Saturday, June 26, 2010

The joke's on you, Shrek!

Just had to share this.

We got Kenji a Shrek plaster cast that came with a box of crayons.  He was in a Shrek phase, you see.
He was thrilled to bits! 
And then ...he does this.

This is what Shrek would look like if he decided to go to a Halloween party dressed as the Joker.
Guess Kenji was already crossing over to the Batman stage when we got to him, huh?  Ehehe...  oopsie...

But admit it, it IS impressive!  This is how you make-do with what you have and make it hell awesome!

Kinda something us adults should do from time to time, don't you think?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Transition Mission

Transition sucks.
Even for adults moving to a new job, a new home --the transition process can be a little unnerving. So imagine how much of a pressure it is for kids moving up from the happiness that is Preschool to the seriousness of Primary school. It's a complete culture shock! And being children, they can feel a little lost, scared, and some would go into a series of tantrums that they never used to do.

I'm writing this for moms who have kids who have just moved up this school year. And most probably, experiencing the pangs of change along with their kids. Some kids ride change better. Some don't. My boys didn't.

Scared shitless!
(Miro, 2 years ago, first day at Primary School)
It was such a heartbreaker when Miro, 2 years ago, told me that he would rather stop schooling than go back to Primary. You know how the new kid always gets the heat? He was being hounded by a bully at the time.

Confident much!
(Miro and his posse, a few months later)
A bully whom, I'm proud to say, he handled bravely on his own in time.

Comfortable and cool.
(Kenji at his baby school)
Now Kenji is not one to be bullied. But it's killing me that he begs me to take him back to 'baby school' on a freakin' daily basis because 'The fun's gone, Mimi! All gone!!!!'.

Tentative and Testy
(...for now)
But the trick is just to bite your lip, swallow hard and tell him in the sweetest fashion, "Aww...but you're a big boy now. And big boys go to big schools. You'll have fun soon, don't worry."

And I'm sure he will. Judging by Miro's experience, I know he will.

It's just a matter of time, patience, a matter of good program planning from the school, and a whole lot of rabid support from the family.
And that last bit, I'm darn oozing with that. I bet you are, too.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

And That's How Toy Story 3 Rolled!

No surprises here --Pixar did it again.  
I kinda feel bad for doubting it would right after the beauty that was Shrek 3. But as I should have expected, Toy Story 3 rocked 10 times better than the green ogre's third movie installment. And I'm realizing why.  
I'm not taking it back that Dreamworks has got their game on --they definitely have and they're doing fab. But there's one thing that Pixar has that Dreamworks can't seem to get a hold of, that one thing that makes the characters of Toy Story more lovable and personal than the characters of Shrek. Insight.  

Think about it. While it is a beautiful wonder to follow the mishaps of an ogre and his kin, kids relate better to adventure-seeking toys. Because that's how they play. It touches a personal part of a child (and of adults who used to be children, duh!) when they see something that they can ultimately relate to. That's insight. Knowing exactly what heart strings to tug at. Knowing exactly what your audience can put their finger and feelings on. That's how Pixar did it. And that's how Toy Story 3 rolled!  

One other thing I like about Toy Story 3 is that it went full circle. It didn't change plot. It still stuck to Andy and his relationship with his cowboy doll and the cowboy doll's relationship with the spaceman, the cowgirl, the stretchy dog, the potato heads, the dinosaur and the little green men. It built up on that reality. And that's what makes it more endearing and believable. It didn't feel like a one-off, new story carrying the same title with a number 3 pasted at the end. It felt like an ongoing story with a conclusion you've always known was coming and would be darn stupid to miss.  

There were tear-jerking parts of the movie, too. I could've sworn catching some people dabbing their eyes in the cinema at one time or another. If that isn't a personal connection, then I don't know what is.  

With Shrek 3, you come out of the movie house feeling the exhiliration of another fantasy. With Toy Story 3, you come out of the movie house feeling you've just reconnected with an old friend who has made your heart thump a little faster ...for the third time.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mama Drama

Alas, it happened again.  
My baby yanked forcibly from my overprotective arms and tossed into the tall walls of the big school.  

