I have another confession to make: I can be a bit proud at times, meaning to say not humble. I often depend too much on my own abilities, skill and talents, and fail to depend more on God’s power and provision. So, when things go wrong, I usually blame myself, and end up feeling down and depressed.

Here’s the thing: We all need a good dose of humility. We all need to learn to be humble, and accept the fact that we need God’s help ALL.the.time. Yes, even in our day-to-day, “mundane” routines, we need Him and His grace.

The sad truth, though, is that we usually fail to see that we need God’s help when we are too busy; when we are too focused on “doing” rather than “being” — especially being in God’s presence.

Well, here’s another truth we should remember: Even Jesus, who was God Himself, needed help; He needed to be always connected to God; He always prayed and sought God, especially during the times He knew He would need God’s help. One example of those times was when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane — He knew the time of His suffering and death was near.

 "Agony in the Garden" by Adriaen van de Velde via WikiArt

“Agony in the Garden” by Adriaen van de Velde via WikiArt

To help drive home this point — that even Jesus needed help, thus, we need to seek God’s help too — here’s the latest episode of “The Truly Rich Mom Show” — I pray it will encourage, inspire, and empower you somehow:

May we never, ever forget the power of God’s grace, help, and provision — may we always strive to be humble and declare with all our hearts, “Lord, I need You!” I love this song by Matt Maher, actually — this is the cry of my heart this very moment:

Do you need God’s help in a special way right now? Do you have a specific prayer concern that is on your mind this very minute? Please feel free to let me know in the comments, so we can pray for one another!

Oh, and if you feel that this post may inspire and bless others, please feel free to share it! :) God bless us all!

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on August 31, 2015 · 1 comment · Catholic, Family, God, The Truly Rich Mom Show, Truly Rich Reflections

So I just realized that it’s been a little over 2 weeks since my last post here! Time really flies! I’ve been swamped with the usual things (as usual 😉 ) — but besides that, this site has also been experiencing some “technical difficulties,” which I hope and pray will be resolved really, really soon! (Please pray with me?)

I’ve also been *trying* to work on home improvement — meaning get our little apartment look and feel “homier” than usual. It’s been a struggle actually, what with all that’s on my plate now, and most days I feel really guilty that the place is in an “organized mess”! Really, on some days I wish we had a living room that looks like this (or something like it):

(Image by dreamstudiographics |FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Instead of this:

messy

#keepingitreal :)

But then I remember that our home is still “perfect” the way is it is: Our life is real, and sometimes it’s messy, and even dirty. But we’re all in this together. Our home may not be Pinterest- or Instagram-worthy but it’s home. You get what I mean? :) So I guess my “perfect” and “idealistic” home improvement plans don’t have to be on my list of what’s “urgent and important” at the moment.

Now, in case you are looking for home improvement tips, here is an informative article from Catherine Lavinia, an acquaintance of mine who is into providing tips and tricks on different topics. I hope it will be helpful to you, especially those of you who have garage door openers! :)

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Reprogramming Garage Door Remotes and Keypads

Garage door openers are the ultimate in convenience when the weather is less than cooperative. Instead of being forced to get out in the rain or snow, you can simply press a button and the door opens on its own like magic. The garage door opener remote has really changed the way we think of our garages, but in some ways, they’ve made our homes less safe — this is just one of the many reasons you should know how to erase your door opener’s memory and program new remotes and keypads.

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Many reasons to reprogram

Many homeowners don’t give a second thought to their garage door openers, but if you weren’t the homeowner who installed your current opener or live in an area where crime is a problem, reprogramming your remotes and keypads may save you a lot of heartache later. Once someone else has access to your garage, they often can access your home, so for safety’s sake, take a few minutes and reprogram your unit.

Even if you don’t give out your code willy-nilly and know exactly where all your garage door remotes are, it’s a good idea to change your keypad code regularly. Changing the code on a regular basis will prevent anyone who may be messing with your keypad at night from breaking the code. Keypads shouldn’t make you feel afraid, you can easily take back control with regular reprogramming.

