Parents â€™ Corner
Ito ang Pamilyang Pilipino
Dads Who Rock Facebook Fixation
Rediscover Our National Treasure Secrets of a Happy Home
Proud to be Pinoy
15 Disciplining Bad Lecture
Go for Green!
Youth Talk Andre Parasâ€™ Game Plan, 32
2016: Year of the Family
The Long Wait, 35
21 Support the Spiritual Family
Solving Cold Cases, 38
26 Celebrate the Famealy! 28 A Crisis in Values
Mr. Ronnel Allarey and wife Leah with their five children. The couple celebrated their silver wedding anniversary last April 20, 2016.
On the Cover:
4 Family Note
Volume 4 | Number 1 June to August 2016
Oh, High School! 41 Saying Sorry, 44
‘Ito ang Pamilyang
Sa harap ng pagsubok, ating patatagin, pagyamanin, at ipaglaban ang mga katangiang tunay na nagpapatibay sa samahan ng isang mag-anak. Ang mga sumusunod ay sagot
ng mga taong aking tinanong kung “Ano ang unang pumapasok sa inyong isipan kapag binanggit ang mga ‘angking katangian’ ng Pamilyang Pilipino?”
● Pamilyang maka-Diyos…
magkakasamang nagdarasal, nagsisimba tuwing Linggo
● May tatay, nanay, at mga anak ● Sama-samang kumakain…
nagdarasal bago at pagkatapos kumain
● Ang mag-asawa ay kasal sa Simbahan ● Mga anak na gumagalang sa mga
● Puro gadgets sa bahay…bihira na ang usapan at kwentuhan…kanya-kanya
● Pati Linggo ay nagtratrabaho…di na nagsisimba nang sama-sama
● Ang mga anak ay alaga ng mga lolo at lola…at ng mga yaya
● Unwed parents…single parents… separated parents
● Premarital sex, extramarital sex…teen pregnancy…use of contraception
● Halos wala nang parental guidance
● Namamasyal nang magkakasama ● May lutong-bahay ng nanay araw● Si Tatay ang naghahanap-buhay at ● Mga anak na nag-aaral at naglalaro… gumagawa ng gawaing-bahay
Eto naman ang mga sagot nila sa tanong na “Ano naman ang unang pumapasok sa inyong isipan kapag binanggit ang mga ‘pagbabago’ sa Pamilyang Plipino?" 2 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
wala sa bahay
Kung inyong napansin, ang unang tanong ay tungkol sa “angking katangian” at ang sumunod na tanong naman ay tungkol sa “pagbabago” sa Pamilyang Pilipino.
By Fr. Bernard P. Nolasco, SDB
● Absentee parents…parehong madalas
Nais kong bigyan diin dito na may malaking pagkakaiba ang dalawa dahil may mga sektor ng ating lipunan na pilit na ginagawang “mga bagong katangian” ng Pamilyang Pilipino ang sa totoo’y hindi. Nais kong bigyang pagpapaliwanag ang aking paniniwala sa pamamagitan ng paghalintulad ng pamilya sa tao.
Ang pamilya ay likas na mabuti at punung-puno ng kabaitan at pagmamahal dahil ito ay nagmumula sa kabutihan at kabaitan ng lumikha nito— ang Diyos. Ang tao ay likas na mabuti at mabait dahil ang tao ay nilikha ng isang mabait at mabuting Diyos. Likas sa tao ang pagiging mapagmahal, magalang, matulungin, maasikaso, at higit sa lahat ay kumikilala sa isang makapangyarihang lumikha ng lahat na kilala niya bilang Diyos. Walang taong pinanganak na masama. Ang tunay na angking katangian ng tao ay kabutihan at kabaitan. Sa paligid ng tao ay maraming bagay-bagay na susubukin ang kanyang angking katangian. Kung maipaglalaban niya ang kanyang angking katangian, mas lalong magiging matibay ang kanyang pagkatao. Kung pinayagan
naman niyang matalo siya, maaari siyang maging masamang tao. Subalit, kahit siya ay naging masama hindi ito ibig sabihin na ito na ang kanyang katangian bilang tao. Nabahiran lang ng dumi ang kanyang angking katangian. Marahil siya ay nagbago sa panlabas na pag-uugali at asal subalit di kailan man mawawala ang mabuti at mabait na katangian na nasa kanyang kalooban. At ang mga angking katangiang ito ang makatutulong sa kanya upang linisin at ayusin niyang muli ang kanyang sarili. Katulad ng tao, ang pamilya ay likas na mabuti at punung-puno ng kabaitan at pagmamahal dahil ito ay nagmumula sa kabutihan at kabaitan
ng lumikha nito—ang Diyos. Patunay dito ang mga pamilya na namuhay na malayo sa sibilisasyon. Makikita natin sa mga pamilyang ito na nakatira sa mga kagubatan at mga liblib na lugar ang tunay at likas na katangian ng isang pamilya. Dahil walang impluwensya ng makabagong pamumuhay, ang pamilyang ito ay buo, payak, at totoo. Ang tatay ang naghahanap-buhay. Ang nanay ang nag-aalaga sa mga anak at ng tirahan. Ang mga anak ay gumagalang sa mga magulang. Sama-samang nagdarasal, kumakain, naglalaro, nagpapahinga… Subalit kung ang pamilya, pamilyang Pilipino man o ng ibang lahi, ay napaliligiran ng maka-mundong kompetisyon, konsumerismo, materialismo, at mga iba’t-ibang ideolohiya na nagpapanggap ng pagiging makabago, ito ay maaaring madungisan at masira kung hahayaan ng mga miyembro ng pamilya na magpadala at magpaimpluwensiya sa mga ito. Maaari rin naman maging mas matibay ang pamilya kung magkakaisa ang mga miyembro nito na ipaglaban ang angking katangian ng tunay na pamilya.
Ano ang ginagawa natin upang maitaguyod ang isang tunay na pamilya at mapangalagaan ang mga angking katangian ng isang tunay na pamilyang Pilipino? Bilang homework, inaanyayahan ko kayo na suriin ang mga pinapahalagahan ninyo sa inyong pamilya. Ayusin ninyo ang mga ito mula sa pinakamahalaga hanggang sa hindi gaanong mahalaga. Ang inyong batayan sa pag-ayos ay ang sa ikabubuti at sa ikapagpapatibay ng mga angking katangian ng bawat pamilya. Ano man ang salungat dito ay hindi dapat kasama sa inyong listahan. Ito ang tunay na pamilya…tinatag ng Diyos ng pag-ibig upang ipadama sa sangkatauhan ang Kanyang pag-ibig. Mula sa katotohanang ito, nawa’y ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino ay magsikap na maging matatag sa pag-ibig ng Diyos kung saan nagmumula ang tunay na pagmamahalan at respeto ng bawat miyembro sa isa’t isa. ■ June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 3
National Treasure It represents everything good to us—our haven, our anchor, our support—but family is also something we often take for granted. Indeed, for some people on extremely busy work or school schedules, home has become, as Pope Francis says, a hotel, an impersonal place offering room and board. Sadly, changing attitudes and modern technology have reduced the institution of the Filipino family to a shadow of its former self, relegated to the background as members chase after individual pursuits, increasingly self-absorbed, detached, and preoccupied with the digital world. In response to this alarming development, the Catholic Church has declared 2016 the Year of the Family, as it urges the Filipino faithful to fight the onslaught of Western ideas claiming that the traditional close-knit family is a relic of the past that has outlived its purpose. It calls on us to give renewed focus on reinvigorating our faith, fortifying our moral values, and strengthening the familial bonds within the warm walls of a loving home. Thus, on pages 20 to 31, Family Matters shows you simple but potent ways parents and children can reconnect and rediscover the priceless treasure that is a loving family. We show you that nothing can replace real conversations, physical activities that engage all of one’s senses, being attuned to each other and to nature, and eating meals together to receive the gift of joy, good memories, and a positive outlook in life. We show you that nothing is as effective as a home environment that upholds stability, support, and indulgent love tempered with firm principles in raising the next generation of responsible and upright citizens. And in all this, fathers definitely play a leading role in building that desired setting. Daddies may come in all shapes and sizes with different takes on parenting, but ideal dads do have some common traits. Find out what these attributes are by turning to page 6. (Don’t forget to say “thank you” to your tatay on Father’s Day by springing together a little surprise party for him. Check out page 47 for some wonderful recipes your family can try.) June is not just about fathers though; it’s also about going back to class. You can practically hear students wailing as the new school year looms. And why not? For them, school is a never-ending cycle of projects, assignments, lessons, and lectures —in short, it is serious, nosebleed-inducing brain work. For sure, it’s quite easy to forget that school is meant to be fun, too. So this time, instead of telling you, students, to hit the books, we’re sharing with you on page 41 tips for having a roarin’ good time on campus even as you go about the regular business of picking up useful stuff. Happy schooling!
Romelda C. Ascutia Editor
email@example.com 4 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Family Matters Volume 4 | Number 1 June-August 2016 PUBLISHER Don Bosco Press, Inc. ADVISER Fr. Bernard P. Nolasco, SDB EDITOR Romelda C. Ascutia ART DIRECTOR Early Macabales CONTRIBUTORS Maridol Rañoa-Bismark Aileen Carreon Anna Cosio Rolando C. delos Reyes II, MA Ed, RGC Excel V. Dyquiangco Cecille Esperanza Gabriel Joshua M. Floresca Ruth Manimtim-Floresca Annabellie Gruenberg Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB Stephanie Mayo Ross Valentin, M.D. PHOTO STUDIO DBPI-MultiMedia Section DBPI-MMS PHOTOGRAPHER Raymond S. Mamaril PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Early Macabales CIRCULATION Don Bosco Press, Inc. PRODUCT SPECIALIST Jino Feliciano HAIR & MAKEUP ARTIST Andy Duterte LEGAL COUNSEL Sapalo Velez Bundang & Bulilan Law Oﬃces PRINTER Family Matters is a quarterly magazine published by Don Bosco Press, Inc. (02 )816-1519, (02) 893-9876 Antonio Arnaiz cor Chino Roces Avenues, Makati City, Philippines All rights reserved © 2016 by DON BOSCO PRESS, INC. No part of this magazine maybe reproduced without permission from the publisher. Tell Tellususwhat whatyou youthink? think?Your Yournews newsand andviews viewsare arewelcome. welcome. E-mail Efirstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com allallsubmissions submissionsbecame becamethe theproperty propertyofofFamilyMatters FamilyMattersand and will willnot notbebereturned, returned,Letters Lettersmay maybebeedited, edited,and andfull fullnames names will willbebepublished publishedunless unlessotherwise otherwisespecifi specifi ededbybythe thesender. sender.
Secrets of a
Happy Home By Fr. Bernard P. Nolasco, SDB
“There is no place like home,” we often say. Indeed, this is true. No matter how imperfect families may be, the home must always be the natural refuge of every member. Here are five wonderful points that can help you make your home a place where everyone eagerly wishes to return at the end of a busy day. SHARED FAMILY MEALS
No matter how simple a daily dish may be, what matters is the presence of all the members of the family around the table. More than the food shared, what is joyfully shared are the stories of each member.
The foundation of every strong and happy family is the love of spouses for each other. Burdens of family life become bearable when husband and wife fully live their marriage vows. Children grow up with love and respect when dad and mom love and respect each other. The family becomes a great team where members are always excited to play together and win together.
Amidst all the gadgets that make communication faster, nothing can replace “real communication” where members see and feel each other while exchanging views and opinions, asking or granting permissions, clarifying things, and even giving or receiving corrections.
Exchanging smiles, receiving mutual pats on the back, leaning on one another’s shoulders, and just sitting beside one’s parents or another sibling bring a lot of comfort and care to any member who may be burdened by some concerns in school or at work.
PRAYING FOR AND WITH EACH OTHER
When a family prays together and for each other, the home becomes a spiritual refuge where members feel the abundant love that comes from God. This love makes everyone accept and understand each other graciously.
June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 5
Parents’ Corner Parenting
o h w s D DA Four fathers dish on their deep commitment to take the lead in building a loving home and raising happy children. By Ruth Manimtim-Floresca
Fatherhood doesn’t come with a manual. It is a
6 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
learning process that continues even after the children are all grown up with families of their own. My husband acknowledges that even after 22 years, he still needs to make constant adjustments to the way he relates to our boys to keep improving as a father. Like him, many other men are striving constantly to be better heads of their families. Here, meet four daddies who are glad to share their tips for improving a man’s parenting skills.
