Page 1


Volume 3 • Number 1 JUNE-AUGUST 2015

Father’s Day Dilemma







Princess Empowered


For Better, For Worse How to make love last

FamilyMatters Volume 3 • Number 1 June-August 2015

2 Homework

For Better, For Worse


4 Family Note

Merry Month of June

5 Letters

Special Section:

6 Frameable

Responsible Parenting

10 Tips for a Great School Year

22 The New Ideological Colonizers

Youth Talk

25 Nature’s Way

Force of Habit, 8 Swipe Left, Swipe Right, 11 Sarah Geronimo: A Princess Empowered, 14 A Doctor in the Barrio, 17 Playing Games, 19

27 Where to Draw the Line

31 Relating

Forgiving the Flawed Father

33 Love in Action

Changing Lives to Live Pure

36 Developing The Gifted Child

39 Preventing



Dangers of Doping

42 Bonding

The Fellowship of the Lord


44 Balancing

When She Earns More

47 Eating

A Party for Pop!



For better, For worse The secret to good parenting is a good marriage, husband admit Parents andwhere educators haveand thewife moral taskthat of love could fade over ti me, but strive together steering young people toward healthy gender and tosexual prevent this, in turnaccording teaching to their development thechildren holy how they can nurture their future relationships. plan of our Creator.

By Fr. Bernard P. Nolasco, SDB

2 FamilyMatters


When I was still assigned in

one of our Don Bosco schools as head of pastoral affairs, I made it a point to attend the formation conferences and seminars for parents that were organized almost every quarter by the school’s parents’ association. Fr. Dennis Paez, a Salesian priest who is known for his family ministry programs, lectures, and seminars, was

often the resource speaker for this quarterly parents’ formation in our different Don Bosco schools. In his seminar on “Fool-Proof Parenting,” he told the participants that there are ten effective rules to parenting. As soon as he mentioned this, I observed that almost everybody in the auditorium, and that included me, tried to get any available writing material in order to

write down these ten effective rules so as not to forget them and, eventually, so as to apply them ASAP. For the parents, I observed that these rules are what they need to cope with the demands of parenting especially with their growing teens. For my part, I honestly need such rules for the many parents who come to my office to seek my advice or counsel concerning their difficulties in handling their children. I saw that everybody was eagerly waiting for Fr. Dennis to reveal these ten rules. My small notebook and pen were ready. I noticed that those who did not have writing materials were holding their smart phones or tablets, ready to take pictures of the PowerPoint slides that Fr. Dennis would project. He stated the first rule: LOVE YOUR SPOUSE. Without elaborating, he proceeded with the second rule: LOVE YOUR SPOUSE. He then proceeded to give the third rule: LOVE YOUR SPOUSE. The participants were already smiling, beginning to feel that it would go on and on until the tenth rule. They all got it correct. Fr. Dennis affirmed: “Yes, until the tenth rule, it is LOVE YOUR SPOUSE.” And this,” he continued, “applies regardless of whether couples are living together, separated, annulled, or dead.” Sadly, in our lives, the most basic things are those that we often ignore. One of the main reasons for this is that we get used to seeing them almost every day. We will just recognize their worth and value once they are gone or already in bad shape. This holds true with what

“Love your spouse. And this applies regardless of whether couples are living together, separated, annulled, or dead.” we have, what we do, where we are, and even with who we are with. Marital relationships are not spared from this tendency. What seems to be a sweet love story that is destined to last for a lifetime can become sour, bitter, and even bland when couples begin to ignore or take for granted each other’s feelings, needs, presence. Like an attack by termites, this disintegration of relationships between couples begins with little and petty things. And once this happens, the appetite for relationship suffers. It will surely affect everything and everybody around them…their family, first and foremost. Whenever I prepare couples for marriage, I always let them realize and accept the fact that their love for each other can dwindle over time. Life goes on after marriage. People continue to grow and change. Situations, concerns, and circumstances develop either for the best or for the worst. As soon as couples

accept the fact that their love for each other will go with the flow of constant change with the passing of time, the better they can plan the necessary steps to take so that these changes will affect their relationship positively. One big solid step they need to take consciously is to mutually grow in their love for each other every day. This is something they have to plan well especially when both heads are cool. They have to be totally honest with each other in admitting their own weaknesses and limitations as well as their strengths and capacities. They need to agree on what strength to use if negative situations occur due to one or the other’s weakness. I always make the couple realize that they are a team. In the game called life, they must make great strategies to win as a team. They must never allow competition to develop between them. They must always support each other especially when the game gets tougher and the challenges become bigger. Walang iwanan. Walang sisihan. Walang pagalingan. Hindi pwedeng ikaw at ako. Dapat laging tayo. This is actually the meaning behind the words of the marriage vows: for better, for worse, for richer and for poorer; in sickness and in health…until death do us part. The couple must feel secure that they can depend on each other in good and in bad times. They must both feel the success or the failure of each one as their success or their failure. Their love for each other must endure all things…and that includes them. This enduring love that is mutually shared is the best treasure every married couple must aim to possess for the rest of their married life. It is priceless. It is the best treasure that parents can give to their children to inspire them to value the gift of family. It is the best treasure that can let any family enjoy a home that is built on a solid and massive foundation which no amount of evil forces can destroy. If, indeed, the best things in life are free, then LOVING YOUR SPOUSE is certainly THE BEST…and it is totally FREE! JUNE - AUGUST 2015



Family Note


Merry month of June


bookmark Cut out and paste on a cardboard,

he month of June signifies many things. For one, it’s the start of a spanking new school year once more. Like most students everywhere, you are probably proud of how school-ready you are—uniforms neatly ironed and school bags filled with clean notebooks, new books, sharpened pencils, and other school essentials. But how ready are you for your lessons? If you’re not, don’t worry! Family Matters has you covered. On page 6, Fr. Drans shares 10 tips for turning this school year into your shiniest academic moment yet. Cut out the page and paste it somewhere in your study area where you can look at it whenever you need inspiration. And on page 8, we let you in on the secret to easier, efficient studying. Hint: It’s got something to do with effective study habits and a customized study plan. June is also Daddy’s special month, with Father’s Day falling on June 21 this year. But while most families will be honoring their daddies, some children don’t feel like celebrating. That’s because their own fathers may have been less than ideal, to the point of being a downright “bad” parent to them while they were growing up. Still, now is a good time to think about improving your damaged fatherchild relationship, perhaps even taking a step toward forgiveness and reconciliation. In “Forgiving the Flawed Father” on page 31, we show why it can benefit you to let go of the hurts of the past to be able to move forward. And as with the previous issue, we also prepared a special section, this time around focusing on responsible parenting. We bring up topics intended to open the eyes of parents to current efforts to destroy the family by liberalizing and broadening the scope of marriage. We also underscore the importance of teaching our children to put up healthy boundaries against those who will try to undermine their values and principles. This special section starts on page 22, and we hope that after you read through it, we succeed in making you accept the challenge to repulse destructive ideas that devalue the vision of the traditional family that God intended all along. There’s many more in the pages ahead though. In fact, in every issue, we strive to face squarely the various points that are relevant to promoting a happy, close-knit, and God-centered Filipino family. Feel free to rummage through; our fervent wish is that every reader picks up something worthwhile in every page. Happy reading!

4 FamilyMatters



HE DIDN’T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE; HE LIVED, AND LET ME WATCH HIM DO IT. - Clarence Budington Kelland on his father

Photo by Jun Pinzon

Romelda C. Ascutia, Editor E-mail:

punch a hole, and put a ribbon


FamilyMatters Volume 3 • Number 1 June-August 2015 PUBLISHER Don Bosco Press, Inc. ADVISER Fr. Bernard P. Nolasco, SDB EDITOR Romelda C. Ascutia ART DIRECTOR Aurie Anne Alcantara COLUMNIST Couples for Christ Foundation CONTRIBUTORS Maridol Rañoa-Bismark Aileen Carreon Anna Cosio Rolando C. delos Reyes II Excel V. Dyquiangco Erlinda Esguerra Cecilia Esperanza Ruth Manimtim-Floresca Annabellie Gruenberg Stephanie Mayo AJ Perez Ross Valentin, M.D. PHOTOS AND STUDIO DBPI-Multimedia Section DBPI-MMS PHOTOGRAPHER Raymond S. Mamaril PRODUCTION MANAGER Early Macabales CIRCULATION Don Bosco Press, Inc. LEGAL COUNSEL Sapalo Velez Bundang & Bulilan Law Offices PRINTER Family Matters is a quarterly magazine published by Don Bosco Press, Inc. Antonio Arnaiz corner Chino Roces Avenues P.O. Box 1601 MCPO, 1223 Makati City Philippines All rights reserved © 2015 by DON BOSCO PRESS, INC. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission from the publisher. Tell us what you think! Your news and views are welcome. E-mail us at All submissions become the property of FamilyMatters and will not be returned. Letters may be edited, and full names will be published unless otherwise specified by the sender.

Gender confusion

I congratulate Family Matters on your very interesting March-May issue, especially your special section on gender. I believe it’s the perfect time to highlight misconceptions about sexual identity, and correct these misleading and ultimately dangerous ideas about gender orientation that are being pressed into developing and moldable young minds. I agree, too, on the importance of parental role modeling to guide our children on the proper way to act, based on their gender and on the plans of God. Only by abiding by His admonition that man is made for woman and woman for man can we ensure the continuation of mankind through the traditional family consisting of a father, a mother, and the children born of that loving union.

Burt Benedicto

I appreciated the frank, enlightening talk on keeping your chastity (“A Matter of Choice,” March-May 2015). Let’s have similar essays that show young people like me how your decisions today can affect your tomorrow. Danny

Only truth prevails

I’ve always enjoyed reading your magazine because it presents themes that not many parenting or youth magazines would take up. And even if they do, they will take a neutral stand or hide behind an attitude of political correctness so as not to court controversy. Or else, they will strive to appear modern and trendsetting by adopting a liberal attitude that actually just rides on current popular thinking, no matter how dubious. So I find your special section on sexual disorientation (March-May issue) admirable in that it dares to take an unpopular viewpoint on a controversial issue, one that runs counter to “faddish” beliefs that just as quickly fade. This reminds us that, in the end, only what is true, abiding, and timeless endures—and that is the teachings of the Lord.

Mila Ignacio

No longer drowsy Thank you for your in-depth article on sleep (“Snooze Clues,” March-May 2015), which truly made a deep impact on me. After reading it, I began to impose a big change on my children’s sleeping habits for the sake of their health. To be honest, I used to be a bit lenient when it came to my two teenagers’ bedtime hours. But when I read how constant lack of sleep adversely affects a child’s physical, mental, and social development, I became stricter with them, and they have accepted my new nighttime rule with only initial resistance. Now, I’m happy to say that their earlier sleeping schedule has led to a visible improvement in their alertness and behavior.

Millette Petilla





10Great Tips for a School Year 1.

Evaluate your performance in the previous school year. See where your strengths and weaknesses were, where you progressed and regressed. No one can better evaluate you than yourself. Beware of complacency. 2. Set your objectives for the new school year. Objectives must not be more than four, must be attainable, and must be measureable. Aim to reach your objectives. Beware of indifference. 3. Choose well your extracurricular clubs. They must help you improve your overall performance in school and never the opposite. Beware of dissipation. 4. Go for academic excellence. It does not automatically mean becoming an outstanding student. It only means making the most of your capacity and gift in fulfilling your scholastic duties. Beware of mediocrity. 5. Punctually keep and meet all school deadlines. When given a task, make it always a point to finish it at least a week before the set date of submission. Beware of procrastination. 6. Be wise in choosing your circle of friends. Without judging anyone, allow wisdom to teach you that not

6 FamilyMatters


all of your school companions are good influence. Be a good influence yourself. Beware of bad company. 7. Learn to ask questions and to seek necessary assistance from your teachers or classmates. Be ready also to give the necessary and proper assistance when asked. Beware of pride. 8. Respect your elders in school as you respect your elders at home. They may be your teachers, school maintenance personnel, or anyone who is older than you. Beware of arrogance. 9. Be responsible in keeping your things, in budgeting your school allowance, and in informing your parents about all school announcements and correspondence. Always ask permission from your elders before committing yourself to any activity inside and outside the school. Beware of dishonesty. 10. Keep guard over your spiritual and moral values. Life’s real treasures are those that cannot be bought, cannot be stolen, cannot be spoiled unless you allow it. Avoid doing things that you will regret for the rest of your life. Beware of compromises.