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Reprogramming your garage door equipment

Reprogramming garage door openers is actually a fairly easy task for most models. Units left over from the 1980s and early 1990s will require a different process than what is described here, so always consult your garage door opener manual for full instructions. Be careful when working with a garage as the garage door springs can carry a lot of force. In general, this is how to proceed:

Erase the memory. If you’re worried about other people having remote controls, you should start reprogramming your unit by completely erasing the memory. Not all units will do this automatically, so make sure you do it manually. Just press and hold the “Learn” button located on the back of your garage door opener for approximately six seconds. The “Learn” LED will go out to indicate that the memory was purged. Units without an LED may instead signal with the light bulb.

Program your remotes. Once the memory is purged, you can attack your control devices. Start with your remote control — it’s fairly easy to set and can be done by yourself. Climb the ladder you already set up behind your garage door opener with the remote in hand to do this, it’ll make the process easier and less frustrating.

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This time, instead of pressing and holding the “Learn” button, simply press it and look for the LED on the unit to begin glowing. While it’s glowing steadily, press and hold the button you want to program on your remote until the light on the garage door opener blinks (this may be the LED or the main light bulb).

If your garage door opener has no lights whatsoever, you’ll hear two clicks when your remote is programmed. You’ll program any other remotes the same way — as long as you quickly press and release the “Learn” button, your opener won’t forget any other remotes you’ve programmed.

Change your keypad’s PIN. Programming your garage door opener’s keypad is a little more challenging, but only just a little. Make sure you’ve got a friend on hand to help with the “Learn” button-punching duty, since you’ll be working outside of arm’s length to the opener.

Many models of garage door keypads can be programmed by simply pressing the “Learn” button, typing the new code onto the keypad, then pressing the “Enter” button. If this method is successful for your unit, your keypad will tell you so by flashing. Test your code by re-entering it on the keypad and hitting enter. If you were successful, the door will open or close.

If your keypad has a “Program” button, you can change the PIN without hitting the learn button on the opener. Simply start the programming mode by pressing the following series of buttons: 3, 5, 7, Program. When the LED begins to slowly blink, enter your new PIN, then press “Program” again. The LED should blink twice and turn off. Again, test the code by entering it on the keypad and pressing the up/down arrow key.

Reprogramming your garage door accessories is a simple thing you can do to increase your sense of security in an increasingly insecure world. You can easily incorporate PIN changes into your yearly garage door maintenance routine so that you don’t forget this important job.

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*Image credits: living room by dreamstudiographics | remote control by arztsamui | woman using security system by stockphotos | businessman with remote control by steafpong | All images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on August 31, 2015 · 0 comments · Home and Living, Sponsored Post

It’s already the middle of August, and I can NOT believe how quickly time has been flying by! Pretty soon, it will be September, and everyone knows that the “-ber” months whiz by fast, often in a frenzied flurry in preparation for Christmas! (I know you know what I mean! 😉 )

Our family experienced “mini-trials” — one after the other — starting the last week of July. If you get my updates via my Facebook page (and, recently, on Instagram!), you’d already know what I am talking about: Our kids got sick, one after another — when one child would be almost 100% OK, another one would fall ill. :(

Screen shot 2015-08-16 at 8.29.36 AM

The last “victim” – he bounced back the most quickly, actually! Probably because he is older and more resilient?

It was NOT a fun experience at all, but I still praise God that they bounced back quickly after starting medication, and that Anthony and I had the strength to take care of them. That’s why I call what we went through “mini-trials” — I know there are people who are going through even bigger challenges as I write this.

I know that there are parents who have kids with incurable diseases; whose kids are missing; whose kids are victims of horrible, unspeakable crimes against humanity (like the Yazidi girls who are taken into captivity by ISIS to become sex slaves); whose kids go hungry every day; whose kids get sick but they cannot afford to give them proper medical care; and so on and so forth.

Our trials can seem petty when we think of the larger picture actually. But when they are there, right in front of us, “mocking” us, sapping us of our strength, threatening to overcome us, we often forget that there is Someone who holds us in the palm of His hands. 

Someone who understands our pain and struggles — even if we do not and cannot understand them ourselves. 

Someone who can give us rest, and who embraces us as we are.

Someone who can help us turn our trials into treasures.

You know who that Someone is, right? If you don’t yet, He’s waiting for you to say, “Hi… can You please help me?”