FIVE KEY VALUES
Rommel T. Juan, a businessman who has three daughters with wife Christine, says he tries to guide Maxine, 14, Francine, 12, and Carrine, 9, “the best way I could by not smothering them and not giving them more than they really need, yet always being there for guidance and constructive conversation.” According to Rommel, there are five values he wants to pass on to his children: ● Perseverance. “Stick to your goals no matter how hard they are to achieve. There are no shortcuts in life. You have to work to get it.”
● Resilience. “Life will throw trials at
you but they are meant to teach you and to make you stronger. Our girls are taught that there is always hope and that every problem has a solution.”
● Passion. “If you love and enjoy what you do, you will succeed in it.”
● Respect. “Always be courteous and well-mannered. It reflects on us parents if the kids are not, and they will thrive and flourish more if they are.”
● Faith. “There is a higher being who guides and loves us. When all else fails, God is always there for us. So never lose hope.”
“I learned these values mostly from my own parents,” says Rommel. “Now, it’s our turn to teach our own children.”
DISCIPLINE WITH LOVE
Popo Betia, a project manager at a renewable energy company, is dad to June Christian, 18, and Robert Joseph, 9. “I came into June’s life when he was already 9 years old. But, in our home, there is no stepson or half-brother. He is my son, he is RJ’s kuya,” says Popo. He adds that while dads have different ways of bringing up their children, love should underlie all their actions. “I have to remind myself that I have to show love whenever I discipline the boys. I never spared the rod, but whenever I use it, anger must never be in me.” For Popo, spending quality time with his children is a non-negotiable. “We were weekend parents for a while when Jovy and I became based in
Put God first in happy times and in challenging situations, in little things and in big decisions, in success and in defeat, in abundance and in lack. Central Luzon whereas the boys stayed with my parents in Laguna,” he says. Unhappy with the situation, he resigned from his job and found work nearer home. “Not long after, Jovy also got to spend more time with us when she was given workload in South Luzon. God knew our needs and worked things out for us,” he says. Popo reveals that one of his guiding principles is to put God first “in happy times and in challenging situations, in little things and in big decisions, in success and in defeat, in abundance and in lack.” The Betia family also trusts in God’s wisdom in a crisis—such as during RJ’s battle with meningitis and leukemia as well as when June struggled as a new college student. “RJ recovered from meningitis after a month in the hospital and is currently ‘off treatment’ from chemotherapy,” reports Popo. “June’s academic performance has tremendously
improved, and he took cooking and baking certificate classes on his own initiative to fulfill his dream of becoming a chef and owning a restaurant someday.” Popo says his own parents love to serve, and he in turn teaches his sons to live in service of God and others. “It does not matter who, be it God, our relatives, other people, or our country. So I also live with the principle that living life as an individual and as a family is not only for ourselves but for the one who made us and for others as well.”
For Adolf Aran, Jr., management consultant, marketing educator, and entrepreneur, it is important that his boys Alissandro Joaquin, 15, and Andreas Javier, 9, embrace faith in God as a core value. This is because he knows that things will not be smooth sailing all the time and that he and his wife Alu will not June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 7
Parents’ Corner Parenting be around forever. “So the boys need to hold on to their faith, something that they can anchor on in good times and in bad.” Adolf wants his children to develop a love of education and reading. “When there’s a deep sense of yearning for knowledge, I have learned that it does not matter what field one enters, as long as you constantly read and have a natural ability to ask questions,” he explains. “Lately, I see Javier reading the headlines of newspapers and Joaquin finishing the Percy Jackson book series. Those are small victories that can lead to a deeper love for education,” he says. It is also vital that his boys acquire a passion for food and cooking. “Not only is it important for them to survive and be able to feed themselves beyond canned goods and take-out pizza, it’s also essential that they distinguish for themselves what is ‘good’ food.” In addition, Adolf wants for his sons to have an entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen. “One of the things I failed to realize while growing up is that there are options to earning a living beyond employment,” he says. “I exposed my kids to what I do for a living. They saw me putting in 10 to 12 hours daily as a regular employee, and they also saw me do flexi-time as an entrepreneur. Time is (the) one big difference and they should be able to see that for them to make a choice when they grow up.” For the Arans, family time is sacred. “Our weekends are spent having Sunday mass and lunch together. Most of our breakfasts and dinners are also family meals.” Adolf points out that while there are no perfect parents, he does look up to a couple of great role models. One of them is his parents and the other, a spiritual director named Father Armand.
Always be courteous and wellmannered. It reflects on us parents if the kids are not, and they will thrive and flourish more if they are. Betia family
The boys need to hold on to their faith, something that they can anchor on in good times and in bad.
He also advocates showing love and affection to one’s wife in front of the children, while also knowing the limits of appropriate public displays of affection. “That’s how they will learn to express love and take care of their future loved ones,” he explains. “In general, that’s the best way to teach them. Most of what they will pick up from you are those that you showed rather than what you told them.”
He admires Father Armand “because of the way he’s able to communicate to all his ‘children,’ including me. He’s able to process predicaments and give you the right advice at the right moment. Parenting, after all, is primarily giving time and communicating.” At the same time, it is also beneficial to compare notes with colleagues and peers from religious communities, he says. “Reading also helps as we try to experiment on various parenting styles.” Fathers, according to Adolf, also need to set aside time for one-on-one with each child. “It keeps you updated on what’s going on, their thought process, their unspoken fears, their constant worries, the cause of their anxieties, their new crush in school, and their academic difficulties. This is the right venue to talk about issues that you don’t get to discuss as a family.”
Personal finance advocate Randell Tiongson recognizes God as the ultimate role model and father figure. A dad of four, Randell plays three roles to his wife, Mia, and children Billie, 24, Gabbie, 22, Riggs, 14, and Chino, 11. As provider, “I work hard and diligently to properly provide for the needs of my family,” he says. As protector, he exerts effort to protect his wife and kids physically and emotionally. “My family knows that I am always there for them at all times and that they are my priority next to God. This means I need to be more involved in their lives to protect them.” His third role, as pastor, allows him to provide “spiritual covering” for his family. “For me to do so, I need to ensure that God is my priority and He is Lord over me. I pray for my family and I teach them by example to be close to the Lord.” ■
8 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Parents’ Corner Balancing
Do you know where your child is so late at night? Most likely on Facebook. Here’s what to do if your child seems hopelessly hooked on social media. By Stephanie Mayo Social media addiction is a serious threat, and
undeniably, one of the most addictive networking sites is Facebook. Although “Facebook Addiction Disorder,” or FAD, is not an official clinical term, some experts believe it does happen to many people, including kids. The Philippines is said to be the social media capital of the world. GMA News Online reported on a study conducted in 2014 by UM, a division of IPG Mediabrands, of more than one billion active social media users. The study found that Filipinos spend 53 hours a week socializing online—11 hours more than the global average of 42 hours. And on the 2015 social media stats for the Philippines provided by Wearesocial.Sg, social media penetration in the country increased from 32% in 2014 to 40% in 2015. So why is social media, especially Facebook, so addictive? Nir Eyal, an entrepreneur and the author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products,” said in his 2013 study that “social networking sites like Facebook ‘hook’ people using four elements: a trigger, such as loneliness, boredom or stress; an action, such as logging in to Facebook; an unpredictable or variable reward, such as scrolling through a mix of juicy and boring tidbits in the newsfeed; and investment, which includes posting pictures or liking someone’s status update.”
Children at risk of social media addiction are those who lack rewarding or nurturing relationships, or who suﬀer from poor social and coping skills. June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 9
Parents’ Corner Balancing AN FB FASCINATION
If your child or teenager is glued to his or her smartphone or laptop, checking the newsfeed every few seconds, or responding immediately to online friends as if it was a matter of life or death, then your youngster might be suffering from FAD. Then there’s also FOMO, or the “Fear of Missing Out,” which keeps your kids hooked on Facebook. Dr. Kimberly Young, director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery, pinpointed in her Webroot.com article, titled “Internet Addiction: What Parents Can Do,” the potential warning signs of “pathological Internet use” in your child.
Social networking sites like Facebook ‘hook’ people using four elements: a trigger, an action, a reward, and an investment. Loses track of time while online Sacrifices needed hours of sleep to spend time online Becomes agitated or angry when online time is interrupted Checks email several times a day Becomes irritable if not allowed access to the Internet Spends time online in place of homework or chores Prefers to spend time online rather than with friends or family Disobeys time limits that have been set for Internet usage Lies about amount of time spent online or “sneaks” online when no one is around Forms new relationships with people he or she has met online Seems preoccupied with getting back online when away from the computer Loses interest in activities that were enjoyable before he or she had online access Becomes irritable, moody or depressed when not online If you think many of these symptoms are already evident in your child, it may be time to intervene, because FAD can be dangerous. 10 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Dr. Justin Coulson, a psychology researcher, author, and speaker, in his article on child addiction to the Internet, said, “Screen time is associated with a range of negative outcomes for children,” including poorer speech and language skills in young children, poorer social skills in older children, poorer academic outcomes, lack of sleep, poorer health, and increased risk of depression and anxiety. So why is your child addicted to social media? According to Young: “Like addiction to drugs and alcohol, the Internet offers children and adolescents a way to escape painful feelings or troubling situations.” She adds that these kids escape into an online world that they have created and shaped specifically to bring them comfort. As to what kind of children are at risk for social media addiction—they are those who lack rewarding or nurturing relationships, or who suffer from poor social and coping skills.
“Because they feel alone, alienated, and have problems making new friends, they turn to invisible strangers in online chat rooms looking for the attention and companionship missing in their real lives. They may come from families with significant problems, and they cope with their problems by spending time online,” Young says further.
RESISTING THE URGE TO CLICK
For sure, Facebook addiction can be hard to overcome, but don’t lose hope, as there are ways to help your child overcome this terrible habit:
Talk to your child and understand his or her reasons. Ask what makes Facebook or social media so appealing, and ask how he or she feels when on or off FB. This will help you understand the deep-seated needs of your child.
Like addiction to drugs and alcohol, the Internet offers children and adolescents a way to escape painful feelings or troubling situations.
Set rules and time limits. If school work is being abandoned for the sake of social media, it’s time to take action and impose firm rules. Try using software that blocks social media and other distracting sites, such as the Freedom app, a program designed to keep a computer user away from the Internet for up to eight hours at a time, so your child can finish school work or chores. Then when he or she is finished with important things, then you can unblock the sites for a limited number of time. Encourage your brood to join you in offline activities. Take your kids outdoors—to the mall, park, museum, cinema, or concert, or engage them in any activity based on their interests. Help them realize that greater fun awaits them beyond social media. Play exciting offline games. Ask your children to join you in a family game. If you cannot un-hook your kid from the smartphone or computer, then don’t force the issue. But make sure to play the offline game in your child’s line of vision. The family’s squeals of delight ought to show the Facebook addict what he or she is missing and encourage the child to join in.
Studies predict that social media usage will increase as the years go by, but you don’t have to lose the war against it. Create a nurturing home environment and foster a healthy lifestyle for your child by addressing any issues of insecurity, low self-esteem, or social inadequacies. If he or she is happy and secure in the real world, the compulsion to use the computer as a means of escape will fade. As a parent, you exert a major impact and influence on the young ones—use this to help your child before FAD ruins his or her future. ■
Enroll your child in a hobby class. It could be an art class, a music class, a filmmaking workshop, a sports clinic, or a cooking session. The goal is to get your son or daughter out there and learn while having fun doing what they love. Also, this will be a great chance for your child to make real friends and have face-to-face contact with like-minded kids. If real-life friendships are stronger and more satisfying, your child will overcome the need for online socializing. Police your own social media habits. If you as a parent are addicted to Facebook yourself, then it’s going to be difficult to help your child overcome his or her own FAD. Begin by limiting your own social media usage and proving to your family that the real world is infinitely better and more fulfilling than the virtual world. June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 11
Parents’ Corner Developing
roud to be
Five ways parents can raise young patriots and little heroes. By Stephanie Mayo In this age of globalization and Western influences where our children grow up on a cultural
ust Aug wan Bu
is ka! i W ng
diet of foreign pop songs and Hollywood films, how do we teach the concept of nationalism? And why should we even do so? “It is vital for Filipino parents to instill nationalism in children because the children will be the inheritors of the nation,” says Iris Buenconsejo, 25, freelance designer, photographer, blogger (earthloveskin.com and irisbuenconsejo.com), entrepreneur, and mother to 1-year-old Avis. “They are the next society builders, congressmen, teachers, influencers, game changers.” Iris gets inspiration on the importance of nationalism from her mother’s words: “In buildings, before a skyscraper is built, its foundations have to be strong. The same with countries and governments—if the foundation is weak, the pillars will never stand up against the ebb and flow of life.”
