She cooked a Filipino dish called Mechado. They all sat at the table. They enjoyed the meal and the family conversations.
She finished washing the dishes and cleaning up the table. She rested on a blue couch by a big bright window overlooking the pine trees and the colorful flowers outside.
The boy rushed towards her with a blanket and a pillow. He said “Rest, Mom”. The little girl came with a throw pillow. She put it under her Mother’s feet. She had a big smile on her face as they greeted her “Happy Mother’s Day!” They gave her a bag of Goldfish crackers in case she got hungry and a tablet if she wanted to play a game. She put it beside her and said her thank you’s. The boy was trying to be extra nice. He shared his Hi-Chew candy and fed one to his Mom. The little girl had her harmonica and played for her too. After playing a beautiful music, she read a story to her Mom. The book’s title was Pinkalicious and the Perfect Present. The story was just fitting for the occasion. It was about the girl looking for a perfect present for her Mom.
She got some shut-eye. On that day she felt like a queen. When she got up, her husband and daughter baked some goodies for everyone. She ate it and drank her favorite coffee. The rest of the afternoon was spent gardening while the kids enjoyed colorful sidewalk chalks, blowing bubbles, riding the scooter and playing with each other.
Being a parent means having this very important responsibility of raising good people. It is a lifetime mission. We take care of them, provide for all their needs (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), and guide them through life.
Being a parent is not always easy. Sometimes we get tired. Sometimes we get frustrated. We worry. We get disappointed. In every stage, we face different challenges from waking up late at night to change their diapers or disciplining them in their early childhood days. It can be a lot of work. I say, having a child is truly life changing. It is a blessing and at the same time a sacrifice, an act of great love.
What inspired me to write? Earlier, I got into a small fight with my 9-year-old. It might sound petty to others but it meant something to me.
He was so distracted with his gadgets that he would find it hard to pay attention and listen to what I’m saying. Usually I have to repeat A LOT OF TIMES what I have to say to him. And this can be exhausting. I always pray for patience and understanding. It has been a challenge for me nowadays because they are on summer break. Everyday, I have to set a time limit with regard to the use of the gadgets. My son and I usually argue about this. I manage their activities, making sure they read, write, draw, and do something else besides video gaming. I have to take them out of the house too for a swim or stroll at the park.
I lost my temper. I raised my voice. I had to be stern. What irritated me most was the talking back. He was reasoning out when clearly he was wrong. And it broke my heart to see him so mad at me. I sent him to his room for a time out. No TV. No gadgets. I said he needed to be alone and be quiet.
I was worried. I was thinking maybe he would grow up hating me because I would always discipline him. Then I felt sad. I was sorry for saying some things that could have hurt his feelings. I felt bad. I know I am not a perfect person. Definitely not a perfect mom.
I thought of writing him a letter. Just to assure him that I love him. And that whatever we are doing is for his own good. I was about to write him a note when he came out of his room and went to me. He handed me a paper. And saw this …
It melted my heart. I just hugged him for a very long time. I cried quietly. I was relieved. Maybe I am doing the right thing. I did not have to remind him that I love him. He knows. We talked about what happened and the things he learned from it.
As a Mom, I wish to shield my children from the negativity of this world. However, I know that this is not possible!
So I change my strategy. As I guide them, I would talk to them about some bitter realities of life. Of course, I try to soften it. I want them to be prepared. To be ready. I wish to equip them with skills that will help them survive, succeed, and live a happy life.
Relationships enormously affect us. I tell my kids, when people are born, they are nice. We are all like angels. But as we all go through our lives, a lot of factors come in (environment, family, health etc.) and they affect/shape the person. As I explain this to my 8-year-old, he quickly said, “Yes Mommy but each person can choose if they want to be good or bad.”
The fact is NOT ALL PEOPLE ARE NICE. That is another sad reality of life.
Some people may not be nice to your face at all, and some people can even stab you at the back.
I tell my kids, DO NOT LET OTHERS’ COMMENTS DEFINE OR AFFECT YOU.
