Pancho Learns To Walk | My Top Nine Moments of 2020

As part of our Christmas gift, we sent this video to some of the people who have been so supportive of our family, especially of Pancho and his development. His doctors, his NICU nurses, his therapists, his ninongs and ninangs, and now we want to share it with his virtual ninongs and ninangs, too!

We’re so proud of all his accomplishments and this year, I credit a LOT of it to Jim. Because he was home more than usual last year, he told me he wanted to take charge of Pancho’s therapy. He did an amazing job and I’m so proud of him as well.

Special credit, too, to his Yaya Cheng. From the very start, she had immense interest in Pancho’s progress and is one of the reasons Pancho gained quite a lot last year hehe.

Thank you to Pancho’s therapist, Jayben Sianghio for being such an amazing teacher not only to Pancho but also to me, Jim, and Cheng.

Jim, if you’re reading this (at dapat lang talaga you’re reading this… LOL), THANK YOU! You are a wonderful father and husband and I don’t say it enough. So ito na, I’m saying it na. Haha!

And to Pancho, my sweet love, thank you. Throughout this whole journey of yours, I am proudest of YOU. I love you forever!

Vito Learns To Rock | My Top Nine Moments of 2020

Vito has been winning the hearts of the Interwebz the whole year and he’s just been a BIG ball of sunshine this 2020. I don’t even know what to write, I’m just going to share some photos and videos of my tomato, most of them showing how his love for music developed.

January: Waking up from a nap
February: Crashing a Cheats jam
March: Co-working with papa
April: Banging on pots and pans with mama and kuya
May: “Look, mama, I piano”
June: Breaking his first guitar
July: Papa protecting his guitar
August: Absorbing thingzzz
September: Behind-The-Scenes with kuya Pancho, shooting a music video
October: “Look, mama, I sing”
November: Before breaking my second guitar
December: Teenage Vito 🙁

And he started the New Year with these hits. You’ve probably already seen but I can’t blame you if you watch them again (I personally can’t stop haha).

Have a rockin’ new year!

Jim Stays Home | My Top Nine Moments of 2020

If there’s anything I can say I like about the situation we’re in right now, it’s that Jim is home with our kids.

He’s really such a hands-on dad and even before the quarantine started, he made adjustments to his work schedule. He’s fortunate enough to run his own business but even as a boss, he disciplined himself to be at their office 3-4 times a week. He would leave our house at 4AM, arrive at 5AM, be the only one at their office for at least 3 hours and when his employees would come he’d just quickly have one-on-ones with the heads, make fast decisions, give them assignments and head home as early as he could so he could be with the boys.

(Grabe talaga nakaswerte ako, I know.)

It wasn’t easy for him at first so it wasn’t easy for me either. I’ve been pretty used to working from home especially since being a breastfeeding mom of 2 babies. For him, the guilt of being just one wall away from the kids and NOT being physically there was debilitating. He would actually have anxiety attacks ☹️

We got into a couple of arguments at the start, he was unknowingly managing me and my time because he was used to doing that with his employees. I don’t even want to go into detail but at the time I wasn’t getting much sleep because Vito was going through growth spurts, still breastfeeding through the night and I’d be up at 5AM so I didn’t want to feel guilty for taking a nap after lunch. Take note: he never intended to make me feel guilty but because I felt like he was periodically checking where I was and what I was doing (hahaha he couldn’t help it, I swear!!), I felt a lot of pressure especially since he would ask me to create a schedule for our home and that just wasn’t natural for me haha (side note: nakatulong naman yung suggestion nya, infair, but that’s for a separate post wahaha).

Then one afternoon, he knocked on the door of my home office and slowly sank into the floor. He asked me for help because he felt like he was going crazy. I got off my chair and joined him on the floor. It was like a movie moment, actually. Haha. Nasa yoga mat ko pa kami (yes, I was very into yoga at the start of the year lol).

He shared that he couldn’t concentrate on work because he wasn’t even sure what the point was. We had been home for so long and businesses were closing. On top of that, he just kept kicking himself for not physically being with Pancho and Vito.

I reminded him that he wouldn’t be with the boys if it were a normal day anyway. From 4AM until around 3PM he would be out of the house. Most parents don’t even have that luxury! We reminded each other that quality is ALWAYS better than quantity. We should get work out of the way so that we can enjoy our time with the boys more. Besides, we’re very blessed with good help who love Pancho and Vito!

After that, things became different and I’m just so so so thankful for his presence at home. The boys looove their papa and they’re just crazy obsessed with him.

