First Mom & Son benefit

We just did our very first fashion show today in Fairmont Hotel Makati called “Lola, Mommy, and Me”.    I’m actually so happy we agreed to join the ABS-CBN Bantay Bata 163 Benefit Show for several reasons:

1. This benefit will change lives among young children who need help. I met some of the kids that Bantay Bata has helped, including  the recipients of open heart surgeries. They are living a healthier and fuller life than before. It’s great to be part of something that can make a difference.

2. One of my closest friends is the director of this ABS CBN Foundation’s Fashion Show. Rain Ramas hails from General Santos City and is not only a great designer, but also an excellent producer. He worked hard to make this fashion show a success– the brands that supported were Rajo Laurel, F&F, Uniqlo and other Rustan’s brands.

3. Gina Lopez, the woman behind the foundation is one person I admire. She is passionate about changing this country one community at a time. Our partnership in Sarangani is growing and has helped communities earn through Eco-tourism. 

  
4. The make up artist I will be working with is an up and coming make up star, Jag Irineo. She also is a native of Gensan and does amazing make up!  In fact, the make up she did on me was complimented over and over. 

5. This is a special mommy and son experience. Joshua was a natural. He was not afraid of the stage. We walked that long ramp with ease. It was a good moment for us and it was fun!   What an honor and privilege indeed! 

 

The Hairy Story

If you are a  breastfeeding mother this story is something you can relate to. You have been breastfeeding your baby over 3 months when suddenly you wake up and your long hair strands are found on your pillow, on your sheets, and even on your baby’s neck! By the time you hit the shower, your shampoo seems to make your hair fall off! The look on your hair brush is just so unpleasant. You even feel embarrassed about it that you hide from your husband. You then ask, “Why on earth is this happening to me?”

  
It’s a normal phenomena for breastfeeding moms to start having hair loss. It is also called post partum hair loss. But not to worry because the baby hairs will be growing. Hormone levels will adjust to normal and the hair loss will stop. In the meantime, moms should eat well and drink B complex.  

As for my story, I made a decision to just cut my hair and sport a new hair do. Thanks to my sister in law Pria and her friend Stefano of 2 GO for introducing me to International hairstylist Laurent Herbert. He styles for celebrities and royalties. He also consults for salons and help make their businesses profitable. Laurent was available to style me and so I feel so privileged to be in good hands!  Anna went with me to his private Salon in LH Hair Science Lab in Bonifacio Global City.

  

My long, thick black hair was going to be chopped off into a pixie cut. This hairdo will be a new look and also a means to saying good bye to my long messy falling hair! 

 
A new look and a bit of pampering is good for mommies. As a mom, I get so busy running after my children and nurturing them that I can forget about myself. Once in a while moms deserve that break. Thank God for a supportive husband who even chose the kind of short hairstyle I should go for! I am one happy mommy!!! 🙂  

Sarbay a family affair

My very first Sarangani Bay fest was in 2007. It was a small beach event that happened after elections. It was held sometime in June instead of May. My husband at that time was elected as Vice Governor of Sarangani. The Swim Across the Bay and Bay Bodies were the main highlight. Also a small concert happened at night.  

My first engagement as the co-chairperson of the Festival was in 2009. Former Governor Migs Dominguez prodded me to “go at it”. I got involved in the marketing and really moving the sponsorships– also repackaging the Sarangani Bay festival’s image. You can’t sell it unless it is packaged well. At that time, I had no children yet.

But in 2011, after that  Sarangani Bay Festival, I discovered that I was pregnant  for the very first time. Unfortunately, that was an ectopic pregnancy. In 2012, it was the first year we engaged into social media and rebranded Sarangani Bay Festival to “Sarbay”.  At that time I was 3 months pregnant with Joshua. We also won first runner up in the Pearl Awards for Best Tourism Event in Sports, Adventure and Wellness.

In 2013, Joshua was with me as a 5 month old baby allowing me to work.  It was one of the most successful Sarbay fest. It was the biggest Beach Festival in Mindanao and we won the Pearl Awards championship for Best Tourism Event.

 
In 2014, Our Sarbay Fest was a huge success with over 100,000 tourists! That year we had over 1000 tents pitched in tent cities, 80 concessionaires, our social media had about 11,000 organic likes on Facebook, and our stage and shows leveled up. It was a tandem thing for my husband, Gov Steve Solon and I! Plus, I’m so blessed because despite breastfeeding my son, he made it easy for Mommy to work on this festival.  

 

Again, after Sarbay 2014, I was overwhelmed with the photos posted about the festival’s garbage. It made me angry! I was upset because we really did have a beach and coastal clean up and Gumasa was back to its normal state in 2 days after the festival. The people who took the photo just bitterly kept spreading the news of how ruined Gumasa was, when it was absolutely untrue! I was enraged because at that time, little did I know that a little bun was in my oven!  This time I found out I was pregnant with Anna.

 
My son, Joshua has embraced Sarbay too. He would sit in our meetings and knows the video ads we put out on Facebook. He even eagerly tried making his own dubsmash of “Sarbay Forever” whisper and requested that he gets his own Sarbay Forever shirt! He is part of my inner team that inspires me to do my best for the festival. He understands that this event is important to mom, so he took interest in it too. Even my little girl, Anna, was pretty patient to let mommy do her festival duties!  

 
 

This Sarbay fest 2015 was an absolute success. We were able to get the tourists to be more responsible about their garbage and an ordinance was enforced for the environmental fee. We also had a Sarbay App made to help tourists get familiar with the festival. We had good support from Sponsors, from the Government, from organizers, concessionaires and beach goers.  But personally for me, I thank God for my husband’s trust to be part of the team and to freely work on the vision of Sarbay. Most of all, I thank my two munchkins — Joshua and Anna for letting me do my best in this festival. They were easy on mommy as long as meetings were held in the house… And they participated in some meetings too! Ohhh… How this festival has become a family affair for us! God is soooo good! We are a Sarbay family — and proud Sarbay citizens! 

What a special Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, I am superbly blessed to have my mother, Carla with me here in Sarangani. This is the first time we are spending Mother’s Day together in a long time. What makes it more special is because I too am  now a mother too.

In the past days that my mom has spent her vacation here with me and the kids… it has given us time to talk, to bond, to catch up, to laugh, to get advises, to marvel at what God is doing. She says she finds it enjoyable to watch me and how I am a patient mother to my kids. Coming from my own mom that means a lot! I know I am not a perfect mom and many times I lose it. Her words of encouragement is just what I need. Her motherly affirmation that I’m doing okay, really uplifts me! 

 Also as a daughter, I still get my morning kisses from my mom while she is here. This vacation  time allows me to hug her and tell her “I love you”. I will always be her little girl even if I am 38. I know it must be so amazingly fast how time has gone. We had a good 12 years separation when she was in the U.S.   When she came home, I was married and busy with a career. It was a tumultuous adjustment for mom coming home. Really, none of us knew what to expect… It must have been hard for her back then. That is why, my sister and I really believes this will be our year of breakthroughs for our family. This is a year of our family to make new memories, to heal past hurts and to not miss moments to express love while we still can.

  
This Mother’s Day is such a gift from God for us both. As I walked with her today and went shopping with her, I have so much thoughts of thanksgiving to the Lord. 

  
So this day, I give this honor to my mom and all the moms. This day is for us who have been called by the Lord for a higher purpose — to raise children in love and for them to grow in the knowledge and fear of the Lord! Let’s celebrate together in this higher calling. 

Happy Mother’s Day!