Only focus on the people and things that will make you better and happy. Stay away from the negative people/things that pull you down. THERE IS NO PLEASING EVERYBODY. At times you are already doing everything that you can with all good intentions. And people can still say hurtful things about you (at your face or on your back).
As long as you know that YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN AT THE MOMENT and YOU THINK A MILLION TIMES ABOUT YOUR DECISION OR CHOICE before you act on it, then YOU SHOULD HAVE NO REGRETS and HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF. ALL THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. You’ll see.
PRAY A LOT too and always ASK FOR WISDOM AND STRENGTH. There is definitely a God who sees through our hearts.
It can be a cruel world, full of struggles and challenges as it is also filled with so many beautiful things.
It is a blessing to live, and we must have the right perspective in order to enjoy this gift!
Our family was in church hearing Sunday mass. We were sitting in the cry room since we have two young kids. The mass was about to begin, when suddenly I noticed a familiar face walked in. I believe she was with teenage daughter/s. I could not remember where I met her.
The mass went on and during the Holy Communion, she passed us by . She even looked my way for a while. Then I realized that she looked like the TV personality back home in Manila but I was not so sure though.
After a few months, I was browsing people in Instagram. From one person, it led me to the photo of that familiar face. I figured it was Christine Jacob! I sent her a message asking if she happened to be in our parish church, and she confirmed it! So I thought I’d ask her if I can feature her in my little blog site. She was very nice to say “Sure, anytime!”
Christine Sotto Jacob-Sandejas, also known as Christine Jacob, is a Filipina Olympian swimmer, actress, T.V. host, and newscaster. She was born in Guam and her family moved back to Manila. She joined the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in 1983 when she was 16. The following year, she competed in the swimming competition in the Summer Olympics 1984.
When she was 23 years old she got offered a co-hosting job in a show called “Eat Bulaga.” More projects followed. She stopped hosting in showbiz when she got pregnant with her first child. Now she has five children with her loving husband, Paco Sandejas. She has been a TV personality for around 26 years now.
I reviewed some stories about her and found a recent one posted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=76086) last April 20, 2016. The article talks about how Catholic faith is very important to Christine and her family (an evident reason why I probably found her in church when she was visiting in LA). In the article she mentioned the following was mentioned:
“Christine shared she and her husband go out of their way to instill in their children the fundamentals of the faith like teachings on the Mass, Confession, and the other Sacraments.”
“They also read them stories from the Bible to complement and reinforce what they learn at school.”
“They make sure the little Sandejases—all five of them—will grow up respectful, honest, and disciplined.”
“Values are very important for me,” exclaimed Christine.
I read another article written about her by her sister-in-law, Amanda Griffin. Christine shared here her typical day:
“I wake up at 6. Have my coffee, bring my 4 kids to school (Jaime 2 yrs old school just started in June) , Then ME time…I play tennis or yoga or run or workout…pick up the 4 yr old from school and have lunch with them. Then do errands (bank, grocery etc). Pick up the 3 older kids from school and bring them to various activities (ballet/ gymnastics/ soccer/ reading/ little gym/ cheer dancing/ violin guitar/ piano…etc (never ending activities.. wait till summer ) Then come home and do homework, Dinner then Sleep by 8:30. And the cycle starts again……”(http://amandagriffinjacob.com/christine-jacob/August 1, 2011 Amanda Griffin – Jacob)
These are the reasons why I feature her in my blog. I truly admire her energy taking care of herself, her family, particularly being hands on with her five children. Based on my experience, I find it indeed challenging to discipline children and mold them to be good people. So I am just truly glad that I got the chance to interview Christine and share some of her wisdom.
Let’s hear from Christine!
Where did you live in the US during your elementary years? How old were you when you came to live in Manila?
I grew up in Manila . I was born in Guam but after 6 months my family moved to Manila . I consider Manila as my home . I went to school at the Colegio San Agustin in Makati till high school .
You were an Olympian. When did you first learn how to swim? Will you briefly describe your experience when you joined the Summer Olympics in 1984?