And just to give you a different perspective on the trials and challenges we face every day, here’s the latest episode of “The Truly Rich Mom Show:” Your Trials Can Become Your Treasures. I pray that you will be blessed, inspired, encouraged, and uplifted by it somehow:

Let’s always remember that no matter what our circumstances, God can make all things new (Revelation 21:5). He can turn a harmful experience into something good, like He did with Joseph the Dreamer (Genesis 50:20).

Sometimes, He allows us to go through trials to strengthen our faith.

Screen shot from the USCCB website

Screen shot from the USCCB website

Sometimes, His reasons may not be clear to us, but we just need to trust Him, and continue praising Him “in the storm.”

TRM-Praise Him in the StormSometimes, we just need to cling to Him, and believe that He, our Good Shepherd, knows what He is doing. We just need to trust that He is, and always will be, at our side to give us courage.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall notAnd when we fail to do so — when we forget about Him, and His saving grace and love, and His strength and power — I pray that we at least remember that His love endures forever and ever and ever.

HIS LOVE

So I invite you today, friends, to join me in thanking and praising our God, our King, our Savior, our Healer, our Protector, our Provider, our Greatest Lover, our Faithful Friend. Let’s offer our trials to Him, and ask Him to help turn them into treasures — for our good and for His greater glory! Let’s also pray for others, who are going through trials — especially really challenging, life-threatening, seemingly impossible-to-overcome trials — they need all our prayers!

And if you’re going through trials right now, I want you to know that I’m praying for you. (Thanks, by the way, for praying for me and my family!) If you want to share your burdens with me and ask for prayers, please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me privately. Oh, and if you think this post will bless someone somehow, please do feel free to share it! :)

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on August 16, 2015 · 0 comments · Advocacies, Catholic, Family, The Truly Rich Mom Show, Truly Rich Reflections

Our toddler is almost 2 years and 4 months old as I write this post. She has started becoming more independent, a LOT more talkative, and certainly has her own way of playing and doing other things (did I mention that she is more independent now?!).

huggies dry pants

She really showed us just how independent she is during our visit to KidZania Manila!

She has also shown a fondness for “reading” books, whether by herself, or with her Papa, siblings or me. She can verbalize really well what she wants, when she wants it (and usually, it’s “Now!”).

huggies dry pants

Since she has become more and more like a “little person” now, my husband and I decided to try to start potty training her, especially since we will have another baby in diapers in a few months! :)

It has been an unsure, rather rocky start, though. Just as with other things related to raising our children, we want to be sure that she is developmentally ready for it, and don’t want to “force” her to be potty trained if it’s not the “right” time yet. So, we’ve been taking it slow and steady… (slower than steadier on most days, truth be told!)

Thankfully, with the help of Huggies Dry Pants, our potty training journey has gotten a much-needed boost! Because of its unique design, which is quite similar to regular underwear, our little one is learning how to take off and put on her own diapers — which means, when the time comes, she will be able to put on and take off her own underwear once she is potty trained! Yay! :)

Huggies Dry Pants’ “easy-palit” design also means that our older kids can help out by putting diapers on their little sister when Mama is preoccupied.

huggies dry pants

Kuya gets a hug after helping his little sister put on her diapers :)

Also, even if little Anne isn’t fully potty trained yet, we can rest assured that we won’t be waking up to a wet bed anymore, which used to happen on occasion with the old brand of diapers we used. (Seriously, I’m not kidding!)

So far, she can sort of hold her “wi-wi” and use the toilet when she needs to — but not consistently yet; usually, this happens in the mornings when she has just gotten up. (We need to count our small victories, yes?!)

Admittedly, when it comes to… errmm… number 2 (sorry, too much information!), we still have a long way to go! Ah, the joys of parenthood! 😉 We’re not in a hurry though — we are relishing every minute of these precious years (or at least trying to!).

huggies dry pants

Making meaningful memories at Taal Vista Hotel, one of our favorite getaway locations :)

These years are fleeting indeed. I still can’t believe that our little baby — who had a “shaky” beginning as a newborn — is now an active, confident, independent almost-preschooler! (Waaaahhh! Lord, please make time slow down, please!)

huggies dry pants

Our little one moving and grooving while “identifying” the letters of the alphabet… good thing Huggies Dry Pants are designed especially for active babies and toddlers like her!

