that even though you love each other, you just can't seem to understand each other.

Inspired by countless movies I have seen of mother-daughter relationships, below is a sort of an easy-reference guide to finding out what kind of mom you have and how you can use your knowledge to improve your relationship with her and your relationship with other people.

Take note that some moms will perfectly fit just one personality; other moms might be a combination of up to three personality types.

The Stressed, Overworked Mom

She almost always says: "I never have time to rest!"
She reminds you of:  Donna Sheridan in "Mamma Mia!"
When she was a teen:  Your mom was the friend everyone could always count on.  The problem is she was never really sure who to turn to when she needed help.
Why she's a cool mom:  She'll do anything to make your life happier and more comfortable.  And it's not just you. She will help anyone who asks for a favor.  She's just so nice and accommodating!
What's not so cool:  Because she always says yes to requests and favors, she's chronically tired and always complaining that she needs a break.
How to deal:  Tell her, "Let me do something for you, Mom." and really mean it.  Get your siblings to chip in and send Mom off to a spa for a whole day of royal pampering, then surprise her when she gets home with a spotlessly clean house and chore-free kitchen.
How she helps you:  She shows you the value of sacrifice, especially if it's for the people you love.  This allows you to be more generous with others. Just be careful not to burn out-and treat yourself to a spa day once in a while too!

The Perfectionist Mom

She almost always says: "Everything must be perfect."
She reminds you of: Bree Hodge in Desperate Housewives
When she was a teen:  She had to become an adult too fast and didn't get a chance to be a kid.  She often felt she had high standards to live up to.  Now, she still applies those standards to herself and her loved ones.
Why she's a cool mom:  Your friends are always impressed by your  magazine-cover-worthy house, your card-catalogued book and CD collections, and your mom's gourmet cooking.
What's not so cool: You often feel like you can't do anything right compared to her-like you're the one clumsy klutz in her perfect world.
How to deal: She'll never tell you, but she actually feels trapped by her own high standards.  Help her loosen up by assuring her when something she's done is good enough, and be generous with your compliments (especially when she thinks she's messed up!)
How she helps you: You get a special kind of satisfaction when you know you've given something your best effort, and people are surprised and honored to know you consider them worthy of that.  That's a gift you've gotten from your mom!

The Artistic Mom

She often says: "Aww, isn't this just the cutest thing?"
She reminds you of:  Connie Torres in "Camp Rock"
When she was a teen: She probably had few close friends, and never really felt like she fit in with other kids.  Eventually she discovered her own talents, and later created her own rules for what happiness should be.
Why she's a cool mom:  She consistently surprises you, challenges stereotypes, and teaches you through example how to be comfortable in your own skin.
What's not so cool : Her attraction to the unexpected can either: a) put you in strange situations, b) send her into places of high emotional drama or c) both.
How to deal: You might need to ground your mom in reality sometimes, and show her how certain decisions she makes affect you and the entire family.  She's the type of mom who will actually listen to a teenage daughter.
How she helps you:  Her artistic side helps you form you own sense of style at an early age - as well as your distinct individuality.  Many guys find this independent-mindedness appealing, so all you have to do is keep their interest.

The Forever 21 Mom

She often says: "Age is just a number."
She reminds you of :  Regina George's mom in "Mean Girls"
When she was a teen:  There was so much she wanted to do, but too little time to do it!  Always excited by challenges, she resisted being told what she could and could not do.
Why she's a cool mom:  On the outside her body is youthful, and inside, she's young at heart.  She really gets the stage you're in, and you can probably talk to her about anything.
What's not so cool:  She borrows your clothes, your makeup, your iPhone...and sometimes your friends.  Depending on how much your friends like her, it can range from embarrassing to irritating.
How to Deal: Celebrate the fact that you have a mom who can listen to your side of the story without judgment, and use this wisely when you tell her how you feel about the things she does that make you uncomfortable.
How she helps you:  She redefines expectations about what "growing old" should be like-and her version is exciting!  She knows that you can always go after new dreams or continue reaching for old ones, and that you can always start whenever and wherever you are.

