Along Came a Child…

It was an ordinary July (2012) week for me and my wife. Except that her period was delayed for two days. I didn’t want to hope too much because by that time, we had been waiting and praying for a baby to come along.

On the third day, we finally got a Pregnancy test kit and it came back with two lines! Positive! We were pregnant!

I couldn’t contain my joy and happiness. I was going to be a father. My heart swelled! I couldn’t believe how much love I was feeling–for my wife and our soon-to-be-born child. Continue reading

PAPASaurus by Stephan Lomp

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: PapaSaurus
Author: Stephan Lomp
Illustrator: Stephan Lomp
Published by Chronicle Books San Francisco
Copyright 2017 by Stephan Lomp

About the Author

Stephan Lomp studied visual communications and has been a freelance illustrator since 1996. He started his children’s book career by illustrating books by other authors in Germany, and now both writes and illustrates his own books in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the United States. He lives with his family in Dusseldorf, Germany. Check out his website at


The book is about Babysaurus playing hide-and-seek with his dad, Papasaurus. They are both brontosaurus. The book is a snapshot of a day in Babysaurus’ life when he had to seek his Papa, who was hiding.

Babysaurus asks other dinosaur kids if they saw his Papasaurus. Along the way, the reader gets to learn about the characteristics of other dinosaurs.

In the end, Babysaurus finds and discovers where Papasaurus hid and they get to play again with each other.


As Babysaurus and the reader learns about the characters of the other dinosaurs, you can talk to your child about how people are different and unique. It can also be fun to talk about the traits and characteristics of Daddy that your child loves.


The illustrations and colors of the characters in the book standout against the black background. The white text also helps a young reader follow the words.

Fun Factor

Our son enjoyed this book. He loved seeing how Babysaurus asked different dinosaurs where his Papasaurus was. He also pointed at the different types of dinosaurs that he can identify. He also invited me to play Hide-and-seek right after reading this book.

#WhereisCocosCar: Johannesburg

Last May, as part of my travel to the Holy Land, I decided to bring something that reminds me of my son. I asked him about it and suggested that I bring one of his toy cars. He chose one of his HotWheels: a Red Mustang. So I brought it with me and took photos of the red car in Masada, Qumran, and in almost all the places we went to.

I did not take photos of the red car in the sacred places as a sign of respect.

When I traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, he decided to send his Blue and Black Subaru HotWheels car. So that is going with me to different places. Check out all the places that Coco’s cars are traveling by following the hashtag #WhereisCocosCar on Instagram and Facebook.

The photo above was taken at the Hector Pieterson Memorial. It was the site where a young boy (Hector Pieterson) was killed as a result of the uprising of the community against apartheid in South Africa.

Here’s an excerpt from the Gauteng Tourism Authority:

The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, situated in Orlando West, Soweto, commemorates the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid and in particular the role played by the school children who took part in the Soweto protests of 1976, many of whom were shot by the apartheid police while protesting against the sub-standard of education in black schools in South Africa.

On June 16, 1976, Soweto high school students took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in black secondary schools. The students planned to meet at Orlando Stadium before marching to the regional offices of the Department of Bantu Education, where they intended to raise their grievances with the authorities.

They carried placards that read, “Away with Afrikaans”, “Amandla awethu” (“Power to the people”) and “Free Azania” (“Free South Africa”), and sang the hymn Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa), now the basis for the national anthem of democratic South Africa.

One of the things I realized coming from my trip to the Holy Land in June 2017, and then going to this memorial and to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, almost every place on earth has a memorial on human suffering! As humans we are very good at inflicting pain on each other. Every continent, almost every country has an oppressed, marginalized sector.

Hopefully, when Coco grows up, he’ll learn about these incidents in history and learn to respect people whoever and wherever they are.

Surviving Our Son’s Stomach Bug Woes

On the third Sunday of March, after our son’s fever, he had what seemed like diarrhea. But it didn’t progress beyond the day, so we weren’t worried at all. On Monday, we even went out for a nice walk at the lake.

But the next morning, after he went to school, I got a call from one of the staff at his preschool. She told me that we needed to pick him up and bring him home. He had been to the restroom twice within 2 hours! I thought “that can’t be good.”

A Trip to the ER

Thankfully, within 30 minutes, my wife picked him up and got him settled at home. I stayed at work and just went through my day just like any normal day at the office. But when I got home that afternoon, he couldn’t keep anything down. He was vomiting and his diarrhea showed no signs of letting up. By 7:45 p.m. after several times of vomiting, we decided to bring him to the E.R.

They did some tests. The medical technologist at the triage said that our son probably had flu since that was the main thing that people complained about. We got more worried, thanks to that well-meaning (or maybe not) medical guy. Continue reading

“You’re a good dad, Tatay”

It’s amazing how perceptive kids are. Their questions and insights can sometimes be so profound you just become speechless.

One time Coco and I went to the library to return some books and borrow new ones. I was listening to an audiobook for fathers. When I was pulling out of the library to turn into another street, the audiobook mentioned some tips on being a good father.