1815 1815 (Aug16) 16)Birth Birth (Aug atBecchi, Becchi, at Castelnuovo Castelnuovo

1835 1835 Entranceininthe the Entrance Seminaryof of Seminary Chieri Chieri

1817 1817

1824 1824

1826 1826

1841 1841

1844 1844

Chaplainof of Chaplain theRefuge Refuge the foundedby by founded (Nov)Entrance Entranceininthe the Juliet (Nov) JulietFrances Frances ConvittoEcclesiastico Ecclesiastico Convitto Colbertde de Colbert forfurther furtherformation formation Maulévrier, for Maulévrier,the the pastoralministry ministry marchioness ininpastoral marchionessof of Barolo Barolo (Dec)Beginning Beginningof of (Dec) Oratoryafter aftermeeting meeting Oratory BartholomewGarelli Garelli Bartholomew (Jun5) 5)Ordination Ordinationinin (Jun Turin Turin

1854 1854

Publicationof ofthe the Publication CatholicReadings Readings Catholic

Beginningof ofthe the Beginning bookbindingshop shop bookbinding

Beginningof ofthe the Beginning shoemakingand and shoemaking tailoringshops shops tailoring

DominicSavio’s Savio’s Dominic entranceininthe the entrance Oratory Oratory

1830 1830

1845 1845

1846 1846

1849 1849

(May-Mar1846) 1846) (May-Mar WanderingOratory Oratory Wandering

EasterSunday Sunday ((Easter ofApr) Apr)Settling Settling of ofOratory Oratoryat atthe the of PinardiShed Shed Pinardi

Openingof of Opening theGuardian Guardian the AngelsOratory Oratory Angels

DonBosco Boscosuffers suffers Don seriousillness illness serious Arrivalof ofhis his Arrival mother,Mamma Mamma mother, Margaret,at atthe the Margaret, Oratory Oratory

1855 1855

1856 1856

1863 1863

1864 1864

Beginningof ofthe the Beginning printingpress pressshop shop printing

Beginning Beginning ofthe themetal metal of worksshop shop works

school 11 school outside outside Valdocco: Valdocco: Mirabello Mirabello Seminary Seminary

Institutionof of Institution theCollegio Collegioat at the Lanzo Lanzo

1875 1875

Openingto tothe the Approvalof of Opening Approval Missions— Missions— theSalesian Salesian the Salesianssent sent Constitutions Salesians Constitutions toArgentina, Argentina, to fromRome Rome from Uruguay, Uruguay, France,Spain Spain France, andEngland England and

1850 1850

1852 1852 Nominated Nominated directorof of director threeOratories Oratories three byArchbishop Archbishop by LouisFransoni Fransoni Louis ofTurin Turin of

1857 1857

1859 1859

1860 1860

1858 1858

Institutionof of the the (Apr16) 16)11 Establishmentof of Beginning Institution (Apr Beginningof ofthe the Establishment carpentryshop shop BlessedSacrament Sacrament carpentry Blessed tripto toRome Rome theGrammarGrammartrip the Sodality(for (for Sodality foraaproject project school(1 (1ststLevel) Level) Establishment for school Establishmentof ofthe the worship)and and worship) ofaareligious religious atthe theOratory Oratory Grammar-school of at Grammar-school(2 (2ndnd Knightsof of Knights congregationto to and33rdrdLevels) Levels) congregation and theAltar Altar(for (for the securethe thefuture future secure Institutionof of Institution altarservers) servers) altar ofthe theOratories Oratories of theImmaculate Immaculate the byGiuseppe Giuseppe by hefounded founded he ConceptionSodality Sodality Conception Bongiovanni, Bongiovanni, (groupfor forapostolic apostolic (group oneof ofSavio’s Savio’s one actionand andpeer peer action companionswho who ministry)by byDominic Dominic companions ministry) waslater laterordained ordained was Savio Savio


Studentof of Student humanitiesand and humanities rhetoricsinin rhetorics Chieri Chieri

Creationof of Creation theWorkers Workers the Clubor orMutual Mutual Club AidSociety Societyfor for Aid youngboys boys young workingininTurin Turin working


1862 1862

1874 1874

Publicationof of Publication TheFriend Friendof of The Youthand andThe The Youth Teacherof ofthe the Teacher People People

1831 1831

Elementary Elementary studiesinin studies Castelnuovo Castelnuovo

Eveningschool schoolfor for Evening reading,writing writing reading, andarithmetic arithmetic and

1861 1861

Institutionof ofthe the Institution Daughtersof ofMary Mary Daughters Helpof ofChristians Christians Help

1829 1829

Youngworker workerat at Student Studentof ofItalian Italian Firstform formof of First FirstHoly HolyCommunion Communion Young (May11) 11)Death Deathof ofhis his First (May theMoglia Mogliafarm farm and andLatin Latinunder under educationunder under the father,Francis FrancisLouis Louis education father, theauspices auspicesof of Fr. JosephLacqua Lacqua the Fr. Joseph Bosco Bosco Fr.John JohnMelchior Melchior atCapriglio Capriglio Fr. at Calosso Calosso

1853 1853

1872 1872

1828 1828

Decretum Decretum Laudisfrom from Laudis Rome,declaring declaring Rome, theSalesian Salesian the Societyas asaa Society Congregationof of Congregation PontificalRight Right Pontifical

1876 1876

1865 1865

priest aapriest

1868 1868

1869 1869

Establishment Establishment ofthe theGrammarGrammarof school(4(4thth&&55thth school Levels)ininthe the Levels) Oratory Oratory

Professionof of Profession Salesian 11ststSalesian Brother Brother

Institutionof of Institution theSalesian Salesian the Order––11stst Order professions with professions with 18members members 18

1870 1870

1871 1871

Publicationof of Consecration Approvalof ofthe the Foundation Consecrationof of Approval Foundationof of Publication Foundation Foundation theLibrary Libraryof of the SalesianSociety Society the theBasilica Basilicaof of Salesian theCollegioCollegiothe ofschools schools of LatinAuthors Authors Mary fromRome Rome MaryHelp Helpof of Convittoinin Latin atMarassi Marassi from Convitto at Christians Alassio (Genoa)and andat at Christians Alassio (Genoa) Sampierdarena Sampierdarena Publicationof of Publication theLibrary Libraryof of the ItalianYouth Youth Italian

1877 1877

1888 1888

(Jan31) 31) Death Death Institutionof of Salesian (Jan Institution 11 Salesian Turin theSalesian Salesian General GeneralChapter Chapter ininTurin the Cooperators (1880,1883, 1883, Cooperators (1880, 1886) 1886) stst

1907 1907

1929 1929

1934 1934

(June2) 2) (July24) 24) (April1) 1) (June (July (April Beatificationby by Canonization Proclamation Beatification Canonization Proclamation PopePius PiusXIXI as“venerable” “venerable” Pope byPope PopePius PiusXIXI as by byPope PopePius PiusXX by JUNE - AUGUST 2015




Force of habit Setting up and sticking to an organized study schedule gives you the discipline and concentration to complete your tasks with energy and, yes, even enthusiasm! BY AILEEN CARREON

Do you find yourself constantly

cramming? If you do, chances are you don’t have an effective study routine. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have to resort to staying up late the night before an exam busting your brains trying to memorize large amounts of information in a short time. The best way to study is to develop effective habits that make the endeavour easier and almost automatic. This won’t just have a positive effect on your grades and school performance, it is also the best way to learn. With no effective study strategy, doing well in school can be a struggle. It may take a lot of time and effort just to get started on an assignment or focus on reviewing the day’s lessons.

8 FamilyMatters


A study routine gives you the focus needed when you’re not particularly feeling inspired or your energy level is low.

“Good study habits help students with task management and time management. If they are able to take good notes, create to-do lists and have a regular daily schedule to do their schoolwork first before playing, then it makes it easier for them to finish their work,” explains Mary Joy Canon-Abaquin, Ed.M., founding directress of Multiple Intelligence International School. In addition, a study routine gives you the focus needed when you’re not particularly feeling inspired or your energy level is low. “Students need grit or the perseverance to do a task which is developed through good study habits and routines. These help students acquire the self-discipline and internal

Improving your learning method Here’s a little exercise to discover your approach to studying. Choose the responses that apply to you.


My study habits are: (1) good (2) fair (3) poor


For every hour in class, I study: (1) a little (2) one hour (3) two hours (4) more than two hours.


I have an organized plan and schedule for study: (1) true (2) false


I have a quiet place in which I study: (1) true (2) false


I usually approach studying with a positive attitude: (1) true (2) false

From your answers above, write down the ways you can improve your study habits.

get distracted by television or social media while they are studying,” advises Abaquin. In choosing your study zone, make sure the place has sufficient lighting. You will also need space like a big desk on which to spread out your textbooks, supplies, research, materials, and other study essentials. Abaquin adds, “A homework kit composed of school supplies should be ready so that students have ready access to materials that they may need. Students should also have access to tools for research, such as books or the Internet, depending on the age of the student, to be able to consistently do their work well.” Mom to two daughters aged 17 and 14, Abaquin walks the talk. “I have taught them when they were younger to do task

lists and have taught them to organize their notes. We have a rule in our house that they need to do their work first before they watch television or do social networking with their friends. They both have their respective study areas.” Angelique Guillermo-Seva, a mother to two daughters, likewise encourages her children to practice good study habits. “I remind them to do so, so that they can ensure that all their homework is done and also so they can obtain order when they study. Learning also becomes easier because the routines eventually become second nature to them.” Angelique reveals that her daughters consider their study routines already part of their everyday lives. They don’t see their routines as burdensome and even enjoy these, especially when they receive awards in school.

“Students need grit or the perseverance to do a task which is developed through good study habits and routines.”

motivation to do their work with conscientiousness and excellence,” says Abaquin.

What works for you?

In developing your own system for learning, first determine what approach and setup work for you. “Study habits and routines are established through a set time, place, and task,” shares Abaquin. “Come up with a to-do list.” “There should be a conducive study space that is assigned free of distractions. There should be clear rules about using gadgets or technology during the time students are studying. Some students





“It is our turn to do our responsibility, to study well, for our own sake and for the sake of our parents and families.”

Creating a study plan The best study plan has these characteristics.

1. Simple. It is uncomplicated. 2. Specific. It states what you’re going to do and where, when, and 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

how you’re going to do it. Positive. It states what you’re going to do (not what you’re going to stop doing). Repetitive. It includes something you can repeat frequently. Independent. It is based on you doing the work; it doesn’t depend on somebody else. Immediate. It can be started soon, usually within 24 hours. Committed. A good plan includes “I will” statements.

Write down your study plan. Why? Because when you write something, you’re more likely to do it. “My study habits and routines are very effective because I get to be motivated better to study and not to do other things which I am not supposed to do. Because of the routines, I get higher and better grades,” says Angelique’s 12-year-old daughter Frances. For years now, the sixth grader has been following a schedule that works specifically for her. “When I have quizzes and assignments, I finish my assignments first then study with the remaining time I have. I then wake up early the next day to study for the quiz. Somehow, this

10 FamilyMatters


works for me. I avoid distractions like the television and computer.” Frances tries to keep in mind the good results from studying. “The routine helps me because it makes me have the feeling that I should go to school and study as a student, because I realize that many work hard so that we could study. It is our turn to do our responsibility, to study well, for our own sake and for the sake of our parents and families.”

Mary Joy Canon-Abaquin founded and heads the Multiple Intelligence International School, an educational center in Quezon City for students from preschool to high school that advocates innovative practice and reform in education. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the Nova Southeastern University in Florida, U.S.A.


