Saturday, January 11, 2014

Looking back, moving forward

“Looking back, moving forward”
Sun.Star Davao, Jan. 11, 2014

            BALANCE. This was what I wished for in 2013 and thankfully, this was what I achieved.
            Now that the kids are much older and becoming more independent, gone are the days when I have to rush out from the office every lunch break to supervise my 7-year old. I have the luxury of spending quality time with family and friends even on school days and nights because our youngest daughter has started to adopt good study habits and can review lessons by herself, if needed.

            I am grateful that I am no longer too busy to indulge in a regular massage; have continued to share my energy and talents volunteering for worthwhile causes; and have time to grow spiritually with my family.

            I have learned the art of slowing down and not sweating the small stuff so I can focus on the more essential things and people who matter.

            This 2014, I look forward to enjoying meaningful and deeper relationships with friends whom I got to know better last year.

            As a family, I wish for us to become more conscious of what we eat and practice a healthier lifestyle through fitness. My husband Gary and I also want to continue teaching our kids the value of living with less so we can live more; the importance of creating and not only consuming; and to become blessings and of service to others without counting the cost.

            For my first article this year, let us learn from different families as they share their thoughts on the year that was and their plans to make 2014 count.

            Happy Happy New Year to my dearest “Mom-About-Town” readers! Let’s start and end the year with good vibes.  

Looking back, moving forward….


1. What are the three things you are most grateful for last year?

Firstly, we are always grateful for God’s generosity to our family such as simple daily blessings like food on our table; financial provisions; and good health.

Secondly, last 2013, God continued to bless us by reuniting our family. When we transferred to the U.S., our eldest daughter Julianne was left for a year in Davao to finish high school. After her graduation last March 2013, she joined us here in New York.

Thirdly, we are thankful for our children's achievements in their education. Julianne passed five college entrance exams. She is now preparing to start college this spring semester and will be taking up a course to become a Physician Assistant. On the other hand, Jeando started high school (9th grade) and is enrolled in a special computer technology program in one of New York’s vocational and technical high schools. We are so grateful that he was able to pass all placement exams for the said program. Finally, Yan Yan, our youngest son, will soon graduate from 6th grade and will proceed to middle school this coming June 2014.

2. What lessons have you learned in 2013?

In 2013, we were able to appreciate our family as we gained strength from each other in adjusting to a faster pace of life here in the U.S. We learned some basic lessons such as the importance of making the home as a place we go for comfort at the end of each day. We also became more expressive in showing our appreciation to the family.

3. What are you looking forward to this 2014?

We continue to pray for good health for all our loved ones here in the U.S. and the Philippines. For our business, we are looking forward and hope that the Lord will open doors for opportunities for nurses and other healthcare professionals so that more can achieve their dreams here in the U.S.

4. What new habits would you like to cultivate for the family?

*To strengthen our prayer life
*To support each other by attending important activities such as graduations, basketball games, and family gatherings
*To inspire out children to grow up to be loving to each other and that they may be willing to help one another with homework, household chores, etc.
* Despite the crazy work schedules here in New York, as much as possible, we would try to get more work-outs this 2014 to find time and give extra effort to eat together for lunch or dinner. 

1.      What are the three things you are most grateful for last year?
The kids all did great in their school and they are more loving to each other more than ever.
Richard was given a chance to present his Zero Dengue Deaths advocacy in front of the Davao City Council which resulted to an immediate formation of resolution to support it.More information can be found in his
We always thank God for good health, protection and provisions.
2.      What lessons have you learned in 2013?
We must live in God’s Grace or unmerited favor daily, so we can have the faith to face life’s challenges with boldness. 
We watch the Grace Preacher Pastor Joseph Prince from Singapore on YouTube everyday for 5 to 10 minutes only and it helps a lot…really!   We also learned that sharing this Grace message is so powerful, so we do it daily on Facebook and even in small group gatherings.
3.      What are you looking forward to this 2014?
We have partnered with our doctor friends in building a new hospital in Sto. Tomas and we aim to make it fully functional this year.  It’s called Metropolitan Polymedic Community Hospital.  We are all excited!  We are also praying for a good family vacation bonding this year. 
4.      What new habits would you like to cultivate for the family?
This year we want to have more of outdoor bonding or just walk around the village than going to the malls. 


1. What are the three things you are most grateful for last year?

We are grateful that we were able to achieve our target goals (e.g. house renovation, etc.) for last year. Moreover, we are relieved that we were able to surpass the personal trials like sickness in the family. We are thankful that we were able to see the good things in hard times. Lastly, we are pleased to have met new friends that greatly influenced us spiritually. They are the ones who constantly remind us that God is always with us. 

2. What lessons have you learned in 2013?

Last year, calamities have taken its toll from worse to worst in our country. This year, we should be well prepared in all aspects and be careful and vigilant on whatever may come our way. In addition to that, in any good or bad situation, family must always come first and no material things can equate to the family’s love and support.

3. What are you looking forward to this 2014?

This year, we are looking forward to work harder and give our full commitment to our valued clients. We want to look forward and be thankful for the many blessings given to us. We truly appreciate the blessings and hope to share it to others as well.

4. What new habits would you like to cultivate for the family?

It is actually nothing new. We constantly remind the family about the good habits we must value.

First, to instill in our family the right mind and positive attitude; second, to have contentment in whatever is provided, to be humble and stay grounded always; and lastly, to always pray and ask for guidance and protection in our family.


1. What are the three things you are most grateful for last year?

Learning that we were expecting our 2nd child.And it’s a boy this time!

Most of all, we are very grateful for my family's good health and prosperity for the businesses.

2. What lessons have you learned in 2013?

Tropical storm Yolanda has generally brought out the best in every Filipino as a nation.
No matter how big or small, almost everyone shared their resources, or lent a helping hand.

3. What are you looking forward to this 2014?

The arrival of our son, Alessandro in a couple of weeks! Our daughter Aly, is very much excited to be officially an “Ate”. We also wish that our country will have a more resilient economy in the Year of the Horse.

4. What new habits would you like to cultivate for the family?

 A healthier lifestyle, and more travel adventures especially we are now complete as a family.


1. What are the three things you are most grateful for last year?
We are grateful that our family was spared from the wrath of two typhoons and several earthquakes. Second, we were blessed with projects which have sustained our line of business and thirdly, we had the chance to be with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and be thankful for the blessings we have received.

2. What lessons have you learned in 2013?
Everyday life will always be a classroom for me and my family. We learned to be flexible with whatever opportunities, problems, challenges, everyday life bring us. Looking at things in different perspectives provided us a greater view of this. Various solutions also come with God's grace.

3. What are you looking forward this 2014?
For the greater part of Davao, I’m looking forward to a continued growth in the economy throughout the whole spectrum of the market. This benefits everyone. The more money that goes around the city, the better for everyone. For my family and business this would equate to a much more secure status that would probably translate to more family time and bonding.

4. What new habits would you like to cultivate for the family?

Filipinos are inherently flexible. You can throw anything at them and they will be ready to take the punches. Just look at what happened in Northern Davao and the Visayas. They lost everything yet they smiled and counted their blessings. That’s what I want my family to like, now that were opening a new business. That is what I want my family to be ready for whatever adjustments and sacrifices to be able to succeed as we just opened up a Dance Studio "I-SAYAW" and moved our architectural office away from home.

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