The All-Knowing Mom

She often says: "I know what you are going through."
She reminds you of:  Dr. Tess Coleman in Freaky Friday
When she was a teen:  She had a tendency to over-analyze and over-think everything, but prided herself on making well-informed decisions.
Why she's a cool mom:  She reads books on how to relate with teenagers, and you know she tries to be interested in what's happening to your life.
What's not so cool:  Sometimes she just seems to classify your problems to one big drawer called "teen angst," and doesn't give you enough credit for the decisions you make.
How to deal: Be glad your mom is interested in your life, but lead her away from her "theories" and show her more of your "real world".  Grab opportunities for one-on-one talks with her.  Show her how  you can both learn from each other-she'll love you more for it!
How she helps you: Although experience is better than theory, your mom shows you how finding the right information can help prepare you for the important experiences in life.  It can even empower you to bring the best out of your life right now!

The Driven Mom

She often says: "Failure is not an option!"
She reminds you of : Tina Harwood in Ice Princess
When she was a teen: She was encouraged to excel by her own parents.  And because the experience made her a better and stronger person, she thinks it's what's best for you, too!
Why she's a cool mom:  She's a workaholic who wants to be the best.  She expects the same 200% commitment from you and won't understand your need for anything else.
How to deal: Your mom is used to ignoring emotions by busying herself with work.  Hang in there, build up your emotional strength, and tell her the truth she needs to hear.  Your relationship might get strained for a while, but your show of strength will soon gain her respect.
How she helps you:  Your mom's personality teaches you to go after what you want, and to not pretend to be less than who you are just to make a guy feel better.  And that's always attractive to the right kind of guy.

The Team Player Mom

She often says: "Just wait till your father gets home."
She reminds you of: Edna Turnblad in Hairspray
When she was a teen:  She loved being part of a team.  She liked playing by the rules and knowing what she was allowed to do before taking any kind of action.
Why she's a cool mom:  She looks to your dad as your family's leader, and shows him the kind of active support that creates consistency and harmony in your family.
What's not so cool:  She's often afraid to try new things.  Although you hate to admit it, sometimes you wish she were a bit more exciting.
How to deal: Depending on your personality, you can either try to help your mom gain the courage to try new things, or be content with the fact that she will never rock the boat.  In fact, she will quietly support you in much the same way she supports your dad.
How she helps you:  Your mom possesses a grace and vulnerability that seems old-fashioned, but once you understand it you'll discover why it can be refreshingly attractive to guys.  She helps you realize there's no "war of the sexes" if you can just accept each other's strength.

The Chillax Mom

She often says: "I don't want to get into this right now."
She reminds you of: Lily Van Der Woodsen in Gossip Girl
When she was a teen:  She believed (and she still does) that everyone was nice-her parents, old classmates, even her teachers.  She never minded going with the flow, and felt that there really wasn't much that was worth getting upset over.
Why she's a cool mom: She often lets you have your way, and gives you the money for it too!  She doesn't really expect you to tell her what you've been up to, since she thinks you're old enough to be on your own.
What's not so cool:  Sometimes you wish she'd set firmer rulers and give you more active guidance.  Though you both want to believe you're mature enough, you know there's so much you haven't figured out yet.
How to deal: Muster enough maturity to know what you need (not just what you want) and tell your mom when you need help, when you need advice, and when you need her to give you firmer limits.  Don't worry, she'll never turn dictator on you-she doesn't have it in her.
How she helps you:  Your mom's personality helps you become more relaxed about yourself, and about other people.  Her calming presence in the midst of problems teaches you to trust in the goodness of others, and to have faith that everything eventually works out for the best.

The Queen Mom

 She often says: "I'm right, so do exactly as I say."
She reminds you of: Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray
When she was a teen:  She was a natural leader, and she accepted that role because she felt she could really help others stand up for their beliefs.
Why she's a cool mom:  Teachers and other parents are intimidated and impressed by her-and by extension, you.  She naturally assumes leadership positions, whether it is in your subdivision, the PTA or elsewhere.
What's not so cool:  She often acts like the boss of everyone at home too- you, your siblings, maybe even your dad.  This often creates a lot of resentment and confusion.
How to deal:  Make a habit out of thinking things through, looking at all the options, and making responsible decisions.  This will prove to your mom that she can trust your maturity, talk to you as an equal, and maybe even listen to you as well.
How she helps you:  Your mom helps you understand that a woman's strength comes in many forms.  Use her example to discover your own strength-and accept the responsibility that comes with using them.

Photos from Google.
Article from here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BIR Sets Deadline to Surrender Unused Receipts

A photo by ddpavumba via

Update as of August 13, 2013: BIR issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 52-2013 extending the use use of unused/unissued principal and supplementary invoices printed prior to January 18, 2013 is extended to October 31, 2013, subject to following conditions.Read all about it here.

