Ay Naku! By Tahanan Books

This book, Ay Naku! together with Kumilos Tayo Kuya! and Kumilos Tayo Ate!  were generously shared to us for book reviews by Ms. Reni Roxas, author and publisher at Tahanan Books.   We personally chose it to introduced the Tagalog language basics to our 2 years old daughter.

Ay Naku talks about a realistic day story of a young boy named Botbot whose clumsiness frustrate the whole family and made them expressed the phrase Ay Naku!  Ay Naku is a common Filipino expression used to convey disappointment, exasperation, or surprised dismay. -Reni Roxas. 

Journeying on this book with our daughter, made her more exposed not just to the 65 simple Filipino verbs and everyday dialogue that is benefiting for her brain plasticity, and bilingual development but also to Filipino close familial culture.Ay Naku!

The one-to-two word per page is very suitable for story telling to toddlers, and a good choice in dealing daily parenting issues with our child feelings and us, parents emotions.

I can relate in Botbot’s unintentional clumsiness.  This is classic, I remembered when I was a kid, I accidentally broke the figurine filled with water placed at the top of our television.  I truly can’t forget this incident, it damaged our television picture tube that made my brother insanely MAD! Haha 🙂

Also, Mr. Sergio Bumatay did a good job in presenting the story in an artistic-clear illustration in every pages.  The only thing I observed with our toddler, each time we reached the folded page in the middle where Botbot was hiding beside the arm chair, our daughter freak-out and tried to skipped the page.  All in all, we enjoyed it!  🙂

Ay Naku! is available both internationally and locally.  You can get your paper back copy at Amazon or visit their online store at http://www.tahananbooks.com.

Once again, thank you for visiting us online neighbors.  Hope this helps you in selecting books for your kids.  Let us know your thought, please comment below. Hanggang sa muli!


Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read. –Charles Spurgeon



Seven Commitment of a Homemaker

1. Do it all for the glory of God

As humans born in a fallen world, our tendency can be towards moments of selfishness and temptations to grab at the spot light that belongs to God. If my heart is not right before Him whenever I get up from the bed without me reminding myself of the very purpose why I still breath, I failed to perform with joy in my heart.  Let’s face it, any job entrusted in our hands has a big possibility for causing us to be exhausted.   How much more a full time job without being paid, working 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week?  And without the right motivation and intention, can possibly cause us to be burned-out.  It can be mind-blowing.  There will be a chance that all our efforts are accounted for and being noticed.  But I love how Charles R. Swindoll put it in words, “…ask yourself,  Who’s getting the glory in this ministry?” You see, if we do ministry OUR way, it won’t be for His glory, because our ways are not His ways.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.-1 Corinthians 10:31

2. Wake up early.  

This is my battle ground because I’m not an “early to rise,early to bed” woman.  It takes a ton of effort for me to wake up early in the morning.  I even admired and get jealous to those mom’s who got up earlier and starting their day the moment the rooster crow (hats off to all of you). The fact is, most of the time our daughter gets up earlier than me.  She’s my human alarm clock. Praise God for Abi.  But, I have a great desire to break this cycle with my initiating a much better habit.  There is an old saying that good intentions don’t move mountains; bulldozers do.  I established the mission and plan; and I believe these are all good intentions.  And I need one big bulldozer, or a strategy to convert these hopes to accomplishments.  Please pray for me on this. 

I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. –Psalm 119:147

She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. –Proverbs 31:15 NLT

haltom family

3. Be healthy Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, & Emotionally. 

        Spiritually, Devotion/ Down Time

Larry Burkett, author of Women Leaving the Workplace says, [he] finds personally that without some daily devotion time I tend to run down spiritually.  Personally, since I usually woke up a little later than Abigail, the tendency was that I rushed myself.  Instead of having my devotion time, I became busy preparing breakfast and starting the day working, working, working, working and working.  The result is disaster, I exhausted myself, and losing the joy of serving my household.

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.-1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NLT

Physically, Lately, I found myself not fond looking at my own reflection.  I even disgust myself whenever I had hard time finding clothes to fit me. Imagine how big I became, from 110 to 176 lbs? A possible candidate for sumo wrestler!

Lady Lyn Haltom

haltom family

There was an instances that I couldn’t forget, we were supposed to meet friends but the meet up didn’t work even if one of them already saw me, but wasn’t sure if I was that.  I blamed it to my fats.  But praise the Lord, because my husband is so gracious in styling and encouraging me.  Numerous times, he went home surprising me with pieces of outfit.  So Ladies, let’s encourage and empowered ourselves.  Exercise with me, and please if you can, link me to the list of your healthy food menus that is easy to prepare, and budget wise achievable.  Let us help each other. We are not meant to be alone, but instead we were created to be in a community. God gave us one another for our protection. The small group is a venue where God wants us to be a blessing. –CCF

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:24-25

Mentally.  Borrowing the words of Charles Spurgeon, a British Particular Baptist preacher. Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.  Though I failed to have devotion time early in the morning, I found comfort in reading God’s words in the Bible. It’s  the words of my strength and wisdom from above.  It’s my true weapon in performing my service at God’s work.  Reading fiction and non-fiction books helps us also, my husband and I to expound Abigail’s language development and her perspective towards the world at large.  I just learned to love reading and doing Book reviews.

Emotionally. Lately I found myself venting out to Joshua. My sentiments were trying to say, I don’t have friends.  I don’t have mom’s friends whom I can constantly and physically in fellowship with to share my emotions as a mom and new discoveries about our toddler.  Teaching techniques.  Home-makers whom I can share with tips in cooking, to visit us, and to bring their kids in our place and play with Abi.  A wife friends to have a coffee with, and talk about our husband’s forgetfulness.  Just kidding?  Of course, we need friends to pray with, who are also committed in nurturing their marriage.  I honestly wondered where my friends are. Or do I really have friends?  Or did I really become a friend to them? There was even a time, that I just mentioned to Joshua that its better to go back in Tennessee at least being there, there’s no expectation since I wasn’t born there.  These petty things that made me so emotional.   I have a prayer, but I acknowledge that The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.  I praise the Lord for my husband who is always be at my side through thick and thin.  No matter what, he’s always with me.  I give glory to God, that together Joshua and I can always count on His Sovereignty, and be our friends forever and amen.  But I have a plan.  God willing, to connect and invest time with people, growing with our families, friends and meeting new mom’s.  To be part of small group, or discipleship group.

Fruit ful update

Kamusta beautiful homemaker, I’m joyful to tell you that I recommit myself to do Beginner Yoga


4.  Intentionally respecting my husband, submission, and appreciating his work in providing for our family needs, and protecting our welfare.

When we attended one session of Saturdates, it was discussed the 5 Love Languages.  One of my husband love language is appreciation, and when I asked him how can I blessed him more, his only request was.  “Make sure that you don’t opposed on what I’m saying because you always did.”  I’m guilty of this, and I admit that I’m still lacking in areas of respect and submission.  Maxwell Malta, a plastic surgeon in 1950’s concluded, These, and many commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.  It takes practice, disciplined, commitment and prayer to do it.  By God’s will I believe I will become more gracious wife towards Joshua.

 22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. –Ephesians 5:22-23

haltom Family

5.  Be joyful to my daughter. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength –Proverbs 17:22. These past days, we’ve been noticing that our two year old daughter easily gets frustrated when she was having hard time to accomplished things and she was prideful to accept help from us even if we willingly offered it to her.  One instance was, whenever she needs to put her shoes.  She stopped receiving help from us.  She would like to do it herself.  I must say, at her age she learns faster and I praise God for that.  The thing was, after she put her right shoes on…and had hard time putting her left shoes on, she started crying.  And throwing herself in the floor.  She refused our help.  Maria Montessorri, the founder of Montessori Teaching Method came up to a conclusion through closely observing children,  that children have needs and two of those are:  the need to be independent; and the need to be respected and listened to.  Using these principles, instead of reacting to our daughter’s frustration when she failed herself…I slowly learned to acknowledge her weakness as a child.  Yes there was still a time that I easily get irritated when she frustrates herself out of small thing.  In my mind,  it was just a simple thing that she was crying.  But instead of focusing on her crying, I just simply observed her, listened to her, explain to her that she can do it, and encourage her that its okay to receive help from Mama and Daddy.  Another technique that I was using is to remind her the story of Kumilos Tayo Kuya! and Kumikos Tayo Ate! These are books in which the older sibling guides the younger child to accomplished things together.


