Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thrilled to be three

"Thrilled to be three"
Sun.Star Davao, Oct. 31, 2009

I don’t know how I did it but like a dutiful student in class, I have not been marked as “absent” on “Sun.Star Davao’s Chill-Out” section since I started in November 4, 2006. 

Would you believe this is my 153rd article and “Mom-About-Town’s” third year anniversary issue?

Writing as a hobby was and, still is, a bit challenging. You see, I consider myself a “weekend warrior” because Saturday or Sunday is the only time I could provide for this column. I admit there are moments that I would rather read a book or watch TV rather than start typing away. But, I guess after three years, writing this column has become a hard habit to break.

And, why has it become a habit? Allow me to share five favorite articles to answer this question:

“Motherhood...just like a pro” (11.22.08)

Meeting a super mom like Frannie Severino-Daez was truly inspiring. She has seven children ages 15 to 1 and yet she continues to be ultra organized in managing her household.

Aside from homeschooling her children, she works as a human resources consultant, gives workshops and seminar for adults and kids and does volunteer work in the Catholic Homeschool Association of the Philippines as its president and founding member.

Applying corporate principles to her home, Frannie created her own household how-to book, which eventually became “Keep It Together: A Home Management Manual”. “Keep It Together” is envisioned to empower women who multitask as a way of life.

Before meeting Frannie, I thought I was organized because I made schedules as a guide for the household help and had lists for various tasks and supplies. But, all this changed when I met Frannie and read her book. Frannie has taken motherhood to a whole new level. She has stirred in me the desire to aim for more as a wife and mother.

“Organic beauty for less” (3.14.09)

Young mom Anna Meloto-Wilk’s passion for the environment blossomed with the birth of her first child, Ariel, in 2005. Married to Gawad Kalinga volunteer Dylan Wilk, an Englishman, they chose to use cloth diapers after reading that “it takes 500 years for disposable diapers to biodegrade and that many of the chemicals in them are toxic”.

Her strong conviction to save the environment did not stop at home. Together with her younger sister, Camille, they founded Gandang Kalikasan Inc., the creator of Human Heart Nature--an exciting new range of 100% organic, 100% Philippine-grown and 100% chemical-free personal care products for the whole family at a very affordable cost.

I tried the Human Heart Nature products myself before signing up as a dealer for this direct selling company. Because Human Heart Nature was effective and reasonably priced, it wasn’t hard to sell the products. I had numerous calls and inquiries via e-mail when they read my article online. There were even some who signed up as dealers under me.

It was also a good feeling to know that every time I sell Human Heart Nature products, I am providing livelihood for the communities in Gawad Kalinga. It’s “profit with a conscience"!.

“Pinky’s purpose driven life” (5.05.09)

Pinky Pe Tobiano’s amazing story of how she overcame cancer was so touching. She met a well-known specialist from the Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York, Dr. Jatin Shah, during a medical convention in Japan. For nine years, the very thoughtful Pinky sent Dr. Shah Christmas cards. Through all the years, Dr. Shah never replied but Pinky still kept sending cards anyway.

When Pinky was diagnosed with throat cancer, she got in touch with Dr. Shah who turned out to be a highly regarded specialist with her type of cancer. The busy Dr. Shah came to the Philippines to operate on Pinky.

After the operation, Pinky asked Dr. Shah for her bill. But, the doctor replied, “You have long paid me in full for my services. The nine years in which you sent me Christmas cards without fail are more than enough.”

With her new lease in life, the Harvard-educated Pinky decided to “pay it forward” by initiating meaningful projects that would not only benefit her family and friends but the Filipino people.

She established QualiBet (“Quality is Better”) Testing Services Corporation and The Pinky Cares Foundation; and produced two CD albums with her friends namely, “H.O.P.E. (Healing of Pain and Enlightenment)” and “H.O.P.E.: Wings of the Soul”, both distributed by Star Records. In addition, the mother of two is one of the most generous benefactors of Golden Acres, a home for the elderly.

Pinky’s “making each day count” attitude taught me to go beyond my world and my personal concerns. Her purpose driven life is really worth emulating.

