5 moms share their secrets to living the best life

Published March 17, 2021, 9:08 AM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

Photo from Unsplash

Moms are one of the busiest people on earth. Not only do they have to take care of their husband and children, they have this innate goodness in them to take care of everyone around them. This includes their immediate family, household help, staff, colleagues, friends, and whoever they get to interact with on a day to day basis. Sometimes, not even those they get to see every day, or even strangers who have touched their hearts. 

Because moms are naturally selfless and want the best for others, they put themselves last. This is why Pick.a.roo is supporting fellow women (and moms) this Women’s month with their #WeAreMore campaign. By featuring inspirational women from their partner brands, their goal is to remind women that it’s possible to live their best lives. How do they do it? Manila Bulletin Lifestyle asked these five working moms for tips on finding inspiration and staying true to the path they have chosen.

Crystal Gonzalez (right) with daughter Bella, husband Yves, and son Tyler

Crystal Lee Gonzalez, 37
CEO and co-founder, Pick-a-roo
Mom to 2 children and one on the way

What keeps you going? 
Have a clear purpose. Set clear life goals. Set time to reflect, rejuvenate, nourish relationships. Live a balanced life.

What is self-care for you? 
Meditate regularly. Journal. Read and learn. Be mindful and present.

Words of advice? 
Live an authentic life. Be present and mindful. Protect your inner peace. 

Mary Grace Dimacali with her husband and their 4 children. Left to right: Gabriel, Marian Ernestine, husband Hector, Chiara, Raphael, and Adrian 

Mary Grace Peckson Dimacali, 65
CEO and founder, Mary Grace Foods, Inc. 
Mom to five children

What keeps you going? 
The sense of a sacred trust and duty given to me. And by this sacred trust, I must therefore devote my heart, soul, mind and strength to the achievement and perfection of that trust and duty.  

What is self-care for you? 
Physically, by eating the right food, and getting enough exercise and sleep. Mentally, by keeping positive, doing mental aerobics such as crossword puzzles, and reading a lot. Emotionally, by being grateful for God’s many gifts, and remembering to be like a little child—laughing a lot and being simple at heart. Spiritually, by spending time in daily prayer (Holy Mass, reflecting on the Mass readings, devotions such as the Rosary, Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, and the Precious Blood Devotion), and weekly meditation with my Cenacle prayer groups. Being in a weekly Cenacle, pondering the messages of Our Lady to Her Beloved Priests also wards off despair and the loss of hope, and bolsters one’s faith that God is with us and is in charge even if it may seem bleak out there. 

Words of advice? 
Let me share from my perspective as an entrepreneur that grew the business in two and half decades beginning with bazaars. Respect the process. Learn to wait and take things one step at a time. With each step of the way, prioritize what you value most. For me, it was the upbringing of my children. Little did I realize that in prioritizing this, motherhood would one day bear much fruit. Today the foundation of family life is very strong within all of us working for the family business (myself, my husband, and my children), and this has certainly carried over into the various roles we hold in Mary Grace.

 Anne Gonzalez with daughters Adriana and Stella

Anne Arcenas-Gonzalez, 42
Co-founder and president, Terry S.A 
Mom to 2 children

What keeps you going?
In the early years, I was motivated by providing for my kids, and opening up a world of opportunities and experiences for our family. Now that the business is well established, and with one daughter done with school, I am driven by personal growth, discovering new things and pursuing creative challenges while mentoring others along the way.

What is self-care for you?
Daily strength and mobility workouts, coffee breaks with my husband, and safely enjoying the outdoors whether it be biking in the neighborhood, or a quick beach getaway on weekends. Also, constant banter with my siblings, parents, and a very tight knit group of friends whom I affectionately call The Bunch.

Words of advice?
The woman who can do and have it all is a myth. Stay true to you. Play on your strengths and try to better the parts of yourself that really matter. Things can, and will fall through the cracks, so make sure to have solid people in your life that will help you pick up the pieces along the way. 

Hannah Yulo with daughter Elle

Hannah Yulo, 37
Chief financial officer, MerryMart
Expectant mom with one child

What keeps you going?
Although I miss spending time with my daughter, being a working mom makes me cherish the time I do get to spend with her even more. Having the opportunity to continue to pursue my career goals and accomplish many small (and significant) wins at work keeps me going. Knowing that I am providing for a better life for me and my family is a big plus, but beyond that, the ability to achieve my personal goals while having a family is the most rewarding thing.

What is self-care for you?
I exercise almost daily and enjoy nice dinners with my husband at night. We spend very relaxing weekends in our weekend home and play a lot of tennis. I make sure to spend quality time with my girlfriends although this pandemic has been making that hard. We look forward to beach trips in Balesin with my best friends and their families

Words of advice?
Don’t underestimate yourself or think you deserve less than wonderful. You have to believe that you CAN have a successful career, wonderful family life, and personal fulfillment. Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to give up who you really are. Remember the woman your husband fell in love, the person your girlfriends admire, and the mother your children adore. Shine bright always with a joy that can only come from within and never forget to thank God from whom all blessings flow.

Anna Luz Vergara with family

Anna Luz Vergara, 51
General manager of Sheraton Manila Hotel, including Oori and S Kitchen
Mom to two children

What keeps you going? 
My children are my inspiration in everything that I do. My son once asked me what I do at work, and when I gave him a glimpse of what it is, he said that he likes my job. When I asked what he likes about it, his reply was because I am able to make a change in other peoples’ lives. It was such an innocent remark but clearly puts a perspective on why I do the things that I do.  When my children see the value of what I do and see me as somebody who can make an impact on others, I feel I am on the right track. 

What is self-care for you?
I spend quality time with family and friends who are close and mean a lot to me. We do super simple things with very limited resources, especially now during the lockdown, as much as we can. I find refuge knowing that I am able to spend time with people who appreciate me for the person that I am and not necessarily for what I am. It keeps my sanity intact and allows me to stay grounded and focused on the things that matter. I do a lot of “me time” too. I try to indulge in things I enjoy doing without having to feel guilty about it. These allow me to gain back the energy and the motivation I need to keep going.

Words of advice? 
There are so many exciting things that the world has to offer, not just for men but for us, women, too.  So make your voices heard, and let the right people know what you want to become. Do everything that you can to be able to reach the end that you have in mind. Stop having a glass ceiling mentality.  It was never imposed on us by anybody but just ourselves. Believe in yourself as many actually do, without us realizing it. While working hard to attain all these, enjoy life, continue to be proud of yourself and continue to be an inspiration to other people.

Aside from the campaign, Pick.a.roo is also giving away a 20-percent discount on the first order with the code WEAREMORE20 with a minimum spend of P500 and a maximum discount of P200 for this March. For more information on Pick.a.roo and our brand partners, visit www.pickaroo.com