I just realized that it was officially my first Mother’s Day in Manila.
The last four celebrations I had in Chapel Hill were very low-key. Essentially, I got a “day off” from my duties from the household chores all the way down to dirty diaper changes. I did get flowers occasionally, and most of all, I loved it that I got to sleep in (well except for the Mother’s Day that coincided with my husband’s MBA program graduation, but it was good reason to get up early on that day!)!
This Mother’s Day was quite a different experience. I got relief from some of my duties (most importantly the dirty diaper one!), but I was able to spend it with other #SoMoms and our children in one of Manila’s premiere malls, Greenbelt. Malls are a big “attraction” here in Manila and it serves as a primary destination for a lot of people for practically anything and everything. For the many special occasions celebrated in this country, Greenbelt 5 and the rest of the Ayala Malls host a series of activities to attract more people to their locations on these days. It’s a very successful venture since many look for things that they can do with their loved ones. To participate and receive gifts, all one has to do is meet a minimum purchase in any of the mall’s merchants.
For this year’s Mother’s Day, the theme was Music and Memories, and the SoMoms and our children got a taste of it all firsthand. It began with a Mother’s Day “Mom and Me” shopping treat from Ayala Malls and Gingersnaps! The week before Mother’s Day, we were asked to find outfits for our kids and ourselves that matched or complemented each other. Now if you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know fairly well what a fan I am of matching outfits. And apparently, close friends and family have observed that I (subconsciously) match my outfit of the day with what they’re wearing too (I swear, it’s subconscious). So this part wasn’t too difficult for me.
Of all the children’s clothing stores I like to shop in, Gingersnaps is a long-time favorite; and it worked out well because they gave us gift certificates for their Ayala Mall stores! Hurray! Their clothes are adorable, and so easy for the girls to wear in this hot weather. I ended up getting another set of matching dresses for a different occasion too. As for me, since their clothes had floral prints on them, I dressed myself in a plain version of the same color palette at Zara. In the end, what we wore wasn’t totally identical but they still looked like they’re all from the same family (These are some of the things you pick up from watching Project Runway all the time! ;) ).
For the actual mother’s day, we all came dressed in our new attire to attend a high tea garden party at the Art Gallery of Greenbelt 5, with absolutely delicious treats from Bizu. Sam, in the tan floral outfit was my date for the afternoon as Jamie (although she had her outfit) was down with a virus so she stayed home. Sam loves these kinds of gatherings because she soaks every bit of the experience in. As if on cue as we walk into the reception area, Sam immediately spotted her favorite macaroons and chocolate truffle balls, so happiness was instant.
Then Mench Dizon of Ayala Malls took us to the butterfly house where Sam had the best time getting butterflies onto her body. It reminded her a lot of the Butterfly House back at the Life and Science Museum in Chapel Hill; a place we miss dearly. Sam would have loved to stay there the whole day, but we did have other things in store for us and it took some convincing for me to get her out of there. I promised we’d be back (and of course we were — several more times).
The SoMoms were treated to some Lancome Paris and Kiehl’s products when we visited each store. It feels like I got pampered with beauty things! I can’t wait to try them. 🙂
It was a hot and tiring but fun experience. What was mostly exhausting was having to run after Sam and keep her from getting into trouble while we were going around. But then again, I can’t imagine a mother’s day celebration without being around my kids. They’re the ones who gave me the opportunity to celebrate it in the first place. And like any mother, my joy is to see that she’s having a grand time, which she really did. It was worth all the sweat that trickled down my body that entire afternoon!
I also realized I’d never really been around that part of the mall before and it was a great discovery. Sam and I even discovered a newly opened shop that gave away Cotton Candy for every purchase. Sam was sweet enough to take home one for herself and one for Jamie. I also felt a little bit of nostalgia as we went around, as Greenbelt was a mall that I would visit in my childhood, and now it look completely different. My how times have changed indeed.
All in all, it was nice being around mommy friends on Mother’s Day. Moms appreciate other moms and we understand what it is we go through on a daily basis with kids and the home. The kids as well are more familiar with one another (since we see each other so often these days!) so they started to play together more, particularly the girls. Not to mention, they all looked so cute clumped together in their Gingersnaps outfits. As my friend Jackie of Go Jackie Go! said, it was quite amazing that none of the 12 kids had the same outfit. Everyone picked something different and it also showcased each of their budding personalities.
How did you celebrate your mother’s day? 🙂