Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mom-About-Town turns 10

 “Mom-About-Town turns 10”
Sun.Star Davao, October 29, 2016

In 2006, I gave birth to “two babies”. One was biological and the other, a creative outlet.

I was then a volunteer in the communications team of Gawad Kalinga and writing press releases to newspapers for this noble cause when, one day, an e-mail by our super Sun.Star Davao editor-in-chief Stella Estremera suddenly appeared in my inbox. She asked me if I was interested to be a columnist for the venerable paper. Who could refuse such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? In a heartbeat, I replied with an enthusiastic “yes!”. 

           Parenting was the topic closest to my heart so I proposed that I would focus on this.

With determination, I juggled working full-time at the family business, being a hands-on PTA mom, writing for this paper, among other responsibilities.  It has not been an easy task but looking back, it was well worth it!

Ten years after, I thank the Lord for the inspiring people I have met along the way. I am truly indebted that, through this column, their stories touched other’s lives...and mine, as well.

Among the articles that made a significant impact on me, and perhaps the readers as well, were the various parenting seminars featured (I had the privilege of helping organize most of them through my involvement with the Davao Christian High School Parents-Teachers Fellowship). 

           Some of them included “Motherhood….just like a pro” (Nov. 22, 2008); 

“Helping Our Children Do Well in School” (Nov. 13, 2010); 

“Are You a Tiger or an Ostrich Parent?” (June 4, 2012); 

“Practical Parenting” (Feb. 23, 2013); 

 and the recent “Train Up Your Child” (Oct. 10, 2016) by esteemed parenting experts. The invaluable lessons gained from these enabled me to become an effective hands-on and less anxious parent.

 “Our Home, Our School” (Dec. 9, 2006) was about breastfeeding advocate Alex Morris-Hao and her homeschooling advocacy. Back then, she was one of the few brave Davao moms who homeschooled her brood of three, namely: Amber (age 9), Ashley (age 6) and Allegra (age 2). A few years after, the Haos were blessed with their only boy, Nicholas.

How did homeschooling mold the Hao kids after ten years? All of them turned out to be well-rounded eager learners. Amber (now 19) got into the Ateneo de Manila University taking up literature and has found her passion in theater; Ashley (16) is a talented violinist who has staged her own solo violin recital; Allegra (12) is an avid swimmer; and Nicholas (8), a soccer enthusiast.


          In “Organic Beauty for Less” (March 14, 2009), Human Nature, was then a new line of 100% organic, 100% Philippine-grown and 100% chemical-free personal care products for the whole family at very affordable prices. 

I met Anna Meloto-Wilk and her husband Dylan, when they came to Davao to establish their Mindanao branch made possible by Green Kreations, Inc. Through Anna and her sister Camille’s partnership with Gawad Kalinga, they then envisioned the GK villages to eventually become capable of producing their ingredients to the highest standards for the Human Nature line.

 Flash forward to 2016. From two kids, the Wilks are now proud parents of five, with another blessing coming soon. And, Human Nature has become a global premium brand, sourcing ingredients from world-class community organic farms in the Philippines; and providing decent livelihood to thousands of our poorest people.

And, how could I not mention the insanely imaginative themed kiddie parties, debuts and weddings staged by our very own Davao event stylists and suppliers and even Manila-based party professionals? Whether grand or simple celebrations, my column regularly highlighted the brilliant talents of this growing industry and I am looking forward to witnessing more spectacular “productions” in the future.

Readers have been sending me e-mails on how they enjoyed our family adventures in my column. I hope to continue sharing my travel tips on the memorable destinations we have visited. May they serve as an additional guide to your family’s own sojourns as well.

After a decade writing, you may have noticed that my column icon has been finally replaced. I may still be sporting the same hairstyle (teehee!), but trust me, my ten-year “Mom-About-Town” journey has changed me for the better in innumerable and intangible ways.

             My youngest daughter recently asked me if I always knew what I wanted to be when I was growing up. Honestly, I had no specific wish lists that I could think of. But, God would often open doors even without me asking. Wherever He wanted me to be at that stage of my life, I welcomed it with a grateful heart and promised to do my best for His glory.

For their continuous love and support through the years, I sincerely thank my Huang and Teves families, Sun.Star Davao family, dearest friends, loyal readers, and interviewees. 

Happy 10th year anniversary to us! Cheers!

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