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Hazel: My 3 kids with a disability helped shape me into the fighter I am

(This article is part of a series, “A Mother’s Journey” – a collection of stories in honour of all mothers, and those who are a mother at heart and spirit. I hope this would inspire and help other parents in some ways.) It’s very rare to encounter a person whom you can tell right away that she has lots of gems to share. When I met Hazel (not her real name) I knew right away that as a mom, she has treasures of gems to share in parenting, life, and…

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Noemi: Spend time with your children as much as you can

(This article is part of a series, “A Mother’s Journey” – a collection of stories in honour of all mothers, and those who are a mother at heart and spirit. I hope this would inspire and help other parents in some ways.) Note: I have heard enough mothers with this advice: Spend time with your children. She smiles and good at using it to cover any turmoil that is going on in her day, and still be able to offer others help, that is Noemi Catacutan, 58, mother of five…

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Children’s Water Festival stirs awareness; The importance of water from a 5-year old

I have a special attachment with water. I grew up by the beach and also had access to rivers, so swimming and boating as an activity were part of my childhood. Those scenarios of children swimming in the river or the sea, getting on a boat or canoe, I have experienced them. Oh, what a wonderful feeling to reminisce those memories. But it didn’t stay that way. We experienced drought and drinking water became scarce. The pollution affected our rivers too. This is where I experienced hours and hours of…

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Lola Rita, 102 years old: I do nothing except thank the Lord

(This article is part of a series, “A Mother’s Journey” – a collection of stories in honour of all mothers, and those who are a mother at heart and spirit. I hope this would inspire and help other parents in some ways.) “I do nothing except thank the Lord,” these are the words of Rita Fabie de Ramirez, 102 years old. “What else to ask for, I can’t ask for more, I have more than enough.” I met Rita, who I call Lola Rita, a few years ago and since…

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Aiesha: Don’t compare yourself and your kids to others

(This article is part of a series, “A Mother’s Journey” – a collection of stories in honour of all mothers, and those who are a mother at heart and spirit. I hope this would inspire and help other parents in some ways.) “Do not compare your kids to others, do not compare yourself to other mums. Take every bit of advice people will give you with a grain of salt.  Do not listen to the haters! People will mum shame and make you feel like crap. But no one loves…

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Christine, mother of 10: Raise your children with patience and love

(This article is part of a series, “A Mother’s Journey” – a collection of stories in honour of all mothers, and those who are a mother at heart and spirit. I hope this would inspire and help other parents in some ways.) “Motherhood is a test, to pass it you really need to have patience,” says Christine Dupuis a.k.a. Aishah, 51, mother of 10, seven of which are now adults, two are married and have their own children, one teenager and two pre-teens. A grandmother to six grandkids. Christine is…

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Khadija: ‘I hope the society to be more accepting and accessible’

(This article is part of a series, “A Mother’s Journey” – a collection of stories in honour of all mothers, and those who are a mother at heart and spirit. I hope this would inspire and help other parents in some ways.) Khadija Malik, 28, fights for her son’s rights every opportunity she gets. She is also grateful for the things people around Esa do for his betterment, and she openly gives positive feedback on great services she and Esa receive even it is as simple as an accessible washroom…

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11 ways to avoid food waste this Ramadan

Ramadan is one of the most festive times of the year for Muslims, despite hunger being the concept associated with it due to fasting, from dawn to sunset. This month is a merry month, time for family and friends to make time to be together for iftar, (breaking of the fast) and going for night prayers. Every household would want to host an iftar due to the reward we hope to receive from Allah subhana wa taala. Often, every attendee to an iftar will bring food to share, even though…

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Twiga, clothing company for a cause

There are times I don’t feel guilty spending, and one of those times is spending on something that supports a cause, like buying items from Twiga, a clothing company for a cause, that brings awareness about important issues and cares for homeless people. “Spread awareness, spark conversation,” this is the motivation behind the messages of Twiga on their products. Twiga is a company that personalizes messages on clothing, bags, and mugs. Among its products are t-shirts with political messages on issues such as suicides and homelessness among Canada’s indigenous people,…

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Ramadan books available at the London Public Library

The holy month of Ramadan is just around the corner (expected to start on May 6th). Every Muslim family is busy preparing for the announcement of its arrival, signalled by the sighting of the moon. Here in the West, included in our preparations of welcoming the month of Ramadan is also being prepared to share what is Ramadan about to our non-Muslim friends and neighbours, or family members. Sharing Ramadan with others who are not practising and celebrating it comes in many different ways, may it be through inviting our…

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Judge Coroza: Education is mandatory in our home

The Honourable Justice Steve Coroza is the first and only Filipino-Canadian judge appointed to the Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice. His appointment as justice in Canada is a success and pride that not only he and his family are proud of, but jubilation that Filipinos around the world celebrates. Although he was not born in the Philippines, by the virtue of his parents who are Filipinos he is identified as one and still strongly associated with Filipino. His parents met in Toronto after they immigrated to…

