SSS Expanded Maternity Leave Law

April 15 was the date when we confirmed that we were having our 5th baby. Lots of thoughts came running through my mind—from initial checkups to prenatal vitamins up to SSS maternity benefits. Since it’s my fifth pregnancy, I know that I won’t get any benefits from SSS. From my previous knowledge, this benefit will be obtained up to your 4th pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if you were not able to apply for this in other pregnancies. As long as you’re beyond 4th, you won’t get any. THAT HAS BEEN CHANGED! In 2019, President Duterte signed into law the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill. This law is also known as Republic Act No. 11210, or the “105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law,” which extends paid maternity leave from 60 days to 105 days. I wasn’t aware of this because my last pregnancy was way back in 2013.

And so my 5th baby arrived in November 2020. I wasn’t able to file an SSS maternity benefit claim because I wasn’t aware of this new law that extends the maternity leave for new moms. That’s why we should always stay updated.

Then I was able to talk to a fellow mom who gave birth one month ahead of me, and she was the one who informed me of this Expanded Maternity Law. Aside from extending the number of days of paid maternity leave to 105 days or 3.5 months, it is now unlimited! Meaning, even if you’re beyond your 4th pregnancy, you may still avail of the SSS Maternity Benefit! How awesome is that?!

So then I researched and then I compiled all the requirements needed for late filing of maternity benefits. Here are the requirements that I’ve gathered:

1. MAT-2 Form (fully accomplished) — make sure you let your employer sign this if you are employed

2. Letter of explanation — since I wasn’t able to file MAT-1 or Maternity Notification form

3. PSA birth certificate of your child — make sure it’s from PSA already…When I submitted a copy of my son’s birth certificate from the municipal registrar, my application was rejected. My employer needed to reapply using the PSA certificate.

4. Proof of pregnancy — my baby’s ultrasound… Make sure to submit a complete set of ultrasounds for the three trimesters. When I got rejected, that was one of the things that they added to the list that I need to submit—-a complete obstetrical history

5. TWO valid IDs with THREE signatures —make sure that you use your UMID as one of the IDs 🙂

For you to have a better idea of the requirements that were missing, here is a screenshot of my BPR Maternity Claim info from my account on the SSS website:

So I compiled all the additional requirements, and I asked my employer to submit them again. And voila, I was able to get approved, and I received the money through my employer after one month of application.

Please note that you may claim your maternity benefit until your child is TEN years old. If you weren’t able to file it before your pregnancy, don’t fret. You may still file and claim it. Just don’t wait too long to do so.

For self-employed and voluntary members, you may submit maternity notification and apply for maternity benefits online using the SSS website. You just need an account there.

You may also check your eligibility for maternity benefits using the SSS website. You may view my post here.

Good luck! Hope you’ll be able to claim your maternity benefits just like I did mine 🙂

Pregnant during a Pandemic (late post; this was a 2020 entry)

Today, I’m craving for Coffee Project’s Pesto and Mushroom Pasta. I’ve been craving for Burger King’s Whopper since the other day (maybe because I saw their promo). Good thing, today is a holiday, and my husband agreed to go to our condo to get some more things left there. Thus, I had my chance to satisfy my cravings for this week.

It’s quite hard to be pregnant during a pandemic like what I’m experiencing right now. You have to wait for days or weeks for your cravings to be satisfied. In our case, I have to wait for the day my husband will go out to buy groceries—and that’s every Saturday. For this week, it fell on a Friday because it’s a holiday and tomorrow is my mother-in-law’s birthday.

During my first four pregnancies (five if we’ll include Zedd), I got to eat what I wanted right away. I had an excuse—being pregnant, haha! But now, due to the threat of coronavirus and this current community quarantine measures, the key is to time it properly and wait.

Oh well, that’s just the way it is. We’re still blessed because all of us are healthy. May the good Lord keep us healthy always.

Thank you for this day, O Lord! May You also provide for the needs of others. May You also protect all the pregnant women out there and may their cravings be satisfied. Amen.

Bangkok, Thailand Trip 2019 (Part 3)

The next day, Sunday, we woke up early to have breakfast at McDo again. Then we prepared to go to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre—-art museum across MBK, which was a few steps from Lub-D.