PATRIOTISM BEGINS AT HOME
The best way to teach nationalism is for us parents to be nationalists ourselves. “To become effective, we must manifest the essence of nationalism in every aspect of our lives,” says Elizabeth Abrenica, 32, mom to a 9-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl and who is also a nurse, an entrepreneur, and the blogger of mommyqueenelizabeth.com. “Parents must ‘walk the talk’ because children follow by example.” 12 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Here are five ways to raise patriotic kids: 1. Get children to know our country. “Loving someone entails knowing that person. The same can be said about loving our country,” says Mariel Uyquiengco in her article “5 Activities to Raise Pinoy Kids Who Are Proud of Their Heritage” on smartparenting.com. “There must be a conscious decision to get to know it intimately in order for us to embrace where we live and where we belong.” You can incorporate lessons in Filipino geography and culture in your storytelling and in play or bonding times with the kids. Reading Filipino books to your kids or telling stories that take place in a Filipino setting will help cultivate a sense of nationhood in an entertaining
she loves her first trip on an airplane. We spend weekends on the different beach fronts of La Union. Before the year ends, I am planning to bring us to Cagayan Valley on a road trip and have a side trip to Batanes. I know in some way she is appreciating the beauty of our country.” 2. Cultivate a love for the Filipino language. Nowadays some schools strictly require their students to speak in English, and most of our educational materials are also written in English. In some homes, too, kids are taught to speak in English. While there’s nothing wrong with all this, a Filipino child should also be equally fluent in his or her national language. Iris exposes her Filipino-Persian daughter to admirable Filipino traditions like saying po and opo.
You can incorporate lessons in Filipino geography and culture in your storytelling and in play or bonding times with the kids.
manner. Teaching native games or palaro ng lahi like sipa, tumbang preso, and patintero also helps. And when on family vacations, try to expose your kids to the beauty of our islands and immerse the whole clan in the local culture of your destination. Take trips to local museums to make learning about our history more exciting and real. “We travel to see different parts of our country,” says Mark Donald Sato, 36, father to a 4-year-old girl, and a government employee, chef, and entrepreneur. “We’ve been to Cebu and
Says Elizabeth, “My children go to school where strict English speaking is implemented. However, despite my goals of having children that are good English communicators, I still do not want them to totally speak (just a) foreign language.” This is why they embrace the Filipino language at home, she says. And although proficiency in English will surely help students in their quest for future career success, pride in being a Filipino makes a lot of difference, she adds. “Using our own language is
manifesting and preserving our national identity,” adds Elizabeth. “It is our unique means of communicating and interacting with our fellowmen. I believe that language is an important tool to achieve further unity and national development.” “My daughter is half Persian and half Filipino,” says Iris. “Our main language module at home is English, but I speak to her in Tagalog as well. I teach her the traditions of doing the mano to the elders and to use po and opo. She calls me mommy but calls the elderly nanay and tatay.” 3. Raise proactive, respectful, and law-abiding citizens. “I think courtesy is one trait that all children should have,” says Iris. “Other skills can be taught at a later age, but respect should always be taught early on.” She also teaches her child basic community skills such as throwing trash properly. “That single act of throwing wherever and whenever convenient is not the way to show love for the Philippines,” she says. “By teaching Avis skills like this and how to be respectful, it is easier to mold her into a Filipino citizen who will appreciate her country because of its potential and not just (judge it) by its (pollution, traffic, garbage). She would be a better example of a good citizen, too.” Meanwhile, Mark trains his kids to appreciate diversity and support equality. “At home hindi big issue kung pango or matangos ka, maputi or maitim ka, mayaman or mahirap. Walang masama kung sumasakay lang ng jeep or tricycle,” says Mark. “I always see to it that they respect their elders (whether) a taho vendor or a CEO of a company.” June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 13
Parents’ Corner Developing
To be everyday heroes, she teaches her young ones the value of industriousness and productivity, and encourages them to extend help to the needy.
4. Patronize Filipino products and services. “We all know that our country is rich in resources, creating quality goods and products. As an advocate of local brands, I always introduce my kids to crafting and DIY projects that use local products and our native supplies,” says Elizabeth. “In the future,” she adds, “our own brand and home-made enterprises can have the ability and opportunity to penetrate the international market, and our economy will improve more if we ourselves patronize our own products which characterize our creativity, resourcefulness, and industry.”
country are more likely to open more opportunities for its development. They will be the people who have the fire to keep the torch going.” Indeed, teaching love of our native land is a noble pursuit, for the only way to keep the Philippines beautiful and livable is if generations of its citizens are eager and determined to protect its freedom and uphold its democratic ways. Patriotism is a precious legacy we need to pass on to ensure the perpetuity of our nation and our people. ■
5. Be an everyday Filipino hero. During calamities, we witness the Filipino spirit of bayanihan in full display. But it is not only in difficult times that we can be heroic. “It can be as simple as sharing their baon with their classmates,” says Elizabeth. To be everyday heroes, she teaches her young ones the value of industriousness and productivity, and encourages them to extend help to the needy, such as through volunteerism. “If we can impart to our children an awareness of the wonders and possibilities of our country, then this will be ingrained in their character as they mature,” says Iris. “Children who have a deep sense of pride and love for their
Our economy will improve more if we patronize our own products which characterize our creativity, resourcefulness, and industry.
Elizabeth “walks the talk” when teaching her kids the concept of nationalism.
MGA BATANG BAYANI Teacher and social worker EFREN PENAFLORIDA was named CNN Hero of the Year in 2009 for his Kariton Klasrum advocacy, involving moving around pushcarts stocked with books to bring education to poor children. But his involvement in community development started way back in 1997 when at age 16, he established Dynamic Teen Company with two friends with the aim of diverting students’ attention away from street gangs and toward community activism and personal development. 14 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
JANELA LELIS, then a 12-year old student in Albay, received government recognition and wide admiration for her valiant eﬀort in July 2011 to rescue the Philippine ﬂag at the height of Typhoon Juaning, holding it high as she waded through raging ﬂoodwaters to bring the country’s national symbol to safety.
SAJID BULIG died a hero on July 2, 1993 at age 12 after saving four children from drowning when a pagoda overloaded with Christian devotees sank in the Bocaue River in Bulacan, leaving almost 300 people dead.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to scold an erring child. One generates enlightenment and growth, the other stirs up rebellion and resentment. By Annabellie Gruenberg
I recently witnessed in a mall restroom an adult chiding a toddler who wouldn’t stop crying. With the child in her arms, the woman kept asking over and over again, “Why are you acting up? Why are you such a crybaby?” The poor toddler could not express herself and just kept on crying, with a bewildered, confused look on her face. Then the adult shifted to an admonishing, “Stop crying! Stop crying!” It was a disturbing sight, and not the first time I have seen episodes like this. A few days later, I had a conversation with some of my high school students and asked them for their thoughts and feelings about being scolded and whether scolding was effective at all. What I found out was an eye-opener. They think being reprimanded once in a while is expected and understandable if what they did was “really bad.” But it matters to them how the situation is handled—they say that they resent being scolded frequently especially about small things, and that they eventually become numb to the angry pronouncements. With repeated scoldings, they either start to ignore their parents’ words or just agree to everything being said to end the discussion.
And when asked why they keep doing the same “mistake” over and over again, I got the answer, “Well, because of so many reasons”—which I think shows how teens and tweens are temporarily hardwired in a different way from adults. Notably, they seem to prefer to be reminded to do something rather than to be nagged about what they didn’t do. They hate it when the focus is on the negative things they have done—just like small children but in a less obvious way, older kids still need affirmation and acknowledgement of the positive things they have done. Should they make a grievous mistake and are scolded for it, they expect the adults to explain to them what exactly they did wrong so they can understand. They want the adults to teach them how to do things right because sometimes they simply don’t know how. “We are still kids and we don’t think like adults” is what they want to tell parents. I think most adults forget that the human brain becomes fully developed only when a person reaches 21 years of age. Children, teens, and adults think differently because of these differences in brain development. June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 15
Castigating is counterproductive. It makes the youngster feel ashamed, anxious, unworthy, and, worse, stupid.
Moreover, according to these students, they want adults to focus on the problematic act and not on their personality. They also wish to engage in conversation, but they will clam up if humiliated and made to feel bad about themselves. As one student said, “They should guide us even if they are angry, not attack us.” They already feel bad about what happened, and they feel worse when they are made to feel bad about themselves. Before we say anything, therefore, it is advisable to check our motives before we resort to scolding so as to help differentiate the deed from the doer. Sometimes, due to anger, frustration, and disappointment, we lose our temper and say things without thinking. Unfortunately children and adolescents don’t have the capacity yet to comprehend that the angry words have good intentions behind them.
THE PROBLEM WITH LABELS
Particularly damaging is when children are labeled by their parents, as it wounds them more deeply than when they are labeled by their peers. One student mentioned how she hates being called lazy or forgetful whenever she forgets to fix her bed because she is in a rush. She said a simple one-liner like “Please go back and fix your bed” would be sufficient. She wondered why adults always see the sometimes-unmade bed more than the always-made bed. Adults may not be aware of it, but castigating a child to correct a mistake is counterproductive. It makes the youngster feel ashamed, anxious, unworthy, and, worse, stupid. The when, where, and how are very 16 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
important, too. Adolescents see red when they are given a tongue-lashing in public. “Getting scolded is scary enough, scolding us in public is worse. Of course we already knew how to feel embarrassed even when we were small,” said the students. Then they shared stories of being berated as young ones, which showed that they had not forgotten both the incidents and their emotions. How to correct children differs depending on their age. With those below 13 years old, it is best to call their attention on the spot, right after the mistake has been committed, and process it in a private space. If it happens in a public place, call the child’s attention to the mistake quietly and say you will have to talk about it when you get home. It does not help to scold a crying child. Both adult and child should be calm. For teens, it is important for parents to remember that their kids are influenced by their raging hormones. A shouting match with them will not get you anywhere and might just make things worse. Teens listen more to feelings and emotions, so a sentence that begins with “I feel…” is more effective than accusations like “you are so…” If adults tell them how they feel about something the youngsters have done, somehow it gets to them faster. Then proceed by using words like “I think,” for with this, you induce them to think, too. For example, how might you deal with a teenager who does not want to study and shows you a card with low grades? Instead of rebuking, you could try voicing your feelings: “I feel so frustrated and disappointed with your low grades because I think you are very capable of making higher grades if only you could set your priorities straight. If you can, manage your time so you can do your homework and projects, yet have time to
do what you want. I feel this is really all about managing your time properly. OK, how do you think can we work on this?” This gives an opening to brainstorm on solutions because the problem has been identified. It will also train your child in the process of problem-solving.
It is good for parents to be honest and to let their child know what they feel. But it is also important to be clear about your intentions and motivations while doing so—that you want to help your child, to rectify mistakes, and to give solutions. If these objectives are in place and conveyed well, the child may be more receptive to your words. Though there may be times when a scolding is needed, it is better for adults to explore alternatives to this when calling the attention of a wayward child. There is always a right way to put across a message, no matter how unpleasant it is. ■
Notably, they seem to prefer to be reminded to do something rather than to be nagged about what they didn’t do.
Parents’ Corner Preventing
Would you purposely set your house on fire or
knock down its walls? That would be crazy. But this is exactly what we’re doing when we contribute to climate change—slowly but surely destroying Planet Earth by making it less and less liveable for all living creatures. While governments try to create laws that improve energy usage and companies strive to adopt sustainable business practices, what are we as individuals doing to combat global warming? We can make a difference by adopting a more environment-friendly lifestyle at home, at work, and in just about everything we do. Here are some ideas for green living as we do our part to arrest climate change.
AT HOME ■ Unplug all appliances not in use. “If you leave your
appliances plugged in, even if turned off, you will cause phantom load or leaks of electricity,” explains geologist and environmental scientist Kelvin Rodolfo. “Phantom load” refers to the phenomenon of appliances constantly burning coal to achieve nothing, in the process releasing substantial amounts of carbon dioxide that harm the environment.
Cool to be
■ Conserve electricity. “Do not use the air-con if you
can stand the temperature,” advises Rodolfo, who is professor emeritus of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and a senior research fellow at the Manila Observatory. As a force of habit, some people turn on the air-conditioner as they step into their bedroom, leave it on when they step out so the room remains cool, or keep it running even in the relatively cooler early morning hours. Stop doing this and you minimize the damage to the environment.
■ Reuse. Recycling plastic and PET bottles, tin and
Adopt green living: It will do your health and budget good—and help lower the temperature of an overheating Mother Earth. By Aileen Carreon
e5 Jun orld t n W Is onme vir ay! n E D
aluminium cans, newspapers and scratch papers saves energy, says Rodolfo. Using recycled materials in manufacturing requires considerably less energy compared to producing new items. Besides, recycling means lessening the need to extract, refine, transport and process raw materials through mining and deforestation. Check out locations of recycling centers where you can bring your excess stuff.