So yes, the potty training journey has begun… and although it marks the beginning of another phase and stage in not-so-Baby Anne’s life, we praise God that we are able to witness it, and take an active part in it.

On a practical note though, may I ask for your valued opinion and inputs, friends? Especially our fellow parents out there? Yes? Yes! (Thank you!)

OK, here goes: Even if Anne is our third child, we would still appreciate any tips or tricks that you can share when it comes to potty training! :) So, if you have any to share, please do let me know in the comments!

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on August 10, 2015 · 0 comments · Family, I Recommend, Parenting, Sponsored Post

Warning: This is quite a long post, but I hope it will be worth your time, especially if you plan on visiting KidZania Manila soon! 😉

(Note on August 7, 2015: We were able to visit KidZania a second time, with LOTS more people around, and so I felt I had to update this post! If you read it already before without the updates, please do read it again if you can! Thanks!)

kidzania manila

Finally, the moment we parents have all been waiting for is here: KidZania Manila is set to open its doors to the public on August 7, 2015! :) In case you haven’t heard, KidZania Manila is THE ultimate pretend play place for kids — it’s “the play city where kids do big things”!

The concept of KidZania actually originated in Mexico, and KidZania Manila is the 20th KidZania city in the world — the first of its kind in the Philippines!

kidzania manila

KidZania’s mascots or “RightZKeepers” performing at KidZania Go!, KidZania Manila’s Pre-Launch Event earlier this year, which we were blessed to attend (Photo courtesy of KidZania Manila’s Ministry of Communications)

Located at Park Triangle in Bonifacio Global City, KidZania Manila boasts of 8,000 square meters of play space, with over 50 activity centers where kids aged 4-14 will have THE ultimate pretend play experience — and I’m not exaggerating! Believe me, your kids will surely be begging you to go back! (Our kids are still asking me when we can do so, ha, ha!)

KidZania Manila

Screen shot from the KidZania Manila website. For a larger version of the map to KidZania Manila, click here.

So, what exactly can you see at KidZania Manila? Here’s a sneak peek — though you’ll have to forgive me, because being four months pregnant now (*surprise, surprise, in case you didn’t know! 😉 *), with three kids running around, I really had a hard time taking photos and noting things down during the “city tour” we had at the Press Preview!

KidZania Manila: Getting inside

kidzania manila

Upon entering, you “check in” at the KidZania International Airport, where you pay for your tickets, which can be booked online starting August 3.

You will receive a KidZania City Map, a “boarding pass,” KidZania City Codes (which contains all the rules and regulations inside KidZania Manila — I recommend you read them BEFORE you go; just click here). Each child will also get a check worth 50 “kidZos,” which is the currency used inside the city. They can encash the checks at the BPI bank inside KidZania Manila.

Below are the ticket prices, based on the KidZania Manila official website:

Ticket prices from August 7 to October 7, 2015:

Weekdays: Mondays-Thursdays

  • Children (4-14 years old) – P750
  • Toddlers (1-3 years old) – P420
  • Babies/ Kids below two (2) feet in height – FREE
  • Adults – P420.00

Weekends: Fridays – Sundays (and National Holidays)

  • Children (4-14 years old) – P1,000
  • Toddlers (1-3 years old) – P550
  • Babies/ Kids below two (2) feet in height – FREE
  • Adults – 550.00

Ticket prices from October 8, 2015 onwards:

Weekdays: Mondays-Thursdays

  • Children (4-14 years old) – P900
  • Toddlers (1-3 years old) – P500
  • Babies/ Kids below two (2) feet in height – FREE
  • Adults – P500.00

Weekends: Fridays – Sundays (and National Holidays)

  • Children (4-14 years old) – P1,100
  • Toddlers (1-3 years old) – P600
  • Babies/ Kids below two (2) feet in height – FREE
  • Adults – 600.00

kidzania manilaFor parents like me who have more than one child and no helpers/yayas, or won’t be bringing them along, you may be wondering how you can keep track of each kid, and about the security of your kids while inside the city. Don’t worry — KidZania has it covered! :)

From the official website:

All visitors who enter KidZania Manila will be required to wear an RFID (radio frequency identification) security bracelet. Each child will be matched with a corresponding adult who will also wear an RFID security bracelet. No child is allowed to leave the facility without being accompanied or picked-up by the registered adult.