“Lola online” (8.29.09)

Inspired by Bayan DSL's Lola Techie, I interviewed three 'cool' hi-tech grannies from Davao, namely: 63-year old Leticia "Letty" Tan-Gimenes, 57-year old Helen King-Lee and 53-year old Mary Ann "Baby" Maceda-Montemayor.

They learned their way to the web and have social networking sites such as Facebook and Multiply. These lolas are well-equipped with gadgets that other grandparents find intimidating like iPods, digital cameras, flash drives, laptops, cellphones and camcorders.

To stay young, these three lolas manage to do tai chi, tend to their herb garden, eat healthy and are involved in various sports and civic-oriented activities. Why, they even have a more active lifestyle than me! (Sigh, wake up call for me)

Helen believes that grandparents should take advantage of technology because “aside from keeping in touch with children, relatives and friends, we are keeping in touch with the world! Be informed. It will definitely keep us young, mentally”.

Baby says that grandparents should be in the loop and learn to relate with the language of the new generation. She even has a U.S.-based aunt, Lita Maceda, who at 89 years old is still exploring cyberspace. Lita is on Facebook and even uploads her own photos. “I am so proud of her. She truly defies age!”, Baby shares.

"The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step", advises Letty. She continues, “Learn step by step and sooner the steps will add up! Let's erase the word phobia (fear) from our vocabulary. We have to remember that we are braver than we believe; stronger than we seem and smarter than we think!”

Now, that I’m 36 years old, sometimes, I feel suddenly “old” but meeting these awesome lolas made me realize that I should not be afraid of aging and never stop learning!

“Prepare your child for the future, today” (9.26.09)

As a parent, do you believe in doing everything for your children or do you give your kids choices and let them experience the results of their decisions?

This important question was posed to me and fellow parents during the “Kumon Philippines’ 2009 Education and Parenting Seminar Series”.

I personally learned a lot of new insights from the talk, “Parenting our Children Today” by Dr. Regina De Jesus. Like most parents, I am sometimes guilty of being a ‘good’ parent. This kind of parent believes they must do everything for their children to the point of assuming responsibilities for them. Dr. De Jesus warns that with the ‘good’ parent, kids have a tendency to become dependent on parents, which could lead to poor self-esteem and self-confidence.

In contrast, responsible parents are more concerned with building their children’s feeling of responsibility and self-confidence. Such parents allow their children to commit mistakes because they know that it is only through these experiences that they will learn what life is all about.

As I personally tutor my Grade 2 daughter Anicka, I used to make sure that we review all her lessons together. But, after the seminar, I’ve slowly learned to “let go” by delegating some subjects to her. She studies them on her own and whatever success or failure she experiences as a result of her actions, I let her “own” the consequence. Mind you, for a perfectionist like me, this was not an easy thing to do but I’m a work in progress.

And, of course, I also applied Dr. De Jesus’ advice of hugging our children regularly because she explains that “human touch like kissing and hugging activates dopamine, the ‘happy hormone’ which makes us feel happy and good”. Every morning and night and whenever there is a chance, I hug my two daughters to activate their ‘happy hormone’. And, it does wonders for me, too.

Thrilled to be three

Writing my articles has become a hard habit to break because I also personally learn and grow from the people, places and events I feature. My children and I likewise enjoyed attending all the wonderful celebrations so creatively hosted by doting parents. In fact, a lot of readers write to tell me that they are surprised that Davao City has these world-class theme parties already.

To all the loyal readers, thanks so much for continuing to make “Mom-About-Town” part of your Saturday habit/routine. To this day, I still get excited every time I receive your e-mails containing valuable feedbacks and suggestions.

When my original two-year old blog,, had ‘technical’ problems last May and could not be accessed, there were many concerned readers who encouraged me to create another blog. Super thanks to all the visitors of my new blog,

My sincerest appreciation to my husband Gary for critiquing my articles; all the interviewees for allowing me to share your stories and milestones; and my Huang, Teves and Sun.Star Davao families (a shout-out to my hardworking lay-out artist Tonette, editor Stella and Donna) for your all-out support.

Boy, I’m so thrilled to be three! To God be the glory!

E-mail Visit

No comments: