Monday, March 09, 2020

Harry and Meghan: A modern fairy tale and yet very real marriage

Sigh. Such a gorgeous photo of the most-talked-about married couple in the world!

I don't really have anything "expert" to say about Harry and Meghan. Almost everyone remotely interested in royalty has given their expert opinion on the Duke and Duchess' resignation from royal duties (As a former royalty magazine editor, I did here: Royal Rift! All your questions on Harry and Meghan's resignation, answered!). Many are sad, many are supportive, and many are mad. I don't know why they'd be mad. It's not like Harry's leaving them haha.

But anyway, I've been meaning to write a blog post about this particular Brexit since January but everything's been moving so fast that it's hard to comment. I finally decided that ultimately I'm very happy for them and that they're a great example for all married couples everywhere.

Every married couple should leave their families. Yes, Harry isn't part of just any normal family. As a prince, he sure isn't just like us. But he's also not THE prince. He's just the spare. And while that must rankle to be known as the spare to the heir since birth, it finally worked out for him—he can actually break free. He's not the first royal in history to choose to step away from duty. Here's a short list:

1. (UK) King Edward VIII to marry Wallis Simpson.
2. (Netherlands) Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau to marry Mabel Wisse Smit
3. (Japan) Sayako, Princess Nori, to marry Yoshiki Kuroda
4. (Japan) Princess Ayako of Takamado to marry Kei Moriya
5. (Thailand) Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya to marry Peter Ladd Jensen

Harry and Meghan didn't lose their titles but they did give up their allowance, their HRH styling, and pretty much the respect of a lot of people. Ya. For choosing love and family over prestige.

I like their decision. I know people are saying Meghan bullied Harry into doing this but if you've watched Harry at all throughout his very public life, he's not the sort of man anyone can bully. And while there's that rumor that "what Meghan wants, Meghan gets," I don't see how that's a bad thing if what Meghan wants is a peaceful life. Sure she signed up for a very public life but I don't think she signed up for such racism and hate. 

I read this book recently and I came away from it just loving and admiring these two people who loved to make a difference in people's lives. They have charities, they use their platform for good causes, they are enthusiastic about helping others. And they met each other! He was a prince. She was a strong and confident woman—not a shy virgin teenager like Diana, not a quiet and obedient Kate. She was not, what is the word, moldable. I love that she was already all woman when they met and fell in love. And I can't understand how that wholeness makes people see her as a threat to men and marriage.

Marriage should be between two people complete in themselves. Marriage shouldn't be the answer to people broken and incomplete, looking for a fix in the other. You should come into the marriage as a whole person, ready to give your all. Traditionally, women are seen as these fragile creatures that needed tending. That should make us precious. Instead, men have used this required fragility against us—abusing women and their children throughout centuries just because we needed men to survive.

Well, not anymore. Ladies, don't get married because you need a man for his money or position or his strength. Earn your own money, make your own name, be strong on your own. The man you attract won't be controlling and abusive. He'll be an amazing guy. Just like how Harry was drawn to Meghan's strength, drive, and mission. And together? Wow, they're going to make a lot of difference in the world. They're already doing it. 

That's what marriage should be about—two strong people coming together and creating an even stronger alliance. This used to happen before—an alliance of kingdoms. But we should use that as a metaphor, an inspiration, for how we should see our own marriages, too. We are a team. We are one. No one is lesser, no one is greater. We are equal.

Anyway, I finally blogged about Harry and Meghan today because it's their last day as senior royals. After today, they will disappear from public life. They have plans to still be seen out and about, working for their livelihood (just like us!), but now they'll be private citizens. They're determined to be seen as a team, as a single entity—as married couples should be.

Good luck on your new adventure, Harry and Meghan! It's not going to be easy but no marriage is unless you remember to stick it out together. If you do that, you're going to be just fine.

P.S. I just love how their outfits on their final royal appearances are all matching. Clearly telling the world they are one!

Friday, March 06, 2020

My really nice wedding gift suggestions

I love weddings for selfish reasons. (1) I get to wear my gowns, (2) I get a good reason to get away from my kids hehe, (3) because of the sermon and witnessing the couple promise each other a lifetime, I'm reminded of how wonderful marriage is, and (4) I get to eat really yummy food! Weddings are the best!!!

Vince and I were at the wedding of Edward Bugia and Trixie Esguerra. I've known Trixie for years because she was instrumental in launching my career as a blogger ((and every big blogger's, too) and she now has her own agency, Launch and Meet. Edward is the very busy chef behind Pino vegetarian restaurant, BRGR, Pi Breakfast and Pies, Mimi & Bros, and Bean and Yolk. And I am their ninang sa kasal! So I just had to get them a gift from MY MC Home!

Here are a few of the gifts I considered for their marital abode:

While I wish I could've given them a four-poster bed with a pile of pillows, it's medyo over my budget at P39,950 ehehehe. I'm actually referring to the triptych of photos on top of the bed. You can have prenup or wedding photos printed that big on real canvas (not photo paper!) at MY MC Home for just P8,700!

I think every newlywed couple should have crystal goblets. Crystal vases. Crystal candy dishes. Crsytal decanters. WALA LANG! They're so extra. Let me tell you now: Marriage can be full of drudgery. Washing dishes. Doing laundry. Taking out the trash. That's why you need to give married people pretty things that remind them that marriage is actually magical.