With Miro, it was a little less dramatic. We moved schools and after the interview, he was immediately bumped up from preschool to Primary School Level One without much fanfare. But with Kenji, there was a graduation ceremony. So the reality that my baby is no longer a baby but a big boy is more pronounced, more...rubbed in my face. It's a big step. And I went through an emotional roller coaster ride as I dropped him off for his first day there today. Kenji, although quiet the whole time, must be going through the same emotional tussle. Primary School, after all, will pose a huge culture shock. Preschool is mostly play and fun and songs interpreted in goofy hand movements. Primary School is more strict, more structured, more serious --the perfect avenue for causing more trouble, in fact. I am seeing detention upon detention and PTCs upon PTCs on the first few months. Not that I'm a stranger to those. Miro went through all that on his first months in Primary. Invigorating experiences, really. I can still remember all the ups and downs and whirlwind escapades then and I can't help but chuckle now.  
Aaaaand Kenji does have a thing for following his big brother's footsteps.
As Kenji learns to adjust, I'm looking forward to another interesting ride. Just as Miro's had been 2 years ago.  
Exciting. Just quite saddening to accept that I don't have a baby anymore. *le sigh*

Saturday, June 5, 2010


One of the best part threes in the world of movies, if I do say so myself --Shrek Forever After is quite a masterpiece.  

You'd think most part 3s would be 'it's all downhill from here' work. Some even start crumbling as early as part 2. But surprisingly, this third of a sequel is well-crafted.  It's a tad darker than the first 2 installments --which I think is what made it good (Yes, stop oversheltering your kids, people!)-- but its brand of comedy is kept to a child's level.  On the overall,  it has a brilliant story line, a wonderful twist, and not an old character is put to waste. Well, except for Gingy who had to die in the end.  
What! It's the last one of the series --SOMEONE HAS TO DIE!  

Honestly, Dreamworks is really upping its game lately. I'm impressed. And so are my boys. Including Jing who usually mumble in the middle of a kiddie movie, "Ugh, this is so kiddie.", "Ugh, the CG work is a little off.", "Ugh, the continuity sucks.", "Ugh...wake me up when it's over." Ugh.  

Now they're all waiting with bated breath as to how Toy Story 3 can top this one.  

Oh, and Shrek Forever After had the snazziest teaser posters, too. Look!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Obsession is back with a vengeance!

See these cool back packs?  I want my boys to go back to school with them.  Oh yeah!  Nothing says "Gimme your lunch money", "I'm King of the Playground" badass but these angry babies.  And they will look oh-so charming on my boys, I can tell.
They're available at Clipper Novelty Store --that ever-reliable store where we bought the boys' Super Mario Brothers collection.  But hell, these bags sell for an arm and a leg!  Guess because they have the fangs for it.  Haha, I made a funny!
Aaaanyway, there's still a week before school starts so who knows --I might just win the lotto and score these badass bags for my badass boys before then.  Fingers and fangs crossed.  Hah!  Another funny again!

Museo Musings

Quick!  When I say MUSEO PAMBATA --what's the first thing that comes to mind?

Not this, that's for sure.
But believe it or not, this is the first sight that floors you the minute you walk through those old-world Museo Pambata gates.  Museo Pambata has evolved.  No wonder it still maintains its status as One Of The Official Go-Tos For Elementary School Field Trips to this day.  So unlike The Manila Zoo, a giant MUST in its heyday... now grasping at straws to keep up with new players like Avilon Zoo and Manila Ocean Park.  So unlike The Planetarium which died a quiet, sorry death even before the SM Science Discovery Center got a chance to blow raspberries at it.

Museo Pambata, on the other hand,  still has its game on with newer, better hands-on educational and entertainment areas.  And the interior design is just awesome!  Check out the embossing on this wall!

My kids took part in table-top earthquake, tornado, and air pressure simulations here.  Earth science has never been this interesting.

How about Anatomy?  They learned about bodily functions by running through a long length of cold, grumbling intestine!

They saw actual x-rays of broken bones.

They saw the actual progression of food to poo.

And they even had a little (or huge!) heart-to-heart.

While we're on the subject of body parts, there's also an area that plays up the different senses.  Along with this genuine foot-command audio piano was a hodge-podge of optical illusion exercises.   This place needs a little bit of work.  But A for effort, nonetheless.

At the Community area, they were let in on the lives of our neighborhood helpers.  Barbers, fruit vendors, breadmakers.   The highlight was getting on a fire truck, of course.

There's an aquarium (not that exciting)...

And a sports area (ok, this one's exciting!), too.

As a grand finale, culture was reintroduced to my children with artifacts from the Spanish era.  There were also miniatures of historical buildings and galleons.  How cool is that!

All these for only P100 a pop!  And we didn't even get to go to a couple of other rooms because lights out were already upon us.

All-in-all, amidst every new theme park sprouting about like wild mushrooms, Museo Pambata is still a worthwhile place to go to.  It's new and nostalgic at the same time.  For that kind of schizo experience, I say it's worth every cent.