How can we protect our children from online vultures, especially those circling dating sites? BY STEPHANIE MAYO

Illustration by Haidee Afable

Swipe left, swip e rig ht Everything you need is now practically at your fingertips, just a touch or a swipe away. And that includes meeting someone new. Whether you are interested in just friendship, short- or long-term dating, or even marriage, these days there is a quick and easy way to find someone: through social media and even through dating sites, now catching the imagination of young romance seekers. Using technology to meet new friends or find romantic prospects is a growing trend. But for parents, this is also a potential




Trending Networking and dating sites are not dangerous per se. In fact, these can be a fun way to widen your social circle, but it’s how we use them that makes the difference.

The good...

The trend in online dating began with dating websites like eHarmony, Match. com, and, with some of these websites designed by clinical psychologists and relationship and marriage experts to help single men and women find compatible partners more easily. Some of these so-called matches have turned out to be successful, too. “Although the study did not determine why relationships that started online were more successful, the reasons

“With constant supervision, the likelihood of an online secret life to flourish is significantly lowered, or even eliminated.”

may include the strong motivations of online daters, the availability of advance screening and the sheer volume of opportunities online,” says William Harms, in his article “Meeting Online Leads to Happier, More Enduring Marriages” on His article reports about the findings of a recent research entitled “Marital Satisfaction and Breakups Differ Across Online and Offline Meeting Venues,” published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “One in three Americans now meet their spouses online, and those marriages are more satisfying and less likely to end in divorce than those that begin in traditional, offline venues,” writes Ashley Reich, the author of “Online

Parents speak up

Family Matters asked parents how they protect their tweens and teenagers from the dangers of social media and dating sites: “I all to be v ow acquaint an er netwo y careful ab ces but I’ve out wh rks. Th told th e ot em y locatio n serv all have priv hey add to t ice he at shown . I keep s are off, an e accounts— ir d frien track o on the ds li m ft with w frequently. heir accoun sts are not ts and I try to hat is h check ke ap Our co mpute pening wit ep up-to-da h them te r is in t is not he fam much as well ch ily . Never theles ance for the room so th ere s m , it’s no [gadg t o b ee t ets] bu t rathe about hiding xposed. the da r gettin these ngers g th them to und - Maria ey could fa erstan ce.” Louisa d Mae M and a ercado, mo 13-ye ther t a o on art r-old and b a 14ofbein lo gamo gger

12 FamilyMatters


“I am responsible for making their accounts on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. I have their password, so that every time they make a change, I know about it. I can monitor because their Yahoo account is also connected to my Yahoo address. All are synched.” - A mother to teenagers who prefers to be anonymous

les use ru rules I Isseetthhoousneestyy d n a sbandd and e of hoonest ““MMyyhhuusbeamn thheevvaalulue oref ahteddaa ave ccreate ordach thhem t aannddteteachietncee. . WWeehhavaerate ppaasssswworded nc ep rate on ouurr aannddoobbeduient aannddaassepafo s o y oount e c nt rruus onat th c u a o ’ s c c c kkidids’ ac d userraaccountefositessth t thedying a h t e e s e s it t o lo s u tec ted blockkth se wn aadindg ppro ee bloc thdoisalloowwddoownrlo roteocp W . ovideed ll t W d ddeesskktop.ot visititaannd distaered. .WWeepprovid d is n v isiseenntere ow maannyy sshhoouuldld npoatsswoord aa passw rwdhennaannddhhowpumter,r, s s le n s uunles le as to he e coommpute or myy c du as toacwcessssth e m aasscchheedule e thees whheennmme or n c a c c a y n e a w h im c t t s y s e e r e s o e tim hhoouurs thuring th of an d ing thos other of an mmoosstly tly duisr aroouunndd.”.”sol Razzoo, ,aammo1t-hyeearar-ro-oldld nd ar Miriraasol Raand aann111-ye hhuussbbaand is M 188- - and 1

Dating Leads to Higher Marriage Satisfaction, Lower Divorce Rates: Study,” published on The Huffington Post, citing the same paper. Online dating websites spawned numerous dating apps for both iOs and Android users, which Filipinos are now enjoying, like the popular Tinder, and the Pinoy-made Paktor. These apps have age restrictions. For Tinder, users under 13 cannot sign up. Teens 13 to 17 years of age can sign up, but can only view users within the same age range. Adults, 18 or over, can only view users that are 18 or over.

“We have had cases where predators were using online dating or online hook-up type websites to meet victims and to have them meet them in private locations and attack them.”

...and the bad

But the dangers are all too real, as we have seen from news reports of youngsters who have been victimized by their online dates. A report titled “Consumer Alert: Dating App’s Dangers,” posted on, warns of predators that lurk behind dating apps and of the serious crimes that have been linked to these unscrupulous people. “The bad guys can create a false profile and instantly have contact with the type of person that they want to be a predator towards,” the report quotes Sgt. Mark Davis, a cybercrime specialist. Davis says that it is especially dangerous for teens who lie about their age in order to get around age restrictions. On the flip side, bad guys can also lie in order to use apps that specifically cater to teens. “I created a profile as a teenager and immediately, I’m getting hit up by people wanting to talk to me,” says Davis.” We have had cases where predators were using online dating or online hook-up type websites to meet victims and to have them meet them in private locations and attack them. We had, several years ago, a subject who

completed multiple rapes that way.” Mark Madrona, 24, a college instructor, online journalist, social media professional, and owner of The Filipino Scribe website, says of the dark side of these apps, “Some use photos of other people, while others lie about their age, educational background, and even their gender!”

A secret life online

Dr. Jaymee Q. Leonen, a psychologist for MLAC Institute for Psychosocial Services, Inc. and a part-time professor at DLSUManila, gives parents some useful tips for keeping their child out of danger. “It’s important to monitor your children, maybe limit the number of hours they can go online, and ask about their online interactions, the people they meet and the nature of their conversations. With constant supervision, the likelihood of an online secret life to flourish is significantly lowered, or even eliminated.” She says one of the red flags of a secret life online is excessive time spent online, like staying up late chatting in front of the computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Leonen also advises parents to maintain an open and accepting relationship with their child. “Depending on the child’s age, it’s important for the parents to explain proper usage of the Internet and also its possible dangers.” For school-age children, Leonen suggests that parents supervise the use of social networking sites, either by sharing passwords or at least being a friend in your child’s account. For teenagers, this may be a little harder because they might want to assert their independence. With kids around this age, “it’s important to ask them regularly about how they are and to ask them every now and then regarding their online activities,” the psychologist continues. She also has words of wisdom for tweens and teens seeking online relationships out of loneliness: “Loneliness is usually not cured by new connections with new friends. It’s more of a reconnection with yourself and the people and things you love.”





Sarah Geronimo:

A princess empowered

The youth’s icon talks about the importance of woman empowerment and believing in yourself. BY MARIDOL RANOA-BISMARK

14 FamilyMatters


People—especially young women—love Sarah Geronimo because

she’s a fine example of success despite the odds. When she was still a student, Sarah used to hunt for coins in the corners of her humble home in Sta. Cruz, Manila so she could go to school. She also recalls often presenting a promissory note to the school cashier so she could continue her studies. Sarah is a modern Cinderella and is not afraid to admit it. And fans love her all the more for this. Here’s someone who opens up her life to them—warts and all. Here’s someone who was like them and continues to be like them by aiming high, not just for herself, but for her loved ones.

“You don’t have to be a mestiza or to be perfect to become a princess. Every girl is a princess inside.” Her adoring public knows Sarah is the family breadwinner. They also know how others accuse her mother, the controversial Mommy Divine, of a number of things.

Stage mother issues

Last year, her critics accused Mommy Divine of being a control freak for firing Sarah’s makeup artist and fashion stylist because of their closeness to her daughter’s ex-boyfriend Gerald Anderson. Before Sarah’s current boyfriend, Matteo Guidicelli, came along, others feared Sarah wouldn’t be able to enjoy her life because Mommy Divine “overprotected” her from suitors. But Sarah always comes to her mom’s defense because she knows Mommy Divine means well. Her love for her mom has endeared Sarah all the more to the public, which has rewarded her with undying loyalty. Juan and Juana dela Cruz watch Sarah’s movies, read articles about her,

go to her concerts, buy the products she endorses. Her home studio, which has transformed her from a shy but talented singer into a confident young woman, has struck gold with Sarah. Viva and Sarah’s fans and family are not the only ones jumping for joy. International entertainment company Disney is, too. It chose Sarah as one of 12 Asian stars featured in its glossy 2015 calendar. Sarah, along with Rachelle Ann Go, is all dolled up as a Disney princess in the calendar. Disney went a step further by tapping Sarah to sing “The Glow” in a music video featuring scenes from the giant company’s favorite films (e.g., worldwide hits “Frozen,” “Aladdin,” and “Mulan,” among others). But Sarah knows not everybody will

“You can pursue your dreams on your own without depending on others.”




Youth-Starring applaud her every move. She knows some people find her non-mestiza features unfit to represent Rapunzel in the calendar. Instead of letting this bring her down, Sarah explains the logic behind the move. Disney, she says, wants to tap a wider audience—the Asian market. So it chose Asian celebrities, not blondes or redheads, to play its well-loved princesses. The difference is not just physical. It is, more importantly, psychological and even cultural.

As Sarah says, “You don’t have to be a mestiza or to be perfect to become a princess. Every girl is a princess inside.” She explains that a princess’s life is not just for the royalty, and any woman can find her knight in shining armor. All she needs is belief in herself. “You can pursue your dreams on your own without depending on others. Yes, others can guide or support you. But in the end, you are responsible for yourself. It should come from you.” The outspokenness shows a different Sarah, someone who, at 26, knows

“Being with your loved ones is something to be thankful for.”

Empowering Asian women

Disney’s move is a nod to the power of Asian women to shine, not just on their own turf, but all over the world. It’s a recognition that empowerment doesn’t belong only to the fair-skinned. It belongs to any woman self-confident and capable enough to make it on her own.

16 FamilyMatters


herself and is happy with what she sees. Matteo is understandably proud of her. When Sarah finally ended speculations about her and Matteo by admitting on national television that they’re in love, the actor-athlete felt happy his girlfriend can stand up for what she believes in. But sorry, folks. That’s all Sarah and Matteo are willing to reveal for

now. They refuse to give details about their relationship—how they discovered they’re in love, when it all started, etc. It’s enough that Sarah admits to calling Matteo “Mahal.” The right to choose what to say and what not to say is part of Sarah’s decision to take fuller control of her life. She admits finding it hard to balance career and personal life, but she knows it’s her responsibility to do so.

“Let it go!”

Yes, Sarah is public property. But she knows she must also keep important parts of herself private. So she just flashes a good-natured smile or lets out a hearty laugh when a reporter’s questions start getting too personal for comfort. “We have to believe that we can do it. It’s part of growing up and becoming a woman,” she says, advising other young women to do the same. “All of us are princesses. We are children of God. Sometimes, we are trapped by our insecurities and fears,” she says, adding that women have to learn to let go of these self-doubts. Sarah herself is a classic example of someone who has let go of those fears. She has conquered her fear of writing songs to come up with her first song, “Make Me Yours,” which she included in her album, “Expressions.” She risked being misunderstood when she opened up about her love life. Before she admitted to her relationship with Matteo, the couple was careful about being seen out together watching a movie, or just going to a park. Now, Sarah and Matteo are discovering the joy of being seen in public without having to explain anything. Because of this, the ever-busy Sarah has realized all the more the value of setting aside time for a loved one. “Being with your loved ones is something to be thankful for.” No matter what others say, Sarah has always drawn strength from her loved ones. They are her comfort zone in the intrigue-filled world of showbiz, the ones who keep her feet firmly planted on the ground.

Youth-Choosing Dr. Medina checking on a young patient.

A doctor in the barrio

Off for a remote barangay visit with rural health workers.