Okay, extra not your thing? We can go practical. Here's a useful appliance for those couples who love green smoothies or who like grinding their own coffee beans. Your newlyweds can use the Tefal Fruit Sensation for making smoothies, soups and eventually baby food!

Here's another useful appliance, a toaster! I love toast. Toasting bread not only improves the taste and texture of bread, it also lowers the glycemic index and fat content of your everyday loaf (and then you spread tons of butter on it haha). What I like about the Gorenje toaster is it's so pretty! Definitely will add color and whimsy to the young couple's kitchen.

This bar cart! So sleek. Love it! Perfect for wheeling over your favorite cocktails while you lounge on the sofa or in bed. If you don't drink alcohol, you can put your coffee or tea paraphernalia instead. Or use it as a side table. So useful!

Every married couple needs nice new sheets. Because we need to make them love sleeping together—figuratively and literally. Nice sheets are so lovely on naked skin. MY MC Home has shelves upon shelves of bedsheets! There are printed sets, too.

Might as well throw in pillows! I can't get enough of great pillows. Married couples may have had their dreams come true but everyone needs to go to dreamland and new pillows will send them off nicely.

Okay, enough shopping! Just visit MY MC Home for more gift ideas for your friends and loved ones getting married (or for your own home!). Let's watch Trixie and Edward's wedding video!

Congratulations to my inaanaks! Edward and Trixie, be good to each other. As your sermon verse said (which was the same as mine!), "[Jesus said] 'I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.'" John 15:11-12.

Medyo mataas ang peg that Jesus established, seeing as He is divine and He gave His life for us. But what is marriage but a holy commitment and a giving of one's life every day till five-ever? Congratulations and best wishes!

MY MC Home has 3 branches: Level 3 MET LIVE Mall, Diosdado Macapagal Blvd, 1302 Pasay City, at MC Home Depot San Fernando Interchange, Jose Abad Santos Avenue, 2000 San Fernando, Pampanga, and at MC Home Depot BGC, Taguig. You may also find more furniture and promos on their Facebook page and Instagram

*This post is brought to you by My MC Home.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Hello there! My name's Frances and this is what I do to make money.

Hi everyone! I've noticed a growth in my readership and so I'm betting a lot of you are new here and don't really know who I am. Thanks for giving me a chance to be part of your life!

Today, I'll share with you what I do for a living. People ask me all the time, "What exactly do you do?"

Well, I do a lot of things but since I don't go to an office, people sometimes assume I don't work. Oh, I work a lot! I hustle for need (pay bills, send kids to school, etc) and for pleasure. I love working!

But what exactly do I do? I always say I'm a writer. That's what I do. All my jobs has writing in there somewhere. The more writing it has, the happier I am with it.

My favorite photo from my PR job last year. L-R: EIC Jill Gatcheco, Paint It Red managing director Cath David, me, and our client Dr. Candy Drilon-Dalman of Centro Holistico.  

Last year, I had an 8-month stint as a PR Manager at Paint It Red. I learned so much from that job. It was intense because I haven't been employed for 6 years and I literally didn't know anything about the PR industry. I was really lucky I had bosses who took a chance on me and were diligent in teaching the oldest member of their staff new things.

I think they didn't have an easy time (this old dog had a hard time learning new tricks!) but I did learn and I did have fun. I was surrounded by young blood and they were so masipag and mabait! I only left because I found I couldn't juggle a job with being a mommy and running my own business.

Yes, I have a legit, BIR-registered freelance writing business. My writing business earns from foreign clients and local magazine websites. I write product descriptions for e-commerce sites, write branded content for websites, do proofreading and editing of manuscripts, and - my absolute favorite - I write articles! Articles may pay the least but they nourish my soul.

My business also covers my PR consultancy work. Now that I'm no longer employed, I have more time to do freelance PR. I've decided to just focus on family-friendly brands, so my PR work now involves promoting products and services moms would like or are owned by mommies. So now, I like my PR work better because it's more meaningful (and easier) to me.

Ask me what job earns the most, however, and it's blogging hands down. It earns me more money than my job as a PR professional and my freelance writing and editing combined. And I'm not even power blogging like I did in 2013-2016! What I earn from blogging now is a third of what I used to earn and yet it still is the one that brings home the fattest bacon. My blog also lets me earn through speaking engagements and workshops, which scare the shit out of me but are fun to do anyway.

Sneak peek: New campaign involves me admiring a giant bell pepper. 

Anyway, I guess I should say I'm a blogger first and everything else after. It's not my dream job (will always be magazine editor!) but it's made my dreams come true so I can't complain. And I guess the point of this post is to say all that I do to earn money so people will stop wondering haha. I also want to say that I'm grateful I have my blog.

Everyone hates bloggers, I know, so I feel weird when I say I'm a blogger. I shouldn't because I know people have been moved by the things I write. That's a profound change in people's lives I know I've done and I am so proud of that.

Now, if you've ever read any of my blog entries, shared them, left a comment, attended my workshops, sponsored my blog, got me as brand ambassador, invited me to your events, even clicked "like" on my blog shares, THANK YOU!!! You have helped feed my family and you are a blessing to me! Love you all!