Here are some of our photos inside the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre:

After we have visited all the parts of this museum, we entered Siam Discovery to check out what’s inside. Here are some of our photos there:

I would like to apologize for the blurry photos. I was in a hurry to take these photos as I didn’t want to be left behind. There were a lot of people. I was so amazed by the architecture of this mall. The team who has designed this was able to use the different shapes to come up with an artistic, sophisticated, and unique design, which would surely astonish any visitor who comes here for the first time.

Then we went back to Lub-D. We prepared to leave this place, which became our shelter for two nights. Thank you, Lub-D, for a comfortable stay. 🙂

Then we ate lunch at the cafeteria where we ate dinner last night. We had the dishes which we previously had because we liked its taste and we didn’t want to try other dishes. Talk about being scared of disappointment..haha 🙂

After lunch, we headed to MBK to buy some “pasalubong.” We were able to buy some tamarind candies, also some shirts and the traditional pants from Thailand. It was still early when we checked the time so we decided to have some coffee in a shop there named “Black Canyon.” The coffee was too strong! I wasn’t able to finish mine, but Hubby did. We also tried their green tea cake. It was okay but too buttery.

When we had killed enough time in Black Canyon, we explored some more and we saw this shop called “Animate.” It has a lot of anime stuff. There were even standees of popular anime characters outside this shop. Of course, DZ1 was thrilled!

Finally, the time to leave MBK arrived. It was still a few hours before our flight, but Hubby’s allergic to being late. Thus, we always head out early, especially when we’re visiting another country. We were able to book a Grab driver right away. This time, he wasn’t a talkative one but still friendly. We arrived at the airport after 30 minutes or so due to mild traffic. When we’re inside the airport, it was noticeable that there were a lot of Chinese people traveling together. In fact, there were several groups. Even when we went to the restroom, the place was full of Chinese women who talked to loud. There was even an incident when one of them didn’t line up even a girl who was lining up called her attention. She just went straight to one of the cubicles. I would say that Chinese woman was quite rude and inconsiderate. There was another one who went out of her cubicle while still pulling up her panties. The scene was quite shocking to me as I haven’t seen anything like those instances in the Philippines.

Our experience with Air Asia had not been so delightful this time. We waited for two hours before we’re boarded for our flight. As a result, we arrived late in our country, and it was a Monday. We’re still planning to go to work and Hubby has to bring DZ1 to her dorm. On top of that, we had to fetch DZ3 and DZ4 from my mother-in-law’s house.

It was a tiring Monday as expected due to or delayed flight, but we were able to manage. Hubby was the most exhausted of us all.

I would say this Thailand trip was exhausting but full of new experiences, which will be saved in one of our books—so many memories to be recalled when the time comes. Thank you, Lord, for this Thailand trip and for bringing us home safely. 🙂

Earn from these Online Jobs in the Philippines

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

March 15, 2020 was the start of the lockdown here in the Philippines due to COVID-19. There were a lot of people who lost their jobs and businesses. Several unexpected things happened, and currently we’re all looking at a very uncertain future.

According to CNN Philippines, there are 7.3 million Filipinos who are unemployed in April. This accounts for 17.7 percent unemployment rate in our country. This is a sudden jump from 5.3 percent in January of this year. If we will compare the current rate to that of last year, which was 5.1 percent, it means that there’s an additional 5 million Filipinos who became jobless due to COVID-19.

Several industries were affected by this pandemic. According to MSN’s Moneysmart, industries, such as travel, events, Grab and taxi drivers, food and beverage, and retail, were the ones greatly affected by this phenomenon. Though this article setting was based in Singapore, it was the same as the situation in the Philippines—-perhaps anywhere in the world where lockdown was implemented.

Good thing, Filipinos are resilient and resourceful. We found a way to earn money by looking at this situation as an opportunity to sell a variety of things online. Thus, there was a boom in e-commerce due to this online selling.

But not everyone would like to join this online selling craze—-especially with the virus still out there and the vaccine is still not available. With the pandemic still hovering over us, many people would prefer to work from the comfort of their own home, and I am one of them.

So what can we do? Do you have a stable internet connection? Do you have a pc or laptop? Good news! You can apply for an online job!

I found this article from MSN or Microsoft News. I am convinced that the content of the said article will greatly help us in finding an online job, whether full time or just a side hustle.

These are the websites listed in that article, and you can apply for positions such as data entry jobs, transcriptionists, SEO or search engine optimization specialist, virtual assistant, and web designer or developer:

  1. has jobs ranging from business administration, data entry services, language translation, online customer support, and transcription services. Check out their website for more information:
  2. offers the same online varieties as but it has more online jobs in its list—its name fits its online presence. Most of the Filipino freelancers get their online gig here. If you’re a web designer, PHP developer, or mobile app developer, you may also find a job appropriate for your line of work on this website. Check out their website for more information:
  3. Outsourcely is another freelancing platform for virtual assistants, web designed, graphic designer, social media manager, and other online jobs. If you’re looking for a long-term remote work and you’d like to get the exact amount stated in a project, this company is the right one for you. Check out their website for more information:
  4. RemoteStaff has the catchphrase “Empowering Remote Working Relationships” when you visit their website. It is composed of an all-Filipino staff to guide and help you find an online job. I think that’s a plus 🙂 This company offers the same kind of positions as offered by the previous three companies above. Check out their website for more information:
  5. Upwork is the last on the list from the MSN article. I’ve seen this company in several articles recently—-mostly those with Filipina Homebased Moms (FHMoms) as contributors. If you’re familiar with Elance-oDesk, that’s the old company name of Upwork. So one could say that they’ve been in this online job platform business for quite a long time now. You’ll also see that on their website, they’re trusted by more than 5 million businesses who are looking for specialized talents. Check out their website for more information:

Good luck job hunting! I pray that you will find the most appropriate job for your skill and circumstance.

5 tips on Staying Awake at Night

(Tips from a pro.)

From a “Baby Thesis” to studying for tests, I’ve pulled all-nighters lots of times in my life. Sometimes just for anime or k-drama marathons! So, here are some tips on how to stay up all night!

1.) Stretch from time-to-time!

One of the most effective ways that I’ve come across while trying to stay awake! Every after 30 minutes, I would do simple stretches for about 2-5 minutes. There are actually studies that states that stretching actually wakes up your body and improves thinking!

2.) Consume caffeine early in the night.

Studies state that a cup of coffee’s effects usually show after 10-15 minutes but the “peak” shows after 45 minutes. Not only that but even after 6 hours your body has only used about 50% of the caffeine that you’ve consumed. When I know that I’ll stay awake all night, I always consume caffeine at around 10pm. It helps me stay awake and alert!

3.) Consume sugar!

Like coffee and tea, consuming snacks that have sugar keeps me energized! After consuming it, I always seem to feel so energetic! Honestly, this is the trick that I always do every time I pull an all-nighter. I can skip caffeine or stretching, just not this.

4.) Maintain good posture.

If you’re pulling an all-nighter to do some school stuff I highly suggest that you sit up straight and maintain good posture. Honestly, this works wonders. When I do this my mind is clearer and the sleepiness goes away.


Never, I repeat, never lie down! On a couch or bed, avoid lying down at all costs. I speak from experience, I promise. Every time I would lie down anywhere, I would fall asleep in a few minutes. Be strong! Resist the call of the bed (couch)!


You can do this! Stay awake! :))

“Viajero” Summary

By F. Sionil Jose

Viajero is a story about a young man figuring out his identity as a countryman. The story begins in the 1940s with Badong, an orphan in the Philippines. He was found by Apo Tale, who soon adopted him as his grandson after their meeting. Mayang, Apo Tale’s blind daughter became his Mother. Badong would soon adopt the name Salvador dela Raza which means “savior of the Filipino Race” in Spanish.

After a while, Japanese men barged in their home in the middle of the night, causing Badong to escape, and was found by Captain James Wack. Badong was taken in by James Wack and soon adopted him: Badong’s name was changed to Buddy Wack. James Wack wife’s name was Roxanne, and they had a daughter-Jessica.

Roxanne was mugged and killed in an alley in East Oakland by a bunch of Negroes, one day. Leaving James Wack with two children to raise on his own. 

Buddy fell in love with Serena, an East Asian. Both had a passion for history. But their love was forbidden, for Serena was about to marry someone through an arranged marriage by her parents

In Viajero, after losing the love of his life, Buddy journeys to the Philippines, where he meets Jose Samson, to learn more about the culture of the Philippines and to figure out how important the history of one’s country is to a person.

The book ends with Buddy confident about his identity and knowledgeable on the history of the Philippines. It ends with Buddy reminiscing on the events that took place in the Philippines in the 1940s. It ends with Buddy feeling content with what he has learned. It ends with. Buddy and James Wack.

“My Motherland”

(A poem I wrote for English 2 when I was still in Pisay)

Philippines, my motherland

I’ve always loved you,

The sweet melodies that speak for you,

Singing of bravery and love

Yet, the unsung songs of war and suffering are beginning to unravel,

Showing the true nature of the apple of you tree


Once a land of freedom and chivalry,

Lost when the people of the west came one by one

Datus, taken down by the bite of the sword and the cross,

The cries of the lost children echoing in the silent night


Philippines, cries were as loud as the booming thunder,

Which became louder as the mighty knight who represents you was exiled,

A man whom I idolized, shot by his countrymen,

But your saddened cries were replaced with hopeful cheers

As you saw Bonifacio uniting your people under multiple flags,

Flags that soon become one


It seemed like the Lady of Justice was finally upon us,

But people of the west and east kept coming,

But my mother, my dear mother,

Do not worry, for we won in the end


Philippines, thy mother,

Are you pleased with your children?

Whom, over time have become so full of hate and vengeance?

Answer me, please thy mother,

Are you succumbing to the pressure?


Mother, please forgive us,

For we have sinned.

(Featured Picture taken in Bangkong Kahoy in 2019.)

My new batch of dishwashers :)

It’s almost 8:30 in the evening, and Kuya Bubut was still doing his homework. He’s assigned to wash the dishes after dinner. But due to his homework, he cannot wash the dishes tonight. Ate Bubut’s not volunteering. I think she got tired today after orchestra practice. She went to Tibig with me since it’s a Thursday.

Good thing, Kuya-Kuya Bubut volunteered to wash the dishes. He even volunteered Bunso to be the dryer. How cute was that?! He was asking to be the dishwasher for some time now. Since I had to cook for the next day’s “baon,” I allowed him to wash the dishes (though I was a bit hesitant, thinking they might drop a plate). But then I thought, I better start them early in this chore.

Kuya-Kuya Bubut was so excited that he’s about to wash. At first I taught him how to use a sponge with dishwashing liquid soap, and then I taught him how to rinse the plates after cleaning them with soap. I also taught Bunso first on how to dry.

Thank God, they finally finished. Take note: “There was no broken plate.” Amazing, right?!

After washing, he said he’d love to wash the dishes from now on. But I said he’ll take turns with Kuya Bubut. He sighed a little, but he eventually said okay.

It’s good that he had initiative in this kind of situation. I’m so happy and proud of these two!

Thank you, Lord, for giving me these babies 🙂

SUPERMANILA at The Podium Mall

On a Saturday morning, it’s usually hard to wake the kids up, knowing it’s a weekend. But today, October 19, 2019, it was a breeze! Everybody’s excited to go to SUPERMANILA!

We left home at around 8:30 AM. Didn’t want to be stuck in heavy traffic. We arrived at The Podium at around 11:30 AM. After parking Vanza, we had lunch at Megamall food court. How I missed World Chicken’s pesto pasta!❤

After our yummy lunch, we went back to The Podium to go to my husband’s most-awaited event. We bought tickets, which costs P150 each (kids 8 years old and below are free–yay!).

Good thing, it was a kid-friendly event. While my husband was lining up for his favorite artists to sign his comics, the boys were playing Lego. Yes, Lego had a booth there. 🙂 There was also a wall of Whilce Portacio’s earlier works printed on a tarpaulin for the kids to color. Pilot was there to promote their markers. What a great idea!

There was a section dedicated to Funko Pops, which were on sale (20% off). My youngest kept on asking for a Spiderman Funko, and my husband was eyeing the glow-in-the-dark Phoenix. So naturally when the gang went to that section, they bought Funko Pops. The power of the card! I kept on thinking what happened to my pep talk about “no buying when we get there”? Whew! Oh well, I just told myself this does not happen all the time. They just wanted to maximize the opportunity while we’re there. So they got characters from Fortnite, a Venomized Captain America, golden Iron Man, and the glow-in-the dark Phoenix. The golden Iron Man was free because they got so many that they were able to avail of the promo to get one free.

The little ones played with their Funko Pops while my husband was waiting in line for Whilce Portacio’s and Leinil Yu’s autographs on his comics.

The boys and I went out for a while to have a drink. There was no food court at The Podium but expensive restaurants….haayy….. So we settled with the Coffeebean and Tea Leaf’s