6. Work with my hands.  Serve them with love and be fruitful.  This is my commitment first to God, to myself, to my household, and our communities.  I believe that everything about me is of God, and everyone I’m connected with is of Him.  Psalm 24:1 says, A psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.  The world and all people belongs to Him.  So, its my duty to serve them and be fruitful in my service.  My practical approach on this is to educate and equip myself; to enhance more my skills as a home maker not just learning recipes,  but also attending trainings and social educative gatherings to further my skills and boost confidence as a woman so that I could also share the learnings that I learned from committed homemaker not just to my family but to the nearby community of women.   Even though, I wasn’t able to use my Agricultural Engineering degree and be good at it by God’s will, in partnership with my husband we will able to use the skills that we acquired to serve, to educate and encourage others through Teach Them Well.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.  –1 Peter 4:10 NLT



7. Pray and seek the Lord of His will on how will I will bless my husband and daughter in everyday of our lives.

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7 GW

Kumilos Tayo Kuya Kuya! By Tahanan Books

Abigail, our daughter is  enjoying her ‪Kumilos Tayo Kuya‬ her first Tagalog book wrote by  award winning-writer Ompong Remigio and Illustrated by Bunny Vivero.

This children book was published by Tahanan Books in collaboration with Save the Children Philippines. It was one of their first board books that was released year 2014.

kumilos tayo kuya


Ompong Remigio’s real life name is Maria Corazon Paulina.  She has been elevated to the Hall of Fames Philippines Creative Guild, won book awards after including the National Book Award for Children’s  Lit plus  MTV awards and others for songwriting.  She also survived a serious bout with Rheumatic Heart, Borderline Cancer and saw the light for 3 minutes.  She came back to do more ads and to raise more kids. (Source: New York Festivals World’s Beat Advertising)

At Abigail’s age of 22 months, reading books with her plays a vital role in her mastering her fine motor skills.  Fine motor skills for growing child are the abilities required to control smaller movements of the hands and fingers, such as picking up small objects and tying one’s shoes and even turning pages of books.
This book entitled “Kumilos Tayo Kuya!” aids us parents to nourish and educate our Filipino-American children to be exposed in basic Tagalog words and made them aware on learning to read by means of pag “pantig” or its equal use “the syllable” in English.
Though this is the first Tagalog Books we read with Abigail, its not foreign to her at all the culture and Filipino practice told in this book. Ompong Remigio did a brilliant work in including “Nagmano” or “Blessed” in English equivalent in which made our daughter more engaged in looking in each pages because she found a common ground. She actually smiled and turned to me each time she passed to the “Nagmano” page.
Author Remigio and illustrator Vivero never failed to use both Expressive and Referential style in this book to meet the Individual Variation in Language Development of children.  According to Steinberg, the Author of the book Life Span Development: Infancy through Adulthood:

*Expressive is a linguistic style hallmarked by nearly vocabularies that have relatively more verbs and speech that uses social routines to communicate feelings and desires such as tumakbo (run), Sumipsip (suck), and Lumukso (leap).  While, *Referential is a linguistic style hallmarked by vocabularies that include a high proportion of nouns and speech that provides information and refers to things in the environment such as illustrations of Pusa (Cat), Manok (Chicken), Bata (Child), Kuya (Brother) and more. “As a mother, I highly recommend this Genius, Full-Colored Board-Books, and Relational Creation of Remigio and Vivero entitled Kumilos Tayo Kuya. Aside that it is educational, and cultural, it promotes siblings Relational Cooperation to achieve Language Development for Children ages 0-4 years old.

Their other must read children’s book are “Kumilos Tayo Ate” by Ompong Remigio and “Ay Naku!”by Author Reni Roxas.  Book Reviews to be published soon. 🙂


We would like to extend our gratitude to Author Reni, Ms. Fran and Ms. Meg of Tahanan Books.

To get your child a copy of this book, please visit them at www.tahananbooks.com or call them at (632) 813-7165 (Manila Line) or (425) 773-7465 (Seattle)