Here is what the bracelets look like (photo from the KidZania Manila website):

kidzania manila

If you have toddlers or younger children, the bracelets will be placed on their ankles instead of their wrists. (Our toddler insisted on having hers on her wrist though, like her older siblings!)

Once you have passed “security checks” at the airport, you — well, more like your kids actually — can begin having fun! :) (Though I am sure all the adults who visit KidZania Manila will be amazed and thrilled at all the fun things that can be done too!)

KidZania Manila: Things to do once you’re inside

Here are photos of just SOME of the things you can see — and what your kids can do — at KidZania Manila (some of these are also on my Facebook page):

One of the “main attractions” for the kids is the Airline Crew Training Facility, or “aviation academy,” as my son calls it. I was unable to take photos inside because our toddler was all over the place, ha, ha! Note that kids have to pay for the activity here, similar to real life, when one pays to attend training workshops, etc. So make sure that your child has already exchanged his/her check for cash before you go here (or anywhere else, for that matter)!

Also shown in the photo is the city’s Radio Station, where kids can part of a live radio broadcast, and the Theater, where they can show their acting talents in a stage play, or be part of the marching band at the City Clock Tower (on the balcony of the theater).

kidzania manila

Among the other activities that kids can do at KidZania Manila (clockwise, left to right): Learn how to care for trees and plants at the Urban Garden; create their own treats and snacks at the Oishi Creative Hub; visit the KidZania Tiangge and make their own handmade arts & craft creations to take home; and learn how to file for and pay taxes at the City Tax Office (kids can also help compute and collect taxes from businesses inside the city).

kidzania manila

Other fun activities, which my kids tried so they could earn more kidZos: Apply for a job at the Magazine Publishing House and make your own comic strip — Tim did this while his little sisters were at the Beauty Salon nearby. 😉 The girls spent some of their kidZos first, because they wanted to get manicures! Then they got busy “working” at the salon, so they could earn back their money! Ha, ha!

kidzania manila

One of the most amusing experiences for me as a parent at KidZania Manila: Our toddler was a “police officer” alongside her sister, while their Kuya helped put out a fire! (The firefighting activity is actually one of the most popular ones in KidZania, because the kids get to ride a moving fire truck and use actual water to “put out” a fire at a hotel.)

kidzania manila

Here’s another place where the girls spent some time: The KidZania Hospital, where kids can be part of a paramedic team, or work together to perform a transplant operationThe photo on top shows our toddler trying to get into the ambulance, ha, ha! :) The ambulance is a moving one, and it goes around the city with the fire truck when the kiddie firefighters go to put out a “fire.”

kidzania manila

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our 2-year-old was allowed inside some of the establishments just for that day — usually, only kids ages 4 to 14 are allowed inside to do the activities. Maybe it was because it was a special event for the press? Anyway, she had LOTS of fun and, to my surprise and amusement, listened attentively to all the “lessons” taught by the Zupervisors in the different areas! :) Thank you, everyone, for being so nice and accommodating, especially to our little one!

Actually, kids ages 3 and below are welcome to roam around KidZania — walking, sitting in strollers (must not be larger than 36″ x 52″ or 92 cm x 132 cm), carried or “worn” by their parents — BUT are not allowed to participate in the activities.

There are, however, two special areas designated for them: the RightZKeepers’ House, and the Kindergarten. Our toddler had a blast at the former (we were unable to visit the latter) — it’s basically a play area that is full of pretend play items perfect for little ones! The “bedroom” is actually a “bouncy-house” area, and the bathtub is like a ball pit.

(NOTE: Although my two older kids are seen in the photo of the bedroom {bottom right}, they’re actually NOT allowed in there! They were allowed just for that day, since the RightZKeepers’ House and the Kindergarten are strictly for kids 3 and below. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay and keep an eye on them, of course!)

kidzania manila

(IMPORTANT UPDATE as of August 7, 2015: During our second trip to KidZania for a special preview for homeschoolers, I found out that there are times that kids below 4 years old are allowed to do certain activities in areas outside the RightZKeepers’ House and the Kindergarten. According to the Zupervisor I spoke to though, this is on a case to case basis, depending on the number of children ages 4 and below who are waiting in line for the RightZKeepers’ House and Kindergarten. The line will get pretty long on ordinary days, I bet!)

More places your kids can check out: The Bookstore, where they can browse freely through the books, or take part in storytelling sessions; the Ice Cream Factory, where they can learn how to make their own ice cream; the Climbing Building, where they can pretend to be cable service installers (IMPORTANT: your kids need to be wearing shoes for this — our son wasn’t able to try it because he was wearing sandals); and the Hotel, where they can have a go at working in housekeeping, food and dining, or reception.

kidzania manila

Please forgive the poor lighting of some of my photos!

As previously mentioned, these are just SOME of the places you can see and the things your kids can do in KidZania Manila. Check out a more complete list of activities on their website:)

(IMPORTANT UPDATE as of August 7, 2015: Again, during the homeschoolers’ preview of KidZania, I discovered that there are certain activities that have recommended ages and/or height requirements, so it is best to check these on the “plaque” or notice that is placed at the entrance of each establishment/activity area.)

When your kids are ready to go (or your time limit is up, whichever comes first!), all of you have to proceed to the Immigration Office. That is where you surrender your security bracelets and “check out.”

The KidZania Manila souvenir shop — dubbed the National Store — is strategically located right below the Immigration Office, so if you want to get souvenirs of your visit, you can do so. (Sorry, no photos, tired me was in a rush to get the kids out and find a taxi!)

FAQs about KidZania Manila

When my friends saw the photos of our KidZania “field trip,” a few of them had questions for me, the answers to which I think will be helpful to other people as well — so I am sharing their Q’s and the A’s here:

1. Is there a separate fee for each establishment/activity area inside KidZania Manila?

No. The fee you pay (when you buy your tickets) covers entrance to ALL the establishments/activity areas inside KidZania. 

2. Are children with disabilities allowed to enter KidZania Manila?

Yes! They are very welcome! The Zupervisor I spoke to at the Press Preview emphasized this to me when I asked them about it. Should they need assistance doing the activities, the Zupervisors can help them out OR the child’s adult companion can do so.

3. Are we allowed to bring our own food and drinks?

No, except for the following:

  • Distilled drinking water for infant formula
  • Any food required for medical purposes and medically–indicated nutritional supplements
  • Any food required for special dietary needs
  • Canned, jarred, or processed baby food, breast milk and infant formula
  • Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition are permitted “in the absence of suspicious activity”

*If needed, you may also bring soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep.

4. Where can we buy food and drinks while inside KidZania Manila then?

Personally, if you’re on a budget (and who isn’t these days, right?! 😉 ), I would recommend that you eat a heavy meal before going inside KidZania Manila. If you really need to buy food and drinks there, you can choose from the following food outlets:

  • McDonalds
  • Yellow Cab
  • Via Mare
  • Goldilocks
  • Mini-Stop
  • Purefoods 

5. Is there a discount for PWDs?

I asked this at the press preview, and was told “Yes,” there will be a 20% discount during the soft opening (which is next week). Beyond that, there is no information yet regarding special discounts (at least, that’s what the Zupervisor who I was talking to told me).

If you want to be really, really sure though, it may be best to contact KidZania Manila ahead of time via phone: +632-711-KidZ, or email: info@kidzania.com.ph, or via their Facebook page (they reply pretty quickly to messages!).

6. Are parents allowed inside the establishments/activity areas?

No, but you will be able to view your kids through the glass doors and windows of the establishments/activity areas. If your kids are old enough to be left roaming around the city, you can even have some “me-time” at the Parents’ Lounge, if you want! 

(The lounge, pictured below, comes complete with electrical outlets, and a McCafe. There is free wi-fi inside KidZania as well.) 

kidzania manila

(UPDATE as of August 7, 2015: Apparently, no kids are allowed here — I was not aware of this during the Press Preview, and only discovered this on our second visit, so I gave feedback to one of the Zupervisors that I think they should review this rule, as some parents go to KidZania with toddlers or babies who might fall asleep, and so it would be nice for them to be able to rest inside the Parents’ Lounge.)