■ Grow some of your own food. Rodolfo suggests
growing vegetables like herbs and tomatoes in your yard, even in pots on the balcony or patio. By doing so, you eliminate some of the transport required to get food to your table. If you must buy, opt for organic produce as it relies on natural manure and compost for fertilizer. In contrast, chemical produce uses synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that are often made from fossil fuels and that create in the soil nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the air. June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 17
Parents’ Corner Preventing
Grow vegetables in your yard, even in pots on the balcony or patio, to eliminate some of the transporting required to get food to your table. ■ Compost kitchen waste. “Compost food waste and use it
for fertilizing plants,” instructs Rodolfo. When you do this, you keep garbage out of the landfill where decomposed wastes produce methane, a greenhouse gas. Besides, plants love compost because it is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that helps the soil retain moisture.
■ Decrease your household’s carbon footprint. “Install solar panels to generate at least some of the energy you use,” says Rodolfo. This way, you reduce your dependence on traditional power sources.
ON THE ROAD ■ Carpool. Because it results in fewer cars on the road,
carpooling means less pollution and traffic congestion. Try to alternate driving days with co-workers, siblings, or neighbors.
■ No to aggressive driving. Speeding, accelerating, and
sudden breaking deplete fuel efficiency by 33%—you burn more gas this way.
■ Unload excess weight. The more work your car has to do,
the more energy it needs and the more gas it burns. Clean out all the junk in the trunk.
■ Walk. Minimize the use of a car, especially to go only short distances. Don’t ride a tricycle either if you can walk to the village church or the convenience store. Walking will do the environment—and your health—a lot of good, says Rodolfo.
IN THE OFFICE “When in the office, we can do at work many of the environment-friendly things we do at home,” says Rodolfo. This means switching off and unplugging computers, photocopying machines, and other electrical equipment at the end of the day or when you’re heading out for lunch, a meeting, or field work. Always turn off the lights in the room or your work station on your way out. Recycle paper, plastic, glass, and toner cartridges. Buy office supplies and equipment from eco-friendly companies. Outside the office, participate in your company’s environment programs. Some common corporate sustainability drives include reforestation and tree-planting activities. 18 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Don’t leave appliances plugged in because, even if turned oﬀ, they still cause electricity to leak. ON VACATION “Keep your surroundings clean and always collect your own garbage when you go outing or take trips,” advises Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, executive director of Manila Observatory, and a member of the Department of Science and Technology’s Committee on Space Technology Applications. “Support eco-friendly destinations. There are many destinations today that practice energy efficiency and work on restoring their immediate surroundings. These are opportunities to learn good lessons and contribute to the sustainability of the environment,” she adds.
Our land, oceans and atmosphere are all part of one system, so we need to be conscious about caring for each.
Involve the Children “Parents need to make children aware that the environment, just like any living system, has a tipping point. We can never do only just one thing to change our weather, our climate or the quality of our water and soil, and then think that it will not have a cascading impact. Our land, oceans and atmosphere are all part of one system, so we need to be conscious about caring for each,” says Loyzaga. Elaine Ramos-Alanguilan and Monet Ongpin-Aquino, public affairs colleagues at a telecommunications firm, are getting their respective families involved, including their young sons. “We segregate trash at home and recycle when we can. We also use cloth bags for groceries,” says Elaine. “We unplug appliances when not in use and put the air-conditioner on timer to regulate use. We use iron-free clothes. We also use a rain barrel and use rainwater to water plants and clean the cages of our pets,” shares Monet. Rodolfo underscores the important role of parents in instilling a genuine concern for the environment in their children. “Parents should set a good example and discuss with their children why and how each green living practice is good for the environment.” With a good foundation at home, the children can bring what they have learned to their school. “Children can discuss climate change with their classmates. They can recycle everything that is recyclable and plant shrubs in the school yard,” suggests Rodolfo. With a good understanding of global warming, he said students can even urge school administration to adopt green-living practices like installing solar panels. “Students can bring their reusable food and drink containers,” adds Loyzaga. She also stresses conserving water and electricity in school with basic practices like turning off the lights and closing the faucets. Everyone— parents, children, employees, companies—has to get on board if we want our planet to continue being a home for many generations to come. ■
Higher temperatures as greenhouse gases trap more heat in the atmosphere
Increased incidence of heat waves, which can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heatstroke
Longer, more extreme droughts
Strained supply of water for drinking, house chores, irrigation, generating electricity; could trigger widespread hunger
Stranger weather phenomena with stronger hurricanes, tropical storms, and snowstorms that get their energy from warmer oceans
Heavy ﬂoods, infrastructural damage, crop destruction, endangered human lives
Rise in sea level forces people in coastal areas to migrate inland
Increased acidity of the ocean as it absorbs more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
Loss of coral reefs that harbor many sea creatures, disrupting the food chain in the ocean.
Warmer oceans due to heat absorbed from the rise in the air’s temperature
Rise in sea level that creates more powerful tropical storms; aﬀects sea life such as ﬁsh and corals
Shrinking snowpack, or the total amount of snow and ice on the ground
Decrease during the summer months of the supply of fresh water to rivers, streams, and reservoirs
Shrinking sea ice in the Arctic Ocean
Sea ice reﬂects sunlight back out to space. With less ice, the Earth will absorb more heat and grow warmer. Animals like polar bears and seals that live and hunt on sea ice are aﬀected.
Change in weather patterns due to shifts in air and ocean currents
More rain in some countries and less rain in others. Generally, dry areas become drier and wet areas become wetter.
Rising sea level due to the expansion of water as it gets warmer and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets
Threatens people who live near bodies of water; more frequent ﬂooding in lowlying areas; harms important coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and coral reefs
Thawing permafrost, or the layer of soil or rock that is frozen all year round
Sinking of land can damage buildings and put people’s lives at risk as well as aﬀect the ecosystem as trees tilt or fall; carbon trapped in the permafrost is released to the atmosphere as methane, a greenhouse gas
June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 19
ECT S L A I SPEC
2016: Year of the
ily m a F l a u t Spiri , SDB
e ustilo h G t s i c t By Fr. Fran r o p ! y Sup l a eGC m a R F , e A Ed h M , t I I es e t a s Rey o r l e d . ndo C CelBey b Rola es u l a V n i s i is Anna Cosio r C A By
2016: Year of the Family
Support the Spiritual Family Developing richer, well-developed family and life programs will help Filipino families become stronger in the face of modern-day challenges. By Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB
he country’s Catholic Bishops held a five-day conference in Bacolod City early this year in which they underlined the need to fully develop the Church’s family and life programs, so married couples may be properly guided on their task of strengthening their married and family life.
Not all dioceses have the complete Family and Life Programs for a true accompaniment of couples in their marriages.
The Post-Synodal National Conference led by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was held in Bacolod City last February 15 to February 19. The conference chose to take a line of action highlighted during the Synod discussions in 2015—the Pastoral Accompaniment of Married Couples and their family. Bishop Gilbert Garcera, D.D., head of the CBCP Episcopal Commission for Family, said during the conference that all dioceses in the Philippines have put in place a preparatory program— popularly called Pre-Cana Program—for couples asking for the Sacrament of Matrimony. However, he noted that not all dioceses have the complete Family and Life Programs for a true accompaniment of couples in their marriages. June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 21
SPECIAL SECTION 2016: Year of the Family
He even wondered why, while there is a Pre-Cana, there is no Post-Cana. Thus, he proposed that the five-day seminar focus on shaping a common understanding of the term “Pastoral Accompaniment.”
In particularly, he suggested centering on what attitudes and aptitudes pastoral workers need in order to properly accompany, as well as on what form of networking to set in place, as the Holy Spirit has raised many charismatic and lay groups that have been assisting marriages and preparation for marriages for some 40 years now. Part III of the Post-Synodal Report to the Holy Father has three pre-conditions for an adequate pastoral accompaniment of families: The Marriage Preparation, the Celebration of Marriage, and the Initial Year of Family Life. The Synod of Bishops concluded that Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation of Familiaris Consortio already indicated three phases when preparing couples for marriage. They are: ●
A remote preparation, which happens in the transmission of the faith and Christian values in the family
A proximate preparation, which coincides with the various programs of catechesis and formative experiences lived within the ecclesial community
An immediate preparation for marriage, which is part of a broader program characterized by the vocation to marriage itself
In the Philippines, only the third phase, the Pre-Cana Program, is properly taken care of. Sometimes this program is even sorely lacking, currently run by parishes for just half a day with a lot of information overload. (It is different when parishes require a weekend reflection for young couples, usually called as a Discovery Weekend.) On the first two phases, much still needs to be done by both parents and local parish priests. That is, they must make sure that the young, who will eventually get married, are offered the opportunity to appreciate the life of a Christian couple and the Sacrament of Matrimony. For parents, this means they should allow their children to have the experience of deep relationships in family life. For parish priests, this means finding opportunities to organize and teach catechetical programs aimed at understanding the vocation of married life.
BEYOND THE WEDDING CELEBRATION What greater lament when one looks at the horizon of the “post-Cana” accompaniment, where there is no diocesan program at all! The good news is that several lay groups and charismatic movements
22 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
The young should be offered the opportunity to appreciate the life of a Christian couple.
have been engaged in this pastoral ministry for some four decades now. In fact, the heads of these ministries were summoned to the Post-Synodal National Conference, and shared through workshops their group’s experiences on carrying out specific initiatives to provide post-Cana accompaniment to families. The Couples for Christ has a 35-year experience of accompanying couples, and they eventually expanded their programs to include the whole gamut of family ministries, including those for youth, singles, and even widowers and widows, those who are separated, and solo parents on account of the spouse being an overseas Filipino worker. The Marriage Encounter Ministry, on the other hand, helps to enrich the relationship of couples as they look back on their marital woes and look forward to greater marital bliss. The Bacolod conference also identified 18 different circumstances when pastoral accompaniment may require longer training or even professional intervention. Examples are families with children having congenital special needs or disabilities; families with absentee parents whose children are cared for by grandparents; families dealing with
The required required attitudes attitudes of of aa The pastoral worker worker are are deep deep pastoral spirituality and and passion passion for for spirituality humanity. humanity. addictions like alcoholism, drug dependence, gambling, and the like; families with mixed religions; families of migrants; families dealing with same-sex attraction issues; families caring for elderly, sick, or dying members; families having a seminarian-son or a religious sister-daughter; and so on.
DESIRED ATTITUDES AND APTITUDES
The National Conference likewise took the time to discuss the more important attitudes (pastoral heart) and aptitudes (pastoral skills) that a pastoral worker needs to possess and develop as he or she journeys with families in different situations and stages of married and family life. Just as the Post-Synodal Report contains a section regarding the Church as Listening to Families, the highest score among the different attitudes noted and discussed was the capacity of a pastoral worker to listen. It also means that the pastoral worker has empathy and, above all, an openness to learn. Eventually, when the different groups gave their reports following their discussions, they came up with several observations. One, they stressed that the required attitudes of a pastoral worker are deep spirituality and passion for humanity. Deep spirituality is engendered by a life-changing experience of God’s fatherly love that raises one to a certain conviction of belonging to Him. As such, one is completely overcome by His merciful grace and by an appreciation of a mission as being wholly His. This calls for traits such as God-fearing, prayerful, discerning, pure in intention, humble and with a shepherd’s heart, welcoming and open-minded, compassionate, selfless, committed, able to take risks, joyful, and hopeful and persevering.
Passion for humanity comes from the experience of God’s faithful love and from the realization that everyone else belongs to Him. Because of this, one approaches every person with reverence, respect, and kindheartedness. The pastoral attributes of this attitude are amoy-tupa, sensitivity to needs, reverence, listening skills, flexibility, availability and approachability, being caring, responsibility, trustworthiness, devotion, industriousness, and the moral courage of a wounded healer. In the same manner, the National Conference came up with a cluster of needed aptitudes for a pastoral worker for families. These are personal, interpersonal, and organizational abilities. Desired personal abilities include being spiritually equipped, a critical mind, a capacity to become and learn, a readiness to receive, creativity, knowledge of Scriptures and Church teachings, and cultural intelligence, among others. Interpersonal abilities cover high EQ, persuasiveness, communication skills, counseling skills, knowledge in basic psychology and the stages of development and human dynamics, an understanding of husband-wife relationship and parent-child relationship, parenting skills, and skills in dealing with people in crisis.
