Were you able to read my last post? It’s the longest one I’ve written so far for this blog series on the assigned breakout session to me at the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016. And yes, it was all about SOCIALIZATION. In case you missed it, I’d like to invite you to read it and give it some thought.

Moving on to Part 5 of this series, I will now talk about self-discovery and self-awareness. So after sharing with you the major areas that make up our high school homeschooling which are parenting, teaching, experiencing, and socializing, you’re probably wondering where all these lead to.  What have our daughters become? Are they normal? Or are they weird?

Not weird (I know…I could be biased). But one thing that Mike and I noticed was that all these areas helped them build their identity.  They all helped in the process of their self-discovery and self-awareness. It’s them saying:

  • This is not ME against YOU.


We’ve come to see that our girls simply know who they are. They know what they CAN DO, what their GIFTS and STRENGTHS are, and what they ARE NOT. They are very much aware of the talents and personalities God gave them and are learning to make sound choices and decisions, of course, with our guidance and advice. THEY KNOW.

  • This is me. I’m not like her.
  • I can’t do what she does.
  • I have my own way of doing it.


Kayla knows that she is not like her Ate. She knows she’s kinesthetic and that playing golf and hiking are activities that she’s comfortable in. Art is her older sister.  Art is something she can learn more of. At the same time, Arielle knows she’s not as physical and sporty as Kayla. But these two girls support each other all the way!

Because of this…their sense of SELF…their self-discoery and self-awareness, I believe we were able to secure their roots firmly in the ground. They are not easily swayed by friends and trends. They don’t quickly give in to peer pressure. They come out comfortable and confident about themselves.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” as Dr. Seuss would say.

I see this very clearly now with Arielle. Being surrounded with students coming from different countries and background and living on her own, she is able to make decisions and not give in to pressure from her new found friends in college. She can mingle with different groups of friends at school. She also doesn’t mind being alone (and there are times that she actually prefers to be alone to have her Me Time). She can work by herself and in a group. She has been brave enough to say NO to things that are just not acceptable (smoking, drinking, clubbing until wee hours, and even drugs).

A couple of weeks after their Fall Quarter began, October 18 to be exact, Arielle messaged me on WhatsApp first thing in the morning: Is it weird that grades aren’t what drive me in school? (because her friend got an A for her midterms and told her. I guess that prompted her to do some kind of reflection).  My first reaction that I said to myself was “You REALLY are a homeschooler!”

When I shared our short chat to a group in Facebook, a mom asked me, “So, what drives her?” I immediately asked Arielle and she very quickly replied to me with these:


After a while, I got a bit nervous and checked with her her scholarship. If she’s safe with her scholarships. And she said YES. I must admit, that gave me a sense of relief!

In reality, my heart wanted to burst! I immediately asked “Lord, where did that come from???” The SELF-AWARENESS and WISDOM!  And she hasn’t even turned 18 yet! (Her 18th birthday was coming up in a few days…on the 23rd).  She just knows herself really well and with confidence keeps her own standards that she doesn’t need to follow blindly how everyone else does things.

How she’s been able to cope, adjust, adapt, survive, live on her own in a place with strangers, in a place with a different lifestyle and culture, is just SOOO OVERWHELMING!

Letting go and being separated from your children is not easy. It’s never easy. I feel a hole in my heart but at the same time, I know that I cannot keep them forever.  I just keep telling and reminding myself “Lord, Arielle and Kayla are not our children. They’re yours. So teach us how to be good parents, good stewards so that we may lead them to Your Plan.”

And if this is just a sneak peek of how our children will be once set free in the real world, then I am not complaining. I only have a grateful heart.



It’s Sunday, December 7, past nine o’clock in the morning (so early for a Sunday!) and here I am sitting on a couch outside the recital venue of the girls, finding my quiet time to review how my 2014 went.  In just a couple of weeks, Christmas is here and then comes the explosion of fireworks to usher in 2015!  Wow!!! It makes me ask where and how my year went.  Was I true to my one-word and declaration of intention for 2014?

2014 was pretty tough!  We moved in to our new place in Manila, which we can now call our own, while doing our best to be on schedule with our homeschooling.  I honestly don’t know how I survived! But I’m pretty sure doses of prayers, lots of home-service massage, and cups of coffee made everything work!  If I were to do it all over again, I would take a break from our homeschooling and concentrate on the nitty-gritty of home renovation.  Really!!!  I guess I did what I did because I had to make sure that Arielle would still be on track since she’s in her senior year in high school and need to graduate on time with her batch, even if we had decided that she would take a gap year before she enters college.

Looking back at the past months, they were really C-R-A-Z-Y!  Let me add to the home renovation, homeschooling, and moving in craziness, the temporary moment of being without a helper!  That was 6 months of me being domesticated and doing my best to balance home duties and parent-teacher responsibilities.  It was really physically taxing, but I’m glad everything is less frantic and chaotic now in the homefront with God finally blessing us with a helper (Yeyyy!!! I can sleep longer!).  We can now all say that we have already settled down in our new home with all the boxes unpacked and every little thing in its proper place.

The point of this post is not for you to picture me as a Supermom or as a Superwoman.  Or to challenge you to be one!  Believe me, taking more than what you can handle would take its toll either on your health, productivity, relationships, and there’s even a big chance, on all of these.  You wouldn’t want to end up having a life all messed up, would you?

What I’ve learned from having gone through these changes and challenging times in order to successfully cope up is not to lose oneself in the midst of everything but rather, to find oneself.  And that’s what I discovered and learned.  Finding my CREATIVE self.

This year alone, I’ve engaged myself in arts and crafts activities which made me feel like a kid again! I’m also very happy to have found my “playmates” or better known as my “tribe” who share the same giddiness as I do over beautiful artworks, art materials, and workshops!  They are my Art Friends who are gifted with their own creative talents and are very generous with words of encouragement and resources.

Here are the things that have kept me child-happy (and adult-sane) this 2014:

1.  Calligraphy and more calligraphy!


2.  My 365 Notes Challenge  (which I’m about to successfully complete by the end of the year!)


3.  Life Documented Manila‘s Scrapbooking


3.  Watercoloring (please scroll down for the portion on watercoloring)

     and Hand-Lettering



4.  Bible Journaling (my new Me Time! God found a way to bring my notes challenge to a higher level…to spend time with Him and journal on His Word, the Bible!)

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I’m looking forward to doing more of these as I learn something new from and be inspired by others.  I learned that in finding my creative self, I discover more about myself too and I re-create myself more.

What do you engage yourself in to cope with life’s demands? Do you also have a creative self in you?