7. Will bringing kids younger than 3 years old be “worth it”?

It depends on your budget. 😉 If you have the resources, go for it — although, like I said before, kids 3 and below are (usually) allowed inside two areas only, namely the RightZKeepers’ House and the Kindergarten. (In my humble opinion, it would be best to wait for your kid to be 5 or 6 years old, so they can do more things there. Some 4-year-olds might not like the other activities. :) )

8. Can our kids bring home the kidZos that they earn inside KidZania Manila?

Yes, they can, but you need to make sure that they are not damaged so that they can use them again in their next visit.

Better yet, open a bank account inside KidZania Manila before you leave, and have them deposit their extra kidZos there for safekeeping. (Remember, children can use kidZos to buy stuff or pay for services inside the city, just like in real life.)

9. Can we bring bags and/or strollers inside?

Yes, you can. There are baggage and stroller counters available, for your convenience.

10. Are we allowed to re-enter KidZania within our allotted time for the day?

Kindly note that only adults are allowed to re-enter KidZania within the allotted time for the day, BUT you must make sure that your kid companions 8 years old and below have accompanying guardians with them.

Practical tips to help you plan your Kidzania Manila visit 

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what KidZania Manila would look like, except for what I saw in articles and social media. So I wasn’t really prepared for the experience, and neither were the kids! Ha, ha!

That’s why I’m sharing these tips with YOU, in the hopes that they will help you plan for your own visit (and as reminders to myself, too, for the next time we go there!). Remember, KidZania Manila opens to the public on August 7, so start planning! :)

1. Talk to your kids about what they can do inside KidZania Manila.

Orient them about the “entrance process” (i.e. security bracelets, etc.), and, if possible, discuss in advance which activities they’d like to try first. Again, you can check out the activities here. I suggest you let them choose freely, depending on their interests. Make a list of the activities that they want to try BEFORE you go.

(UPDATE as of August 7, 2015: But do “warn” them that they may not be able to try EVERYTHING on their list, as the lines might be long — based on our second trip there, when there were A LOT more kids!)

2. If you’re going with more than one child, decide on which kid(s) will be “independent” and which kid(s) will need a companion.

Generally, I’d say kids ages 8 and above would be “independent” enough to go around on their own (like our son was!). Actually, according to the KidZania Manila City Codes:

Child Visitors above eight (8) years old shall be allowed to remain in the facility without a parent/guardian.  Said parent/guardian will be requested to fill up a UNIVERSAL ADULT FORM which should be presented by the same adult during pick-up.  Only the parent/guardian stated in this form are will be allowed to pick up the child Visitor.

If you’re with multiple younger kids, it would be best to just go around together, like I did with my daughters (ages 6 and 2).

Be prepared, though, in case your younger child insists on going into an activity area with his/her older sibling — I had to distract our toddler with other things at times, because she wanted to go inside activity areas/establishments with her sister!

3. Make sure everyone is dressed comfortably and wearing proper footwear.

The KidZania Manila City Codes outlines the proper attire that visitors should have. I recommend that you and your kids wear comfortable tops and pants or shorts, and comfortable shoes.

(Although all of us were wearing sandals when we went, which is perfectly OK, too, though, as I mentioned, my son wasn’t able to do the climbing activity because he wasn’t wearing shoes.)

4. Once you’re inside KidZania Manila, have an “orientation” with your kids BEFORE you let them go off and do their desired activities.

Show them where the toilets and fire exits are.

kidzania manila

The toilets are all child-friendly of course!

Also, designate at least two places where you can meet at a certain time — good suggestions are the Parents’ Lounge and the City Clock Tower. (Or, if you’re bringing kids 3 years old and below, the RightZKeepers’ House, since you’ll probably be spending most of your time there.)

5. If your (older) kids have their own cellphones, make sure they bring them inside. 

This way, it will be easier to contact them and locate them if needed. If they don’t have their own phones, maybe you can lend them an extra phone if you have one. Or if you have personal 2-way radios, you can use those too. 😉 (UPDATE as of August 7, 2015: So sorry, I should have inquired about this at the Press Preview! We brought 2-way radios during our second visit and apparently, they are NOT allowed! My bad!)

6. Remind your kids about what to do in case they are “lost.”

Technically, your kids won’t get “lost” inside KidZania Manila, since it is a secure and safe place.

However, there may be times that they will look for you and don’t know where to find you (like what happened with my son!). So, remind them about what they should do in those instances:

  • Stay calm (and pray!) and approach one of the Zupervisors (the people who work there inside the city)
  • Ask if they can help locate you — your children should be able to tell the Zupervisors your name and contact number, if needed (Of course, they should already know this even before you go inside KidZania!). Your contact number will also be linked to your security bracelet, along with your name, so it will be easier for you to be found.
kidzania manila

The zupervisors at KidZania Manila are zuper friendly and have good rapport with kids! :)

Don’t worry, because KidZania has excellent security and safety measures — quoting their official website and based on our experience:

Professional security and other measures such as CCTV monitoring cameras, paging system, and emergency facility features are in place to ensure that each child remains safe while inside KidZania Manila. To attend to medical concerns, KidZania Manila has a dedicated, fully qualified first aid team inside the city. Likewise, key frontline personnel are trained in the provision of first-aid and carry basic medical kits with them at all times.

7. It would be advisable for your kids to do the following first:

  • If you have extra cash with you, visit the PaZZport Office before your kids go off to do any activity. There, a child can get a KidZania PaZZport for a one-time fee of P250, and be a “citizen,” i.e. a member of the B.KidZanian loyalty program. As a citizen, you get benefits like earning more kidZos per activity. The passport is stamped for every “job” or activity the kids do.
  • Whether they become a citizen or not, kids should prioritize encashing their checks for kidZos at the Bank inside the city. While they’re there, they can also open a bank account. (My kids weren’t able to do this, so… note to self!)
kidzania manila

This is what kidZos look like. (Photo from the KidZania Manila website)

  • Attend “school” first so they are “equipped” for their future “jobs.” They can do this at the University, where they can get a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. (Note: Kids have to pay kidZos for this, since they are “investing” in their education.)
  • Once they are ready to work, they can opt to go to the Job Information Center. Here, kids can create business cards, look for a job or take an assessment test. This is TOTALLY optional though, because my kids didn’t go here, and they were able to participate in the activities.
kidzania manila

The university and job information center inside KidZania Manila

After that, you can pretty much just let them be. Allow them to explore and learn and PLAY… and, as it says in the image below (taken inside KidZania Manila) BE PART OF HISTORY! :)

kidzania manila

Like I said earlier, 4-months-pregnant-and-tires-very-easily me wasn’t really able to go around the place that much to take photos and such, since I was busy keeping an eye on our toddler, who insisted on trailing her older sister around wherever she went!

So, if you want to see more “sneak-peek” photos of KidZania, plus individual parents’ tips and experiences, you can check out my blogger friends’ posts below (UPDATED this list as of August 7, 2015, to include posts from other bloggers and parents, including those who joined the special preview for homeschoolers — in italics):

Our Awesome Planet: First Timer’s Guide to @KidZania Manila

Mom on a Mission: KidZania Manila: A City Made for Kids 

Moomy Musings: The Clueless Parent’s Guide to Visiting KidZania Manila

The Misis Chronicles: All You Need to Know About KidZania Manila: Opening Date, Tickets Prices, What to Expect Plus Insider Tips

Art of Being a Mom: KidZania Manila The Ultimate Play City for Kids

Rappler | Life & Style: What to expect at KidZania Manila, where learning and playtime meet

My Mom Friday: What to Expect at KidZania Manila 

The Filipino Homeschooler: KidZania Manila First Timer’s Guide

Mommiography: Our KidZania Experience

The Passionate Mom: Our KidZania Experience

Chuvaness: First Look Inside KidZania Manila at Bonifacio Global City

You can also check out the following articles for more sneak peeks of KidZania Manila:

Spot.ph: FIRST LOOK: KidZania at Park Triangle, Bonifacio Global City

Smart Parenting: First Look: What to Expect at KidZania Manila

To the KidZania Manila team, zank you for having us! :) Zee you very, very zoon!

For more information about KidZania Manila, visit www.manila.kidzania.com, “Like” KidZania Manila on Facebook, or follow KidZania Manila on Twitter @KidZaniaManila and Instagram (KIDZANIAMANILA). You can also call them at +632-711-KidZ (711-5439).

If you found this post helpful, especially in planning your KidZania experience, please do share it with others! Also, feel free to share your KidZania experience with me in the comments, or on Facebook

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on August 2, 2015 · 6 comments · Events, Family, Homeschooling, I Recommend