The all-necessary attitude is one of discernment of the Spirit— the Spirit of God that leads to life and life-giving attitudes. Organizational abilities call for someone who has management skills, has program implementation abilities, has leadership skills, and is savvy about media and technology.
IMPORTANCE OF ACCOMPANIMENT
Today’s society is conflicted over the espousal of what is true and good, and beneficial and proper for family life. With so many issues confronting families—from contraception to abortion, from separation to divorce, from putting the elderly in nursing homes to euthanasia— accompaniment by the Church through authentic Christian family life and through the local pastors with their lay collaborators is a necessity. The all-necessary attitude is one of discernment of the Spirit—the Spirit of God that leads to life and life-giving attitudes. Every home and above all every leader of a family require such discerning attitude. However, discernment would demand a co-discerner and this means a need for a pastoral companion. It is said in spiritual circles that anyone who has no spiritual director has the devil for a director. Self-direction is very prone to the insidious wiles of the evil one. One can imagine the promotion of subjectivism, relativism, and individualism in the current post-modern culture of secularism. These are exactly the opposite of the necessity for pastoral accompaniment. ■ June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 23
24 FamilyMatters â€˘ June-August 2016
June-August 2016 â€˘ FamilyMatters 25
SPECIAL SECTION 2016: Year of the Family
Celebrate the Famealy!
Here’s why every home should hold sacred and join in the tradition of the happy family meal. By Anna Cosio
n the kitchen, the mother is busy cutting vegetables and simmering meat in a pot. The other members of the family are scattered around the house, preoccupied with their smart phones and tablets. But the moment the aroma of the dish wafts out of the kitchen, they drop everything and run to the dining table. The family then eats together, talks together, laughs together. 26 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
The secret ingredient to every wonderful meal is neither the spice nor the sauce, but the presence of the whole family.
Through all this, the mother smiles, knowing it’s all due to the secret ingredient she has just discovered. Moms watching this TV food commercial might suddenly feel the urge to run out and buy this magic ingredient, hoping to achieve the same desired effect. In reality, the key ingredient to every wonderful meal is neither the spice nor the sauce, but the presence of the whole family. Imagine if advertisers tried to sell their product by featuring someone eating sinigang na baboy all by himself. No matter how tasty the dish might seem, Filipino viewers are probably going to feel bad for the solitary diner, thinking: He has a delicious meal with no one to share it with. What a pity! To us Filipinos, the best meal is always the family meal. The dinner table is not only a place for sharing food, but also a place for sharing what is going on in our lives—our thoughts, our plans
and dreams, our successes and joys, even our challenges and sorrows. It is a place for reminiscing the good old days and for creating new memories. At the family dinner table, we grow closer together and develop a deeper understanding of each other. To paraphrase Fr. Patrick Peyton, we could say, “The family that eats together, stays together.” There is simply something about the family meal that fosters a sense of belonging, security, warmth, and love— positive feelings that strengthen the family bond and make us look forward to the next meal. Aside from this, regular family meals also have several practical benefits, especially for growing children. Did you know that research shows family meals help improve the health of children and adolescents, and prevent youngsters from developing obesity and eating disorders? This is probably because our conscientious mothers often prepare balanced meals and hold back on deeply fried or highly salted foods, and children who eat at home also tend to eat less junk food. Another benefit is that the good feelings generated by family meals result in children who have higher psychological well-being and lower risk of substance abuse and delinquency. An added practical advantage: eating home-cooked meals together is definitely cheaper than buying separate meals on the go, thus extending the family budget’s reach. Despite all of these benefits, the tradition of the family meal is sadly slowly disappearing in some homes because of the demands of our fast-paced world. In my own home, our family meals have become less frequent since my brother and I are now adults and we have also started working outside of normal daytime hours, with my brother on the night shift and me on the graveyard shift. My dad, meanwhile, works during the day and my mom stays at home. It is also probably only a matter of time, too, before my brother and I move out and start our own families. Because of the conflicting schedules that limit our opportunity for weekday get-togethers, we now cherish even more our family meals on weekends, holidays, and other special days. In fact, every time we have a family meal, I count it as a special day. It’s true that sometimes we never fully realize the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
MAKING FAMILY MEALS SPECIAL
So while we still can, let’s make the most of our family meals. Here are some tips: 1. Be present for one another. Mealtime is the perfect time to show our love and undivided attention to each other, so make sure to do your best to avoid distractions. Pope Francis specified what these distractions are: “A family who hardly ever eats together or where no one at the table speaks but only looks at television or their smart phone is barely a family.” He adds that when the children at the table are attached to their computers or mobile phones, it is not a home but a hotel. He further encourages families to talk and listen to each other, and to avoid silences at the table. 2. Say grace before meals. Like in the Last Supper when Jesus said grace with the apostles, family meals can be a
time of prayer. Although grace before meals is a very short and simple prayer, it is often the first exposure of children to a life of prayer. It is also a good reminder that God is the source of everything that we have, including our daily bread. 3. Involve everyone in meal preparations. This can be done on the weekend or whenever there is enough free time. A little teamwork in the kitchen creates a sense of togetherness and accomplishment. Children also tend to enjoy the food more if they helped to make it. 4. Avoid negative topics that impair appetites. We want mealtimes to be a pleasant experience that children look forward to, not dread. Unless to gently correct table manners, parents should avoid scolding at the dinner table. Instead of bringing up someone’s unsatisfactory academic performance, try talking about God’s blessings to the family that day, a new learning, or plans for tomorrow. Aside from a meal plan, it would be nice to have a conversation plan as well. 5. Hold constant family mealtimes. Scheduling is a must. Regular family mealtimes are particularly important to create that stable environment growing children need. Moreover, regular family meals provide structure and consistency to everyone’s daily routine so that eventually, they become less of a chore and more an hour of calm amidst hectic schedules. It’s hard to believe that a simple meal can make such an enormous difference in our family’s life. This simplicity is perhaps also the reason why it is easily taken for granted. If the family dinner is not yet a part of your daily routine, give it a try at least three times a week until it becomes a habit, and watch your family life bloom. ■
Regular family meals provide structure and consistency to everyone’s daily routine, so that eventually they become less of a chore and more an hour of calm amidst hectic schedules.
June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 27
SPECIAL SECTION 2016: Year of the Family
A Crisis in Values How do we push back against destructive ideologies that threaten to supplant the Filipino values of communion, responsibility, and character growth? By Rolando C. delos Reyes II, MA Ed, RGC
ope Francis used the term “ideological colonization” in Manila during the Encounter with Families on January 16, 2015. In his address, he defines ideological colonization as the spreading of Western concepts that promote lifestyles destructive to family life—by redefining marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by the lack of openness to life.
28 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Families can help avert escapismLetby providing safe us enumerate some of these bad and discover how to bring spacespractices, where a person our unique Filipino values back into our family life.acknowledge can properly INDIVIDUALISM: feelings, process ME, MYSELF AND I experiences, and Notice how peoplegradually have become engrossed with how many friends they growLetin character. us enumerate some of these bad
practices, and discover how to bring our unique Filipino values back into our family life.
INDIVIDUALISM: ME, MYSELF AND I
Notice how people have become engrossed with how many friends they have on Facebook, how many followers they have on Twitter and Instagram, and how many liked their selfie posts. Cardinal Tagle, in his address during the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), tells us that “the individualistic attitude makes the individual reign supreme.”
so-called busy “progressive” lives, family members seldom see each other, let alone eat together. At the same time, some families that still share meals together may not be making it a welcoming experience. Mealtime is when children are scolded and derided, husbands and wives argue with each other, the comparison game is played among siblings, and members generally feel reluctant to share. Where have we gone wrong in sharing family meals? “No one thrown away, only gifts to be treasured” is the last admonition of the good cardinal in his IEC talk. How
instantly gratify. Parents say, “I do not want my child to experience the pain that I have experienced.” But pain in various forms inevitably catches up with young people—through the death of a loved one, broken families, unreciprocated affection, failed subjects, wrong life decisions, flopped business projects, or unfulfilled dreams. Pain is a part of life to either accept or escape from. The world is a carnival of escapism. Advertisements entice us to stop looking at reality and drown ourselves in illusions. Vanity lane speaks about
Parents should use this authority as a way to create a lively and healthy conversation while enjoying the food, so that each member leaves smiling and looking forward to another hearty family meal. Yet in our endless pursuit of self, have we truly found our true self, or are we relentlessly trying to project our false self? God in creating us said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” This is an invitation for man to enter the sacrament of marriage with woman and build a family. Yet even inside the family, there can be deep-seated loneliness. Children come home to empty houses or go straight to their rooms. Parents are so preoccupied with work or household chores that they don’t give enough attention and care to their children. Filipino tradition invites the family to communion, sharing their thoughts and experiences during the day, particularly during meal times. Our good cardinal rightly states at the IEC: “Restore the family meals. The basic unit of the meal is the table, the common table.” The common table is, however, slowly fading in modern Filipino homes, especially in urban areas. Because of our
wonderful it would be if members of the family enthusiastically and genuinely listened to each other’s stories shared at table. And this is where the personal authority of the parents comes in— when the father or the mother provides a good example of attentive and nonjudgmental listening to another, and demands the same kind of respectful demeanour from the other members. Parents should be careful not to use this authority as a means of control, but as a way to create a lively and healthy conversation while enjoying the food, so that each member leaves smiling and looking forward to another hearty family meal.
HEDONISM: INSTANT GRATIFICATION
We have nurtured generations that glorify the words “automatic,” “instant,” “fast.” People are attracted to automatically driven cars, instant coffee, and fast food, which shows how man has attached himself to things that
how to create a better you—more beautiful or handsome, youngerlooking or slimmer more muscular and with abs, blemish-free—in other words, somebody else except you. Workaholics also have a good strategy for escaping reality. By focusing on achievements, deadlines, promotions, and leadership positions, they can forget about aspects of their lives that are falling apart, and can say that they have one area covered. The family may push members into these modes of escape when it fails to recognize the unique gift that each one brings. Because of shame-based traditions, the individual is forced to comply with beliefs and expectations that he or she does not understand, and acceptance becomes based on what one has or what one does, and not on who one is. Families can help avert escapism by providing safe spaces where a person can properly acknowledge feelings, process experiences, and gradually grow in character. June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 29
Instead of avoiding pain, parents can teach children how to face and welcome pain as a necessary good for them to grow as a person. Do household chores as a family, enjoying the fellowship while doing hard work. If children commit mistakes, help them learn from them. Bring them to save money, and to spend based on what they have saved, to instill in them the value of living within their means, and of obtaining things through endurance and resilience.
MATERIALISM: TEMPORAL REWARDS
Well-meaning parents pledge that “I will not let my child experience the same poverty that I have experienced.” Because of this, they work overtime, on double shifts, have different “sidelines” or rakets, or even go abroad, just to provide a good life for their children. Once, a youngster told me, “I need my parents more than I need their money.” When this fact was brought up with the parents, they were defensive, saying that all their sacrifices working away from home was intended to provide for their children. Indeed, material provision is necessary. But parenting is much more than that. Children should be taught that material things are not all there is to life. Parents should not always make temporal matters a reward for doing errands, or making good grades, or even for exhibiting proper behaviors. Developing a barter trade for doing good will make a person always think, “What’s in it for me?” The family should learn that doing something good is already its own reward, and that by faith we believe that there is something more beyond the material in this world that awaits us in the everlasting life. By this, it means that family members should be taught about and experience unconditional love from one another, by each being present for every member. The holy presence between spouses, parents, and children teaches them that the best things in life are free.
RELATIVISM: RIGHTS WITHOUT RESPONSIBILITIES
Richard Rohr once stated the difference between “having to do what I want to do” versus “wanting to do what I have to do.” The first phrase talks about a rights-based culture—one that is very prevalent now in modern society—where everyone is talking about one’s rights without reference to the rights of others. This brings us to rebellion against the objective moral truth, and every person is free to demand his or her rights, even if it infringes on the rights of the unborn, the elderly, the 30 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
handicapped, or the Church. It naturally brings about anarchy, and rights that are free for all. The latter phrase talks about a responsibility-based culture, one that is unpopular but is the basis of a humane society. For one has to recognize that for every right, there is a corresponding responsibility, and that we have to live up to these responsibilities to build a just society. The emphasis is not on what I am entitled to have, but on what I am duty-bound to do. “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11. This Scripture passage encapsulates moral relativism. Our political scene is clearly tainted by these childish ways, as can be seen by leftist groups perennially organizing mass protests about “human rights” against the government. Though their intentions may be laudable, I question the machinery behind such noisy “toddler-like” attitude. When I started with the pro-life movement, I was also like them—a noisy gong. But my ongoing spiritual formation enables me to see beyond myself, and weigh in on issues based on a wider perspective of inclusivity.
