Thursday, October 13, 2016

The fear that all moms share with Kris Aquino and how I deal with it

This post is brought to you by Ariel.

When I saw Kris Aquino at the Ariel Wash Your Fears Summit at the Shooting Gallery in Makati, she looked every inch the formidable superstar that she is. Dressed in a figure-hugging green dress, sparkly black platform pumps, jewels dripping from her ears, wrists and fingers, and her hair in a tumble of waves all over her creamy white shoulders, Kris had a particular air about her—a "Don't mess with me" air and we all found out why soon enough.

Kris Aquino with host Bianca Gonzales.

Kris's first order of business—aside from discussing the state of Filipinas and how to overcome fears—was to address the rumors about the jewelry she wore at a dinner during the APEC Summit. Some nasty person started a nasty rumor that Kris stole the necklace from the sequestered jewelry of nasty former First Lady Imelda Marcos. Kris brought the necklaces onstage and showed them off to everyone, saying the necklaces are not diamonds but cubic zirconia. She also advised us that hindi lahat ng tsismis ay dapat patulan because mauubos talaga oras mo, but she just had to stop this particular rumor because it left an ugly stain on the memory of her mother and on their family name.

Everyone loved that! I loved that! I went through being gossiped about, too. I think lahat naman tayong babae pinag-usapan at one point or another. I'll talk more about this on my Facebook page this week but for now and for here, all I want to say is sometimes you have to bravely confront falsehoods and clear your name. It may be a lot of trouble to do it but some things you can't take sitting down.

Speaking of bravery, the whole event by Ariel was to celebrate the courage of the Filipina. The theme was confessing our fears and washing them away. It was a vulnerable moment for all of us who attended.
First, we were all given white shirts and a sample of the 100 stain-causing agents (blue ink, gravy, catsup, lipstick, etc). 

Second, we were asked to name our biggest fear and write it down on the shirt. This is my biggest fear, moms: illness on any member of our family. I don't even want to write down the particular diseases I'm afraid of but basta sakit, ayoko niyan. As long as we're all strong and healthy, everything else is just a silly worry. Death and illness is never silly.

Third, we had to drop our shirts of fear in a bin for Kris and the other brave women Ariel was honoring in their Wash Your Fears Summit to wash later.

Kris was joined by author Miriam Quiambao, advocate for peace and development Amina Rasul, advocate for health and environment Anna Kapunan, advocate for children's education Alou Chua, journalist Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, entrepreneur Mandy dela Rama, lifestyle columnist Mons Romulo, pilot Aimee Carandang Gloria, founder of The Cravings Group Badgie Guerrero-Trinidad, executive director of the Philippine Commission on Women Emmeline Verzosa, and chief of the women's center of TESDA Maria Clara Ignacio. All of these women shared stories about how they succeeded in their work, how they help other women make a better life for themselves and their children, and how they faced their fears. Yes, these brave women are also afraid every day!

The panel of women confessed their fears one by one (and yes, they also wrote their fears on white shirts!) and their fears were profound. Miriam said she was afraid she won't use her life for God's purpose. Samira and Amina were afraid of prejudice on them as Muslims and women. Anna was afraid that the world will use up all its resources and we will all die. Valid talaga lahat ng fears nila, but when Kris said her one fear in life was for any harm to befall on her family, all the women in the room nodded in agreement.

Most of us in that room are moms. To be very honest, wala na akong fear for myself. I'm one of the most fearless people I know. Yes! Wala talaga akong takot, lalo na nung bata pa ako. But it's not very wise to always be so fearless kasi kung wala kang takot, madalas wala ka ring hiya. I was never afraid to say what I think, to do what I want, to go where I please. While I'm happy I live life fearlessly, I'm aware that some people have been hurt in the process, my parents especially.

Now that I'm a mother, I confess I'm assailed by fears every day, that's why I tread more carefully now. But these fears are not for me. All my fears always concern my kids. Dear God in heaven, I am afraid every day for my kids' health and safety! But helpful fact, mommies: The Bible says, "Do not be afraid" 365 times. That means God is telling us every day to trust in Him!

So does this mean that because we moms are afraid every day, we can no longer call ourselves brave? Of course we can. In fact, that only means we have the best kind of courage because we get up every morning and face our fears and stare them down and live a meaningful life for our kids even though we're exhausted and spent and worried all the time! I've learned to manage my fears this way:

1. Raise them to God. When our funds are running low, I start having sleepless nights computing away. Now I try not to do that and instead pray! "Dear God, I'm worried about the tuition. I know You said You will provide so I'm sorry for my worries. I trust in Your promise of provision."

2. Ask Him to please handle the source of the fear. My fear stems from the fact that the checks aren't coming in as expected. Yes, life as a freelancer! Minsan kasi hindi ko naman pwede sabihin kay God na He doesn't provide when ang dami kong projects. Hindi talaga Siya ang nagkulang. So I ask God to take care of whatever it is that's holding up His blessings. "Lord, please make the processing of the checks faster. You know our needs and I will wait for Your provision in Your perfect time."

3. Welcome fear as a prompting of the Holy Spirit for prayer. Sometimes out of the blue, fear grips my heart. Has that ever happened to you? You're working or you're in traffic or you're out with friends when suddenly the thought of your kids in an accident enters your head. It's so strange, diba? I've learned to deal with it by immediately praying for that fear. I really believe in the prompting of the Holy Spirit, that He talks to you and that you just need to know how to listen. Maybe that unreasonable fear that suddenly comes to me is God's way of warning me of danger. That's why I immediately pray for whatever it is that the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart.

4. Release it and don't think about it anymore! In the immortal words of Queen Elsa, "Let it go!" Holding on to the fear means that even though you prayed na, you don't really believe that God will take care of things. So believe!!!

At the Ariel event, the women in the panel said they dealt with fear by simplifying it, avoiding other complications, and focusing on the problem directly in front of them. Wise words! Kris even said that the only way to deal with fear is to accept it. Tama siya kasi kung tatakbuhan mo ang fears mo, di mo ito mahaharap at hindi mo siya kayang labanin. Like I said, welcome fear!

And that's what Ariel wanted to address in its Wash Your Fears Summit! Louie Morante, regional communications manager for fabric and home care of Proctor & Gamble SEA, said, "Empowering Filipinas is at the core of what Ariel stands for, and we continue to find ways to drive conversations that can inspire more Filipinas to succeed in life."

A hundred fearless Filipinas take on a hundred stains!
Laba-laba muna on Samsung washing machines habang may panel discussion.

As an Ariel user, I've been helped by the laundry detergent simply by making my mom life less complicated. Instead of me bent over the laundry all day long, treating stains, whitening whites and making kusot, I just load the clothes in the machine, put Ariel in, and step away to conquer my day! I can work, I can care for my kids, I can shower!

Louie added, "Ariel recognizes that Filipinas are now fearless in seeking new opportunities to propel them forward in life. This summit for women celebrates 100 fearless Filipinas who have demonstrated that fears are just stains that we have to be brave enough to remove. Be fearless like Ariel—tested and proven to remove 100 stains in one wash!"

Bianca and Kris marvel at the wall of freshly washed shirts.
No more stains! No more fears!

True enough, after the panel discussion, the shirts that we all drew our fears on were hung on a wall and they were all stain-free! The advanced nano-molecules make Ariel more effective in targeting hard-to-remove substances like grease, mud, food stains, drink stains, and all the stains that assail our clothes! I've been using the powder form (here's my review) so I'm excited to use the new Ariel Power Gel. This is a super concentrate so you need less detergent to tackle even the most stubborn stains! Magaling na, matipid pa!

And by the way! If you didn't catch it, Louie said Ariel was celebrating 100 fearless Filipinas! Guess who made it to that list? Me! And here are a few of the other women on that awesome list:
I'm with three of the biggest bloggers in the country: Woman in Digital, Mommy Levy, and Mommy Pehpot.
My fellow brand ambassadors of other campaigns this 2016! Good year for The Misty Mom, Go Jackie Go, and me! 

Thanks so much, Ariel, for acknowledging the bravery of mothers everywhere!

Ariel Power Gel is available at all supermarkets nationwide. A 45ml sachet is P8.75, a 360ml Freshness of Downy Passion pouch is P75, a 400ml Sunrise Fresh pouch is P75, a 900ml bottle of Freshness of Downy Passion is P175, and a 1 liter bottle of Sunrise Fresh is P175.  

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