Update: BIR issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 44-2013 extending the validity of all unused/unissued principal and supplementary receipts/invoices printed prior to January 18, 2013, the effectivity date of RR 18-2012, from June 30, 2013 to August 30, 2013.  

However the deadline for filing an application for the printing of new receipts to replace all unused/unissued principal supplementary receipts/invoices printed prior to Jan 18, 2013 shall be maintained as of April 30, 2013, and therefore all applications received after said date shall be considered late application and the penalties for late filing shall be imposed.

After August 30, 2013, all principal and supplementary receipts and invoices printed before January 18, 2013 shall no longer be valid.  Issuance of these receipts shall be deemed to be an issuance of an invalid receipt or deemed as if no receipts were issued, and a violation of Section 264 of the National Internal Revenue Code.

Late last year, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Philippines’ tax collection agency issued Revenue Regulations No 18-2012 prescribing the policies and guidelines in the processing of Authority to Print official receipts, sales invoices and other commercial invoices using the online ATP systems. 
Under this issued regulation, all professionals, persons engaged in business, corporation and entities engaged in business are required to surrender their unused official receipts and other commercial invoices and issue new ones printed by printers accredited by the BIR.
All these unused official receipts and invoices printed prior to the effectivity of Revenue Regulations No. 18-2012 shall be valid only until June 30, 2013.  If a businessman had 100 booklets of sales invoices printed in November 2012, he is left with no choice but to surrender all unused invoices for destruction and have new ones printed.
As prescribed by the revenue regulation, a taxpayer shall apply for a new ATP (Authority To Print) not later that sixty (60) days (April 30, 2013) prior to the actual expiry date which is June 30, 2013.  The BIR Commisioner said that all applications filed beyond April 30 shall be penalized the amount of P1,000.00 pursuant to Section 275 of the Tax Code.
The BIR opted to discard the old receipts and require the printing of new ones by printers accredited by the BIR to closely monitor the issuance of said receipts.  Some businesses have been issuing unregistered invoices to under-declare their gross earnings. This practice has been causing the government to fail to collect the correct amount of income, value-added and percentage taxes. 

The regulation specifically classified invoices/receipts as principal and supplementary.  Principal forms are composed of sales invoice and official receipts while order slips, delivery receipts and other related forms are considered supplementary.  Sales invoices are issued for the sale of goods and/or properties.  Official receipts are issued for the sale of services/leasing of properties.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Encouraging Kids to Love Writing

A photo by pat138241 via

Kids just hate writing.
English teachers polishing their students’ essay writing swear that their kids just do not have the heart to write!
But I guess they do.  They just don’t like doing it for an English subject requirement.
They write every time and oh, so creatively, too.  Just look at their Facebook status, comments, notes and tweets, text messages, and e-mails.  They love blogging their thoughts on Tumblr, posting photos on Instagram with very witty captions, and writing something smart (!)like “Marie was here!” on bathroom walls.  I don’t know if they still pass secret notes in class, but we did that a lot in my time. 
Kids do love to write.  They just don’t like doing it for a class.
Believe me, kids do not need to rely on an essay writing service if they are asked to write about something they are familiar with, something or someone they care passionately about.  Essay topics are forced on the students, but it will be better if they are allowed to choose a topic to write about that is close to their hearts, something that they have a strong opinion on (like cyber bullying and how to prevent it), something that makes them angry (like the 182 pine trees to be cut at the SM- Baguio Mall to give way to a parking lot), or someone they care about so deeply and why.  Giving them a chance to choose and write about a topic that interests them may just bring out their writing brilliance.
Some students would claim that they cannot write.  They just do not have the talent for it.  Wrong.  Kids who are offered lots of encouragement and opportunities to complete their assigned essays usually gain confidence in their writing. 
When I was in high school, I would take hours to write my essay during English class.  Scribbling a line from The Breakfast Club on my desk was much easier.  However, in my senior year, I was lucky to have an English teacher who made us write from our hearts.  Some of her tips were to:
Explore.  Looking around can help a lot.  Inspiration can come from anyone, anything and anywhere. 

Read.  Reading and exposing yourselves to various writing styles can help you come up with a writing style that is uniquely yours.

Create.  Once you start writing, just keep going.  Let all your ideas flow seamlessly.  Don’t worry if you don’t have all the details yet.  It will come as the essay progresses.

