My 10-peso Sandwiches

If you see me a few pounds heavier than you last saw me, blame it on the 10-peso sandwiches! :D

I’ve been selling sandwiches in front of our house for almost a month now.  They’re not fancy sandwiches, just plain ol’ ham, cheese, and egg sandwiches.  What made me decide to set up a snack table despite already having my hands full with ghostwriting, blogging, tutoring, and housechores?! I’m also asking myself that question!!! (Giving myself a big face palm as well!)

Seriously, I saw the market for sandwiches.  Since the kids started school and took the school service, I found myself waiting by our door for an hour before noon and another hour in the mid-afternoon.  During those times, workers from a nearby cemetery and mechanics from a car shop would flock the sari-sari store beside our house for snacks.  Most of the time, they would just buy biscuits or a peanut butter sandwich (the only variant that the store sells).  This was when I broached the subject of opening a small sandwich store to my husband.  Ever supportive of my undertakings, he bought me a small plastic cabinet and a panini grill.

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With handwritten signages and a plastic kitchen cabinet as stand, my little sandwich store looks like it was set-up by kids for a weekend sale.  One customer actually asked me if our store was a school project. :-) Add to that, our sandwiches cost only P10.  Since my target market are hard-working laborers who barely earn minimum wage, I decided to keep my profit margin small.  Ideally, food items must be sold with a markup of at least 100%.  Obviously, mine is much lower than that. Nevertheless, I’m happy to be earning even just a little ‘coz I’m able to provide others with affordable snacks.

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Aside from supplementing the family budget, we also learn a lot from selling sandwiches.

My kids learn to count money.  All our sandwiches are sold at only P10. Cupcakes and cake slices are at P5 each.  My little girl already knows how to skip count by 5s and 10s so she’s able to help me count money or give change.  The little boy’s still learning to do that but he can be tasked to get P10, P5, or P1 coins from the coin jar.

My kids learn the value of hard work. They know that the money in the jar doesn’t  just magically appear.  They know that Mama has to go to the market to buy ingredients, cook the ham and egg, prepare the sandwiches, and man the store.

I get a glimpsed of the outside world. :-)  Sometimes when no one’s buying, I stop tapping on my keyboard and eavesdrop on the conversations outside.  So very impolite, I know, but some conversations are quite amusing. And for someone who has been cooped home most of the time for the last six years, I find it quite enjoyable interacting with people from all walks of life.

I learn to be humble.  There’s something very humbling about selling 10-peso sandwiches.  Here I am, in a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, selling sandwiches and whatnots while most of my friends are decked in power suits and holding meetings in their offices.  Then I am reminded that all I ever asked God was to have children I could take care of – which is precisely what He has given me.  Yes, I’m merely selling sandwiches and doing odd jobs online, but I get to take care of my children and spend most of my time with them. It’s a good trade-off for me. :-)

We’re barely earning the equivalent of minimum wage but who knows, if this picks up, we could turn it into a decent snack house. If that happens, we’d be able to provide employment to a couple of workers too. So, if you see our sign, please do stop for a while and buy a couple of sandwiches. They’re worth only P10 each. :-)

Three More Adarna Books in Filipino-English

Made a quick run to the bookstore yesterday for the little girl’s illustration board which she needed to bring to school today.  Of course, no trip to the bookstore would be complete without some new books.  Since I want to improve their skills in Pagbasa, I bought three more Adarna books in 2 languages.

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I’ve always liked Adarna books because most – if not all – of them relate Filipino values and good character with engaging stories.  What I love about this new set of Adarna books is that they also integrate Math and Science concepts in the stories.  They would make great supplements to Math lessons in counting and days of the week or Science lessons in water cycle and water forms.

All three books come in two languages which makes for great practice in reading both in Filipino and in English.  Since both my kids are proficient readers in English,  I read the books to them in Filipino then they read the English translation by themselves.  I’ll be reading more stories in Filipino to my two bulilits to help develop their skills in Pagbasa at Pag-unawa.  Thankfully, there’s plenty of Adarna books available in our fave bookstores.