Started competing (swimming ) at the age of 6. First international swim meet at 11 Junior Olympics held in Japan. Then Southeast Asian age group , SEA GAmes , Asian Games , Olympics in 1984 in LA 😊 I truly pride myself in being Philippine trained .
You have been a TV personality for around 26 years now.
I studied college in Ohio , Kenyon College . I continued to swim.
All 4 years . I graduated in 1989 BA in International Studies with China as my area of concentration.
After 1 year of working in Boston I decided to move back to Manila then doors started to open in the field of communication. I started hosting Eat Bulaga in December 1990, then as a newscaster for PTV4 also the same year .
1990-1998 Co-hosted in Eat Bulaga
1998-2001 MTB (Magandang Tanghali Bayan ABS-CBN)
Married in 1999.
First child came in 2000
I would host various shows while taking care of my family: Mobile Kusina, Here Comes the bride, Game Na, Full Time Mom
Currently I have a daily show on CNN Philippines called Real Talk .
How do you do it? How do you raise 5 kids? What is one important thing that every parent should remember?
Values for children . Instilling values is getting to be more difficult with the access of social media , bring the whole world into your home . The kids are exposed to a different culture, the values have changed . That’s why the importance of family life. The importance of spending time with your kids , being there for them . Guiding them during the formation years.
I am aware about your typical day. I can relate to your activities.I can not imagine how you manage five children. I often complain and yet I only have two! I heard you do yoga, runs, swim? Balancing all these things alongside with work and family.
Where do you get the energy?! What is the secret? Do you have a regular regimen/work out?
A few years ago I was much more active than I am now. Maybe age has caught up with me😱. I remember a time when I would run 10k before my 2 hour tennis practice etc.. I am a very competitive person and feel the need to train to get better. I am trying to ween myself from that and just take it easy and relax a bit more .
Now I am happy with a few hours a week of social tennis . Maybe go back to yoga.
DIET is now my main concern. My metabolism has changed a lot so I needed to find the right combination of foods.
As I age I find I can’t do dairy / fried foods (my stomach gets upset)
So in the morning I juice/blend a lot of my greens. I try to consume healthy fats since I stay away from grains / bread. I use a lot of coconut Oil for my food /
desserts and at times in my coffee. I love coconut Keffir – probiotics. Avocado / spinach / banana shake during my tennis games .
I eat a lot of greens / chicken – fish – soups . Once I take out sugar and eat healthy I do find I am not sluggish and have lots of energy for my daily activities .
But my weakness is chocolates 😱😱😱
What else do you want to accomplish? What is your one great dream?
I hope to do more shows on CNN Philippines.
I love nutrition / food / parenting ..
I love Philippine made 😍😍😍 products / clothes/ jewelry
Carmen is her name. From Latin origin, it means “song,” “tune,” or “poem” and is also the root of the English word charm. Truly, she is music. It has always been her first love. And I thank her for bringing music into our lives. From then until now, she has always been so generous to me and my siblings. Whenever she would get home, she has little things for us. More importantly, she always gives us the emotional support we need. She rescues us and lifts us up when we are troubled.. She has always been so selfless putting our happiness and welfare before hers. She is our guide, our light.
Evelyn is her name. She raised me too. She was a great influence in giving us the best education we can ever have. I remember her enrolling us in schools, taking us to music classes (voice and flute) and even taking us to our facial care sessions in high school. She has also influenced me in terms of religious/church affiliation… A woman does not have to bear the child to become a mother. You can raise children and be a mother too. It does not have to be biological. It is all about the love and care through the years.
I have aunties/Tita/Tia (both blood related and not) who I look up to as Moms. They are the women who inspire me, who support me and care for me through the different chapters in my life as a wife and mother.
I also remember my mother-in-law, Araceli, who gave life to my better half, the reason I have become a mother too. I remember my sisters and girl friends who are mothers as well. I think about all the mothers around who have dedicated their lives to raising children. Raising kids is a complex and yet beautiful mission. It goes beyond providing material/physical needs. There is emotional, intellectual, and spiritual responsibilities. It is a mission for life.
No mother is perfect. Not even me. We just keep doing our best to give our children a good life, a solid foundation that will guide them even when we will no longer be around. We keep doing our best in giving them happy memories.