Jim will eventually have to go back to the office regularly but we will always remember to keep sharing quality moments with each other and our children 🙂

Creating a Patreon Community | My Top Nine Moments of 2020

As I write this, I have 39 people watching on an exclusive Instagram account.

42 now.

46!

I just went LIVE on impulse and they all got instantly notified! It’s exclusive to members of our Patreon community.

Aughteh, what’s Patreon??

It’s a membership platform that allows creators to connect with their biggest supporters. Jim and I launched ours in November and we didn’t expect much from it but through your membership, we’ve been able to give to our partner beneficiaries.

In November, we donated all proceeds to the Kaya Natin Movement to help the thousands affected by the typhoons that hit us that month.

All of December’s proceeds went to the Cerebral Palsy & Epilepsy Family Awareness Support Group Philippines, a group of parents who help each other out with tips on #NormalizedFeeding. There’s really a learning curve when feeding kids with special needs and a lot of Filipino moms and dads just need awareness and more information so that their kids can get the nutrition they need. Good nutrition is very important for the kids’ development. This beneficiary is one that I would like to support on a regular basis.

So thank you SO MUCH for the support!

And what do our Patreons/Podtrons/VIPodkids get in return?

  • Exclusive LENZZZ (Patreon’s version of Instagram Stories) updates of our family life
  • Biglaan livestreams like what I’m currently doing right now,
  • Access to mine and Jim’s “diary”
  • Producer powers for our podcast
  • Live access when we record some podcast episodes
  • And this year: Monthly Masterclasses with special guests!!

Building a community like this made me remember how fun it was to keep writing and sharing even if for just the handful of people who actually care.

And this community is also why I re-launched my blog. You guys really make me happy 🙂

Thank you again!! Looking forward to more moments with you in 2021 and beyond!

Finding Fitness | My Top Nine Moments of 2020

I’ve never been this fit in my life. I never would have thought I’d find myself being strongest at 32 years old with 2 kids. But I guess it makes sense:

  • Play with my boys a lot.
  • Changed up my eating habits since what I eat is passed through breastfeeding
  • Found a workout routine that actually works for me!

I went through loving and hating my body in college and beyond. I tried to lose pounds quickly by following fad diets, and throughout all of these trends, nothing ever quite stuck.

I finally “cracked the code” when I found the right answer to “WHY?”

College me:

Why am I doing this? So that I can lose weight. Why? So I can look good. Why? So people won’t have anything bad to say about me. Why? Because people can be mean. Why? Because… Ewan. Labo.

So, gets niyo ba… Most of the time nababalik ako sa “eh bahala sila wala akong pake!!” so I’ll just binge eat and hello di ako magwoworkout for evil people noh!! LOL.

Me now:

Why am I doing this? Because I want to get fit. Why? So I can play with my kids. Why? Because I love them. Gets.

I’m grateful that my kids keep me motivated. Pancho and Vito are 14 and 12.5 kilos respectively and they LOVE being carried!

A lot of the time, when I’m carrying Pancho, Vito will run to me and demand to be carried too. I don’t do it too much though – my poor back!! But OMG how can you resist these two??

I got a message from Coach Andre of Fitnessmobil some time in May while in quarantine. At the start of the lockdown, I was doing yoga a lot but I somehow stopped for a month when I got his message. It was an invitation to try a one-on-one personal training session via Zoom. Weird, right? But I gave it a shot and since then, I haven’t skipped a workout.

We train virtually twice a week and it’s just been the best decision I made to reply to that message I got. Coach Andre is such a professional and straight to the point which is exactly what I like in a trainer. He explains why the moves are important and why bending my knees just ever so slightly will make a huge difference in the effectivity of the move.

Here’s a photo of me with my WHYs before their morning nap which is when I squeeze in my workouts!

I feel like my whole journey fitness should get a different blog post lol. Consider this an intro, I guess.

If you’re curious about Fitnessmobil, you can contact them thru Instagram. Jim and I are also offering a free Work Out With Jim & Saab session for our patrons HAHA it’s this Saturday, January 9. If you haven’t already signed up on Patreon, click here and get the perks while contributing to charity! We’ve got a lot of surprises lined up for this month 🙂

Cheats Farm Trip | My Top Nine Moments of 2020

This is the third of my top nine moments of 2020. Here’s a list of the past ones I wrote about in this series:

Even with all the precautionary measures Jim and I normally take, we decided early on to really lock down our household since we wanted to be able to see our parents without any fears.