This physician undertakes initiatives that will help make access to health services a basic human right, not a luxury. BY EXCEL V. DYQUIANGCO

The desire to serve was already

lodged in the heart of Dr. Paolo Medina at an early age. Initially Medina wanted to become an educator, but in his high school years, a guidance counselor suggested he take up a different field— medicine. “It was something new to me, but at the same time, it is a course where I also have a chance to serve my fellow countrymen,” Medina says. So he applied for the Intermed Program at the UP College of Medicine, and was elated when he passed. In the seven years of studying Medicine he enjoyed the learning process and appreciated particularly the university’s focus on “community-oriented medical education directed to the underserved.” In other words, he says, “the school wanted to produce products who will serve their countrymen. And I believe that as leaders, we need to bring that out in the open and also apply it to the impoverished parts of the community.”

His preparation came in the form of exposure to rural communities in San Juan, Batangas and Puerto Princesa, Palawan while he was still studying. After graduation, he was hired as a research assistant by one of his professors. Then an opportunity came up to serve on Alabat Island in Quezon Province, and he took it despite his mother’s opposition. She feared for his safety and worried over the distance from the urban center. Says Medina, “I chose Quezon because as compared to some other far-flung provinces this was relatively close to the city.”

experience what it is like to work with limited resources and inadequate facilities. During a community fiesta, a man suffered a heart attack and with the people’s help, Medina brought him by boat to the next nearest island for treatment. Unfortunately, the man eventually died.

Island emergencies

In his first two months in the area, he got to

Dr. Medina posed for this group shot during his stay in Quezon province last year.




Youth-Choosing In another incident, a woman who was five months pregnant developed a cyst in one of her ovaries. “Because she didn’t have any resources to undergo any check-up, we couldn’t discover what her sickness was,” he says. At around 11 in the evening, the patient began having breathing difficulties. Medina examined her and found that one of her lungs was blocked, which could result in sudden death. So at one in the morning, they had to look for a boat to row her across to the other island for treatment. After minutes of searching, they found a small one, and he and his nurse, along with the patient’s husband, helped to get the woman on board. “Of course at this point you’d not only think about the patient but you’d also come to terms about who’d pay for the cost of the boat, too,” he says. The ride was uneventful but somewhat scary since they only had a flashlight to show the way, along with the feeble beam from the moon and the stars. “Of course I also had my own fears such as the boat might capsize and we could drown,” Medina admits. “But all of those fears were overridden by my desire to help.” This time, his patient survived. In 2012, the doctor organized an immersion program for some students of medicine so they could experience working in a distant community. On their first night, patients were suddenly coming in droves—and the only one on duty during that time was one of the students, who had to unexpectedly deliver the baby of a pregnant woman.

“Of course I also had my own fears such as the boat might capsize and we could drown. But all of those fears were overridden by my desire to help.”


Small steps

With this in mind, he implemented two programs during his stay. One was to hold community meetings and organizations to find solutions to medical problems. These included weekly meetings at the municipal health office and quarterly meetings with the mayor. The other was, since he went back to his own home every weekend, he devised a way to review his patient’s “This immersion and experience is cases using tele-medicine. The nurses necessary so that these students would took pictures of the patients to send to have an appreciation of what it is like to him and in turn, he issued his findings. work here,” he says. “This makes the system more efficient in On their last night in Quezon, another a way, and your patients don’t have to pregnant woman gave birth, but along spend much on anything,” he says. with the baby came out a mound of flesh When it comes to spending for his which Paolo discovered later on was patients since they lack money, as much actually one of her ovaries, unexpectedly as possible Medina says he does not bursting out of her body. want to use his own because this will “I told the midwife not to be scared only perpetuate failures in the public and we monitored the woman because health system. she could suffer from bleeding,” he says. “While I was in Quezon, I really tried “We sent her to the provincial hospital to tap the local government to become and now, she’s okay. Her baby is actually involved in the people’s situation, and three years old now.” all its stockholders to fix a system where While working in the province, Medina patients won’t have to pay,” he says. “If also learned that his responsibilities the local government can pay for the weren’t confined to just dispensing medicines, for instance, they’d have a medicines and prescriptions or looking budget and the system for that.” after patients, but also entailed getting to Right now, Medina is teaching partthe root of the problem. time at the UP College of Medicine, but he is always ready to go on missions to the barrios whenever such activities come up. He is also tireless in encouraging medical students to consider doing their practice in faraway communities. “The benefits are just timeless,” he says, referring not just to the patients who get to avail themselves of medical treatment, but also to the doctors who get to learn what dedicated service is all about.

The doctor going about his day’s work, including visiting a daycare center (left) and holding a community information drive.

18 FamilyMatters

He remembers vividly one lecture given by one of his mentors: “What good is it to treat a person’s illness if the person will go back to his condition which brought about the illness in the first place?”


Playing games 12 rules to remember to stay injury-free when engaged in your fave sports in school. BY ROSS VALENTIN, M.D.




Youth-Protecting This school year, one of your resolutions is to be more active in sports. That’s well and good. But before you sign up for that football club or basketball team, know what you need to do to ensure your entry into the world of sports turns into a life-affirming adventure, and not one that leaves you sidelined in the hospital.

Preventing injuries

Injuries often result from inadequate warm-up and stretching, lack of conditioning, poor training practices, improper equipment, fatigue, and accidents. The good news is that half of all sports injuries are preventable. Here are 12 effective ways to avoid getting yourself stitched up, bandaged, or wrapped in a cast. 1. Do warm-up and conditioning exercises. Do warm-up exercises for 10 minutes and stretching activities for another 10 to 15 minutes before an intense sport. This will make the muscles, tendons, and ligaments more flexible and better prepared for the rigors of intense physical activity, helping to prevent sprains and strains. Similarly, if you have not been active for some time, condition yourself first by gradually increasing your activity level before engaging in any sport. 2. Cool down. Cooling down after a sport helps reduce lactic acid in the muscles and prevent muscle stiffness. Walking or jogging for 5 to 10 minutes after a race is a good cooling-down activity. 3. Take up strengthening exercises. Engaging in a regular strengthening program prior to a sport undertaking will improve your strength and endurance, as well as lessen your susceptibility to injuries. 4. Use proper form and technique. Using the proper form and technique is equally important. In football, for example, knowing how to tackle safely can save you from serious injuries. Other examples of proper technique include landing with knees bent when jumping,

20 FamilyMatters


Signs and symptoms that require immediate medical help: • Severe pain, numbness, and swelling • Unconscious, unresponsive, or incoherent speech • Difficulty in breathing • Profuse bleeding, or a large cut or wound • Head injury • Inability to move a limb or a joint • Pain when moving the neck • Pain when weight or pressure is applied to the injured area • Vision problems • An unstable or immovable joint • Visible bone or joint deformity • Broken bone protruding through the skin • Painful, swollen or dislocated old injury • Persistent symptoms that affect athletic performance (untreated injuries can lead to permanent disability and bone or tissue damage)

keeping feet flat during stretching to avoid knee twisting, and running on flat, soft surfaces to lessen stress on the leg and the Achilles tendon. 5. Use the right sports gear and equipment. Remember to wear properly safety gear like helmets, goggles, and gloves in every sport activity. A properly worn helmet in football or baseball can prevent serious brain injury, while good-fitting shoes will provide improved shock-absorption abilities and stability to the feet. Also, make sure your protective gear has passed safety standards and all sports equipment is in good condition so there is less risk of injuries or accidents. 6. Don’t overdo it. Know your limits and perform only to your fitness level to avoid unnecessary injuries such as muscle tears, cramps, and exhaustion. Also, stop playing if you’re very tired or in pain. Fatigue can result in poor concentration, slow reflex, and slips, leading to accidents. 7. Drink up. When fluids and electrolytes in the body are depleted, this can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, muscle cramps, and disorientation. To balance fluid losses, make sure you are adequately hydrated before, during, and after a sport activity. 8. Eat well. Never participate in sports on an empty stomach. Food provides the energy for the muscles to work efficiently. Without food, you can end up with discomfort, headache, low energy, and sluggish performance that could lead to injury. 9. Wear the right clothing. Body temperature increases during sports, especially when you’re playing outdoors or on a hot day. Wearing the wrong clothing can cause the body to overheat fast. Ensure you wear comfortable sports clothing and shy away from thick, nonbreathable materials. 10. Rest and recover. Muscle breakdown, fluid loss, and energy depletion occur during sports. Getting enough rest is important to allow your body to repair damaged tissue and replenish energy stores; a rest-deprived

Two types of common sports injuries Acute injuries are injuries that occur suddenly due to trauma. These include sprain, strain, fracture, contusion, abrasion, laceration, and concussion. The body parts commonly involved are the ankle, head, finger, knee, and face. Overuse injuries are injuries that occur gradually over time from repetitive use of a muscle group, a joint, or a body part. Overuse injuries affect growth plates, tendons, bones, ligaments, muscles. Examples of overuse injuries are stress fracture, wrist injury in gymnastics, elbow injury in baseball, and shoulder injury in swimming.

body becomes weak and prone to injury. 11. Engage in the sport you like. Don’t be pressured to play in a sport you don’t like. Lack of interest in a sport hampers proper training, causing the athlete to disregard proper techniques and ignore safety guidelines—actions that could result in injury. 12. Go for variety, cross-training. When young athletes focus on just one sport the whole year, they are more likely to suffer overuse injuries. It is helpful to play other sports, take regular breaks, or limit the number of teams you play on in one season. Similarly, avoid overusing one muscle group or joint. Go through the whole exercise cycle by crosstraining (engaging in activities that use different muscles and movements) and changing routines.

Consult your doctor on which one is best for your injury. Elevate Elevate the injured limb higher than the level of your heart with a pillow or a cushion while you’re lying down to help reduce the swelling.

transporting the injured athlete. • Do apply pressure to a profusely bleeding site. • Do assure the victim that help is coming to calm him or her down.

FIRST-AID DOS AND DON’TS DOS • Do stay calm and alert if you are the one helping the injured. • Do stop the activity when there is an injury, as continuing the activity only causes further harm. Remove the injured athlete from the game. • Do call for help. Call medical personnel immediately for a serious injury. • Do bring the injured to the nearest hospital right away when no medical personnel is available on-site.

DON’TS • Don’t panic. • Don’t move the neck if you suspect neck injury. • Don’t move the injured limb; immobilize and stabilize it with splints instead. • Don’t let the injured athlete drink or eat while lying down. • Don’t attempt to put back a dislocated, broken, or protruding bone. • Don’t over-tighten bandages over the injured area. This may cut off blood supply to the tissues.

• Do perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) immediately when the injured has no pulse or is not breathing. • Do cover an injured eye with a clean cloth or a cutout cup • Do wash cuts or wounds with running water or antiseptic solutions. • Do support the neck when

• Don’t use heat or warm compress immediately after an injury. Heat increases swelling and internal bleeding. • Don’t massage the injured area. • Don’t give any medicines unless you are a doctor. • Don’t leave the injured unattended.

Giving first aid

Different sport injuries require different treatments. However, most sport injuries can be treated initially with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Rest Rest the affected limb and keep weight off it. Also, reduce your regular activities. Use a walking cane or crutches if necessary. Ice Put an ice pack on the injured area four to eight times a day. You can use an ice- filled plastic bag wrapped in a towel. Remember to remove the ice pack after 20 minutes to avoid cold burns. Compress Put an even pressure on the area with injury to help reduce swelling. You can use an elastic bandage, a special boot, a splint, or an air cast.





