Child-Friendly Places to Visit in Jakarta

Found this link in TripCanvas and I can hardly wait to give it a try with my kids.

The kids love the planes so this is perfect.

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And it would definitely be easier to eat inside as opposed to eating during a turbulent flight.

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The food looks great, too.

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Except for World War III, I don’t think anything can stop me from taking the kids next weekend to this fantastic place.

In the words of President Donald J. Drumpf … “It’s fantastic, you’ll love it.”

Being With My Children

The soul is healed by being with children.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

I didn’t realize it’s almost two years since I last entered anything on this. Work and parenthood simply have gotten in the way and, before you know it, time had passed.

But, thankfully, the childhood memories we’ve crafted had been great thus far.

2016 brought us to a train ride to Bandung, spent time with their grandmothers, and culminated in a New Year’s trip to the Philippines.

My eldest son Neo moved to a better school and my youngest son EJ continues to hit milestones in becoming more expressive of his feelings and progressing with his education despite the challenges of Down Syndrome.

Recently, Neo’s school opened its doors to parents for an Activity Day where they showed what they’ve learned and some games they presented to everyone that stopped by their booths. It was fun seeing him with his school friends and fully getting into the groove of his new environment.

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EJ, on the other hand, continues to demonstrate his own willful personality; often quite demanding as a boss, knowing perhaps full well that he will always receive attention. His brother Neo surprises me with his patience to his brother, amazing patience, one which I never had during my time. Continue reading

7 Blissful Years. Happy Birthday, My Son.

My dear Neo,

It was a 90 year old poem by the time I read it in 1985.

I was in an old, decrepit building, with lots of adults walking in and out, at a time long before Google, Facebook, and your favorite MineCraft.

It was a place much quieter than the Church.

It was a solemn sanctuary for me, a place where I could go to places without leaving my seat, excite me more than TV ever did, and inspire in me to become as inquisitive as I am today.

It’s called a library, my son.

We also used fingers to seek for the index and scroll over the list and, no, we didn’t have keyboards and search functions then, but if we needed help, there was always a librarian.

Someone once said that Google will give you a million answers, my son, but a librarian will give you the correct one. They may be a dying breed, but they are the repository of mankind’s literary history.

Sir Rudyard Kipling may have written it for his son, the way I am sharing it with you, but he drew inspiration from the charismatic yet doomed Leander Starr Jameson.

Now that’s a man who may have lost, but has inspired both his generation and entire country to commit to his vision, without screaming, without whining, without convincing others, but by the simple fortitude of his character.

The poem is 120 years old now but, believe me, it rings true today the way it did over a century ago.

May it guide you in your life.
IF-by-Rudyard-Kipling-1910-edition-cover Continue reading

Attitude of Gratitude

By N Mark Castro

attitude of gratitude

You wake up with no threat of a bomb hitting your area.

That you don’t need to scavenge for food in the forest before your family could eat.

That you don’t live in extreme cold or hot conditions.

That you are free to criticize your government, with no armed groups roaming the city.

That you fear not for the safety of your children that there would be random killings.

That you step out of your house with people still smiling back at you.

That no one is ill in the family.

There is much to be thankful for … And I accept with gratitude the wellness and financial blessings that come our way.

Happy Birthday, My Son …

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Dear Spidey,

Up until today I’m still trying to figure out why God — in His Infinite Wisdom — has decided to entrust your life upon me.What was He thinking?

Since the day you were born I have no clue whether or not what I’m doing is right. You didn’t come with an instruction manual although I suspect there must be some batteries inside with your endless energy. And your smile and laughter that is as powerful as your whines.

Your presence in my life makes me wonder about my own journey in life and I can guarantee you that nothing I have ever done has given me more joy and rewards than being a father to you!

The day you were born was the happiest and scariest moment of my life. And I think you came out laughing instead of crying.

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