Troto and the Trucks by Uri Shulevitz

Every week I write about the books that we read for my son. He is currently 4 years old and loves a good book! Most of the books come from the Nashville Public Library. Although we buy a good book or two every now and then. I am not a professional book and illustration reviewer or critic, but I can write about the book, what I think about it, and how our son reacted to it.

Book Information

Title: Troto and the Trucks
Author & Illustrator: Uri Shulevitz
Published by: Farrar Strauss Giroux Books for Young Readers
Copyright 2015 by Uri Shulevitz

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Benny Shark Goes to Friend School

Every week I write about the books that we read for my son. He is currently 4 years old and loves a good book! I am not a professional book and illustration reviewer or critic, but I can write about the book, what I think about it, and how our son reacted to it.

Book Information

Title: Benny Shark Goes to Friend School
Author: Lynn Rowe Reed
Illustrator: Rhode Montijo
Published by Two Lions, an imprint of Amazon.com, Inc
Text Copyright 2017 by Lynn Rowe Reed
Illustration Copyright 2017 by: Rhode Montijo
No. of pages: 30

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How to Apply for Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)

Since you are going to the United States for work, you need to apply for an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). Every OFW is required to get the OEC as this is a requirement under the rules and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Its purpose is to ensure that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are documented and protected. There are several requirements before you can get the OEC such as the contract. Ideally, this requirement will protect Filipinos from being duped by illegal recruiters.

We can consider the OEC as our exit pass. If you have an OEC, you will not pay the travel tax (which is about P1,620) and the terminal fee (which is PhP 750).

How to Apply for the OEC

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The Positive & Alarmingly Negative Impact of Smartphones on Young People

Do you ever remember a time when there was no iPhone or Android phones? Those days are so far gone, and we just take these tech appendages for granted.

The Smartphone has revolutionized so many aspects of our lives. This is as true in developed countries, as well as in developing, or even underdeveloped countries.

We cannot deny the positive impacts of the smartphones and the ecosystem of apps and related technology that it helped create.

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Review of oBike Bike-Sharing App in Malaysia

Biking is a great way to commute. You can save some money on gas and you get a chance to exercise without going to the gym. I sometimes ride my bike to go to my office in Nashville. It’s a 26-km ride in the morning. I need to travel that distance to go back home.

My work responsibilities sometimes takes me to other cities and countries. It’s difficult to keep to routines and habits while traveling. As much as I want to ride my bike in different cities, I can’t bring my bike with me all the time.

That’s where bike-sharing comes in. Several startups have already started competing in this space. There’s B-Cycle in Nashville, Citi-bikes in New York, Bixi in Canada, and oBike from Singapore among others. My wife has tried the B-Cycle in Nashville sometime back and she liked it.

I found myself in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a business trip last August. I saw a lot of bikes on the city streets under the train stations, near hotels, near malls, on the sidewalks, and near all the touristy areas. The day before I left, I tried riding one of them just to get a feel for how to use it, move around the city in a bike, (and well, so I could write about it on this blog.)

What is oBike

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Thoughts on Kids’ Soccer, Competition, and Sports

It was a really hot Saturday noon with the sun almost directly overhead. I held a big umbrella to provide shade to 2 members of our son’s soccer team sitting on the bench. First game of the Nashville Youth Soccer Association (NYSA) Fall season and the kids had 3 minutes left in the game.

Those two kids didn’t want to play. J, the son of my son’s coach, cried when the opposing team took the ball from him. It just went downhill from there. The other kid, U, refused to play after the first quarter. It is their first season playing kids’ soccer.

Our son did a little better on his first season, too. He played in the Spring 2017 season of the NYSA from February to May. He loved practice time but during the actual games, he just wanted to sit on the bench and cheer his teammates on.

If he ever played, he would kick the ball once then stand around watching everyone else play. But on the last quarter of the last game of the season, he blocked the other team’s attempt to score a goal, then dribbled the ball across the field, and then scored! I was so proud! We waited a whole season for that winning moment!

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Korea House Restaurant in West Nashville: Review (sort of…)

Just a big disclaimer. I am not a foodie. I like eating, especially the food that my wife prepares. I’m also the guy who could eat just about anything! Obviously, I am not Anthony Bourdain or Gordon Ramsay. I’m a guy with simple tastes. Every now and then, I post reviews of restaurants that we visit. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I took a day off on my son’s first day of school. I helped prepare his things, and then my wife and I took him to school.

Ever since we had a child, we have not had a lot of opportunities to go on dates just by ourselves. Almost always, our couple dates have become family dates. Because it was our son’s first day of school, we took advantage of our chance to go on a lunch date.

We looked for a nice Korean restaurant and decided to try Korea House. It had an overall rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. I also search best korean restaurants in nashville and Korea House was listed by Nashville Eater first in a list of 5 Should Not Miss Korean Restaurants. We’ve been to Hai Woon Dai, also recommended by Nashville Eater (located in Antioch), so we decided to give it a try.

Korea House is also rated by Nashville Scene Magazine as the Best Korean Restaurant 11 years in a row! We saw that on the menu and on display inside the restaurant.

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How to Renew Your Philippine Passport in the USA

If your Philippine passport expires and you need a new one, here’s how to renew your Philippine passport in the USA.

Philippine passports are good for a maximum of 5 years. There is a bill at the Philippine House of Representatives that seeks to extend passport validity for up to 10 years. But we don’t know yet if that bill will make it as law and when that would happen.

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The Art of Packing and Letting Go of Books, Appliances, & Things That Won’t Fit into Your Luggage

Packing is a challenge. If you’re moving out of the country, you need to bring only the essentials and let go of anything you won’t need.

But as you start packing your things, you’ll start wondering where all those things came from. And then, you’d start thinking about which ones to bring, which ones to store in your parents’ house (if they let you), and which ones to let go.

It is tough!

There are a lot of things that are really tough to let go–the small clothes of your child, photo frames, books you love, appliances you’ve worked hard to pay for, and a million other things.

It’s not the price tag of these things that make it difficult to let go, but rather the emotional and historical value they represent in our lives.

Our things tell the story of our lives–they are the key to triggering our memories.

If you could only bring everything with you to the United States, why not? But it will be very expensive just to ship all those things from the Philippines.

So here are some tips that will help you pack or let go of your stuff.

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