The new ideological colonizers Pope Francis calls upon us to protect the family by repulsing the attacks of anti-life and anti-family forces invading the country. BY ANNA COSIO


hen Pope Francis met with the filipino at the MOA Arena on January 16 this year, I remember watching it on TV while busy updating the Papal Visit Facebook Page. At some point during his speech, he started to speak from his heart in Spanish, which was then translated into English. Suddenly, I found myself excitedly typing this status on Facebook: “This must be the most pro-life,

22 FamilyMatters


pro-traditional marriage, and profamily speech of Pope Francis I’ve ever heard! ^_^ <3 Thank you, Holy Father!! #PapalVisitPH #PopeFrancisPH” I was obviously very happy, because prior to that, I had never heard Pope Francis speak as clearly and as strongly about the urgency of protecting the family, defending marriage, and respecting life. Also, I had always known that the liberal media had an impressive track record of taking the Pope’s words out of context. But this time, the Holy Father’s words were as clear as daylight and no one could simply get away with twisting them. He said, “...God calls upon us to recognize the dangers threatening our own families and to protect them from harm. We must be attentive to the new ideological colonization.” As if to make sure that his point was well taken, he even gave very specific examples of these threats to the family, such as the “growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, [and] by a lack of openness to life.” And then later that evening, Pope Francis even took to Twitter this appeal in our own language. He tweeted, “Ang pamilya ay ang pinakamahalagang kayamanan ng isang bansa. Naway pagsikapan nating ipagtanggol at patatagin itong pundasyon ng lipunan.” Wow! My pro-life friends and I were truly overjoyed that day. We got our marching orders from the Vicar of Christ himself and we couldn’t wait to “rise from our slumber, to get up and act” as St. Joseph did when God called him! Amidst this renewed enthusiasm, I also couldn’t help but wonder where Pope Francis drew inspiration for his words. Was he informed beforehand of the anti-life and anti-family forces that have entered our country? It seemed he knew very well what was going on here, or maybe it was simply what was also happening in other parts of the world. Either way, he coined perhaps the best term to describe such a phenomenon: ideological colonization. Indeed, we are no longer being conquered with bombs and tanks in this

day and age, but slowly and sneakily with ideologies that will destroy the very foundation of our nation. These modern-day colonizers know very well that a sure-fire way to destroy a country is to destroy the basic unit of society, which is the family. And their ammo? The Culture of D.E.A.T.H. (Divorce, Euthanasia, Abortion, Total Fertility Control, and Homosexual “Marriage”)—against the Filipino Culture of Life. The love for life and family has always been embedded in the Filipino culture. As Pope Francis said, “In the family we learn how to love, to forgive, to be generous and open, not closed and selfish. We learn to move beyond our own needs, to encounter others and share our lives with them.” This is precisely what we learn in the Filipino family.

Abortion asia n a h Eut

Total fertility control


The Filipino Culture of Life teaches us to love unconditionally and selflessly. It teaches us that real love entails sacrifice and, sometimes, even suffering. It teaches us that the life of every person—no matter how small, weak, incommunicative or disabled—has value and deserves to be protected, which is why we Filipinos have a special love for our grandparents and the elderly. On the other hand, the Culture of Death urges us to seek comfort, convenience, and self-gratification above all and at any cost. It believes that some lives are more important than others and some are of no value at all, as if one has the right to put a price tag on people. Clearly, these two cultures are poles apart. One is motivated by real love while the other is motivated by lust and greed.


Sepa ration

Homosexueal marriag

These modern-day colonizers know very well that a sure-fire way to destroy a country is to destroy the basic unit of society, which is the family. JUNE - AUGUST 2015




If our answer is the Culture of Life, then we must heed the call of Pope Francis to build exactly this culture and fight against the ideological colonization that’s already taking place in our country.

One builds while the other destroys. One brings forth life while the other sterilizes and kills. Which culture would we like to pervade in our country? If our answer is the Culture of Life, then we must heed the call of Pope Francis to build exactly this culture and fight against the ideological colonization that’s already taking place in our country. For instance, we must continue to fight for the repeal of the RH Law, a law that marks the beginning of something equivalent to the sexual revolution in the U.S. in the 1960s, which brought about a dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock births, sexually transmitted diseases,

24 FamilyMatters


teen pregnancies, and divorce, and paved the way for abortion to become legal in all of their states by the year 1973. What makes us think that this can’t happen in our own country? Abortion activists are working nonstop here and were even able to conduct a three-day international conference at the PICC in January last year with the objective of making contraception and abortion services accessible to all women worldwide. Yes, they did that in our own land where abortion is illegal. Apparently, they are not merely taking baby steps to reach their goal; they are taking long strides this time.


Even before the Supreme Court had decided on the constitutionality of the RH Law, some of its proponents were already very eager to have another anti-family bill passed, namely House Bill No. 4408, also known as “An Act Introducing Divorce in the Philippines.” This bill that seeks to amend the Family Code and legalize divorce in the Philippines was filed by the Gabriela Partylist, and has been pending in Congress since 2013. Aside from this, the same backers of the RH Bill are currently pushing for the still unnumbered “AntiDiscrimination Bill,” also known as “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity (SOGI),” which has provisions that attempt to smuggle into a law a definition of marriage that will include same-sex unions, force adoption agencies to approve same-sex couple applicants, and penalize anyone who speaks out against homosexual immorality. Despite the controversy surrounding it, this bill has already passed the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality on February 10 this year, and obviously the next step is to have it passed in the Lower House. We must all act now if we want to defend the institution of marriage from attempts to redefine it. Let us write to our respective congressman or congresswoman to urge them to study closely the proposed anti-SOGI bill and block any effort to legalize same sexunions and other measures contrary to our family values and cultural beliefs. We would also do well to support and choose leaders who are with us in this battle especially in the upcoming 2016 elections. The Filipino family has never before been under attack like it is today. And we, as Catholics, must do everything in our power to protect the beauty and truth of the family in God’s plan. We begin by building our own holy and loving families at home, and at the same time taking measures to create an environment where other families can do the same. May God give all of us the grace to fulfil this mission.

Nature’s way

We uphold natural family planning because it strengthens mutual love and respect and fosters self-discipline. BY AJ PEREZ


atural Family Planning (NFP) has been receiving a bad reputation for many years now. The main culprit may be ignorance, as many people think that NFP and the outdated calendar method are one and the same. Many think, too, that contraceptives are the way of the future. Contraception advocates call them “modern methods,” while hinting that people use NFP only for religious and not scientific reasons. The Catholic Church, they say, is so medieval it even suggests an “antiquated” birth control method that requires abstinence. Who wants to give up on sex anyway? Fortunately, we have enough scientific evidence to back NFP as an effective tool both for avoiding pregnancy and for predicting fertility. But first, let’s admit some things about NFP.

to postpone the pregnancy for the time being. This is the crux of it all. NFP teaches couples to be patient, and to communicate through more creative means rather than just letting their bodies do the talking through sexual intercourse. NFP also demands that women keep track of their fertility, and this can be quite a chore for the first few weeks.


NFP has been proven not only to enhance a married couple’s relationship, but studies point to a direct link between contraceptive use and divorce. Stanford University demographer Robert Michael said that the rise in divorce cases in the United States was due to the rise in the use of oral contraceptives, and that 45% of the increase in divorce cases

NFP isn’t for the weak-willed. It demands discipline from both spouses because it is a system that is based on discipline itself. This is what sets it apart from artificial contraception and its so-called guarantee of no-worries sex: the couple need to help each other get through the fertile days without sex if they plan


The most common complaint about NFP is that it’s not exactly easy. In fact, it is suggested too that a woman’s libido peaks during the days leading to ovulation—exactly the time when a couple who is postponing childbearing is not supposed to have sex. Abstinence could last for days, and this constitutes a real challenge.





SPECIAL SECTION RESPONSIBLE PARENTING was attributed to the increased use of contraceptives.1 Prevalent contraceptive use also led to more abortions in other countries, as opposed to the thinking that contraceptives prevent abortion.2 NFP, on the other hand, fosters communication and respect between couples, more so since they have to be creative in their means of expressing their love. From a pragmatic point of view, NFP is about quality over quantity; while NFP cannot promise freedom to have sex every day, it does promise that those days after the abstinence will be extra special. After all, abstinence also makes the heart grow fonder.


Consider this very popular song from John Legend: Cause all of me Loves all of you Love your curves and all your edges All your perfect imperfections Give your all to me I’ll give my all to you You’re my end and my beginning Even when I lose I’m winning Cause I give you all of me And you give me all of you

Ever wondered why this song is so popular? What is its appeal? I think I know. This song speaks of a very basic truth: that true love is total love. You just can’t say, “I love half of you,” or “Half of me loves you 75%.” Love has to be total, or it is not love at all. And the message we are giving to our partners whenever we use contraceptives is, “I love you, but I do not want your fertility,” or “I love you, but I can’t give you my all because I am afraid of the consequences.” Anatomically, sex is supposed to be an act of total self-giving, where male and female have something to give to each other. Contraception destroys the very essence of this act. Not only that. Whether people openly talk about it or not, contraception destroys not only the bond derived from the sexual act but also the very pleasure that God has given to it. Women get all sorts of complications from contraceptive pills, varying from the trivial (bloatedness, acne) to the vital (lack of libido, blood clots, cancer). Condoms? It’s time to admit it. They’re no fun. The very instinct of a man is to give the gift of life to his partner, and condoms just don’t fulfill that instinct, apart from dulling the very sensation of sex for men.


In my opinion, the first lesson about NFP shouldn’t be taught only to couples who are planning to marry. That’s way too late. At the heart of NFP is chastity, a virtue which should be taught to our youth

26 FamilyMatters


as early as we can. Let’s foster a society that respects women by teaching our children while they are young. Have boys open doors for their mothers, and give up their seats for women and the elderly in buses and trains. Later on, during pubescence and adolescence, we teach the boys custody of their eyes so they only look at the things that will bring them to greater respect for women, and we teach the girls to dress modestly. It is utterly important that as young people they fathom the need for everyone to be chaste and to practice self-control. If they cannot control their urges during their younger days, how can we expect them to practice self-control when they’re married? The sexual act is a gift from God to be used according to its original purpose: to unite the couple in married love, and to bless that union with children. After all, as Pope John Paul II once said: Only the chaste are capable of true love. This is the only way married couples can be assured that love is true and total.

Michael, Robert T. “The Rise in Divorce Rates 19601974: Age Specific Components.” Demography, Vol. 15, No. 2, (May 1978), pp. 177-182.


Dueñas JL, Lete I, Bermejo R, Arbat A, PérezCampos E, Martínez-Salmeán J, Serrano I, Doval JL, Coll C., Trends in the use of contraceptive methods and voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the Spanish population during 1997-2007. Contraception. 2011 Jan;83(1):82-7. doi: 10.1016/j. contraception.2010.05.010. Epub 2010 Jun 17.


Where to draw the line Why is it important to cultivate a sense of healthy boundaries in our children? BY ROLANDO C. DELOS REYES II, MA ED, RGC


s a counsellor, I often encounter parents who rattle off a couple of these concerns about their children: “They just mess up their room and don’t even care to clean them.” “He is not aware that he is running late for school.” “She comes home very late when she is with her friends.” “They just don’t know when to stop chatting with friends online.” These parents would comment, “My child does not think he has a problem,” and I would remark, “Maybe he’s right. He does not have a problem—but you do.” The issue here is a lack in our children of the concept of appropriate boundaries. Boundaries, an idea largely taught by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, define us—what is me and what is not me, where I end and where someone else begins. Boundaries are like fenced gates that keep the good (things that nurture) in and the bad (things that harm) out. We can set boundaries through our skin, the words we use, time limitations, and geographical or emotional distance. Boundaries teach us how to be responsible to others and for ourselves. Boundaries should be instilled early on in a child. It is important to teach healthy functional and relational boundaries to allow children to perform tasks competently and enable them to acknowledge, own, and process their emotions and needs appropriately. Bonding is the foundation of boundary building. By developing healthy bonds with our children, we allow them to respectfully speak up their minds, clearly distinguish ownership of feelings and needs,






and actively take responsibility for what they do for others and for themselves. When children have healthy bonds with parents and siblings, they have the openness and trust to acknowledge their own needs, and not the needs imposed on them by other family members. Naming their needs allows them to express a whole range of emotions other than anger, and restores in them a voice that is assertive, not passive or aggressive. This voice, tempered by parental discipline that communicates the consequences of wrong and right choices, can then be used by the child to set personal boundaries that he or she can use in relating with others. The work of boundary development in children is the work of learning responsibility—a necessary step for the young towards autonomy and the tasks of adulthood.