The family should learn that doing something good is already its own reward, and that by faith we believe that there is something more beyond the material in this world that await us in the everlasting life.
Silence made me more aware of God’s finger in both good and bad, and brings me to act according to what I perceive God wants me to do. I began to see that there are other perspectives than my own, and that there is a God— and that is not me. We have a crisis of masculinity, in a culture that blames men but does not lift a finger to address man’s needs. We have a crisis of fatherhood, where fathers have abdicated their role as models of discipline, direction, and affirmation, and have relinquished their stand on objective moral truth. We must bring the dignity of fatherhood beyond being a material provider, but as tradition says, as a “haligi ng tahanan.”
each child. The Filipino family must learn the art and skill of accompaniment—of helping each member experience God’s love through personal encounters among and with each other, forming a resilient conscience that will enable him or her to make responsible life choices amidst a highly devaluating culture.
SECULARISM: FREEDOM FROM MORAL AUTHORITY
It is disturbing to see our culture developing our youth to become “pabebe”—a term that comes from a viral video of two girls acting as if no one has the right to correct their ways. Filipino family tradition is far from this attitude. We may want to ask ourselves: Where is this rebellious spirit in our “millennial” youth coming from? Siakol’s song “Ituloy Mo Lang” has this chorus: “At kahit na ano pa ang gusto mo basta wala ka bang tinatapakan na tao, ituloy mo lang ito. Ang mahalaga ikaw ay masaya, ‘wag mong intindihin ang sasabihin ng iba - sila ang may problema.” This is just an example of how pop culture continues to feed our youth with ideas that they can just follow their whims without guidance from their loved ones. Pope Francis rightly says that we must allow persons “to be dignified agents of their own destiny... by respecting and reinforcing the primary right of the family to educate its children, as well as the right of churches and social groups to support and assist families in the education of their children” (UN Address, September 2015). Families, particularly parents, must continue the legacy of educating their children about faith and morals in light of the Catholic Church’s teachings, while respecting the unique life journey of
Families, particularly parents, must continue the legacy of educating their children about faith and morals in light of the Catholic Church’s teachings, while respecting the unique life journey of each child.
We as a Filipino people are unique. Though worn out and browbeaten by different colonizers, we bear in our hearts this welcoming spirit while holding fast to our traditions. Let us not be swayed by “ideological colonization,” and stand tall as the light tower of Christian faith in Asia. Let us proudly wave our banners of lived-out faith and help other families protect themselves with this arsenal of good practices—sharing family meals, providing safe spaces for members to grow amidst pain, experiencing unconditional love through the holy presence of each other, bringing back the dignity of fatherhood, learning and practicing the art and skill of personal accompaniment. And let us not forget the old adage of Fr. Patrick Peyton: “The family that prays together, stays together.” Let us reflect on this strong statement released by our holy father Pope Francis in his address to the United Nations last September 2015: “Without the recognition of certain incontestable natural ethical limits and without the immediate implementation of those pillars of integral human development, the ideal of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war” (Charter of the United Nations, Preamble), and “promoting social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom” (ibid.) “risks becoming an unattainable illusion, or, even worse, idle chatter which serves as a cover for all kinds of abuse and corruption, or for carrying out an ideological colonization by the imposition of anomalous models and lifestyles which are alien to people’s identity and, in the end, irresponsible.” June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 31
Youth Talk Starring
Andre Paras’ e m ga plan
He towers above everyone, but this rising TV and film actor strives to make people—especially his fans— feel they are his equals. By Maridol Ranoa-Bismark
32 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
With his mestizo features and 6’4” height, Andre Paras looks like your typical good-looking celebrity. Look closer, though, and you’ll find the 21-year-old son of Benjie Paras and Jackie Forster to be wise beyond his years. Two years in showbiz, with all its trappings of fame, money, and influence, has failed to mire him in a lifestyle of excess. Andre always ends his statements to this writer with a respectful po, and says sorry for failing to catch your question the first time.
LOOKING UP TO DAD
The star of GMA 7’s primetime series That’s My Amboy credits his dad, a former Philippine Basketball Association star player, for who and where he is now. Andre’s touching Instagram post in 2015 read, “At 46 years old, my dad still running, posting up, scoring and still going hard to the rim despite multiple knee injuries and operations. My dad made a living out of this sport and it opened a lot of windows of success.” Like his dad, Andre plays basketball, but only for relaxation, regarding the sport as a stress reliever and as a great way to stay fit, especially with his many tapings, guestings, and commercial shoots.
Andre encourages young people to finish school first. A college diploma is something they can always fall back on after showbiz.
“Yes, I still pick up the ball. It makes me happy. It’s a workout for me. It takes away fatigue and loneliness, especially when I don’t have friends to hang around with,” he says. Andre knows having few friends is the price to pay for his packed schedule. He’s still on the set, taping for a TV show up to the early hours of the morning. But this is the least of Andre’s worries. He’s just glad to be able to make people smile when they see him on TV or elsewhere. “I’m happy to be able to entertain and inspire [people]. That’s a big thing for me.” He even wonders aloud: “I don’t know why I’m happy even if I lack sleep.” This outlook prevents Andre from becoming swellheaded as some actors tend to become. He prefers to be acknowledged
Andre makes sure he shows his dad as often as possible how much he appreciates his sacrifices for them. for his talent and be regarded as the guy next door who just happens to be a familiar face on TV and billboards.
Maybe it’s because Andre was not exactly looking for success when it came knocking at his door after the release of the romantic-comedy film Diary ng Panget two years ago. He found his schedule suddenly filling up, and had to take a leave from school. While others have had to wait a long time for a hit movie, he was there at the right time, at the right place. Besides, Andre knows he owes a lot to his fans who have been supporting him since his struggling years. So he waves to them, smiles at them, pauses to say hello. “They can just approach me. I don’t mind. I’m no different from them,” Andre stresses. Basketball has also given Andre a good foundation for values such as sportsmanship—humility after a lost game, graciousness in victory—and acceptance that you can’t have it all. “You win some, you lose some,” he states. “Bilog ang bola,” he muses, which translates to “the ball is round,” or that the unexpected can happen. So why let the headiness of showbiz life get to you? But while basketball will forever be a part of Andre’s life, he admits having to struggle on the hard court, unlike his brother Kobe, who is a natural in the sport and is now playing basketball for the prestigious UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Bruins. “Kobe’s competitive attitude is suited for basketball. The drive is there. Me, I have to work hard as an athlete,” Andre says. But he doesn’t envy his brother. In fact, Andre supports Kobe all the way. Besides, Andre is happy where he is right now.
GET THAT DIPLOMA
On learning how much he inspires other young men to enter showbiz, too, Andre gives this friendly advice: “Think about what you really have to do in life. Don’t think about fame because if you work hard, it will come naturally. Just do your best.” June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 33
Youth Talk Starring
Most of all, Andre encourages young people to finish school first. A college diploma, he goes on, is something they can always fall back on after showbiz. “If you weren’t able to finish college, what will you do after showbiz?” He himself says he misses interacting with classmates and the demands of classroom work. So he’s bent on going back to school and getting a degree in Film once his schedule allows it. Why Film? Because Andre enjoys sitting down and discussing ideas about stories that create a big impact on the big screen. Besides, it’s a natural progression from his work before the cameras. “It’s on-the-job training,” the future filmmaker beams. Yes, Benjie has raised Andre—and Kobe—well. Andre is well-adjusted, humble, responsible, and looking beyond the present to secure a bright future. And now that Andre’s all grown up, he makes sure he shows his dad as often as possible how much he appreciates his sacrifices for them. He relates that on Father’s Day in particular, he surprises Benjie with a special thank-you gift: a handmade card he presents to his father the moment he wakes up. He knows it’s the least he can do for a perfect dad—this person who supports his dreams, guides him lovingly but firmly, and allows him to come into his own while making him aware of the impact of his actions, not just on himself but also on other people.
Yes, I still pick up the ball. It makes me happy. It’s a workout for me. It takes away fatigue and loneliness, especially when I don’t have friends to hang around with. 34 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Ask Benjie Paras’ celebrity sons Andre and Kobe to deﬁne a good dad, and they’ll point to him. Benjie has been a hands-on father to them from the beginning. When they were babies, he changed their diapers, and at night, he lulled them to sleep, sandwiched between the two. When they were old enough to study, he brought them to and from school, attended PTA meetings, and got their report cards after each grading period. As a father, Benjie imposes discipline at home, knowing it is his job to teach his children values. “I was strict with them when they were kids,” recalls Benjie of his parenting style. “I showed them there’s a diﬀerence between having fun with me and my being a father. I made them understand that, yes, we will enjoy. But I will tell them what the limits are.” Whenever Kobe and Andre misbehaved, Benjie would start his countdown. “I will count to three. You’re gonna get it from me If you don’t obey at the count of three,” Benjie warned them. He remembers giving Kobe a whack on the buttocks once. After that, Benjie didn’t have to chastise his sons again. “I told them their friends make great companions because they don’t care about the stupid things they do. I also informed them that friends will tell them what they want to hear. But they only have one dad,” Benjie explains. Now that his boys are grown up, Benjie has chosen to stay in the background and let them make their own decisions. Benjie gives full support to Andre’s showbiz adventures, even as he encourages Kobe, who is currently on a basketball scholarship in Los Angeles, to chase his hard-court aspirations. In turn, the two listen to their dad all the time, knowing he’s only after their welfare. “They open up to me. I know what’s happening in their lives,” Benjie says. The close ties between father and sons extend even to talks about love life. Benjie’s advice to them about choosing a girlfriend? “Make sure that she’s family-oriented, that she goes to church. Stay away from those who will go anywhere with you.” This Dad really knows what’s best for his kids.
Youth Talk Growing
t i a W TThhee Long Should you worry when you see that your friends are suddenly getting bigger, stronger, and taller, and you’re not? By Ross Valentin, M.D.
The ages between 9 and 14 are a time of great physical changes for boys. If you’re around this age, you have probably noticed these rapid changes, such as the development of your genitals, the growing definition of the muscles in your arms, and the growing hairs on your face and armpits. You also may begin to look more mature and your voice to become deeper. This period of intense physical growth and sexual development which is caused by the large amounts of hormones being produced by your body is known as puberty, a stage all boys and girls go through as they transition into adulthood. In boys, the changes in their body happen over a number of years at rates that are different for everyone. Some boys start puberty early while others go through it later. This is the why some of your friends look like grownups already, while others still look like kids.
June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 35
Youth Talk Growing
Some boys start puberty early while others go through it later. This is why some of your friends look like grownups already, while others still look like kids.
TIPS for Staying Upbeat
You can still have a great time while waiting for your own growth spurt to kick in. Sometimes it can be really diﬃcult to cope with delayed puberty, especially when your classmates or friends make comments or jokes about your slow development. The good news is there are ways to cope. Here’s how. 1.
Vent. You don’t need to keep things to yourself. Tell your parents, brothers or sisters, your best friend, your doctor, or someone you trust about how you feel. These people can help you sort out your feelings and recommend eﬀective ways of dealing with them.
Be patient. Understand that you cannot speed up the growth process. Puberty will eventually take place and you will catch up with your peers.
Have the right attitude. How you want to be aﬀected by it is entirely your choice. Choose to be optimistic and positive. Stop seeing yourself as a “late bloomer.” Rather than dwelling on the delay, just get out there and do your best.
Have the right thoughts. Understand that everyone develops in his own time and your body will change when it’s ready. Know that it’s not your fault.
Prepare yourself. Know that people will make negative comments about you. Knowing what they will do prepares you and makes it easier for you. Besides, you don’t need to listen to them. What’s important is what you tell yourself.
Love and accept yourself. Understand that no one can accept and love you unless you ﬁrst accept and love yourself. Know that you are a unique and wonderful person no matter what. You are more than how you look and you have great qualities that people can look up to.
Stick with your real friends. Your real friends are those who can accept you for who you are and how you look.
Focus on your strengths. All of us have our strengths and weaknesses. Don’t dwell on your deﬁciencies. You have your own special gifts and qualities. Choose to focus on them.
Choose to have fun. Rather than feeling bad and being alone by yourself, savor this part of your life. Spend your time doing things that you enjoy and do well. Participate in diﬀerent activities, join organizations in school, reach out and make friends, ﬁnd people who share your interests and hobbies.
