A Kid’s Life: The Philippines

24 Aug

I’m really excited to present the newest in my A Kid’s Life series.  This series is a way for all of us to learn a little bit about different family daily routines, traditions and culture from countries all over the world.  I’ve really loved doing all the previous interviews from Italy , Japan and America.

Today’s interview is with Audrey.  I met Audrey through a fellow blogging friend (thanks Deepa!) and from our first e-mail exchange I knew she was a kindred spirit.  Audrey is warm and friendly.  And busy!   This woman has three children, runs  and owns an amazing kid’s clothing company and apparently is just about to open a restaurant.  And on top of all these things and the fact she was living through some pretty horrific weather conditions in The Philippines she was more than willing to take the time to do this interview.

First I would like to talk a little about their clothing company.  I love it that Audrey and her husband decided they wanted to build a family together and agreed on needing the independence of working for themselves.  They felt taking the entrepreneur route would make their lives more open and free to having a healthy family life.

Their kid’s clothing company is called googoo&gaga and they describe it as a quirky clothing company for kookie kids.   On their website they write that they want to spread good tidings and cheer, a little bit of fancy and a little bit of crazy with each wearable art piece.  And they are indeed pieces of art.  You simply shop through their collection of designs and  have it printed on your choice of onesie, lap shirt, baby dress or toddler t-shirt.

I love Audrey’s warmth that comes through in her interview and her love for her family shines through.  Some things that surprised me in the interview?  In The Philippines they eat Spam and the school bus picks up the kids at 6:45am!  

Let’s see what Audrey has to say about their daily life and routines…

What country do you live in?

The Philippines

Are you and your husband the same nationality?

Yes we are (Filipino)

Do you both work or does someone stay at home?

We both work from home.

How many languages are spoken in your house?

Two, English and Filipino.

How many kids do you have?  What are their ages?

Three.  Gabe is 11, Gia is 2 years and 4 months and Giorgia is 1 year old this Friday!

At what age do kids start school in your country?

It used to be five years old for 1st grade but younger kids are now going into playschool at 2 years of age.

During the school year what time do your kids usually wake up?

Gabe, our eldest, is the only one who goes to school.  He wakes up at 6am so he can finish his breakfast and get ready for school.  The school bus comes at 6:45am.

What do your kids typically eat for breakfast?

Gabe has a wider range of food choices now. He’s a growing boy and can eat more than I do!  He likes Spam, bacon, eggs, with rice!  The girls, since they are younger, can STILL be imposed on. So we serve them healthier options like fruits, cereals, pancakes, bread, yogurt, etc.

What time does school start?  What time does it finish?  What is the weekly school schedule?

School starts at 730am and ends at 330pm. Fridays are Club Days so they end at 430pm on those days.

Do your kids learn a second/third language at school?  From what age?

English is the medium of instruction in most big schools here. Filipino is taught as a subject.

Do you kids eat lunch at school or at home?  What is a typical lunch for your kids?

Gabe has lunch at school.  We talked to the school’s lunch mistress so he can just choose what he wants to have for lunch daily.  The girls both eat table food already, which means they eat what we eat.  I make sure each meal includes at least one meat dish and one vegetable dish plus rice.

Do your kids do any after-school activities?

Gabe isn’t allowed playtime on school days. After school, his time is devoted to doing homework or doing advanced reading.

What time do you eat dinner?  What’s a typical dinner you would eat?

Around 8pm. Dinner is the same as lunch — rice, one meat dish, one vegetable dish, fruits or ice cream if we have it. The family loves fried chicken, yakiniku steak, beef or pork stew, adobo (pork or chicken marinated and cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, bay leaves — a popular Filipino dish!).

What time do your kids go to bed?

Everyone’s out by 10pm!

What are some typical family week-end activities?

We make sure we visit one set of grandparents every weekend. We do it alternately, so if this weekend finds us in my parents’ house, next weekend we’re at my husband’s parents’.  Since my husband and I both work from home, we can readily bring the two younger ones to the supermarket or the mall for short breaks on weekdays. We make sure we are home before the eldest is back from school.

How much television/computer time do your kids have on a daily basis?

The younger girls, Gia and Georgia, are only allowed a maximum of 2-3hours of TV a day, spread out at different periods. I make them choose which kid-friendly programs they like best. I try to have different activities for them during the day, including quiet time when they can choose whatever they feel like doing, whether it is to craft and paint (for Gia) or walk and explore (for Georgia). My husband and I do not watch a lot of TV ourselves, so we let Gabe sit with us when we do. He’s only 11 and still needs parental supervision.

When do your kids have vacation from school?

Summer in the Philippines starts in March and ends early June.

What do your kids do during the summer vacation?

We try our best to go out of town or out of country trips during the summer. It’s great to bring the kids to new places where bonding time is doubly fun! The eldest also enrols in summer activities like basketball camp, swimming sessions, or little chef’s classes.

What are the typical “first foods” for a baby to eat in your country?

Always vegetables and fruits. 🙂

Many thanks to Audrey for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions.  And best of luck to her in all her wonderful projects!  Stay tuned for upcoming interviews from Tasmania and Canada!

If you’re interested in being interviewed for this series please contact me at jillianinitaly@hotmail.com.

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23 Responses to “A Kid’s Life: The Philippines”

  1. little pink cakes August 24, 2012 at 19:35 #

    I really like this series, Jill! Great idea and so interesting to read! Looking very forward to the next posts! Greetings to this sweet family 🙂

    • Jillian in Italy August 26, 2012 at 12:39 #

      Thanks! If you know a German family who would be interested in participating let me know!

  2. Judith August 24, 2012 at 19:54 #

    Can’t get enough of this series Jillian! Very nice to see who’s behind the googoo&gaga brand, Deepa talked about a while ago. That picture of the family with glasses is so cool!

    • Jillian in Italy August 26, 2012 at 12:38 #

      Thanks Judith! I also adore that photo of the family in glasses (which I’m pretty sure was taken on the little one’s 1st birthday).

  3. tom August 26, 2012 at 14:18 #

    Nice post about family life in the Philippines. I’d love to try adobo, sounds really delicious.

  4. Deepa August 27, 2012 at 10:23 #

    Spam and rice is my ultimate comfort food! Gabe’s breakfast sounds like the classic Filipino “growing boy” breakfast; to this day a big plate of corned beef, garlic fried rice and eggs is still my husband’s idea of breakfast heaven.

    Our love of canned/processed meat has its roots in the Philippines’ American colonial/postwar era (1900s-1940s) when American soldiers brought in canned goods for their own consumption, and it just caught on with the local population. Hope that makes it sound less bizarre 😀

    Happy to have hooked you two up! 🙂

    • Jillian in Italy August 27, 2012 at 13:49 #

      Thank you for the Spam explanation. It all makes sense now! You must also be craving that comfort food, no? When I was pregnant all I wanted was good ol’ Canadian fare such as pork and sauerkraut, fish and chips and anything with cheddar cheese. Just the smell of anything Italian made my stomach turn (I was living in Italy at the time).

  5. GrammaO August 27, 2012 at 13:58 #

    fascinating – great job and so interesting to hear about the family in the Phillipines

  6. adoptionista February 20, 2013 at 15:57 #

    I love that it’s called “playschool” for the little ones over there!!

  7. reginaldsmith October 14, 2014 at 21:07 #

    so pretty as a family

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