Play with them, read to them, converse with them. We keep praying for them.
This song I played is dedicated to all the Mommies in the world. It is entitled “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan, ” a Filipino lullaby co-written by Lucio San Pedro and Levi Celerio, who were both National Artists of the Philippines.
“The lyrics are written in the first person point of view. It is made up of two stanzas, with four lines each.
In the first stanza, the singer wishes that his childhood and his memories of his mother will never fade. He also wants to hear his mother’s song again, which to him is a song of love.
In the second stanza, he describes his sleep as being peaceful, while stars watch and guard him. For him, his life becomes heaven whenever his mother sings him her lullaby. Finally, he reveals the reason for his longing: he is enduring some hardship, and this is why he was longing for his mother’s lullaby.
In the final line (coda), the singer addresses his mother and wishes that he could sleep again in his old cradle.”
I would just like to record this milestone we have reached.This week, my daughter and I are serious with potty training. I saw the signs that she is ready, and so I pulled out the toddler potty I have been keeping in the garage. I bought it from last year. At first, I tried to introduce it to her but she would always say “No!” I figured that she was not ready yet so I stopped pressuring her.
After she turned 3 last August 8 (the same day of my Dad’s interment), I once again introduced the potty to her. This time, she is more responsive. Since we are usually at home, I now try to make her wear some training pants. I would ask her to sit down on her little potty every now and then. Sometimes, she is actually the one who tells us that she needs to go.
I recall when she was a year old until she reached her second year, she was just a baby. Now that she is 3, I can see and feel that she is growing too fast. Soon no more diapers (more money to save!) Soon, she will be in school, and she will be like her big brother, a big kid. There is no stopping time. It keeps going. It keeps flying fast. I wish it will slow down a little bit. I want to be in here and bathe in happiness and experience of parenthood.
Last night, my husband and I were watching the film, Up In The Air, a 2009 American comedy-drama film, starring George Clooney. There was a scene there when a guy got cold feet during his wedding. The following lines below just struck me. And I think of my journey. And I guess it is the same for most of us. How it all started and how it will end.
I don't think I'm going to be able to uh...
to do this.
Why would you say that...today?
Well, last night I was just kinda laying
in bed and I couldn't get to sleep.
So I started thinking about the wedding
and the ceremony,
and about our buying a house
and moving in together.
And having a kid,
and having another kid and then
Christmas and Thanksgiving
and spring break.
Going to football games, and then
all of a sudden they're graduating.
They're getting jobs, they're getting married.
And, you know, I'm a grandparent.
And then I'm retired.
I'm losing my hair, I'm getting fat.
And then the next thing you know
I'm just, like...I can't stop from thinking,
what's the point?
I mean, what is the point?
- What am I starting here?
Cuddling with my sweet girl is one of my favorite things to do. From my experience, I can say that Having a boy is different from having a girl in some ways. With girls, you get to dress them up, style them, do “girly” stuff/play together. They are usually mellow than the boys. It is true for me so I am more “relaxed” with her. They are such darlings and very sweet especially to their daddies. Mine is definitely a daddy’s girl!
With my son, I usually need to keep up with his energy, with his inquisitive mind, with his talking and moving around. He seems more dependent than his little sister. Calls my attention all the time. I guess he is a mommy’s boy. Although now that he is turning 7, I notice that we argue a lot. He is really challenging my patience. He is strong willed and … He is just growing fast. And yes, before I realize it, my baby girl will be too.
I notice I am starting to have strands of white hair. Found two strands recently! Being a parent can be so hard! I am not complaining, but just expressing. It is really exhausting but rewarding too (mixed emotions – driving me crazy). It is a big responsibility raising children. We are responsible for their well being, to provide them with their needs not just material but emotional, intellectual, spiritual and others. It is truly a mission to raise human beings who can thrive in this difficult and yet wonderful life, who will be happy, successful, and kindhearted people. May God bless and help each parent on earth!
I have a long way to go. For now, while they are little, I will have to enjoy the moments cuddling with them! Heaven is here 💕