The stretch of August to September has been one big adjustment for me. I decided to quit my full-time job because I came home one day and realized the kids had been eating adobo for two weeks straight.
If working was a big adjustment, so was not working. While the kids were on vacation, the day seemed endless, filled with anything I could imagine. When the school year opened, this time with extra-curricular activities, I found myself more swamped—with managing my kids’ schedules.
But through it all, I stumbled into several discoveries that made motherhood easier.
First is Biolane head-to-toe body wash. My daughter loves it, as do I, because it takes only one step to get clean. My kids have become masters at bathing themselves with ease. It’s delicate enough for their skin, but strong enough to remove the pawis smell.
Available here from France, Biolane is made with all-natural ingredients, including a patented, natural plant-based formulation. It protects by limiting skin dehydration and hydration by nourishing and enriching the epidermis, acting as a barrier for the skin.
Organic and zero waste
Keeping the family well-fed with only the freshest produce is also a challenge. I used to go to at least four supermarkets to find everything I needed.
But with more time, I recently made a conscious effort to source everything organic, local and sustainable. Believe it or not, I’ve slashed my grocery bill in half, making my husband very happy.
I’ve been reading a lot about trying to live with zero waste. But it doesn’t have to mean not buying certain things. It’s also about buying smarter, buying less, and avoiding waste when possible.
This led me to shop in local markets—the real markets, such as Farmer’s and the Aani (Agri-Aqua Network International) weekend market in Taguig. Aani, my new favorite, has organic stalls, and everything is grown in the Philippines. It also sells potted plants, and I’ve purchased all the herbs I use when I cook.
Shopping in the market has helped reduce our family’s trash.
Another favorite, which I have been wanting to write about, is Real Food at Molito in Alabang. The owners deal directly with farmers and food producers, so you know where the products come from.
After watching documentaries about food, I’ve always made an effort to source local organic beef and fish. I never found any good sources for fish, though.
However, through one of Real Foods’ owners, Honey Almendral, I learned about Fishmonger’s Daily Catch, which works with local fishermen in designated areas in Manila Bay, Palawan and parts of the Visayas.
Since the fishermen have their own boats and partner-fishermen, the fish is sustainably caught and delivered within 24 hours. Check its Instagram page: Fishmonger’s Daily Catch. When you text, it sends a list of the catch of the day and delivers for free—for purchases over P1,000.
Regarding the trend of home service, there is nothing I like more than medical services that are prompt, precise and courteous. I have to pay a huge compliment to the Patient Experience Officers at St. Luke’s Global City, who recently helped me when my help got sick. I was able to drop her off and leave her in their capable hands as I ran around finishing errands and taking care of the kids. I would get updates on her status every couple of hours.
Unfortunately, she had to be confined, but even then, the staff kept me posted. I was even able to pay her bill online without the hassle of lining up or filling out papers.
Right after my help got better, my husband suffered a nasty fever and cough. Not wanting to go to the hospital again, I called up St. Luke’s pathology department, who sent a phlebotomist to take his blood sample. The specialist even brings a credit card machine in case you want to swipe.
In a few hours, the results were e-mailed to us. Call up any St. Luke’s branch and ask for the Patient Experience office. You can count on it.
Now, since my husband had a cough, I wanted to have his lungs checked. My friends told me about AIDE APP, a medical service app created by the Bugayong siblings. AIDE APP allows you to send info on your ailment and time you would want for an appointment.
If you are like me, who prefers communicating with humans, the app allows you to text a number as well. The team then finds available doctors who can service your area. Once confirmed, someone texts you to send the doctor’s name, credentials and home service fee. After you approve of the fee and the time, the appointment is set.
The doctor arrived promptly and examined my husband. He ordered some blood tests to be done, left a prescription for a particular outcome, and offered his number so that we could contact him.
The people behind AIDE APP has also teamed up with Hi Precision Diagnostics in case other tests are needed. Soon, they will offer medicine delivery.
AIDE offers services from doctors, nurses and caregivers, to physical therapists and even vets. Visit aide-app.com.
Since I’ve ditched my heels for flats and sneakers, the collaboration of Keds and the Rifle Paper Company could not have come sooner. Three years ago, I would have suffered through the pain of pointy shoes and heels, but with athleisure here to stay, the timing could not have been more perfect. I was able to choose from an array of beautiful designs from the latest collection. The colorful, feminine designs are perfect for everyday errands.
Hopefully my little list of people and services help you out—as much as it has helped me!