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How to survive a language barrier when travelling

Excited is an understatement of what I felt when my husband mentioned to me the possibility of travelling with him. But the country we were possibly going to, he said, was Denmark. That put me on second thought. I don’t know people close to me in Denmark, that means “fun” is already out of the equation, although I am sure to be able to connect with Filipinos there.  The disturbing question was, do I really want to go to a country that is unfriendly to me? I mean, I am…

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Ways to reduce your waste

It’s been a decade since my daughter and I joined the world in recognizing the importance of taking part in keeping our world a better place to be. Literally, by being litter-conscious, we consider every day as Earth Day. The amount of trash in the world is alarming. According to worldcounts.com, every year we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste. If all this waste was put on trucks they would go around the world 24 times. With that in mind, we consciously do our best to minimize the…

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CHILDREACH CENTRE: ‘Freedom’ for children; Solace for parents

“We believe that every parent wants the best for his or her child. If the best is not being provided, it is because of some barrier – such as inexperience, depression, illness, aloneness or poverty. It is our goal to help lift this barrier, and bring joy to both parent and child” — Childreach founder,  Dr. John McKim. I want the best for my children! That is exactly what I had in mind when I started bringing my boys – who are under 6 years old – to Childreach Centre. It…

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Ready, get set game!

“Get into the games with your kids, stop fighting the game trend. Become one with the game, enter the game, understand the dynamics of how your children play the games that they play. Understand how their mind works…” Zichermann

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‘Internet prisoners’

I got nothing to hide, nevertheless I am not the type of person who will share anything about me easily.   I am cautious in the online world. I don’t blindly sign up or give my information on any website unless it is “secured”. Unfortunately, as a Facebook and social media user, I have already allowed intrusion into my privacy. But… but… but… these are big names who surely keep my privacy protected, isn’t it? I’m a fool to believe that. Truly, there is no such thing as secured privacy online.…

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Cognitive surplus brings hope to the world

There are trillion hours of free time available in the world, according to Clay Shirky in his TED talk on How cognitive surplus will change the world, and then we hear people asking “Where the time goes?”, “How time flies?” after a realization of time passing without accomplishing anything. We’ve also heard a phrase like “What a waste of talent!” referring to talented people ‘doing nothing’. In as much as there are people wasting their time and skills, there are those who are willing to volunteer them as well. In…

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What happened to time and distance?

Time and distance used to be a big deal in people’s lives especially concerning communication. I remember when my mom was in the Middle East while I was in the Philippines, our exchanges of letters through snail mail took forever – it’s an exaggeration – although that’s how it felt.  A phone call was impossible, so we mailed voiced tapes and pictures to share our special moments. It progressed, it got better. When I came to Canada, time and distance became insignificant to us due to the advent of technology,…

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Public Sphere: Don’t absorb everything

We live in a borderless digital society, where we have access to information beyond our imagination. There is a space for us to express ourselves and communicate with people in a blink of an eye. We access information and have various communication channels at our finger tips. Digital technology brought us to a life where everything is accessible in a fast-paced mode. Are we able to cope? Last week, an 11-year old girl stormed the internet with her story of hate crimes, racism, and Islamophobia and gained the sympathy of…

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Qatar Airways did not allow me to pray

“We cannot allow you to pray. There is no designated space for prayer.” These shocking phrases are still reverberating in my head. “I just need a small space to pray. It will only take few minutes,” I reasoned to the flight attendants I approached during the flight. I was on board Qatar Airways’s flight no. QR 161 from Dubai to Copenhagen, with a stopover in Doha, Qatar.  To continue my journey, I embarked from Hamad International Airport going to Copenhagen and along the way, the time for me to pray…

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Dr. Arlyn Jawad-Jumao-as: The Mama Doc of Basilan

“We the people of Basilan will save Basilan,” she says confidently, when I first met her at the Clinica de Lamitan. A true blooded Basileña, Dr. Arlyn Jawad Jumao-as is on a mission of giving hope and help heal the children of war in Basilan, Philippines to be better individuals in the future through the foundation of Save the Children of War Basilan. The disengagement of her young patients, their attachment to toy guns and inappropriate behaviors toward her was a trigger for Dr. Arlyn to take actions for these…

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Tess Cusipag: True to her vow, cares for paralyzed husband for 18 years

She enters the room sporting a contagious smile as she pushes a wheelchair with an immobile man sitting on it. She is his caregiver. She’s welcomed and responded positively by the people in the room all the time. She must be somebody, I whisper to myself. True enough, this couple are known personalities in the Filipino community, the late activist/journalist Ruben Cusipag and wife Tess Cusipag, publisher of Balita Newspaper. As we met a few times in different gatherings, I saw how Tess tends to him and talks fondly of…

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