Revise.   Your rough draft does not need to be perfect.  Start small and develop it, without fear of making changes that will make your essay better.

Proofread. Check your work for possible mistakes in grammar and spelling.  Some eclectic English teachers give their kids plenty of opportunity to write in their own style, though, as long as it is the best way to express their ideas.

Quick Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Funk

Meditate.  Take several deep breaths to calm your mind and relax your body.  Think positive thoughts like "Today will be a great day," and say them to yourself over and over to attract good vibes.

Make a To Do List.  It is not exactly tackling all your tasks, but seeing everything in list form can slowly ease your mind into work mode and get you psyched to finish everything you need to.

Inspire yourself.  Post the photos of people that inspire you on your  mirror or paste them on your planner where you can see them everyday.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Writing A Dissertation

A photo by nuchylee via

My friend is working on her doctoral degree and is at a loss on how to start with her dissertation writing.  She wants to get her doctoral degree so badly and so many ideas are swimming in her head.  She wishes she can put all her ideas together and come up with a brilliant dissertation.

I have no experience with writing a dissertation, so of course, I cannot offer her any kind of help.  Just researching on dissertation help is giving me a major headache!

First of all, I thought a dissertation is pretty much like writing an essay.  I was wrong.  Books and the world wide web is a major help in writing an essay.  For dissertations, it doesn’t work that way.  It is much more complicated.  For dissertation writing help, you need to go through volumes of journal articles, newspaper articles, books, attend meetings and conferences, and read government publications.   This could give you major information overload, which may not help you at all in making your dissertation.

A dissertation requires that you impart some new information and knowledge to the main topic that you chose.  You are expected to come up with a completely new theory by using other research materials and resources to guide you in your research.

Like in any assignment or project, the most important step in planning to write and finish a dissertation is by setting a deadline.  Procrastination has no place when trying to accomplish your dissertation.  Ample time is needed to review, revise, check for mistakes and insert additional ideas.  Using a journal for your ideas will serve as a big help in writing your dissertation.  Once you have organized your ideas, create an outline.

Dissertation is an academic paper, which means that luminaries in the academic field will read your thesis.  Make sure your writing style is formal.  If you took great pains in working on your dissertation, it can be an important part of your academic career.

Make a research on the structure of your dissertation.  Once you have completed and proofread your dissertation, look for an editor who will not only check on grammar and spelling issue, but will give ideas for overall continuity and flow of your paper.

No matter how dedicated you are to completing your dissertation, sometimes, life gets in the way- your responsibilities in your regular day job, your little baby boy, family responsibilities, even finishing the laundry.  Everything seems to be conspiring in preventing you to finish your paper.    When this is happening and you are totally exhausted you want to give up, deal with these stressors by finding and making time for yourself.  Treating yourself to a massage, a movie or a dinner date with a friend can sometimes help.

Online Shopping at Lazada Philippines Now Made Easier with BDO Installment Plans!

Lazada Philippines, the country’s biggest online shopping mall, is now offering installment plans for BDO (Banco De Oro) credit cardholders.

Purchasing item/s worth 3,000 and up gives cardholders the options of 3-month, 6-month, 12-month, 18-month, or 24-month installment payments. Monthly payment amount varies depending on chosen installment plan and total amount purchase.

This payment option is visible upon checkout. Once order has been submitted, customers will be redirected to a BDO online gateway wherein credit card information must be submitted. The checkout page and BDO Payment Gateway are guaranteed to be secure.

About Lazada
LAZADA, an enterprise of German online venture builder Rocket Internet, is Southeast Asia’s fastest growing online store, with presence in five countries – Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. As the Philippines’ Online Shopping Mall, LAZADA offers over 20,000 consumer products, ranging from electronics, gadgets, home appliances, fashion and accessories, to health and beauty merchandise, as well as books and stationery.

Lazada Philippines Main Office
3rd Floor Salustiana D. Ty Tower
104 Paseo de Roxas corner Perea St.
Makati City 1229
(02) 795 8900

About Banco De Oro
BANCO DE ORO or BDO is a full-service universal bank in the Philippines. It provides a complete array of industry-leading products and services including Lending, Deposit-taking, Foreign Exchange, Brokering, Trust and Investments, Credit Cards, Corporate Cash Management and Remittances in the Philippines. Through its subsidiaries, the bank offers Leasing and Financing, Investment Banking, Private Banking, Bancassurance, Insurance Brokerage and Stock Brokerage services.

BDO Corporate Center
7899 Makati Avenue
Makati City 0726, Philippines
Trunkline: (+632) 840-7000

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bully Proof: Reedley International School’s Campaign Against Bullying

Bullying has always been one of today’s parents’ utmost concerns when choosing a school for their children. As one of the pioneer schools in the Philippines to implement anti-bullying programs, Reedley International School has always been a trailblazer in ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for its students.

There are several forms of bullying, which can be classified into four general types – physical,verbal, social, and cyber. First, physical bullying would involve aggressive physical contact with another person such as hitting, punching, pushing, and even stealing another person’s property. Then, verbal bullying would be name calling, threatening, or making a person feel bad through the use of words. Third, social bullying happens when someone is left out, deliberately ignored, ridiculed or ostracized through gossip, or made to feel like an outsider in a group. Lastly, any information or activity that is deliberately posted on the web orexchanged through technological gadgets, which is harmful to the well-being of another person,is considered as cyber-bullying.

Reedley believes that the best way to address bullying is for students, teachers, and parents to know the different forms of bullyingand work together to stop and prevent it from happening. Thus, it is the primary responsibility of any learning institution to educateits community members about the nature and repercussions of bullying and equip them with ways to prevent and address it. Also, schools should establish community awareness and promote community involvement by educating its parents and even other family members about this serious issue. Ultimately, schools must train its teachers and staff toearn their students’ trust and form an honest and nurturingrelationship with them. Then, it will be much easier for the teacher to assess the gravity of the bullying situation and help the child put a stop to it.Teachers must be able to help students identify and analyze different bullying situationsand take decisive action, whenever they find themselves in the shoes of the bully, or the bullied, or the bystander.

So how did Reedley make itself an anti-bullying school? The school created a comprehensive campaign that focuses on addressing and preventing bullying, which is supported by the values that they instil in their students through theirLife Skills program. “Bully-Proof”, as Reesians call it, is an annual month-long activity designed to prevent any form of intimidation amongst students, especially towards younger batches or new students. Activities such as “Big Brother and Big Sister” are launched to promote a culture of kindness, caring, responsibility, and toleranceamong students. Special learning modules which are aimed to help students realize their self-worth and respect the value and gifts of other people were integrated in their classes. Some of the many examples of learning modules given to Reedley students are the following:

-          “The Anatomy of a Bully and a Bully Victim,”
-          “The Importance Of Tolerance And Respecting Others,”
-          “The Power Of Sincere Praise,”
-          “This Is A No Put Down Zone”.

Also, the school invites distinguished guest speakers and designated experts on bullying and cyber-bullying to give informative talks to Middle School and Upper School students. These activities are spread out within the month and would end with an oath-taking ceremony where students have now become “bully-proof” Reesians.

Life Skills, on the other hand, is the school’sflagship programcreated to provide Reedley students with lessons, scripts, and skills to take charge of their life right now, in school, at home, and beyond. This foundational program strengthens and supports the anti-bullying stance of the school and helps create a highly positive impact in its students, parents, and teachers.

The Life Skills program centers on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. These 7 Habits illustrate how the practice of these habits can help prevent bullying and be happy with friends, family, and with school life. As the student population grew from 80 students in the year 2000 to 565 in 2013, the application of the 7 Habits went beyond Covey’s book that the school had to include developing self-confidence, time management, study habits, relationship with parents, conflict resolution, the languages of love, and the languages of apology in their Life Skills curriculum. With the Life Skills program, the school has helped its students:

  • become confident and know their strengths and points for improvement
  • acquire the ability to process themselves when faced with difficult situations
  • become effective negotiators and mediators when resolving conflicts
  • have a better appreciation of their relationships with others
  • become more kind and respectful individuals.

With bullying becoming more prevalent today, schools, together with parents, should be more proactive and become more responsible in providing a safe and nurturing environment for our children, both in school and at home. From its inception thirteen years ago, Reedley International School has established the school-and-home-partnership to address bullying and focus on what matters most: kind and happy students.

Related Article: Reedley International School: An Anti-Bullying School

Reedley International School: An Anti-Bullying School


Reedley International School is the first and only institution among the top schools in Metro Manila and in the Philippines to provide a unique international educational program that enables students to learn more with a less stressful, yet engaging and challenging experience. Serving families for over 13 years, Reedley has ensured that apart from being at par with international standards, it provides a nurturing learning environment to its students, thus producing happy and well-rounded individuals. Reedley is currently a Candidate for Accreditation to be awarded by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)-USA and a Regular Member of the Council of International Schools (CIS)-UK.