We are especially careful when seeing Jim’s parents because they are seniors and highly susceptible to COVID-19. Thankfully, as you may have read from my last post, our family trip to our farm in November was very successful. We had such a great time that we daydreamed about getting to host our best friends there someday.

It took a lot of back and forth but we eventually decided to do it! We were able to do it under the strictest guidelines and reassurance that everyone involved was taking everyone’s safety seriously.

Step 1: Quarantine

No matter how many swab tests you take, kung lumalabas ka pa at gumigimik, you might as well just save your money. We read up on it and apparently, if you take a test but you were out and about a few days prior, there’s a likely chance that your results will become a false negative. This is why we all stayed home (and didn’t make any close contact with anybody in our separate households who regularly goes out) at least 5 days before taking our swab tests.

Step 2: Testing

The golden standard for swab testing is RT-PCR pero ginto rin ang halaga. The most affordable option is the antibody rapid blood testing but I don’t think anybody does that anymore since it’s unreliable. We got the antigen swab testing which is highly accurate especially if you stay put days before your scheduled test. We separately scheduled drive-thru testing in Cubao via Hero Laboratories — Don’t be shocked if you see my face on their website, they asked me for a testimonial and I didn’t expect them to put my huge face (and Puddy’s cute face!) on the landing page!! Hahahaha! Ngayon ko lang nakita!!

Jim in his element

Step 3: Squeezing Everything In Our Cars

We brought ALL of our music gear and equipment for band practice, free jams, even rough recordings. Kyle packed almost all of his millions (lol) of camera equipment so we could shoot stuff. Candy and Steven brought tooons of food because they were in charge of feeding all of us. And it was, by the way, amazing. If you wanna try Steven’s pecan pie (AND YOU SHOULD) head on over to @silvapies on Instagram.

Step 4: Interact

Man, it was pretty awkward especially at first. We all still wore our face masks inside the 3 vehicles we rode going to the farm. So when we finally got there and saw each other, it was a mixture of OMG I MISSED YOU GUYS SO MUCH HUHU COME HERE and OMG I DON’T THINK WE SHOULD HUG GET AWAY FROM ME??

But the trip made it apparent to everyone that we really are family. It was like a high school retreat and we jammed nine months worth of creative projects into 2 days. All in all, we made 3 entirely new songs and 2 music videos – both of which were conceptualized, and brainstormed up until the very last minute.

Sharing some more photos of our magical trip

One of the highlights of the trip: Ali’s biglaan starring role in our videos. He did an amazing job!!
Behind The Scenes
Set from one of our upcoming music videos

Glad we were able to see each other – hoping it won’t have to take another nine months before we do it again. I’m well aware that not everybody has the luxury to do the same thing with their best friends and in no way do I encourage you to do the same but I don’t want to be a hypocrite and tell you not to carefully plan something like this. If anything, I want to remind you to stay vigilant and don’t trust even your closest friends kasi minsan lumalabas pa rin yung iba so wag niyo na muna silang isama!! LOL! Stay safe, everyone!

P.S. All photos shot on film by Kyle Quismundo and Manny Tanglao

Birthday Farm Trip | My Top Nine Moments of 2020

This is my second entry for my ~Nine-Part Blog Series~ kemerloooooo! I was initially going to blog about it only and share photos but this morning I saw that I had a lot of videos on my phone. So I VLOGGED!! YAAAAS. I’m Saab Magalona-Bacarro: Future YouTuber (10 years ko na yatang sinasabi yan lol).

But hey I committed to a ~Nine-Part Blog Series~ and I finished putting the videos together. Natagalan cos I just used an app on my phone to edit it. Haha. Here you go – the fruit of my labor:

And of course after I finished it and uploaded it, that’s when I thought of checking Jim’s phone and ang dami rin pala niyang videos!! Flop. Some things never change… Cheka.

I guess I pretty much showed you how our trip went on the vlog but I wanted to share some photos too.

We left at 4:30AM!

Vito enjoyed the open space so much he kept running and falling down. As much as we could, we made sure to let him pick himself back up so that he’d learn to be more careful.
He’s really a silly billy
Vito was NOT in the mood haha
Pancho, forever the professional!! Here he is with his mamita and papy inside the greenhouse where they grow lettuce for isabels.ph!
At night we had beer and played Cranium!
Tita Nunki!
With the Mama Mary grotto that Jim’s mom had built especially for Pancho!
TRIVIA: He never fails to put his hands together in prayer when he sees a statue of Mama Mary
My precious!
“Ok, mama, it’s Vito time”

It still stings that Jim took so many photos with his DSLR and it all just got mysteriously deleted. We may not have the most high quality photos but the subjects are gorgeous so it doesn’t matter. I will never forget this trip. I turned 32 the best way I can imagine.

