Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thankful at two

"Thankful at two"
Sun.Star Davao, Nov. 11, 2008


This is the overwhelming feeling I have as I am writing my 104th article for Mom-About-Town, officially marking my second year anniversary.

What makes me even more grateful is the fact that I never missed an article since November 3, 2006, the day when I started, in spite of extra responsibilities with the family business and at home.

Aside from working at the office, try personally tutoring your grade one kid and raising an active toddler while training and adjusting to an all-new set of yayas, and you would know what I mean.

As I am given the total freedom to find topics for this column, I am faced with the weekly task of searching for interesting people, events and places that would fit into Mom-About-Town’s family-oriented theme. For making my job a whole lot easier, I would like to sincerely thank this year’s wonderful interviewees for their trust, confidence and time.

My profound thanks, too, to my husband Gary, Huang and Teves families as well as my Sun.Star Davao family especially Stella, Tonette and Donna for their unwavering support.

Source of inspiration

And, of course, who could forget the dear readers? Your letters and comments gave me such thrill and inspiration.

Here are some e-mails which touched me greatly:

From: Martin Santiago

“I read with great interest your article, “In the ‘zone’ this 2008”, today in Sun.Star Davao. At first I wasn't sure whether it was the brewed coffee at Coffee Dream-Damosa Gateway which jolted me from my sleepy mood this afternoon or if it was the topic of your article.

I just happened to drop my daughter at KidzWonder and thought of pepping up myself with a nice cup of coffee there. I was reading the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" while I was whiling away the time in KidsWonder. I'll tell you later why I mentioned this book.

It was after reading your article, though, that everything started to make some connections. I have already read the above book twice. But I just had this feeling a couple of days ago to read it again. I don't know why. This afternoon, before I went to Coffee Dream, I stopped on page 34. It read, "You'd best change your point of view. Stop blaming me, thinking I'm the problem. If you think I'm the problem, then you have to change me. If you realize that you're the problem, then you can change yourself, learn something and grow wiser. Most people want everyone else in the world to change but themselves. Let me tell you, it's easier to change yourself than everyone else."

After that, I was really sleepy so I went to this coffee shop. It was there that I saw your article. At first, I thought, it was just about an ordinary topic. When I turned to the next page, that caught my serious attention. I finished reading it at exactly 3:37 PM.

Guess what? My younger brother (who's living in Manila) texted me a couple of weeks ago informing me that he had dreamed about me. In that dream, I was riding on a plane. But it crashed at 3:37 AM.

Then it registered in my mind. I suddenly realized that what the last lines in the book were telling me was that the problem was my mental the way I was thinking. Just like what you wrote in your article. I just had a life-changing exactly 3:37 PM. The dream that my brother had about me probably meant that I'll be having a life-changing experience very soon. I did. I just did.

Thank you very much for sharing that article to a lot of readers like me.

Hope you'd write more of those powerful messages in the future. Don't stop writing. God has probably given you a mission to change the world into a better place by influencing the thoughts of a positive way.”

From: Rochelle Sesbino

“Good day! Hope you're doing great today. I am Rochelle and I’m from Davao, too.

I'm here in South Carolina, USA because I married an American. I read your article “Out of the rat race” to my husband because we've been reading that book too and he's happy to know that there are smart Filipinos like you who are trying to reach and educate the poor/middle class through your article.

Right now that's what we're trying to do, to be "out in the cage" of this "rat race" game. Living here in the US is hard when you're poor, just relying on your pay check every payday, you're going nowhere.

Reading that book is really inspiring. We cannot wait when we can start our first business. Hope God will give us the right time and help us.
Thank you for writing that article. I know everybody who can read it will be inspired too.”

From: Tina Lam-Ong

“Congratulations are due your way, even from a little known friend and long time schoolmate like me! First your blog getting "discovered" by ABS-CBN writers, and then your subject being interviewed for national TV by one the stations’ prime talent, and now a heartfelt letter from a reader about your articles making a life changing contribution in her life.... wow!

I admire you for having the capacity and the ability to take on so many roles in life. As a stay at home mom myself, I know how hard it is just to be there for the kids, to personally tutor a grade schooler is a huge task in itself, too - what more to juggle a full time job and writing articles for the local paper, at that!

I write as a hobby, too, and I have maintained a blog about my family, if only to record it for posterity's sake. Hopefully, the kids would be able to read it in the future and appreciate it. It's not meant to be read by everybody, though, only family and friends. I enjoy writing new articles to post to my blog, but I can't even start to imagine the pressures of having a weekly deadline to beat! Kudos!”

From: Neil de los Santos

“Indeed, yayas or household helpers do a great part in helping us especially in household chores. On our part, while we hire the service of yayas, especially when they are still young, I encourage them to pursue their studies and help them find a better job.

I tell them to dream bigger than just remaining as low paid house helpers. I even offer to sponsor their schooling over and above their monthly pay. This way, I believe I give them somehow a little justice to their great job in doing household chores and as a yaya. In other words, it’s like helping them row their boats to move forward. And, while they row their boats, it helped me get across my own boat.

Thank you for your nice thoughts. I always make it a point to read your articles.”

From: Joy Inocencio (

“I am a housewife and my day's not complete without visiting your blog and reading your Saturday articles. In fact, you inspire me.

Because of your articles about kiddie parties, I was able to organize my baby's party on my OWN. It wasn't easy but it really made us happy and fulfilled! My husband (who's an army officer) did all the table centerpieces. Imagine an army doing the balloon works! He he! :)

After the 1st birthday party of our little princess, my friends kept telling me to start a 'small' business and just cater my friends' parties. But that small business is now catering not just my friends, but to all Mindanaoans. And it's all because of you Ms. Janette! It all started with my Sun.Star newspapers. It all started with your articles. Thank you so much!

And as part of my gratitude to you and to my clients, I have decided to celebrate my birthday in an orphanage or Bantay Bata 163 this December. I pledged to do this every December. Part of our profit will go to Bantay Bata 163, Carmelite Monastery and Sisters of Charity.

You may not know it, but you have inspired a lot of Dabawenyos. I, for one, have not imagined I can go into this business and find happiness seeing those kids (and even adults!) really happy during my parties.

Thank you so much! Your articles can touch lives and can move hearts!”

Thankful at two

Indeed, receiving words of encouragement from readers and friends have made writing more meaningful and fulfilling.

Fifteen years ago, when I was about to graduate from De La Salle University in Manila, our Communication Arts department chairperson Bro. Mike Rapatan did an exit interview. Bro. Mike told me that he hoped that I would work in media because he admired my being “persistent”.

However, after graduating from college, I ended up in the tourism industry for several years before working in the family business.

Now, two years into writing about topics that are close to my heart as a mother, I am amazed at how God has led me in this direction. I don’t know how long I will be doing this as a hobby. But, one thing is for certain, I am thankful. Thankful at two.

To God be the glory!

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