Happy students are better learners, and this is evident in how Reedley raises its kids. Its small class sizes guarantee that learners are able to fully grasp the lessons taught by their teachers. Unlike most schools which only measure how smart or dumb a child is, Reedley acts as a roadmap and mentor that nurtures each student to reach his or her goals through after-school review sessions, customized academic and non-academic action plans and one-on-one parent chats. Annually, 85% of Reedley graduates pass the Top 5 local universities (University of the Philippines, Ateneo, De La Salle, University of Asia and the Pacific, and University of Santo Tomas) and foreign colleges such as University of San Francisco, USA, Northwood University in Michigan, USA, Purdue University, Limkokwing University in Malaysia, and Singapore School of Management to name a few.

Bullying, at home and in school, greatly contributes to child stress and hinders them from learning and from having healthy family and peer relationships. Reedley has always been at the forefront of campaigns against bullying, and is one of the pioneers of anti-bullying school programs in the country. Through the years, the school has effectively launched activities through its annual Bully Proof program that promote a culture of kindness, belongingness, and camaraderie in school. Reedley’s anti-bullying campaigns were even used as a reference in drafting a house bill on anti-bullying policies for schools.

Reedley’s flagship subject, Life Skills, has been helping students to manage healthy relationships and work effectively by handling stress without sweating the small stuff. Life Skills uses The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and Happy Kids by Sean Covey as an anchor and guide. In addition to Reedley’s anti-bullying campaigns, the school integrates study skills, time management, and conflict resolution in its curriculum.

For more information, contact (02) 571 5291 or visit Reedley International School at Reedley International School or log on to
Like them on Facebook - Reedley International School Philippines
Tweet @reedleyschool

Reedley International School was founded by Mrs. Nellie-Aquino-Ong in 1999. The name was bestowed as a tribute to Reedley College, California, USA, a small community where Mrs. Ong studied and excelled along with the help of nurturing teachers and mentors. This value of nurturing was evident among teachers and administrators in Reedley College and is seen today in Reedley International School.

Starting life as a review center in 1994 to give personalized teaching to students aiming to enter the country’s top universities, Reedley opened as an Upper School in 2000, with 80 students. A 250% growth rate in 2001, and the opening of Grade School and Middle School, saw Reedley move to larger premises in Pasig. In 2006, Reedley moved to its current location in Libis, Quezon City, to cater to the current level of 565 students from 19 different nationalities.

For more information, please contact:
Chesca Peralejo
Mobile: 0919. 999 5356

Cathy Alcantara
Mobile: 0917.507 9306

Celina Arias

Mobile: 0917.507 9313

Related: Bully Proof: Reedley International School's Campaign Against Bullying

Monday, May 20, 2013

Understanding How Exposure to Asbestos Can Cause Mesothelioma

A couple of months ago, I featured a guest post by Heather who was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of cancer with a survival rate of only seven to eight percent, which is caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a substance commonly used in fiber cement boards, packaging materials and mechanical parts in motor vehicles such as brakes and clutch linings.  It can also be found in houses, schools and buildings.  Corrugated cement sheets and side walls may contain asbestos.  However, experts claim that there is no problem as long as the materials are in good condition and will remain intact in which case they will not release asbestos fibers.  To avoid exposure to asbestos in damaged housing materials, do not attempt to DIY.  Have a qualified professional remove and replace materials that contain asbestos. Do not sand, saw or drill holes on asbestos containing materials and asbestos flooring. 

In 2011, asbestos-containing wire gauzes used in public high schools in the Philippines which contain three percent chrysotile asbestos were finally removed, preventing the risk of  exposure of students and teachers.

The following is a post by Sybil, an avid blogger who became aware of mesothelioma when her grandfather contracted it in 2007. She hopes to spread awareness of the disease and in so doing to increase early detection and help victims become survivors. 