Whether you are parents to a newborn, a growing-up kid, or a teenager, you will

need to teach these developmental tasks, to the extent of applying or remediating parental interventions when boundaries have become unhealthy. When a person’s boundaries are either too rigid or too loose, he or she ends up with problems. Here are the four kinds of boundary issues that can prove troublesome. Compliant persons are unable to set boundaries. They feel guilty saying no, and are easily controlled by others. A child whose ability to say no is blocked while growing up eventually says yes to bad things—temptations, manipulations, and exploitations. Controlling persons can’t hear no for an answer. They aggressively or manipulatively violate the boundaries of others.

Having healthy boundaries allows children to perform tasks competently, and acknowledge, own, and process their emotions and needs appropriately.

28 FamilyMatters


Skin boundaries acknowledge with respect one’s own body and the body of another as image bearers of God and temples of the Holy Spirit.

more appropriate personal boundaries. Skin boundaries acknowledge with respect one’s own body and the body of another as image bearers of God and temples of the Holy Spirit. St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body discusses the complementarity of differences between a man and a woman, and how the language of the body properly communicates the relationship that goes on between two persons. We kiss our parents on the cheeks,

hug our friends, and shake hands with acquaintances. We know to reserve more intimate body language for marriage. Yet popular culture teaches young people it is all right to do “momol” or “make out make out lang” with their partners, with whom they have a “mutual understanding” (more appropriately called “malabong usapan,” since this kind of relationship violates the boundaries of friendship, courtship, and romantic

They either resort to verbal or physical abuse or try to persuade others to violate their own boundaries. Avoidant persons can’t hear yes. They set boundaries against receiving care from others. Some people grow up with an inability to ask for help, to recognize one’s needs, and let others in. They feel either self-sufficient or guilty about ever needing anything from others. Non-responsive persons can’t say yes. They set boundaries against the responsibility to love. These people shut off others from expressing their emotions and needs, because they are unable or afraid to handle them.


The boundaries in our families may be too loose or too rigid, or sometimes they could be violated, as in cases of abuse and manipulation. It is important to evaluate these boundaries, for the boundaries experienced by our children in our home will be the same boundaries they will apply to their relationships outside the home. Check each family member’s boundary problems—whether they are compliant, avoidant, controlling, or non-responsive—and identify the factors within the family dynamics that contribute to these problems. From there, we can take measures to help our children develop healthier and

Selfishness or healthy boundaries? In developing healthy boundaries in their children, parents must be able to distinguish between a child who is being selfish, and a child who is learning the ropes of individuation. For guidance, we must be aware of the laws of boundaries that enable us to experience life differently. The law of power teaches that we have the freedom to say yes or no to life’s invitations. The law of respect teaches that there are things owned either by us or by others, and we are to value this ownership. The law of responsibility teaches that “I am responsible for myself” and that “you are responsible for yourself,” and that we should not burden ourselves with the load of others.





SPECIAL SECTION RESPONSIBLE PARENTING relationship). Though “momol” wrongly prides itself of not crossing the line to sexual intercourse, it centers on lust and is therefore a grave offense against healthy boundaries. Word boundaries are a declaration of ownership—this is mine and that is yours. Saying “yes” or “no” empowers the person to take charge of his or her own life, acting like a gate that allows or denies access to other people—whether in time to be spent, or property to be borrowed, or their very own lives to be shared. It involves learning two skills properly—how to say “yes” or “no” and how to receive “yes” or “no.” In this, each person needs to know his or her particular boundary problem. Compliant persons need to learn how to say “no,” controllers need to learn how to receive “no,” avoidant persons need to learn how to receive “yes,” and nonresponsive persons need to learn how to say “yes.” For children, they need to learn these skills to fend off peer pressure and welcome true friendship experiences. They need to learn not only to say “no” to peers who invite them to smoke, drink, do drugs or sex, or join fraternities or sororities, but also to say “yes” to friends who invite them to worthwhile and righteous activities such as treeplanting, running for a cause, visiting the sick, or serving the church in youth groups. Good parental bonding encourages young people to make good choices. Time boundaries teach people to respect the only resource that never comes back. Coming on time for meetings shows respect for the time of other people. Respect for time includes knowing the purpose, direction, and duration of meetings, and not wasting the time of other people with unnecessary talks and comments. Children, particularly teens, need to be taught about time boundaries for activities, giving them the reading of Ecclesiastes that says there is a time for everything—a time to play, and a time to study, a time to date, and a time to end

30 FamilyMatters


The boundaries experienced by our children in our home will be the same boundaries they will apply to their relationships outside the home. the date, a time to do household chores, and a time to join friends. It will help if parents can design a weekly schedule with their children to establish a routine for the family to follow. Geographical and emotional boundaries are about proximity—how near or far a person can get physically or emotionally. Particularly helpful in cases of abuse or bullying, it allows the person who falls victim to these situations the freedom to continue a normal life outside of the bad influence or the threats of the

perpetrators. It is also helpful for persons who are mending a broken heart—to be physically and emotionally away from the persons affecting him or her. Family bonds are crucial in these times for them to know they have someone to come home to.


When boundaries are not well placed and have to be restored, discipline is required as an external boundary designed to develop internal boundaries. The greatest disciplinarian is consequence. Consequences must be age-appropriate, related to the seriousness of the infraction, and intended to increase the child’s sense of responsibility and control over his or her life. Ultimately, the goal of boundaries is an internal sense of motivation, with selfinduced consequences. Our children must move towards true maturity that enables them to be responsible and caring because it is important to them, and not because it is important to us. Boundaries lead us to be responsible for ourselves and be more available to others in love.


Forgiving the flawed father Should a family still celebrate Father’s Day if the head of the family is less than perfect? BY ANNABELLIE GRUENBERG

Twice a year—on the father’s birthday and on

Father’s Day—children all over the world will be honoring their fathers. But in some homes there are children who pointedly ignore these special occasions, and fathers who are lonely and pained for being forgotten and ignored, or besieged by guilt for the part they played in a failed father-and-child relationship. There are men who are not able to be the father they could or should be. There are also men who equate fatherhood with just siring children. And then there are men who are physically present for their children, but have none of the traits of a good father. Worse, some fathers even hurt or damage their children, intentionally or otherwise. Behind all these flaws in a father

are a variety of reasons that need to be unlocked and understood. Today a new generation of dads has emerged who are more enlightened, hands on, involved, in touch, and progressive, but some are still less than perfect. Children and even teens may find it difficult to understand the ways of the less-than-ideal father. They either just live with the situation or tolerate it out of lack of choice. Only when they see how other families relate to the head of the family do they realize the difference, and anger, pain and resentment may grow. These children often cannot wait for the day when they can leave home, thinking that by leaving, all




Relating the bad things will be left behind and everything will turn out well. Unfortunately, most of the time, negative experiences with parents not only have a bearing on the growingup years of the children, they also exert their influence when the children become adults and parents themselves. This is why, when we trace where most problems between parents and children started, we go back to the parents’ experiences with their own parents. Adults who had a troubled relationship with their dad have to work out the issues of the past to be able to move forward. The past has to be healed and transformed to stop the cycle. Is this possible? How can this be done? Yes, it is both possible and doable.

Letter-writing can also be an effective tool for reconciliation, as it gives the person who is reaching out the space and time required to express everything that has to be said without interruption. Let letter-writing take its time, and let the letter “sit” for a while for possible revisions. Sometimes after an unedited outburst, the writer encounters a change of heart and decides to use kinder words. The recipient can also read and process the letter’s content at his or her own pace. From there an exchange of letters could ensue until both father and child are ready for a talk. Letter-writing is helpful for those who have not been

possible. Children who see ties mended and renewed will have better chances of having a good relationship with their own parents. Deciding to forgive also releases both father and child from carrying the excess baggage of the past. And when the time comes that the father has to pass on to the next life, there is no guilt, remorse, or pain over unresolved issues between the two. Forgiveness is important if one wants peace and joy; it makes the remaining journey easier and one’s steps lighter. Healing begins by acknowledging the problem and trying to understand how it came about. The cure can only be

communicating for a long time. For children who experienced abuse, it is best to seek the help of a professional psychologist or counselor to guide them in effecting healing and closure. Particularly for adults who are contemplating marriage and parenthood, it is advisable to work first on how to break the cycle so as to enter a relationship healed and whole.

effective if, in the first place, there is the desire or decision to get well. The same can be said of relationships. Nobody is perfect, not even our parents. To be able to see someone’s flaws objectively from a distance will help one look at the situation separately from the person. If it is the person who is flawed, to be able to see the person with compassion and understanding is beneficial, and may lead to an initial conversation taking place. Jesus Christ had a beautiful relationship with His earthly father and Heavenly Father. And that kind of relationship is what fathers and children should aspire for.

Reaching out to reconcile

Father’s Day is one of the best times to let go of the negatives in one’s past and take small steps towards reconciliation. One way is to start from within. Sometimes children need to take the first step because the father may be longing to make amends but don’t know how. The child will first need to have the inner resolve or prodding to work things out with the father before any initial thoughts of forgiveness can be verbalized or acted on. Sometimes the lapse of time is a requisite to be able to reach out, but it becomes easier if a sense of peace and forgiveness has begun to settle in the heart. A situation may also open up when it is the father who reaches out first. If the child is not ready to forgive, he or she could at least open themselves up to listen to him. Everyone deserves a chance to be heard. Children might discover things they did not see or understand before that had led to their unfortunate experiences. Another way is to have a third person who is close to both child and father to act as a bridge. The chosen mediator must be fair, trustworthy, and objective, remembering that the goal is to facilitate healing.

32 FamilyMatters


Start of healing

These are just a few of the ways to mend a damaged relationship between father and child. What is important is for the next generation to see that healing and transformation of relationships is

Love in Action

Changing hearts through Live Pure Seek the courage to live by your principles in an era when immorality is not just acceptable, but fashionable.

Graphic Graphic designed designed by by

“Be brave to say yes to purity and no to selfishness. Only the brave can be chaste and be pure of heart.” These words by Archbishop Soc Villegas, D.D., delivered during his homily in the mass that capped the Live Pure Conference 2014 held at the SMX Convention Center, captured the entire message of what the Live Pure Movement is all about. The Live Pure Movement is a Catholic youth movement that shares the good news of real freedom, true love, and total happiness through a lifestyle of chastity after Jesus Christ’s example. It was founded in 2011 in response to the urgent need to promote a culture of purity in a time of promiscuity. It is “by the young and for the young,” its forums being facilitated by young people who relate to their fellow youth through creative means. It seeks to meet the youth where they are, specifically, in the schools, universities, parishes, and




Love in Action

organizations here in the Philippines and in some countries abroad. Since the Live Pure Movement’s birth in January 2011, the group has already conducted pastoral formation programs (Chastity Forum/Men’s and Women’s Forum/Love Forum) in more than 200 high schools and colleges and numerous parishes in more than 20 dioceses all over the country, and has planted its seed in 12 countries (Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada, Austria, Sweden, Italy, Botswana and USA) besides the Philippines. This totals to over 140,000 young people enjoined to live out the advocacy of living pure since the movement’s beginnings in 2011. God has been so faithful to the Live Pure Movement for the past four years, and as the advocacy moves forward in 2015, it is driven to touch more hearts to share the good news of chastity. To live a chaste life is the sure way to happiness, and this is the truth that every young person needs to know. The truth is, in choosing to live pure, the young are choosing Christ; hence, it is only through this that a life of real freedom, true love, and total happiness will come their way. For more information about the Live Pure Movement, you may visit their website at www., check out their Facebook page Live Pure Movement, send a tweet to @iwanttolivepure, or shoot an email to iwanttolivepure@ For queries, you may get in touch with Jermer Cruz at (02) 7182213 or (0917) 556-1727.

34 FamilyMatters






The gifted child There are many ways for parents to help nurture and develop their childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s giftedness. BY AILEEN CARREON

36 FamilyMatters


Rex is an 8-year-old with an IQ of 144. At age 2, he learned to do the alphabet in sign language through watching YouTube. At 3, he knew the planets and planetoids and their moons. By age 4, he could read and understand newspaper reports. He developed ambidextrous skills when he was 5. He speaks English, Filipino, and Chinese which he learned on his own. Gifted children like Rex reach developmental milestones in areas of gross motor, fine motor, and language skills sooner than other kids their age. They show above-average abilities and interest in logic,

Gifted children will constantly ask questions and even challenge authority. Take the time to listen and explain.

mathematics, body kinetics, science, arts, and music, and they usually excel in more than one area of expression.

