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  • 9 Regular Moms Show Their Crazy Morning Routines Through Breakfast Photos

    “Households with no yaya and small children are never a photo-worthy thing.”
    by Aussy A. Aportadera .
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • The moms here are super for squeezing in some love in the mornings, but they’re also pretty brave to share the hardest time of day to make picture perfect.
    PHOTO BY Joy Sorongon

    Breakfast is messy and tiring, but a mom needs things done to get her children ready for the world every day. 
    And no matter where they are from, mothers face either one or all of the following: food restrictions or different food preferences between siblings; trying to teach the kids healthy options; or go the route of quick snacks (we've all been there!).

    Nine Filipina parents from around the world — Manila and La Union, the United States, and even the UAE — give us a glimpse of their crazy morning routines through breakfast photos, even though as one of the moms, Kris Flojo, puts it, “Households with no yaya and small children are never a photo-worthy thing.”

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    “My coffee is cold from sitting on the counter for an hour.”

    Reggie Batungbacal, 30, fitness instructor
    Mom to Trent, 8, Summer, 1

    “In this photo, Summer doesn’t want to eat breakfast and is just screaming her lungs out refusing to be carried. It’s pretty real.”
    PHOTO BY Reggie Batungbacal

    I shower before everyone wakes up, make coffee, then get ready for work. Trent has school at 8 a.m., which is just five minutes away. So, the morning is a blur of getting him showered, dressed, and fed while my 1-year-old Summer calms down and eats her cereals with milk. Meanwhile, my husband jets off to work, and I have my coffee, which is now cold from sitting on the counter for an hour. It’s really an hour of “Where are your socks?” or “Please eat faster” or “You’re already late” on repeat. 

    We have a rule — five subo before speaking one sentence, but it never gets followed! We rotate oatmeal, pancakes or waffles (Eggo, ah, not the ones you have to cook pa!), sandwiches, finger food. Any of those with a big glass of milk. No way can we have rice and ulam with time constraints!

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    “Convenience is key when you're a mom to 1.5 kids without a yaya.”

    Kris Isaac Flojo, 33, events host and voice over talent
    Mom to Elon, 4, and newborn Lana

    The mom who prepared this breakfast gave birth soon after this interview.
    PHOTO BY Kris Isaac Flojo
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    Oatmeal is a great option because you can use different kinds of milk, fruits, and sweeteners. Here's a favorite: oatmeal cooked in soymilk, with lots of cinnamon, bananas, and a drizzle of raw honey. It's easy to put together and keeps my son full for longer! I don't have a helper so breakfast is whatever's easy. The only time I do anything fancy is Saturday or holiday mornings!

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    “Morning nap is probably my favorite part of our routine when I don’t have to go to work.”

    Dinka Javier, 36, events agency executive
    Mom to Cassandra, 2

    “I’m not really a morning person, it was a struggle at first, but you kind of get used to it.”
    PHOTO BY Dinka Javier

    Cassandra wakes up around 6:30 in the morning so we have an early start every day. We have breakfast at around 7 a.m., consisting of bread, eggs, and milk. Early on it was pretty difficult to plan what to feed her or what she can eat, but now that she can eat almost anything we try to keep it simple and just make sure to have more variety for lunch and dinner. After that, we play, read, and dance around the house. Bath time is at around 8:30 a.m., then morning nap at 9 a.m.

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    “Waking up before the sun rises gives me ample time for me.”

    Hazel Padilla, 32
    Mom to Alon, 7, Isla, 6, Agos, 1

    “I try to prepare for everyone's needs for the day without rushing.”
    PHOTO BY Hazel Padilla

    My firstborn eats fine, but my daughter and 1-year-old are at a phase where they won't eat unless they like the food served or it's their favorite. The challenge is being able to adjust to this myself so I won't ruin the eating experience for them. My solution is to serve what they love, with the nutrients they need in mind. No forcing. Then, I drop them off at school, go to the park for some sun with my little one, and that's just the first leg of our routine. When I'm back home it's breakfast with my husband and my 1-year-old without the rush.

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    “Ever since my pregnancy, our morning routine changed.” 


    Joy Sorongon, 31, sales executive
    Mom to Joaquin, 9, and currently 9 months pregnant

    “I didn’t really have much time to make breakfast, normally just a sandwich to go, when I was a single mom.”
    PHOTO BY Joy Sorongon

    Now that I have the time, I see to it that I make breakfast and actually sit down and enjoy it. I usually ask Joaquin the night before what he feels like having the next day so our breakfast really varies. Sometimes it’ll be super healthy, like granola (or as I would call it, “bird food”) with yogurt. Or like today’s breakfast, very Pinoy — ham and egg with rice and pan de sal. A must-have for him would always be his chocolate drink and Yakult.

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    “I try my best to keep it simple!”

    Navi Bellord, 28, coffee roaster in La Union
    Mom to Jai, 8, Satya, 5

    Navi and her kids are vegetarian.
    PHOTO BY Navi Bellord

    Here are my kids an hour before school, eating cornflakes with soymilk, conversing on what’s for lunch and how long their timers would be for showers. Kids are easy to feed in the morning. They prefer easy meals, like oats with honey.

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    “My little one likes to eat like an adult.”

    Anna Jumamil, 30, marketing specialist in Washington, D.C.
    Mom to Joseph, 2.5

    “No high chair, no baby plate, no baby silverware, no sippy cup.”
    PHOTO BY Anna Jumamil

    My little one likes to eat like an adult even for easy go-to breakfast meals. He is more independent, but it usually means more mess and more clean-up for mom and dad. With either rice and food or spilled milk from cereal always on the table and floor, I’m happy when he chooses bread since that means easy cleanup!

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    “Prepping healthy meals for her is one of my ways of showing her genuine love.”


    Kitchie Cabral, 28, content writer in Abu Dhabi
    Mom to Raya, 2

    “I am blessed to live in a country where delicious fruits are freshly flown in every day and affordable at the same time.”
    PHOTO BY Kitchie Cabral

    Before I drop my daughter off to her babysitter, I make sure that her baon is complete with balanced meals, from breakfast to lunch and in-between snacks. Most of the time, she finishes everything, but there are times that she does not even touch specific foods (which means her taste preferences are developing, and I don’t pressure her on that). 

    Since I am not a full-time mother who’s with her 24/7, prepping healthy meals for her is one of my ways of showing her my genuine love; so, when she grows up, she will be able to value that everything served on her plate comes from her parents’ hard work and unending blessings from the One above.

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    “I’m lucky that my kids are self-sufficient in the mornings.”

    Arabelle Torres, 42, lawyer in California
    Mom to Sam, 13, and Joaquin, 10

    “We have handy yogurt drinks and cups for the really hectic mornings when I don’t have time.”
    PHOTO BY Arabelle Torres

    My kids are in 5th grade and 7th grade so they can get ready for school on their own. Their alarms go off at around 6:45-6:50 a.m. and they get dressed before coming out for some quiet time and breakfast at the dining table.

    For Joaquin, it’s always rice with either leftover ulam from dinner or mini sausages or corned beef. For Sam, it’s fried rice with LOTS of green peas or either chicken sopas or sotanghon soup. Lunches are always packed by me with some cash for mid-morning snacks they can buy at school. Our morning routine takes a total of 30-45 minutes max before we are out the door and making the 7-minute drive to school.


    Aussy Aportadera has given up the comforts of the city for the adventure of living in Surf Town La Union, where she homeschools her daughter alongside her longtime partner and the community. When she isn't trying to catch waves, she manages communication strategies for startup brands.

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