When a person has a prolonged exposure to asbestos, her body may develop cancerous cells, which may result in a fatal disease called mesothelioma. Asbestos was once used in the materials used to construct buildings, and although it is not used anymore it still exists in some buildings built around the middle of the twentieth century. While asbestos in good condition is not actually dangerous, as soon as the material is damaged, asbestos fibers are released into the air and can be inhaled or ingested. This is what causes mesothelioma, a fatal cancer that kills several thousand people each year. There are different types of mesothelioma cancers, and the most dangerous one among them is sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

Most Common Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of mesothelioma are-

-       Respiratory Problems,
-       Small Lumps on Chest,
-       Pain in Chest,
-       Pain while Coughing.
-       Unexpected Weight Loss

A person who has been exposed to asbestos may witness these symptoms anywhere from three to 50 years later. The symptoms are often mistaken for regular aging problems or do not become prominent for too long. The later the diagnoses, the more challenging it is to administer treatments and increase mesothelioma life expectancy.

Diagnosis of Cancer

After the symptoms are recorded and history of exposure to asbestos determined, the next step normally taken by the doctors is to check the whole body. This is normally done with x-rays and then high-end imaging procedures like CT scans and MRIs. (While mesothelioma often begins in the lungs or stomach, by the time it is diagnosed the cancer has often spread to other organs.)

If the obtained images show some significant abnormalities then a biopsy is carried out. The biopsy either confirms or rules out the possibility of a mesothelioma cancer.

Due to the difficulties and complications in the diagnosis, it is always suggested to take two three opinions to completely determine the presence of mesothelioma. If the disease isn’t diagnosed quickly, then the cancerous cells may spread throughout the body, and the patient may have very little chance of survival.

Treatment Options

Technically, mesotheliomatreatment differs from other cancer treatments, but almost all cancer patients usually undergo some kind of surgeries, radiation therapies, and chemotherapy. The administration of these standard procedures purely depends upon where the cancer is located and at which stage it has been diagnosed.

Very Low Survival Rates

Unfortunately, such cancerous cells are extremely resistant to any kind of treatment and the average survival period from diagnosis to death has been recorded as 6-18 months depending on the particular survey.

Only a few lucky patients who are diagnosed early tend to survive, but the survival rate is usually only around 7-8%. There are quite a few treatments available for mesothelioma, but there isn’t a single fail-proof medication that is capable of curing it.
Better to Be Safe
So, if you had been exposed to asbestos, even moderately, and regardless of how long ago, it’s highly recommended to get your body thoroughly checked for any traces of cancerous cells.  

{Teen World}: Teens and Music

Like any teenager, I grew up having a soundtrack for each day of my life.  It could range from Wham’s “Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go)”  (if I am feeling extremely happy), Belinda Carlisle’s “I Get Weak”  (every time I see the one I was seriously crushing on) or Westlife’s  “Flying without Wings” (when feeling hopeful or philosophical about life).

My teen girls are quite the same.  I can easily foretell their state of mind by the kind of music they listen to.  Sometimes, they would do a lovely duet that sometimes I wish I can get them an electro harmonix from musicians friend.

We tend to listen to music that reflects what we are feeling, so I think we should listen closely to what our teens listen to as a gauge for what they are going through.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Teen World: Help! My Parents Are Online!

A photo by stockimages via

"My worst nightmare ever!  My mom is online!"

Teens love testing their independence and this is the stage where getting online with the parents are considered uncool.   

Situation No. 1 :  "My mom is adding me on Facebook.  Should I accept her invite?"

How to deal with it: Yes, you should!  Letting your parents know that you have an online account and accepting their invite gives you and your parents another thing to talk about and bond over.  Who knows, maybe you'll find out something cool about your mom too!

Sticky Situation No. 2: "My mom and I are now Facebook friends, and now she's friending my friends as well!  This is totally not cool.  What can I do?"

How to deal with it:  You might feel that your mom is invading your privacy by "friending" your friends but your mom might just want to know more about what's going on in your life-and your friends' lives too-so she can help you out more when you need it.  She might not realize that you think it's uncool, so tell her how you feel and ask her why she wants to be friends with your friends too.  Then compromise-maybe she can send friend requests to your best friends, but not your whole class.  This way, your mom won't feel suspicious that you're trying to hide something from her, and you and your friends won't feel that your mom is invading your privacy-or "liking" status messages from your class frenemy.

Sticky Situation No. 3: My parents are viewing my blog! Are they spying on me?