Dolomite Snow | My Top Nine Moments of 2020

I’m not even going to bother trying to get my Top Nine posts on Instagram, I know it’ll just be a grid of Pancho and Vito photos. Haha. So what I’ll do instead is try to look back on the globally horrible year that was and pick out the nicest moments I can think of.

It’s hard not to cringe when I get ~Biver~ messages from well-meaning titas and titos about how 2020 was actually the best year because we learned to overcome it/be resilient/etc. Ack. And what about those who lost their livelihoods and their loved ones? 🙁

Once again, I remind myself that these people mean well and just want to deliver a message of hope. With this blog post, I hope to do the same without seeming tone-deaf. I fully acknowledge that 2020 WAS A SHIT YEAR. But I also know that horrible things can and will continue to happen regardless of the 4-digit number we write down after each month and day. At the same time, meaningful moments will also always happen especially if you look out for them.

A year is just a parentheses enclosing a collection of moments within a twelve-month period. Closing that parentheses last night felt like we finally caught our breath after a very long-winded run-on sentence that didn’t make sense at all!!

As we open a new parentheses for 2021, I’d like to pick out key moments in the previous one that still made sense – at least for me.

Here’s the first one:

DOLOMITE SNOW: A Wake Up With Jim & Saab Christmas Station ID

It’s our third year celebrating Christmas with our Wake Up With Jim & Saab podcast listeners and we thought of creating a station ID because… I don’t know either… That’s just the kind of thing we do, I guess. LOL. It was Jim’s brilliant idea to make one and we wrote the song that same night, had our best friend Candy “Voice Of An Angel” Gamos (lol) record it, asked our Patreon podkids to send in some video clips, and shot some awkward footage during our Cheats farm trip (that’s another key moment!!).

The chorus goes:

This Christmas, gumising na tayo /

This pasko, mag-Wake Up na tayo /

Even if mabagsakan ng Dolomite Snow /

Mag-mañanita pa rin tayo /

`Di maka-canceledt ating pasko.

Sheer poetry… *chef’s kiss*

Another notable line and its ~Genius.com~ annotations:

Nandyan Snow, Barat yan pala

John Snow… Baratheon pala… Jim thought of this. Makes no sense but, damn, it’s good wordplay, I guess.

This station ID was aired during our Podkids Paskuhan virtual Christmas party and it was received very well hahaha. Of course the Christmas party is part of my highlights too especially since some of my faves graced the event with their video greetings.

These are just a few people you can expect to guest on the show for the new year! Woohoo!

Check back tomorrow as I share another one of my Top Nine moments of 2020!

P.S. Check out what the critics are saying about Dolomite Snow:

I haven’t blogged in years.

I’ve written some long captions on Instagram but I haven’t written written.

Is it like riding a bike? I’ve definitely tried to balance and pedal a few times but I would always topple over and I just didn’t feel like getting back up.

I started blogging in 2003. I was 15.

Holy shit. I just turned 32 last month. That means I’ve been blogging in some form or another for more than half of my life!

Blogspot, Livejournal, WordPress.com, Tumblr, BlogTV, WordPress.org, Plurk, Twitter, Instagram, and most recently podcasting with Jim on Spotify.

Don’t think I haven’t seen your questions sent to me thru various channels. The most-asked one:

Why aren’t you blogging anymore?

When I look back on my life, I see it as divided in two parts: BEFORE and AFTER child loss.

I didn’t want to look at my old life recorded on my blog. My cheeky pregnancy announcement post pisses me off somehow. Just writing this is creating a lump in my throat.

I’d like to thank the stranger who left this comment on my old post:

Thank you for your empathy.


Jim encouraged me to start a podcast months after we lost Luna. He could tell I missed having an outlet and knew it would help me deal with my depression. I agreed only if he would join me. It felt like the continuation of my blog but I had my best friend right beside me, holding my hand. I’m so grateful that he allowed himself to go outside of his comfort zone for my sake. Our Wake Up With Jim & Saab podcast community continues to grow but I do miss writing in my diary and sharing random stuff on this blog.

If blogging is indeed like riding a bike, well, today’s the day I take off my training wheels.

I can’t wait to feel the wind in my hair again!:)