Sunday, August 29, 2010

Secure in Father's Arms: Investigating the Pain Brought by the Hostage-Taking in Manila

Building a family has among its pillars the provision of security to kids. It is an integral part of fatherhood. It is both a reward and a responsibility to see your kids gather around you.

Police commandos assault a bus in a hostage-taking incident
at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Aug 23, 2010.
Source: CBC News | Manila bus hostage-taking ends with 9 dead

Why do kids love to gather around parents? They do it even when parents want to be alone sometimes. Kids simply do that. Or, they at least yearn to do that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Raising Kids, the Cultural Divide and Maria Venus Raj

Had cultural differences in raising kids and building a family come into play in the recent Miss Universe pageant?

An uproar among "smart" Filipinos, who wish they were the ones in front of Alec Baldwin, happened after this interview (emphasis mine):
The Hollywood star asked the 22-year-old Filipino-Indian, “What is one big mistake that you’ve made in your life and what did you do to make it right?”

Raj replied, “You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence, I can say that there's nothing major major problem that I've done in my life because I'm very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So thank you so much that I'm here. Thank you, thank you so much.”

Source: Even Bush, US journalists couldn't answer Venus Raj's question |
I couldn't help but squeeze my own thoughts on that question. What big mistake could a 22-year old Filipino girl possibly admit in front of the entire world, while her own mother was watching?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Filipino Family Customs and Traditions, in the Eyes of Foreigners

Current Filipino family customs got a fair description in at least two sites that discussed Asian culture and tradition. I found that pleasing because they were written by foreigners.

At, the description focused on respect to elders, ways of communicating and the status of women:
Faithfulness to the family is a tradition that is characteristic of Filipino society. This family loyalty is apparent in the fact that there are no booming businesses for retirement homes or orphanages in the Philippines. xxx In their communication with each other, speaking politely is important as is speaking with a gentle tone of voice. xxx Unlike other Asian countries where women tend to be in more subservient positions, women in the Philippines have had high societal positions since precolonial times.
Source: Filipino Customs (

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Think of Maria Venus Raj

Any woman who fancies herself to be Venus Raj during these times may as well think again. Here you are walking and smiling and chatting with other beautiful faces representing other nationalities and cultures. You know that, every minute, you are under the scrutiny of the most merciless of judges.

Melody Gerbasch (left, RIP) in a happy
moment with Venus Raj (right).
But at one point you have to muster the courage to bravely say "No" to the wishes of billionaire Donald Trump for contestants to go through topless photoshoot.

What you need at this time is a lot of inspiration.

Yet inspiration is the very thing that you are not getting much from home:
For Filipinos who had a strong distaste for these incidents and who feel a deep shame for the most recent of these, think of Venus Raj. Her good friend just passed away, and here comes this news. She is surrounded by the world, in flesh. What do you think she feels right now?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

So, You Want to Get Married and Have Kids? (Part 3 of 3)

Getting Married and Having Kids series really talks about building a strong marriage foundation (Part 1),  baptism into fatherhood (Part 2) and  fatherly decisions (Part 3, this post).

My mentors have taught me that there are three basic decisions that a father needs to make:
  • The decision to provide for the family
  • The decision to protect the family
  • The decision to be a moral beacon for the family

Providing for the family

Filipino culture, and almost every culture, vests the responsibility for providing for the material needs of the family on the father. These material needs primarily refers to food, clothing and shelter. Higher needs would include education and recreation.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Raising a Modern Day Knight? Absolutely!

Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father's Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic ManhoodRaising a Modern Day Knight -- This book grabbed my attention one night as I was browsing the internet about fathers and sons. I was surprised at the popularity of the book in the search pages that I wondered why I never encountered the title in my previous searches.

I saw a site that showed the first chapter of the book. I read reviews about it. I read blogs written by parents who read the book, and applied it in their own families. Boy, I was really hooked.

The book was written on the premise that men of today did not have the rite of passage from boyhood to manhood that men of olden times had. The author was saying that many boys left their homes for college without really knowing--deep inside--whether or not they were already men.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stunning Early Child Development Findings and Why Parents Need to Pay Close Attention

Early child development has been discussed just a bit in a seminar that my wife and I have attended years ago. Yet we've been deeply shaken. The seminar has said that 50% of the child's mental programming happens at 0 to 4 years old. An additional 30% takes place at 5 to 8 years old. Then another 15% takes place at ages 9 to 15 years.

This article seems to reaffirm what the seminar has said:
Early Childhood Experiences Have Lasting Emotional and Psychological Effects
Experiences between birth and age 5 matter significantly to children's long-term emotional and psychological health, and changing these experiences for the better pays dividends, according to an editorial and several new reports in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So, You Want to Get Married and Have Kids? (Part 2 of 3)

My eldest at 18 hours.
At this point, you are now happily married, and your next wish is to have kids. Your prayers have been granted. Something came out of your wife as small, tender and vulnerable human being called the baby.

You are now a father. Congratulations!

In my case, I trembled the first time I carried my baby. It was my baby! I couldn't believe it! My baby!

The other thing I could not forget was the way the one day old baby (whom the mother-friendly hospital brought to my wife's bed) searched me out when he heard my voice. It was as if he was saying, "hey, I know that voice!" I was speaking to my wife's womb, telling stories to my kid while he was still inside.

After getting promoted to being a "father" you may find that some things change faster than you can comprehend them.

Friday, August 13, 2010

If You Love Your Kids, Teach Them about Compound Interest NOW!

I'd say that there are two things that we, parents in the family, can pass on to our kids for which these kids will be eternally grateful for:
  1. Knowledge that we, parents, LOVE them; and,
  2. An understanding of what compound interest is.

I can see some eyebrows go up. What the heck is Marvin talking about here? compound interest? What has that got to do with kids and parenting?

I understand you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Filipino Fathers Play a Valuable Role in the Family, says a US study

Having talked to several people about their fathers, I get this impression that most Filipinos recognize the valuable role that fathers play (or could have played) in their lives. It doesn't matter what the actual experience was.

A study done in the Philippines by a US-based researcher appears to have validated that assertion.

Exploring the Role of Filipino Fathers: Paternal Behaviors and Child Outcomes
Scott E. Harper, Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City,

Using data collected from an urban Southern Visayan province during the Summer of 2006, this study examines a sample of 133 Filipino fathers to consider potential relationships between father behaviors and child outcomes. Increased paternal psychological control predicts increased problematic child outcomes, with sons being more affected than daughters. Furthermore, increased authoritative fathering is associated with decreased externalizing problems of children as well as fewer internalizing problems for sons but not for daughters. Increased father involvement predicts improved sibling relationship quality for children. Other factors predicting problematic child outcomes in the overall regression model include father education and number of children in the household. Overall, findings support the idea that Filipino fathers play a valuable role in the lives of their children.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

So, You Want to Get Married and Have Kids? (Part I of 3)

A lot of single men want to get married, have kids, build a family and live happily ever after. In this post, I'd like to show you how "happily ever after" may look like.

It takes the guts of a real man to read on. Are you man enough? Then read on ...

After all the celebrations of wedding, honey moon and settling down, you will realize (I pray you actually do) that you are no longer just yourself! You are someone else's husband!

You now go around saying, Hello, I am Mr Tarzan and this is my wife Jane. Multiply that a thousand times and people around you will start saying, Ah, that's Mr. Tarzan! Yeah he's married. His wife is Jane. They met in Africa.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Robert Kiyosaki's Cashflow Game is Good for the Family

It seems to me that the Cashflow game invented by Robert Kiyosaki is the ONE big investment that each family can make for their kids. Seriously, I really think so.

My wife owns the violet color. She got out of the rat race first in this game.
Learning how the world of money works is like learning how to ride a bus or a train. I mean, hey, we can't do without it! Yet, people actually go through life without learning how it works.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Obama Family Vacation Raised Eyebrows?

The first family in the United States clearly had fun in their latest vacation. But fun with the family seems to have raised some eyebrows in that country. Hey, I'm suffering. Don't rest, Mr. President!
An active first family is on the move in Maine
By Felicia Sonmez, Sunday, July 18, 2010

BAR HARBOR, MAINE -- President Obama and his family aren't just getting outside the Beltway on their brief vacation here -- they're getting outside, period.

Since their arrival Friday afternoon, the Obamas have been biking, hiking and boating their way around Mount Desert Island, the third-largest island on the Eastern Seaboard and home to the 47,000-acre Acadia National Park


Sunday, August 1, 2010

In Fairness, Your Kids Would Enjoy at Museo Pambata

In my post last week I was concerned about the Huey war helicopter in the museum for kids where I brought my family. In fairness to the Museum, there was actually much more to it for your kids than the Huey. I would actually recommend that you bring your family there. Your kids would enjoy.

This was an example of the nipa hut constructed on top of tree stumps that our Mindanao tribesmen used to live in. Yeah, it was a nice experience for my kid to go up that hut, but the displays also taught a lesson about how this lifestyle caused forest degradation.

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