From the back of the car, Coco said: “you’re a good dad, Tatay.” I was taken aback. Of course I felt flattered. And I just asked him about the things he loves doing with me. He mentioned the rough play we usually do, the times that we color the images on his coloring books, the way we play cars and other toys.

My work requires me to travel quite a bit and on those times, I terribly miss my wife and my son. I especially miss those moments that my son asks questions and talks with me, and surprises me with affectionate, profound words.

Begin [Blogging] Again… and Try Harder

Those wooden blocks by Melissa and Doug are awesome at teaching motor skills, creativity and persistence to a little one. My wife recently bought it for our 4-year old son Coco.

One night, Coco and I were building a tower made out of Jenga blocks and colorful wooden blocks. After helping him build towers for a few times, I asked him to build a tower by himself.

He was doing so well until a small mistake sent everything tumbling down. It must have been because of unstable placement of the blocks at the bottom layer, or his hands might have knocked it over.

He was so frustrated that he threw some blocks to the floor. He was on the verge of crying!
“But it’s too difficult!” he cried.

So I let him vent his frustration while trying to suppress my smile. Then I said “if you do something and it doesn’t work out at first, what do we do?”

He answered “Try harder.”

That’s what I’ve been telling him whenever he does something that doesn’t work out at first. And it looks like I need to make that my mantra as well.

I decided to begin blogging again…. And try harder.

My Blogging History

Since 2008, I started some personal blogs here and there. But it wasn’t until 2013 when I launched a blog for young professionals in the Philippines. Not long after that, I also launched a podcast as part of the services offered by the blog.

It was fun! I got to write about my journey and growth as a young professional in the Philippines–from the time I graduated from College, to my first jobs until I found the faith-based, non-profit organization that I still work at today.

The podcast wasn’t all about me, either. I interviewed several experts on career development as well as young professionals who are getting ahead in their careers. The conversations gave me immense inspiration and encouragement! On top of that, I get to share it with other Filipino young professionals!

But alas, I had to shut it down. My own tower of wooden blocks came tumbling down.

Thankfully, I shut it down because I pursued another career path that offered a big opportunity for growth. By the middle of 2015, I moved with my family to the United States to take on a new role with our organization.

Begin Again…

This statement took on so many different meanings for me in the past 2 years. I arrived in Nashville, TN on June 2015 and my wife and son followed two months later.

I didn’t expect how many things I had to unlearn and relearn as we tried to live in a new country. Heck, I didn’t even know how to put gas into my car! I had to apply for financing to buy a car. To do that, I had to have good credit, which was totally nonexistent. I needed a bank account, a credit card, and a million other things!

I’d been drowning in the overwhelming process of adjusting to life in a foreign country. I know it’s cliché, but the past 2 years can be appropriately titled as my “Begin Again” chapter. Oh the things we take for granted!

It was hard and often frustrating. And like my son, there were too many times that I wanted to throw wooden blocks at life.

Try Harder

My family and I are at a better right now. Our son is 4 and going to Pre-K after the summer. Our needs are being met, and we have adjusted pretty well to our new life in the United States.

So I take a deep breath and decide that it is time for me to begin blogging again and try harder! Heck, I’m going to do it and be relentless about it until I get the fame and money! Bwahahah.

Well, maybe not. I don’t really intend to monetize my blog (at least not right now).

But Why Blog Again?

I decided to begin blogging again. I may need to take the mantra I gave to my son. I definitely need to try harder to blog successfully. But why bother writing articles and blogging my heart out? I know that writing day after day could be unrewarding and will take a lot of my time.

Back when I was still blogging, I realized the following benefits of blogging:

  • Creative expression. I get to write and explore my creativity. I’ve always been drawn to writing even when I was in High School. I don’t harbor any illusion about the quality of my writing.

I am no Hemingway and it will not give me a Nobel prize. But there is something cathartic and satisfying about expressing your creativity. Through blogging, I can even improve my writing and nurture the discipline I need for this art.

  • Learn about a topic. I’m a big reader! In the past 2 years, I read more than 50 books per year. This year, I dialed it down and aimed to read only 12 books. I am also a big learner and I usually document the things I am learning about.

Blogging could be a cool way to post my reflections and how I am learning new things. That could be helpful to people who may also be interested in learning about those things.

  • Connecting with an online community. This is something I probably failed to do in my blogging efforts in the past. As someone who recently started living in the USA, it would be great to find a community that shares my interests and passions.

Unlearning, Relearning

There’s much to unlearn because the blogging world I was familiar with has definitely changed over the past 2 years. I’m not expecting blogging to work in the same way that it did in the past 3-5 years.

I need to relearn so many things and chief among them good writing. To make it happen, I also need a good routine and a system that will enable me to do it, on top of the other commitments that I can’t do without.

I will begin again and try harder…. Push through, and as I learn the craft of writing and blogging, I may just learn to do it smarter!