10. Choose to be active. Engage in sports activities. Sports is not always about being the tallest or the strongest. It’s mostly about skills, strategy, and teamwork. You can keep up with other boys if you are in shape, skillful, and smart. Remember to just be yourself. You don’t need to imitate your peers; you are OK even if you are not like the others. Understand too that what makes life so interesting is the fact that we are all diﬀerent. Being diﬀerent doesn’t mean you are bad or good, it only means you are diﬀerent. When you choose to see things this way, you’ll feel better about yourself. 36 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
WHY DO SOME BOYS HAVE DELAYED PUBERTY?
If puberty has not started by age 14, it is called delayed puberty. Delay in puberty is more common in boys than in girls, and is caused by several reasons. ● Constitutional Delay in Growth and Puberty (CDGP). The most common cause of delayed puberty in boys is CDGP, a condition that is genetically inherited. Boys who have CDGP are generally healthy except for a slower and later physical and sexual development. Typically these boys are shorter than other boys their age and usually have family members who had experienced late puberty, too. If you’re one of them, just enjoy your youth and wait a little more. You will still go through puberty and develop normally. ● Other factors behind delayed puberty. In a very few instances, delay in puberty is due to factors like illnesses, malnutrition, excessive physical exercise, problems with the testicles, having undergone certain surgeries, or problems in the person’s genes or in the glands that produce the hormones needed for puberty. Diseases like asthma or diabetes may hold back puberty, as may certain surgeries and cancer treatments. Boys who don’t eat enough or don’t get the right nutrients can develop later than their friends. Boys who lack the hormones required for puberty or have problems in body parts that produce these hormones might not go through the period at the normal pace. For example, males with Klinefelter syndrome, a genetic disorder that occurs in men because they have an extra X chromosome, have slow sexual development.
SHOULD YOU START WORRYING?
No. There is a big chance that nothing is wrong with you other than being impatient. Give it more time; your body will eventually catch up. If you are still worried, you should tell your parents about it and they can make an appointment with your doctor.
ARE THERE SIGNS OF DELAYED PUBERTY?
There are signs your doctor will look for to confirm delayed puberty. During a physical examination, the doctor may find a small testicle or absent testicles and a very small penis. When the doctor reviews your growth pattern, he may discover that changes in your height happen slowly. When he measures your height, he may find that you are shorter than other boys your age.
HOW IS DELAYED PUBERTY ASSESSED?
During your visit, your doctor will take your medical history, ask questions
The most common cause of delayed puberty in boys is CDGP, a condition that is genetically inherited.
Rather than feeling bad and being alone by yourself, savor this part of your life. Spend your time doing things that you enjoy and do well. about your concerns and symptoms, your past health, your family’s health history, medications you are taking, allergies you may have, and the growth patterns of your family members. He will also check on your own growth pattern. In addition, your doctor will do a physical examination and may also order blood tests and bone x-rays of your hands and wrists to help him determine any problems.
HOW IS THE CONDITION TREATED?
If the cause is constitutional, you will not need any treatment. On the other hand, if a medical problem is discovered, your physician will talk to your parents about treatment, which is usually tailored to the particular problem causing the delay. On your part, you need to trust, follow, and cooperate with your doctor during the treatment. ■
June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 37
Youth Talk Choosing
Dead men do tell tales—and help solve crimes— thanks to the work of forensic experts. ByExcel ExcelV.V.Dyquiangco Dyquiangco By Coming from a family of medical professionals, such as
nurses, surgeons, physical therapists, psychologists, dentists, and general physicians, Sheila Dennis realized early in college that she was also interested in a similar career, but in a field that didn’t necessarily have to deal with the living. She recalls attending a class in college in the United States where the professor put up the slide of a skeleton. “I remember her saying that you can identify a person through their skeletal remains. It was at that moment I distinctly remember saying to myself that this is what I’m going to do,” adds Sheila. When she was 20, Sheila became an intern of forensic anthropology at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. It was here that she had her first experience working with the dead, where she got her start handling corpses, picking maggots, de-fleshing bones, and studying dead brains under
38 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
the light of a solitary lamp. She went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Physical Anthropology from New York University and, later, a master’s degree in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut. Today, Sheila is a full-fledged forensic biologist. Her work involves examining pieces of evidence and human remains to identify suspects or victims in cases of homicides, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes. For example, with blood left on a shirt, she would take a sample and use it to look for biological stains, perform DNA testing, generate a DNA profile (which is like an individual’s barcode), draw up a report on the results, and testify in court if needed. It may all sound creepy, but Sheila revels in every minute of
her work. “What I love most about forensic science is that it is never a dull day,” she says. Her field calls for her to draw from a wide and varied base of knowledge in chemistry, physics, anthropology, and even everyday experiences to come up with scientific results. Her profession also requires a curious and creative mind. “In reconstructing a crime scene, you imagine yourself in the place of the victim. What were their mannerisms? Right handed or left handed? Flat footed? What was their profession? How would they have held their house keys? What was their daily routine? What did they like to eat?” she adds. Sheila with her family: husband Emmet and daughter Dani, 6, and son Dylan, 8.
Currently, Sheila is back in the Philippines under the Balik Scientist program of the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development. Her host institution is the DNA Analysis Laboratory of the Natural Sciences Research Institute in the University of the Philippines-Diliman. “My work here is a continuation of the work I performed while I was a Fulbright Researcher from October 2014 to April 2015,” she says. “This work is supported by a grant from the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.” At the laboratory, Sheila says they
perform “population genetics of the indigenous and modern populations of the Philippines using current and novel methods of DNA testing.” This, she explains, is to enable them to create a database on how the country got populated, which will help them understand and preserve the culture of the Philippines. To gather data, they interact with the community and collect samples. “In forensics, these databases are essential in reporting the uniqueness of a DNA profile and for comparison purposes,” she says. As with any other job, she also faces a number of challenges, one of which is when others try to prevent her
from working on a case. Meanwhile, the hardest part of her job is not being able to identify the victim due to lack of family information or database for comparing a constructed DNA profile. On the perks of her job, Sheila says she does her job not for the money but for the joy that comes more from a sense of personal fulfilment. “I am a public servant performing science in the service of justice,” she says. “This is not just a job. I love to interact with others in both the community and the forensic science community. I enjoy giving back by teaching forensic science courses at the university, being a guest lecturer, mentoring students, and interacting with my colleagues.”
What I love most about forensic science is that it is never a dull day. What Forensic Scientists Do Forensic scientists provide impartial scientiﬁc evidence for use in courts of law to support the prosecution or defense in criminal and civil investigations. They are primarily concerned with searching for and examining contact trace material associated with crimes. This material can include blood and other body ﬂuids, hairs, ﬁbers from clothing, paint and glass fragments, tire marks, and ﬂammable substances used to start ﬁres. June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 39
Youth Talk Choosing
● Fingerprints aren’t foolproof. Unlike in movies and on television, real-life matching of ﬁngerprints is not easy even though each person has unique ﬁngerprints. Computer technology has made this process easier, but there is still no foolproof statistical formula for matching ﬁngerprints. ● Bullets aren’t foolproof either. Ballistics and bullet markings are also not easily matched. The process of actually ﬁnding a match for the gun and bullet has no strong statistical formula behind it. ● DNA testing saves lives. Thanks to advances in DNA technology, questionable convictions are sometimes re-investigated using DNA testing. If the evidence shows that the defendant could not have committed the crime, he or she can be successfully exonerated. ● DNA testing makes mistakes. Unfortunately, DNA testing is never 100% accurate. It is a precise science, and a single mistake can lead to the wrongful conviction of innocents. ● Teeth are trustworthy. Dental records have been responsible for identifying over 93% of remains. They are an extremely reliable form of identiﬁcation because teeth are very sturdy, and every individual has a unique dental imprint. ● Bugs are friends. While maggots on a corpse may be disgusting, forensic scientists welcome them as a reliable indicator of an individual’s time of death. ● Deleted computer ﬁles aren’t always gone. A “deleted” ﬁle is not erased but simply set aside, hidden, and marked as data to be rewritten. Computer analysts have developed programs that can detect and open these hidden ﬁles. ● It’s all in the head. The shape of the skull can tell investigators a victim’s race or gender. Males have slightly sloping foreheads, whereas females’ foreheads are vertical. Details such as these help investigators analyze and identify remains.
In forensics, these databases are essential in reporting the uniqueness of a DNA profile and for comparison purposes. MARRYING ART AND SCIENCE
Her role as a forensic scientist has taught her not to be afraid to ask for help, to persevere in achieving what she wants, and to seek insights into things she doesn’t understand. She credits where she is now to one of her mentors in New York, a former consulting forensic anthropologist who had taken the then eager intern in and taught her about DNA testing and cultivated her skills in forensic anthropology. On her plans for the future, Sheila says she is “remixing” her life, learning the 40 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
beauty of science as art and of art as science as she aims to be both artist and scientist. “As a culmination of my Fulbright (scholarship) last year, my sister, who is a modern dancer and choreographer, and I had an exhibit at the Vargas Museum (in UP Diliman). It was a combination of dance, photography, and science. The exhibit is evolving and there have been shows in Italy and there will be one in New York, too. I am also contemplating a Ph.D., yoga teacher training, and learning to DJ.” ■
Checking Checkingout outthe the “C.S.I. “C.S.I.lab” lab”repreplica licaatatKidZania, KidZania, an anindoor indoorplay play city citywhere wherekids kids can canexperience experience what whatit’s it’slike liketoto work workininthe theadult adult world. world.
Sheila’s portrait superimposed with DNA sequences. This was part of her recent exhibit at UP Vargas Museum entitled “It’s All Relative: Discovering the Filipino Identity through Forensic Science.”
Youth Talk Balancing
Oh, High School! Get Get ready ready for for your your new new scholastic scholastic life life with with our our how-to how-to manual manual for for incoming incoming high high school school students. students. By ByGabriel GabrielJoshua JoshuaM. M.Floresca Floresca
For many people, high school is one of the most
memorable and enjoyable times of their lives. They recall that period as one of great fun, when they were carefree, mischievous, and exuberant, were full of dreams and aspirations, and had begun to forge deep friendships and develop crushes. It was a cheerful slice of their young life before they entered college with its greater challenges and after that, adulthood and its real responsibilities. If you’re entering high school, know that it provides a different kind of environment from what you were used to at elementary level. According to Ma. Eleanor Painaga, a guidance counselor for Grades 5 and 8 at the UP Integrated School in Diliman, Quezon City, elementary graduates should have an idea of what awaits them in high
school to better prepare themselves for it academically and emotionally. “This is one of the reasons why most schools conduct an orientation program for freshman students—to give them an overview of academic and extracurricular activities such as the grading system, electives, and school rules and regulations as well as clubs and organizations, outreach programs, and field trips,” explains Painaga. She adds that kids who attend the orientation will have a better idea of how to behave in high school and what their teachers, classmates, and other students expect of them. “This, hopefully, allows them to reflect and plan ahead on how they will deal, cope, and meet the expectations of this new experience.” June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 41
Youth Talk Balancing CHANGES AND CHALLENGES
It’s crucial to become aware that as you go through high school, you will be encountering various changes both within you and in your surroundings, says Painaga, because this period coincides with your transition from childhood to adolescence. What incoming high school students should know and be ready for:
Kids who attend the orientation will have a better idea of how to behave in high school and what others expect of them.
Physical changes. Changes in body structure, hygiene practices, and the appearance of pimples can cause self-consciousness.
TIP: Take daily baths and always brush your teeth. Use deodorants and cologne to keep fresh all day so your peers will enjoy being around you.
Social expectations. Adolescence is a period of confusion. Your parents and teachers may tell you to be more responsible because you are already binata or dalaga, but they won’t permit you to engage in many adult activities, saying you’re still too young to do so.
TIP: When given a task, make sure to finish it on the given deadline. Prove to the adults that you can be held responsible and accountable for whatever is assigned to you.
Being yourself is your best strategy for an enjoyable high school experience.
42 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Fitting in. Psychologists say that one of four psychosocial tasks adolescents need to accomplish to transition to adulthood is to learn to fit in. High school is when teens choose a group to belong to. Unfortunately, when the group does not accept the applicant, the child may feel rejected and decide to be just by himself or herself. A better approach is to go on and check out other groups until he or she finds the right one.
TIP: Be yourself. Your peers should accept you for who you are. You will only feel that sense of belonging if you find a group whose members have the same values, views, and characteristics as you. Always choose your friends wisely; avoid classmates who encourage you to take up vices or who get you into trouble. If you get bullied, consult your adviser or guidance counselor, and discuss the problem with your parents and close friends. Dont get into fights that may aﬀect your academic performance.
Longer school hours, more challenging activities. In high school, students stay in the campus longer because of additional subjects like electives and more group projects and presentations.
TIP: Know your schedule and learn to prioritize. Also, don’t cram activities at the end of the quarter when the requirements have already been given at the start of the school year!