Munting Patak-Ulan

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Just yesterday morning I asked my little boy if he knew where rain comes from.  So when I saw this book on the shelf, I put it right into my shopping basket.  The story tells of how Little Raindrop and his siblings fall from the sky; help people, animals, and plants; and go back to their Mother Cloud.  This would also be a great supplement to an Araling Panlipunan lesson about forms of water or a Science lesson on the water cycle.  At the end of the story, there’s a page that explains the different forms of water and provides an example for each one.  Among the three new books, this was both kids’ first choice for bedtime reading.

Sampung Magkakaibigan

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More than providing a lesson in counting from 1 to 10 in Filipino, this book also shows children how one should behave and treat others.  The story revolves around Karlo who mistreats his nine classmates and ends up all by himself.  Although this is recommend for kids age 6 and above, this book would also be great for preschoolers who have just started going to school.  It’d be a great way to tell them about the different behaviors of children they would meet in school and to instruct them on how to deal with each one.

Ang Kamatis ni Peles

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Remember the story of the ant and the grasshopper?  This might very well be a sequel to that story.  In this book, the grasshopper Peles gets tired of wandering around and decides to change his fate by working as hard as Hugo the Ant.  Peles plants tomato seeds given by Hugo and patiently takes care of them and waits for them to sprout.  Kids learn the value of hardwork and patience through the story of Peles. If your child is learning about the days of the week in Filipino, this book would be a good supplement for his lessons.  There’s also an instruction for proper composting at the end of the story.

REDMI 1S FLASH SALE at LAZADA PHILIPPINES

Heard of the latest Xiaomi smartphones?  Lazada Philippines will be holding a flash sale for Redmi 1S this coming Friday (September 12) 12:00 noon.  You can get your hands on this quadcore smartphone laden with awesome features for only P5,599!  The Redmi 1S Flash Sale requires registration though so make sure you REGISTER before Thursday (September 11) 11:59PM.

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The Xiaomi Redmi 1S may come cheap but there’s nothing cheap about its features.  Check out some of its specs:

  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (8228)
  • Quad-core 1.6GHz
  • 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash
  • 4.7” IPS 720p Display
  • 8MP BSI Camera (1.6MP Front)
  • System: Android 4.3 with MIUI v5
  • microSD: up to 64GB

To avail of the Xiaomi Redmi 1S from Lazada Philippines,  just follow the steps below to REGISTER before 11:59 PM of September 11:

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Have no Lazada account yet? Follow these steps to register.

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Only those who register before 11:59pm of September 11 will have the chance to buy the Redmi 1S for only Php 5,599, so register now!  There’s no cashout required during registration and you’re not required to make a purchase.

Your registration does not guarantee you a unit though so better log-in to your Lazada account on September 12 at 12pm to complete your purchase.

Jollibee Makes Grandparents Feel Loved

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Whoever said that Jollibee is just for kids?  Last Saturday, Jollibee proved that this Pinoy family fave is for kids of all ages – from 1 to 100!  Lolos and Lolas in different homes for the elderly across Manila and nearby provinces were given a jolly treat.  I was able to join Jollibee in honoring the grandparents at Kanlungan ni Maria in Antipolo City.  It certainly was a worthwhile Saturday morning.

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Giving the elderly a Jollygood time!

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Awwww….isn’t Jollibee the sweetest?

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Even her bad knees can’t stop Nanay Pina from grooving with Jollibee. :-) Ten years ago, she told me she still used to teach others how to dance. If you see her at Kanlungan ni Maria, do buy one of the ponytails she sews. She proudly said that she doesn’t wear eyeglasses when she’s sewing!

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It’s a bit disheartening that some of our elderly have been abandoned or neglected by their own family. It is, however, inspiring that despite all they have gone through, the Lolos and Lolas in these homes have so much hope and joy.

Kanlungan ni Maria provides a home environment to the elderly. Nurturing staff and volunteers provide them with love, care, and attention giving them a chance to live better and dignified lives. The home helps locate families and relatives for the purpose of reconciliation. Those who have no family members or relatives stay in Kanlungan ni Maria where all their daily needs are well-provided for.

The lolas and lolas in Kanlungan ni Maria have so many wonderful stories to share. Some may bring tears to your eyes but most of them have only joyful memories to share. Show them some love by visiting them at #17 Lanzones Road, Nayong Silangan, Antipolo City. Call 650-8102 / 0915-6002631 or email kanlungannimaria@yahoo.com to coordinate your visit with their caring staff.

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For being so sweet to the elderly, this big lovable bee gets a kiss from Mama. :-)

This Little Mama Went To Market

Ever been to a wet market? I know some moms who can weave their way through one and haggle with their “suki” vendors just as naturally as one breathes. On the other hand, I also know of moms who shun the wet market and would rather spend extra for the comfort a grocery provides. I used to be one of the latter until I had to learn to be more frugal to make ends meet. Three months! That’s how long I’ve been doing weekly runs to the wet market. Who would have ever thought I’d find myself enjoying it?!

What Changed My Heart?

Imagine being able to get a kilo of bananas for only P45 whereas you have to shell out P60+ for the same quantity in the supermarket. That’s P15 saved for just bananas. Wondering where those ground pork or beef comes from? In the wet market, you won’t ever need to. You get to choose the cut of meat and have it ground right in front of your eyes. But what really turned me to wet-market-shopping was when I realized that freshly cut beef doesn’t ooze with the red fluid that store-bought ones usually do. Makes me wonder what kind of fluid or colorant they put in those pre-cut meat in the grocery. :P

By buying produce and meat from the wet market,

I not only get to SAVE plenty but also get to buy the FRESHEST ones.

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My Tips for the Wet Market Newbies

  1. Find A Suki! I didn’t have a hard time doing this ‘coz my mom showed me around. Her suki became my suki as well. Finding a reliable vendor may take time but when you do, make sure that he/she remembers you too. A little chitchat while buying would help a lot. I’ve also noticed that most vendors are nicer to those who speak their local dialects.
  2. Bring Bags. I myself bring 4 bags. One for veggies and fruits, another for meat, and a third one for fish and seafood. I also have a small sling bag for my coin purse, tissue, and alcohol spray. The bag for seafood is lined with newspaper or used brown paper bags to absorb some of the water that drips from the fish.
  3. Carry Just the Essentials. For me this is just a small coin purse, a small pack of tissue, and an alcohol spray. I never bring my mobile phone or my wallet. The small pack of tissue comes handy when you get splattered with water that live fish sometimes spout or with a bit of murky water from the ground at the seafood area. The alcohol spray I use after checking meat or fish. Yes, I do whip out my alcohol and spray away oblivious to whoever may be raising their eyebrows at my OC-ness. :P
  4. Be Alert. Always be mindful of the people around you. Once, there was a commotion a few meters away from my mom and me. Apparently, a man was caught trying to steal another man’s cellphone. The wet market is literally littered with these pickpockets so do be alert always.
  5. Dress Down. You’ll be able to haggle better if you look like the regular marketgoing folks. Leave your designer sandals and clothes for grocery shopping. I myself usually go there wearing an old baggy shirt, faded leggings, and slippers. I was thinking of getting a pair of boots but then that would just attract attention to me.

Although every trip to the wet market is an exciting adventure for me, I still can’t get used to the icky smell that somehow manages to stick to clothes. My solution? I go straight to the shower as soon as I get home! Everything gets plopped on the kitchen and gets attended to right after I’m all clean, fresh, AND smelling good. :-)

Going to the wet market may not be as comfortable as strolling the airconditioned aisles of supermarkets but the great amount I get to save the family makes it all worthwhile. Oh, and it helps a lot that the Marikina Public Market is a good deal cleaner than other markets.