How to deal with it:  Remember that even if there are privacy settings that you can fix yourself (for example, you can make posts about your crush to be seen only by you and your best friend), your online profiles-the pages where your photo, name, and location can be seen-are still available to everybody in your network.  Also, you can't control who among your friends can repost your pictures (and not apply the same privacy settings you did).  If you think that you and your friends are being spied on, try to be more open with your parents by sharing the things you and your friends like to do (and encourage your friends to do the same thing too with their parents!) and show them your pictures yourself so they won't have to check out your pictures without you knowing.  You parents are probably just curious, not suspicious.

Sticky Situation No.4: "My mom scolds me and calls me corny family nicknames on her Twitter!"

How to deal with it:  If being scolded online make you feel embarrassed, or if your friends start teasing you because of your parents' posts, talk to your parents to let them know.  Reassure them that you'd still like to be their "little sweetheart"-but only at home.  Try spending more time bonding with your parents when you're at home.  If you're online all the time, can you blame them if they feel that's the only place they can talk to you, even about private things?

Sticky Situation No. 5:  "My mom's going through my profile and telling me to take out information like  our address and phone number.  Why?  Only my friends can see it anyway, right?

How to deal with it:  Social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, request for some personal information, like your full name and address, but you don't have to give them your full address, down to the street and the number of your house.  Your personal info might be made available to other people who could just be pretending to be your friend, such as stalkers and bullies.  Instead, put a general location like your city or town.  Also, be cautious whenever somebody you don't know sends you a friend request.  Tell your parents at once when strangers try to add you, and keep strangers from accessing your profile (this is where you should use the "block user" button).  It's not that your parents are trying to stop you from enjoying your time online or telling you what you do. They just want to protect you from the bad people lurking around on the internet so you can have safe fun when you're online.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

{A Review} A Parent's Playbook for Learning by Jen Lilienstein

Whenever I attended school meetings in my children’s grade school (it is a progressive school which I will talk about in a future post), the school head always emphasized that children learn differently. She would ask us how our kids do their schoolwork at home.  Some parents would say they get exasperated because their children do their homework in front of the TV or with headphones glued in their ears, or on the floor. My daughter (Paula, the eldest) did her homework my way when I was a child-on a study table in a quiet room where she can concentrate, so I thought the school head would say that my daughter does her homework perfectly and that the other parents’ kids should ban the TV or the music or get a desk or something.

When the School Head told every parent to let them do their homework the way the children want-listen to music, have the TV on, even lie on the floor- as long as they are able to concentrate and finish their work, we were pleasantly surprised.

She would then talk about how children have different learning styles and how the school addresses those differences.

A month ago, I was able to read “A Parent’s Playbook for Learning” by Jen Lilienstein which discusses in detail eight types of learners and how we, as parents, can help our children ultimately understand a lesson or concept presented by a teacher specifically for just one type of learner.

This book, which won the Pinnacle Award for Best Parenting & Family Book, will walk you through your child’s personality profile.  Through this book, you will learn in what areas your child is gifted and how you can cultivate their giftedness.  You can help your child soar through subjects they love and breeze through subjects they thought they detest.  You can get a detailed personal profile of your child at the Kidzmet website for free and would take only 10-20 minutes.

As opposed to Paula who is profiled as an ISJ (Introverted Sensing Judger) and Nicole who is profiled as IFP (Introverted Feeling Perceiver), my seven year old Adrian is profiled as ENP (Extraverted Intuitive Perceiver).   His personal motto according to his profile is “Don’t Fence Me In” which is quite different from my “Introverted” girls.

Adrian at four years old cooking his own fingerpaint

Kidzmet was very accurate when it described Adrian as:

  • One who “processes his initial thoughts better by talking them out (thinking aloud)”.  Unlike his sisters who can complete their tasks by doing them on their own, Adrian needs to “talk through” his tasks first.
  • One who “enjoys combining work and play.” I used to find this difficult to reconcile because I am that sort of person who separates work and play with the thought that combining the two will bring up a haphazard work.
  • A Perceiver who is “energized by the pressure of a deadline”  I can so relate to this (which means I am a perceiver?).

I, as a parent confronted with three children with three different learning profiles, sure did struggle to understand how different they were from each other.  There were times, I admit, that I tended to compare them and taught one child the way I did the other child (and ended up frustrated).  A lot of times, I helped them with their school work and insisted on doing the work my way (or their sibling’s way), not theirs.  “A Parent’s Playbook For Learning” opened my eyes (the way the School Head did) on how my children are unique and quite different from each other and how I can help them learn the way they are wired to learn.

You can grab A Parent's Playbook for Learning at Amazon in Paperback and Kindle version and of course at