Additional two years of high school. The new K-12 curriculum, which is mandated by law, hopes to prepare students to be globally competitive and offers greater opportunities to the youth.
TIP: Consult your guidance counselor regarding what college course to take. The guidance oﬃce has materials and tools to help you discover your interests and match your passions with your aptitude and skills. By doing this, you will have a clearer understanding of what you want and what you can do.
Aside from the tips above, Painaga lists four simple rules that can help students get along inside the classroom. ● Respect your peers. We all have different views, religions, and beliefs, but if we respect one another and the principles others live by, we will have a good relationship with almost all of the people in school. ● Observe and listen. Another key to surviving high school is following school regulations and listening to your teachers. Nothing will go wrong if you are aware of the set of dos and don’ts imposed in your school. ● Cooperate. There are a lot of group projects and activities in high school that require teamwork and harmonious relations to pull off. Also, by making contributions and sharing your ideas, you motivate your team to work well. ● Keep it real. Being yourself is your best strategy for an enjoyable high school experience. High school is a time of exploration, but remember to make discoveries without losing yourself. Be open to suggestions but always use discernment as to whether something is good for you or not. “High school life is a pretty exciting phase in your life. Make friends, and enjoy the moment and savor every minute of it,” advises Painaga. “Make wonderful memories with your friends and teachers so when you go back 10 or 20 years after graduation, you’ll have fond memories to share with everyone.”
A Guide for Parents Adolescence is a roller-coaster ride of emotional, physical, and social changes for your child, says Ma. Eleanor Painaga, MAEd, RGC, a guidance counselor to Grades 5 and 8 students at UP Integrated School in Diliman, Quezon City. Here, she gives tips to moms and dads on how to better help their teenagers make the most out of their growing-up years: • Set rules with your child. This is a new stage in your child’s life and your rules 10 years ago might not apply anymore. Sit down with your son or daughter and come up with a new set of rules together. Compromise if you must but when you have laid down the rules, implement them consistently. Setting down rules will help you and your teen avoid future conﬂicts with each other. • Support your teen in both success and failure. Sometimes we express vocal support to our children when they excel in class, but not when they fail. It is important for teens to feel that their parents are with them even in times of failure, as this enables them to bounce back faster after a setback. • Take time to know your kid’s interests and friends. Most conﬂicts between parents and teens arise from the issue of “bad-inﬂuence friends.” If you know your teen’s friends well, then you wouldn’t be bothered if he or she stays a bit late at friend’s house. If you know your teen’s interests, you will have ways to bond with your child and his or her friends at home. Knowing is the key to erasing your worries.
Always choose your friends wisely; avoid classmates who encourage you to take up vices or who get you into trouble.
• Allow your teen to handle his or her own problem. Your child will encounter a lot of diﬃculties in high school. Don’t troubleshoot everything, but permit your children to deal with problems on their own whenever possible. This will teach them to be more responsible and to be accountable for their actions. Be there, though, to guide them through diﬀerent emotions. • Talk to your child. Always ﬁnd ways to converse with your child. Make your dialogues light but warm. When your teen starts to tell you how his or her day went, listen without interrupting, asking questions only after your child has ﬁnished talking.
June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 43
Youth Talk Behaving
Saying Sorry How to regain your parents’ trust after you mess up big time. By Gabriel Joshua M. Floresca Admittedly, many of us have strayed from the right path
at some point in our lives. When we were young children, we did many naughty things, but they were probably harmless stuff that only got us a time-out or a slap on the wrist. Now that we’re older, some of us may have made really bad decisions that had heavy consequences. Cheating in exams, stealing, joining gang wars, doing drugs are among the negative activities older kids may get into out of curiosity, peer pressure, or simply lack of foresight. And when parents find out, they understandably lose their trust in their child. 44 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Two years ago, Raymond Costa* was caught in possession of marijuana by a security guard in his school. At the guidance counselor’s office, a contrite Raymond admitted to his wrongdoing and promised his parents to avoid the friends who had gotten him into drugs and to undergo counseling. Nonetheless, there were consequences for his actions. Although Raymond was allowed to finish the school term, he was not allowed to enroll again in the school the next year. And while he was able to transfer to another campus, it took some time because with his blemished school record,
a number of schools rejected his application. At home, his parents’ attitude toward him changed, too. They became stricter, always monitoring his movements, insisting he follow an early curfew, and demanding to know where he was and who he was with. It took years of patience, humility, and good behavior before he could convince his parents he had learned his lesson and truly mended his ways.
EARNING LOST TRUST
It is when making big, potential lifechanging mistakes that children disappoint their parents the most and lose their trust. Versailles Tabanda, a guidance counselor at Global City Innovative College in Makati City, shares these tips for repairing the broken trust of your parents and others after you have committed a grave error. ● Show that you realize that what you’ve done is wrong. Don’t argue with your parents and defend or lie about your bad actions to make them look right. Instead, acknowledge your misstep and ask for forgiveness. ● Talk to those hurt by your actions. Ask how you can make amends; this will demonstrate your sincerity and contrition. ● Keep your promise. It is very important not to be ningas-kugon, or to start off determined, only to lose your resolve after sometime. Being consistent is the best way to earn back people’s trust. If you keep breaking your word, later on people around you will no longer believe you. ● Go a notch higher and pass your learnings to others. Share the lessons you’ve learned so other younsters will avoid the same mistake you made.
Don’t argue with your parents and defend or lie about your bad actions to make them look right.
Blind Trust According to an online column by Dr. Wes Crenshaw, it is not wise for parents to put “blind trust” in their teens. He points out that teens vary in their quality of judgment. Some, when in dangerous situations, are just more sensible than others. “They heed our warnings about drugs, drinking, driving and unprotected sex, and act to reduce their risk. They look out for their friends who aren’t so wise. They go out of their way not to embarrass themselves or their parents, even if they aren’t following all the rules.” Nonetheless, he adds, it is still best to remember that “having faith in a teen’s judgment is not the same thing as trusting them.” He explains that this means that as parents, “we oﬀer rights and freedoms with one hand and expectations with the other, and all the time we keep our eyes open.”
Should you go to counseling immediately? According to Tabanda, not necessarily. “It doesn’t need to be the first recourse. Support from a family member in terms of setting a good example already helps a lot in the holistic development of a child,” she counsels. “In whatever relationship, communication is highly important. Good communication helps solve problems, bridge gaps, and strengthen relationships. It is no different between a parent and child.” She points out that both parent and child should be willing to listen and be given the chance to speak.
Share the lessons you’ve learned so other people will avoid the same mistake you made. June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 45
Youth Talk Behaving “Listening and speaking should be give-and-take. They cannot do both at the same time, or else they will not succeed in solving the problem.” Parents must always hear out the thoughts and feelings of their children, while the child needs to listen to them. “Parents are not perfect but they only want what is best for you,” continues Tabanda. She says she considers this generation luckier because children can negotiate the house rules with their parents. “Parents are more open-minded and more lenient than parents of 50 years ago. Before, adults rarely explained to children the nature and consequences of their actions from their point of view as a parent and from the point of view of their child,” she says.
Good communication helps solve problems, bridge gaps, and strengthen relationships.
Thus, both points of view should be explained to the child. “It may take time, but this will be more beneficial for both parties,” she adds. When you really cannot fix the issue, then a third party can be called in, says Tabanda. However, going to a counselor cannot be forced on the child. It should only be done if both parties agree. “When choosing a third party, it is important that he or she is not a part of the issue and does not have the same issue to avoid any biases,” she further advises. * Name has been changed to protect the child’s privacy
46 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
Parents are not BLAMELESS When youngsters make a lapse in judgment, it doesn’t mean they are completely to blame, according to Versailles Tabanda, a guidance counselor at Global City Innovative College. “Parents are just as responsible, as they are the primary role models for their children,” she points out. Here, she lays down some guidelines for parents to help their children avoid making serious blunders and to gain their trust as well:
Make sure that what children are exposed to in media and on the Internet teaches them good values.
If your child has a question, answer it the best way you can. If not, your child will likely seek the answer from someone else who doesn’t know any better, or from online sources which may not be reliable or accurate. It may harm the child if an issue is not explained properly. A proper explanation is one that is on a level that the child will understand.
Spend time with your little ones. Try to ﬁnd out what they like doing and get involved in the activity with them. It is okay if they are better than you and to ask for their help. Don’t be a killjoy because you are not techie or are not interested. The goal is to guide your child and not just enjoy the activity.
Partner with your child’s school. Some children may act all quiet at home but are very noisy in school. Learn how your kid behaves outside the house and act on the behavior if it needs correcting.
Befriend your kids’ friends. Learn to put yourself on their level but at the same time ensuring you are leading them.
Assert your parental authority. There are families that have interchanged their positions. Parents have become the followers, and the children have become the leaders.
Don’t quit. If one method of guidance does not work, try another. Keep going until you ﬁnd the one that your child responds to.
Your family doesn’t need to go out on this
the o t ’ u o y k Say ‘than ouse with eh man of th ning meal or a lavish m celebrate ss to after ma ay. Father’s D speranza
eE By Cecill
special day to fete the hero of the house. You can hold the celebration right in your own home, eschewing the crowd and noise at the malls and restaurants for a quiet, intimate gathering. Unsuspecting Dad will surely love nothing more than to be greeted with a delicious brunch spread after coming home from church. And to make the occasion even more memorable, keep playing his favorite tunes during the meal; and afterwards, how about presenting him an inexpensive but precious gift from the heart, say, a handcrafted picture frame for his office desk that you all made together in secret? Of course, don’t forget to take group photos to make into a scrapbook commemorating the day.
Brunch Surprise Serves 6 to 8 2 whole French baguettes 2 tablespoons olive oil ¼ kilo mild Italian sausage, crumbled 1 medium red or yellow sweet pepper, chopped ½ cup sliced spring onions 10 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup whipping cream ¼ cup fresh basil, snipped ½ teaspoon salt 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
Baked Egg Baguette
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Using a serrated knife, cut a wedge into the top of each loaf about 1 inch from each long side. Use a spoon or your fingers to carefully scoop the inside of each loaf, leaving about 3/4-inch shell. Arrange bread shells on the prepared baking pan. 2. In a large skillet, heat oil and cook sausage with sweet pepper about 8 minutes or until sausage is cooked and pepper is just tender. Stir in the spring onions. Remove from heat and drain off fat. 3. In a large bowl combine eggs, whipping cream, basil, and salt. Stir in sausage mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. 4. Carefully pour egg mixture into bread shells. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until eggs are set. 5. Let stand for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut loaves into slices. Serve warm.
June-August 2016 • FamilyMatters 47
Huevos Tacos con Queso
2 teaspoons olive oil ½ cup chopped red onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 can red beans, drained ½ teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon crushed oregano 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ cup water 6 eggs, cooked scrambled 8 tortillas, warmed 1 cup shredded cheddar ½ cup salsa Fresh cilantro (optional) Bottled hot sauce (optional)
Serves 6 to 8 1¾ cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup packed brown sugar ¼ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder 1½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon instant coﬀee granules ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 2/3 cup buttermilk ½ cup sour cream 2 eggs 3 tablespoons butter, melted 2 bananas, peeled and sliced Honey
1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in beans, cumin, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper, mashing the beans with the back of a spoon. Return to heat and stir in the water, continuing to mash the beans with the spoon. Simmer until beans are thick and of spreading consistency. Remove from skillet and keep warm. 2. To serve, spread bean mixture on warmed tortillas and top with scrambled eggs. Sprinkle with cheese then fold tortillas in half. Top with salsa. If desired, garnish with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12 2½-inch muffin cups, set aside. In a large bowl stir together flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, coffee crystals, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture; set aside.
Dark Cocoa Banana Muﬃns
2. In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and butter. Add to flour mixture. Gently stir just until moistened. 3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Press a piece of banana halfway into each muffin mix. Drizzle banana pieces with honey. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops are firm. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups. Serve warm. If desired, drizzle with additional honey.
Serves 6 1½ cups crushed graham 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced 2 cups fresh blueberries 1 cup Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon lemon juice ¼ cup powdered sugar (optional)
48 FamilyMatters • June-August 2016
1. Preheat broiler. Butter six 10-ounce ramekins or cremê bruleé dishes and set aside. 2. Divide crushed graham evenly among prepared ramekins. Top with berries. 3. In a small bowl combine yogurt, honey, and lemon juice. Spread mixture evenly over fruit in ramekins. 4. Place ramekins in a shallow baking pan. Broil 4 inches from heat for 7 to 9 minutes or until blueberries begin to burst. Serve immediately. If desired, dust with powdered sugar.