Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

I currently live in Manila, Philippines with my husband and two children. We’ve been based here for about two years now. Prior to coming home to the Philippines, we were based in Timor Leste (East Timor) as a missionary family for our Catholic community, Couples for Christ (CFC).

I actually grew up in Brunei (another Southeast Asian country), where my parents worked for 20+ years. In 1997, I went home to the Philippines for my university studies, graduating with a BS in Physical Therapy in 2001. I worked fulltime for CFC’s youth ministry soon after and was assigned to different places, including Manila, Singapore, East Malaysia and Brunei.

What language(s) do you speak?

English is my first language. I also speak Filipino, Bahasa Melayu and Tetum and a few words of Mandarin (Ni-hao?!).

When did you first become a mother?

My first child, Timothy Alan, was born in 2006 in Timor Leste. (His sister, Alyssa Therese, was born in 2009). I have always felt that I have a strong “mothering” instinct, though there was a time when I thought God was calling me to be a nun (even if I already had a boyfriend at the time)! Ha, ha! (That boyfriend is now my husband, by the way! LOL!)

Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work outside the home?

Currently, I am a part-time work-at-home mom as the managing editor of a local inspirational children’s magazine. (I report to the office two days a week.) I also contribute to a few websites and print magazines, based locally and abroad; and occasionally write scripts for videos, TV and radio plugs. I also do a bit of PR and marketing writing.

Why do you blog/write?

To be perfectly honest, I only started blogging because someone told me that it’s possible to earn extra income through blogging. I eventually discovered that it’s not entirely true, in that one doesn’t make money just by posting a few blog entries here and there. After this realization, I continued blogging just as a creative outlet (I wanted to take up writing in college) and to connect with other people, especially moms.

I feel so humbled and awed that my blog now connects me with others in so many different levels and is even able to provide inspiration-of-sorts to some. It has also been a wonderful avenue for more blessings β€” work-wise, family-wise and friendship-wise! I feel that I’ve been blessed with the core gift to write, and I love that my blogs allow me to bless (hopefully!) others with what I write! πŸ™‚

How would you say that you are different from other mothers?

In a way, I actually think that I’m not at all different from other moms, in the sense that I am sure that most of us are just doing the best we can, the best way we know how, especially when it comes to raising our children.

Here in the Philippines though, I guess you could say I am a bit “abnormal” because I strive to be as hands-on as I can be with the kids (even if we have a helper); I chose a job that lets me work at home most days (or more like the job chose me, LOL! But that story’s for another post!); I advocate extended breastfeeding (my little girl turns three in July and still nurses) and babywearing; I homeschool my children and I used to be a “missionary mom.”

What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?

There are oh-so-many challenges I don’t even know where to start! The main ones would be the influence mainstream media and society at large can have on our kids, if we’re not too careful or intentional about how we raise them; also, the pressure to be “perfect” or “do it all” that some people unwittingly or seemingly place on parents. It’s also challenging when people seem to think that parents who have different philosophies or approaches to parenting are “competing” to see which group is “better” β€” I mean we’re all in the same boat, right?!

Personally, I also believe that living in a consumerist, materialistic society poses great challenges to not only parents, but EVERYONE. πŸ™‚ Sometimes, less is really best! πŸ™‚ (I am not being judgmental here, I have the tendency to be materialistic, too!)

How did you find World Moms Blog?

I first heard of World Moms Blog from Ruth Wong. Then from Martine of Dainty Mom, whom I was privileged to have met at a local homeschool conference in 2010. I feel so blessed, humbled and honored to be part of this great global community of mom bloggers! πŸ™‚ I know I’ll learn a lot from this group!

This is an original first post to World Moms Blog by Tina Santiago-RodriguezΒ of the Philippines. Β She can be found blogging at Truly Rich Mom.

Photo credit to the author.

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (Philippines)

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a wife and homeschool mom by vocation, a licensed physical therapist by education and currently the managing editor of Mustard, a Catholic children's magazine published by Shepherd's Voice Publications in the Philippines, by profession. She has been writing passionately since her primary school years in Brunei, and contributes regularly to several Philippine and foreign-based online and print publications. She also does sideline editing and scriptwriting jobs, when she has the time. Find out more about Tina through her personal blogs: Truly Rich Mom and Teacher Mama Tina.

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