Supporting giftedness

Parents should be on the lookout for these special abilities and do whatever is possible to encourage and support their children’s emerging talents. Here are tips for cultivating the abilities of your budding scholar. Know your child’s interests and offer enrichment opportunities.

Rex’s mother, Mary Rachel P. Reventar, encourages her son’s love for books. When he was 6, the boy was reading the Geronimo Stilton series. His current favorite is Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians books. He loves almanacs and encyclopedias. In addition to buying him books, Rachel taught Rex how to borrow from the library. Help your child discover and develop other talents. In addition to traditional academic subjects,

Is your child gifted?

According to the New Zealand Association for Gifted Children, giftedness is involuntary, a natural gift. Out of every hundred children, about five can be classified as “gifted,” yet only a small proportion may be identified as such in school. Some may be very lonely because their interests don’t match those of their peers. They may have difficulties at school for their unconventional behavior and questioning attitude. They can become distressed through frustration and boredom, or through imbalance between their intellectual and emotional development. They may deny their intelligence and underachieve to become more acceptable. They may become troublemakers. To ensure this does not happen, parents should become familiar with the signs of giftedness even before their child starts school. Experts say that if you believe your child is gifted, you may inquire with some schools that have programs for gifted students. They can identify giftedness by using traditional screening methods like group IQ tests, review of achievement test scores and past grades, observation, and getting input from teachers and parents. While early testing and identification can be a controversial subject, many advocates of gifted children believe they should be identified as soon as possible so that their unique needs and talents can be acknowledged and nurtured right from the start.

encourage learning about a wide variety of subjects like art, music, and sports. Rex has played the piano since he was 4. “He is now in Grade III and plays pieces I learned when I was around 15 years old. He could also teach himself a piano piece if it was at par with his little fingers,” says Rachel. They also let Rex perform for guests. His desire to perform well further encourages him to practice. Rex is a yellow belt in tae kwon do. Whenever she can, Rachel attends his practices in school and goes to his tournaments. “I would reward him with a book for his success or even just for his participation,” she shares. Speak and listen with consideration and respect. Gifted children, because of their high intellect, will constantly ask questions and even challenge authority. Take the time to listen and explain. If you ignore their questions, the urge to ask about things out of curiosity may disappear. “Rex’s doctor advised us to speak to him as an adult because his brain could handle it,” says Rachel. You may not always have the answers, but instead of leaving a question unanswered, challenge your child in a way that will encourage learning. Say, “That is a good question. I don’t know the answer but we can look it up together.” Whenever Rex has a particularly difficult query, Rachel tells him honestly that she does not know and asks him what he thinks. She has also taught Rex





to find answers in the dictionary or in his encyclopedias and almanacs. Praise your child’s efforts. Provide positive reinforcement by lauding accomplishments. “We give him high fives when he has completed his task. We use positive words like ‘awesome,’ ‘excellent,’ and ‘exceptional,’” says Rachel. But remember to acknowledge even unsuccessful efforts; praising only successes can make your child illequipped to deal with failure. Inquiring minds need to take on intellectual risks, and risk-taking within proper bounds needs to be encouraged even if the outcome may be uncertain. Keep your child challenged. If not challenged intellectually or creatively, he or she may lose interest in learning. In Rex’s case, Rachel enrolled her son in music and sports to keep him motivated and instil in him discipline and dedication. It is also advisable to seek the cooperation and participation of the teachers on ways to keep your child engaged during class, such as by giving special assignments or leadership roles to your child. For instance, if your child has already memorized the names of all the planets a long time ago, he or she can be asked by

Remember to acknowledge even unsuccessful efforts; praising only successes can make your child ill-equipped to deal with failure. 38 FamilyMatters


Rex with his loving and supportive relatives; (right) Mom Rachel says her entire family has a hand in unlocking Rex's innate talents and abilities.


Gifted and talented children are products of upper, middle class, or professional families.


Gifted children occur in the same numbers in all socioeconomic and cultural groups. The challenge for early childhood professionals is to be aware and know how to identify them.

the teacher to research on other things about the universe and share this with the class. If artistic, perhaps the kid can create a model of the universe. So while your child is learning the same subject as the rest of his class, he or she gets to take it a step further. Get family and friends involved. “Don’t take it all by yourself,” says Rachel. “You need people to guide you and help you raise your child because his needs are more than an average child’s.” In her case, because she is a single parent attending medical school, Rachel’s family plays an important role in raising Rex and developing his talents. “I believe in the saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ My mother, my two brothers and their families, and my sister all took part in Rex’s development. We all contributed to his intelligence and imparted our knowledge to him. He

is among people who practice business, architecture, engineering, law and, of course, medicine,” says Rachel. While encouraging Rex to reach his full potential, Rachel and her family make sure, however, that the boy’s happiness is not compromised. For their emotional health, every child, gifted or not, should enjoy being a child with lots of time for play and making friends. Make learning an enjoyable process for your child. Have realistic expectations and do not push him or her too much. Pressuring your child can give rise to serious emotional and developmental problems like anxiety, depression, and burnout. Having a gifted child may demand more from you as parents, but it is no doubt a wonderful blessing not to be taken for granted. “God gave Rex the gift so why would I stop him from learning?” says Rachel. “It is wonderful to learn and solve new things. It would be unfair to not encourage Rex when it is God who believed in him in the first place.”


Dangers of doping Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never too soon to take preemptive steps so your child never wants to experiment with narcotics. BY RUTH MANIMTIM-FLORESCA

1.7 million. That was the estimated number of drug users in the Philippines three years ago, as revealed by a 2012 study made by the Dangerous Drugs Board. The study, conducted in partnership with one outpatient and 29 residential facilities with a total admission of 2,744 drug cases, further showed that the





Signs of drug use

average age of drug users in the country is 29 years old. The youngest user is around eight years old and the eldest 73 years old. Results also show that the top three commonly abused substances are methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), cannabis (marijuana), and inhalants (contact cement like rugby).

While there may be other reasons behind a child’s alarming actions, it helps to know these common indications of possible drug use as listed by the Dangerous Drugs Board:

Dangers for the young

Drugs affect kids in ways different from adults, according to Dorie Corpuz, a guidance counselor at the elementary department of the Philippine Christian University in Dasmarinas City, Cavite. Physically, children are more vulnerable to health damage than adults because their bodies are still immature and developing. For example, they are at a greater danger of serious physical or mental damage from a drug overdose, and are more susceptible to liver disorders from alcohol abuse. In mental and emotional development, drugs can prevent children from learning healthy coping styles as they grow. In addition, they can cause short-term confusion, anxiety, mental and personality disturbances, learning problems, and loss of memory. As for their safety, kids are at a greater risk of serious injuries than adults because of the more potent effect of drugs on their young constitution. Illegal drugs reduce a person’s physical coordination and attention, and impair judgment. They also affect the senses and distort the memory. These could lead to accidents and injuries when kids are high on drugs then engage in physical activities like driving, biking, or sports. Corpuz adds that use of drugs is also associated with violence and crime. Aside from perpetrating illegal or immoral activities, drug users can also be preyed upon in their vulnerable state. “Date rape is one example where the effects of drugs and alcohol can incapacitate the victim and make the person unable to resist sexual assault,”

40 FamilyMatters


she warns.

What parents can do

We parents play a big role in ensuring that our kids grow up aware of the dangers of drug abuse and stay out of the drug scene. Corpuz recommends that moms and dads do the following: Spell out rules and consequences. Your child should understand that using drugs comes with specific consequences. However, don’t make hollow threats or set rules that you can’t enforce. Make sure your spouse agrees with the rules and is prepared to implement them as well. Monitor your child’s activities. Know where your child goes and who he

• Declining interest in school, hobbies, or sports • Sudden change in friends like hanging out with known drug users • Being always pessimistic, irritable, and anxious • Being always tired and making it an excuse to be left alone • Poor judgment, carelessness, lack of concentration leading to accidents • Getting implicated in a lot of fights • Frequent mood swings • Sudden changes in appearance and conduct, such as red or puffy eyes, weight changes, headaches or stomachaches, shaking, incessant cough, brown stains on fingertips, stumbling, constant runny nose

or she hangs out with. It’s also important to routinely check potential hiding places for drugs (backpacks, between books on shelves, inside DVD or makeup cases). If you have already caught your child using drugs, explain that his or her or lack of privacy is a consequence of his

“Date rape is one example where the effects of drugs and alcohol can incapacitate the victim and make the person unable to resist sexual assault.”

It is also important that parents get educated about drugs—their harmful effects and their prevention—and find opportunities for family discussions about the repercussions of drug abuse.

What schools can do

It is also important that parents get educated about drugs and find opportunities for family discussions about the dangers of drug abuse. What if your child is a drug user?

Encourage healthy interests and social activities. Expose your child to positive hobbies and pursuits, such as team sports and after-school clubs. Explore underlying issues. Drug use can be the result of other problems. Is your child having trouble fitting in? Is the child under stress, such as from a recent major change like a move or parental separation, from bullying in school, or from academic challenges?

Here’s the advice of guidance counselor Dorie Corpuz when you make this startling discovery: “When a kid or teen has a drug problem, parents should be the first to help. Discovering that your child uses drugs can generate fear, confusion, and anger [in a parent but] it’s important to remain calm when confronting your child, and only do so when everyone is sober. Explain your concerns and make it clear that you are coming from a place of love. It’s important that your child feels you are supportive.”

Get help. Children may sometimes rebel against their parents, but may be willing to listen to a different authority figure. Try consulting with a sports coach, family doctor, therapist, or drug counselor about outside intervention. Parental monitoring and supervision are critical for drug abuse prevention. You can enhance your prevention skills through training in rule setting, acquiring techniques for monitoring activities, praising appropriate behavior, and applying moderate, consistent discipline that enforces defined family rules.

Corpuz believes that learning institutions should also take part in discouraging children from experimenting with drugs. “Schools should design their own prevention programs to intervene as early as preschool to address risk factors for drug abuse, such as aggressive behavior, poor social skills, and academic difficulties.” Prevention programs for elementary school children, she adds, should target improving academic and socio-emotional learning to address risk factors for drug abuse like early aggression, academic failure, and school dropout. Education should focus on the following: self-control, emotional awareness, communication, social problem-solving, and academic support. As for middle or junior high and high school students, Corpuz stresses that prevention programs should increase students’ academic and social competence by cultivating good study habits, communication skills, good peer relationships, self-efficacy and assertiveness, drug resistance skills, and a strong personal commitment against drug abuse. And in any school endeavor, parents can be a big help, she says. “Students are motivated and become more inspired when parents participate and support them in their academic challenges and activities.” She explains that children get the message that education is important because their mom and dad are there to support them, cheer for them, praise them, and even cry with them.





The fellowship of the Lord Sunday is the day to simply chill with the family and revel in the company of God, grateful for a generous Father who provides everything we need. BY ERLINDA ESGUERRA

Of the seven days in the week, there

is one during which we are reminded to rest and fellowship with the Lord. That is the Lord’s Day. The idea of rest is not man’s idea; it is God’s. Rest is so important that He included it in His commandments. To find rest when it has become a habit to worry is a daunting task in itself. Yet, the Lord insists that we rest. He does not want us to go through life all stressed out, constantly worrying about what tomorrow may bring. He said, “Labor to enter my rest.” Isn’t that an oxymoron? How do we work hard to stay at rest? In my own understanding, He is saying, “In everything, always try to find that place of rest in me. Let go and let me take over. I have your back.”

During Sundays our family gathers at the table and enjoys a great meal, just savoring the food that comes from the Lord’s bounty.

42 FamilyMatters


He gave us the Lord’s Day to serve as a constant reminder of this rest He was talking about. Sunday is a time to turn our backs to the cares of the world and sit at the feet of God, our Father. It is a time to celebrate a Father who first loved us a long, long time ago, when we knew nothing about Him. He knew us when we were in our mother’s womb and He couldn’t wait for us to come to the world. He told us to call Him Abba, Father, a term of endearment no different from a child calling his father Daddy, Tay, or Papa. We are all children before God. It warms His heart when we acknowledge Him as our Tatay or Daddy.

Sunday fellowship

As a family, how do we fellowship with our heavenly Father on Sundays? The first thing our family does is to be conscious that it is the Lord’s Day, turning over all concerns to Him—office and school problems, any mental baggage that can distract us from our day with the Father. The focus of the day is to be like Mary, not Martha, dropping everything we’re doing and just sitting down at the Lord’s feet to listen. It is time to feed on the spiritual bread—the word of God. Sunday fellowship in church is the focal point of the day. It is here where the word of God, preached with all its beauty and power, provides the nourishment for soul and spirit. As the Scripture says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” There is no way our spirit can grow without hearing the word of God. Secondly, our Daddy God is not just concerned with our spirit. He also nourishes our physical bodies which are the temples of His Spirit. During Sundays our family gathers at the table and enjoys a great meal, just savoring the food that comes from the Lord’s bounty. We are reminded that the Lord is the Good Shepherd, “who lets his sheep lie down in green pastures.” Green pastures refer to food for the sheep. He is a Father who makes sure that his children are

Yet, the Lord insists that we rest. He does not want us to go through life all stressed out, constantly worrying about what tomorrow may bring. well-fed and healthy. Sunday is a day to feast at His table and say “thank you” for His provision. Thirdly, we enjoy what is left of the day in activities that relax body and soul— “lying down in green pastures.” The Good Shepherd makes his sheep lie down in comfort, protecting them, making sure they are peaceful and contented. God sent His Son that we “might have life, and have it to the full.” God does not want us to go through life with

morose faces, mired in difficulty, but to savor every minute of His gift of life. To see our children playing, going for a walk in the park, laughing with their cousins, running around with abandon, and just simply being in the moment—these simple activities warm our hearts. How much more does their joy please the Father who loves our children more than we do! He said, “If evil men know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our Heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him?” His gifts are not dependent on us trying hard to perform or to be good—His gifts cannot be earned. He gave them to us all for free. His grace is free—an unmerited favor. If He gave us His Son when the world did not even know it was lost, is there anything else He will not give us? Let us then celebrate Sunday as the day of the week when we come running to be embraced by our Daddy God, who is always excited to see His children. Let us praise Him, sing to Him, and worship Him. He missed us the whole week and is always there ready to listen to our stories. Let us tell Him how our week had been, what made us laugh, what made us lose our cool at the office, what made us cry, what problem is currently fazing us, and then lovingly wait and listen to what He has to say. And surely, we will hear from Him. JUNE - AUGUST 2015




When she earns more There are ways to save a marriage rocked by a man’s ego that’s been crushed because the wife has a bigger payslip. By Stephanie Mayo

Today it is common for women to be successful

not just as a mother but also as a professional, sometimes even surpassing their husband in work achievement and, yes, income. But while society is generally accepting of accomplished career women and subscribes to the concept of gender equality, it still views the roles of the husband and the wife in traditional terms: the man is the provider and the woman is the homemaker. So what happens when the wife is more successful or brings home the bacon? We zoomed in on some homes where this situation exists to see how couples deal with the issue and maintain a healthy, loving relationship despite the role reversal.

The male ego

When pride enters the equation, it becomes a challenge for married couples. In the article, “Are Husbands Threatened by Successful Wives?” writer Meghna Mukherjee quotes relationship expert Seema Hingorrany as saying, “When women become more successful than their husbands, many a times it hurts the male ego and this takes a toll on their marriage. The problem solely lies in the fact that men are not accustomed to staying with women who are professionally more superior than them.”

44 FamilyMatters


Sofie Morabe can relate to this. She is the owner of, a media relations officer in Congress, and a professor at the Colegio de San Lorenzo. She is also taking up her Master’s at the University of the Philippines. When she married her businessmanhusband, she gave up a thriving career to become a full-time housewife. But inherently a workaholic, Sofie soon found her life to be lacking and insisted on going back to work. “When he asked me to be a fulltime housewife during the peak of my career in a multinational company, I was initially excited about having the luxury of being a tambay—sleep, eat, go to the spa and gym like a perfect Stepford Wife. But I was wrong.” Sofie says. “After one year, I was already feeling worthless and unhappy. I told him that I wanted to go to work, or else I’d lose everything— even my love for him.” What happened to her is no surprise. In Farnoosh Torabi’s book When She Makes More, she says that for some wives, being a full-time stay-at-home is “dialing back their ambitions.” Sofie says that the issue was not about who earned more, but rather how her more impressive CV lifted her professional standing above his in the eyes of their friends and acquaintances. “Although he earned much more than I do, the difference was in the kind of work that we did. He was never threatened with the money but with the attention I was getting because of my work. [It] affected his ego.” As for Gigi*, a government employee, she has been the family breadwinner ever since she made her husband quit his unstable job in the Middle East to stay home with the kids. “Stable ang work ko dito habang siya sa abroad ay walang kasiguraduhan. Ipinakiusap ko sa magulang ko at sa magulang niya na kung okay lang ba na siya ang tumigil sa pag-ta-trabaho. Pareho ang naging desisyon ng mga magulang namin na siya na ang magbantay sa mga bata, habang ako ay

“When women become more successful than their husbands, many a times it hurts the male ego and this takes a toll on their marriage.” dito sa Manila at lingguhang umuuwi sa kanila sa Pangasinan.” Gigi feels strongly that women should be recognized and accepted today as independent beings. “Hindi na dapat mamaliitin ang mga babae, kasi sa panahon ngayon, palaban na ang mga babae—di tulad noon na sunud-sunuran ang mga babae dahil umaasa lang sila sa lalaki,” she said.

How wives deal

So as not to bruise their partners’ ego, both women work hard to make their husbands feel loved and respected—and not useless. “I let him spoil me,” Sofie says. “I just let my husband give me anything he wants and pay 80% of our bills even if I can—because that way, I am not taking away the role of the traditional man in

him, which he is accustomed to.” Sofie adds, “I talk to him and let him understand that we are one. My achievements and everything are also his, even my failure. He is a reflection of me and he is mine, too.” And it worked. “It didn’t happen overnight but he learned and accepted it after three years of marriage. Now he feels proud,” she says. Gigi, on the other hand, involves her husband in decision-making to give him due importance. “Lahat ng bagay, lalo na sa gastusin, tinatanong ko muna siya,” she says. “Sa work ko naman, lahat na-ku-kwento ko ang ups and down ko sa kanya, at once na medyo hirap ako sa isang bagay sa office, tinatanong ko ang opinyon niya. Sa ganoong paraan, napaparamdam ko sa kanya na parte lagi siya ng tagumpay ko.”





It’s all about the couple not getting too hung up on gender roles and about striving to make love and respect overcome the ego. Respect and communication

As for husbands, how should they handle this matter? Mukherjee has this advice: “You must understand that your wife is an independent woman and has a mind of her own. Respecting the decisions that she takes about her life and career will be good for your relationship as well.” The author also urges husbands to open up about their feelings. “In case you feel insecure about something, you must share it with her. Being honest with each other ensures that you build a healthy marriage.” Husbands should also strive to be supportive of their wives’ endeavours. “This will make her trust you and make her feel safe and will also strengthen your marriage.” Finally, participate in the decisionmaking process. “You don’t ideally have to interfere in her decisions,” Mukherjee says, “but when she asks you for an opinion, give her an honest feedback.” In the end, it’s all about the couple not getting too hung up on gender roles and about striving to make love and respect overcome the ego. As Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan psychotherapist and executive coach, says about husbands in nontraditional households: “Re-evaluating expectations and moving away from that old school or ‘archaic’ thinking might benefit him.” * Gigi requested that her full name be withheld.

46 FamilyMatters


Behind every successful wife... A husband to a thriving career woman who wants to stay anonymous spills the secret to their happy union. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR WIFE? When I was still courting her, she was a school class adviser, but now, five years later, she is the academic head—an adviser of all teaching staff. With such a big responsibility, she now earns nearly double what she earned before and double what I earn. We maintain a healthy relationship by having and giving respect and understanding to one another. HOW DO YOU SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR HER PROFESSIONAL GROWTH? From the start I knew that she’d be more successful in her career, but since we both have respect and understanding [for each other], I never feel useless. I support my wife in two major ways. I set aside half of my earnings as my contribution to our house amortization. I also date her at least once a week. I admire my wife, for she lets us share everything, be it expenses, house chores, and home responsibilities. HOW DO YOU THINK SOCIETY VIEWS SUCCESSFUL WIVES? Society can be quite judgmental. Before she married me, she was asked by some of her loved ones to break up with me because they felt I would not be able to give her a good life. When our wedding day arrived, they couldn’t help but cry when they saw how happy my bride was. Until now these people still don’t talk about that time when they had judged me as not good enough for her.


A party for Pop! The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach—and that goes for Daddy, too! By Cecille Esperanza

Father’s Day is the time of year when daddies get the reward and recognition they so richly deserve. And what better way to show Papa how much we appreciate him than by working together as a family over a hot stove—or in this case, a hot grill—to surprise him with special dishes made with love? Take a well-deserved bow, Dad!

Grilled Steak with Garlic Butter Serves 8

2 kilos T-bone steaks Salt and pepper, to taste 1 /2 cup butter, softened 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon paprika 4 cloves garlic, minced

1. Preheat grill on high heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper. 2. Grill steaks 4 to 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. When done, transfer to warmed plates. 3. In a bowl, combine softened butter, garlic powder, paprika, and minced garlic. Brush steaks with garlic butter, and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. Serve with assorted greens salad.





Pasta Chicken Pesto Serves 6

/2 cup olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 /2 kilo chicken breast fillet, cut into strips Salt and pepper, to taste 2 fresh chilies, optional 1 cup shredded spinach 1

/4 cup white wine, optional 1 250-gram bottle pesto sauce 1 /2 cup cream 500 grams pasta, cooked according to package directions Crumbled feta cheese 1

1. In a skillet, heat oil and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add chicken and cook until golden. Season with salt, pepper, and chilies (if using). 2. Add spinach and white wine (if using) to pan, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Let it simmer about one minute. 3. Add bottled pesto and cream, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve sauce over hot pasta. Top with feta cheese.

Grilled corn on the cob with herbed butter Serves 6

2. Preheat the griller. When ready to cook, lightly brush each ear of corn with a little of the garlic-tarragon butter and arrange on the hot grate. 3. Grill the corn until kernels are nicely browned all over, about 8 to 12 minutes, turning as needed. Brush 1. In a mixing bowl, combine with remaining butter, and butter, tarragon, and garlic. Mix season with salt and pepper. well until smooth and creamy. 4. Remove the corn from the Set aside. grill and serve. 6 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 4 ears sweet corn, peeled and cleaned Salt and pepper, to taste

Guide to Great Grilling • Preheat the grill 15 to 25 minutes before cooking to make sure it reaches the right temperature and to kill any bacteria. A properly heated grill sears food on contact, keeps the insides moist, and helps prevent sticking. • Even on a clean grill, lean meats may stick when placed directly on the rack. Reduce sticking by rubbing the hot grill rack with a vegetable oilsoaked paper towel. • To reduce flare-ups, select lean cuts of meat, trim excess fat, and remove poultry skin. Keep a squirt bottle of water nearby to quickly douse any flare-ups. • Let finished meats rest on a clean platter, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes before carving so juices can redistribute evenly. • Brush meat with oil once in a while to prevent it from drying up.

48 FamilyMatters


Sparkling Fruit Punch Serves 6

1 mango or peach, thinly sliced 1 cup strawberries, dehulled 1 /4 cup fresh lemon juice or calamansi juice 1 /3 cup honey 1 bottle sparkling white wine, chilled Mix fruit, lemon juice, and honey. Let sit for an hour so the fruit flavor comes out. Then pour in the sparkling wine just before serving over ice.

bar code

Family Matters June-August 2015  
Family Matters June-August 2015