Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oprah, this is how 30-something women live in Manila

This morning, I caught a rerun of Oprah at 9 a.m. on Star World. Featured were 30-something women in different parts of the globe: Kuwait, Iraq, Rwanda, Mexico, France, London, Malaysia, etc.

Did you know that in Kuwait, everybody is rich? With no taxes, free education up to college, and even a wedding cash gift from the government, women can shop all they want--well almost. :) In Iraq, although Saddam Hussein's regime is no more, women are not that free. In fact, they spend most of their time indoors to protect themselves from crime on the streets. In Mexico, women dress nicely and in high heels since they don't have to work that hard. They still have siesta on top of their two-hour lunches, like the Kuwaitis. The French may not eat that much calorie-rich food, but they do drink wine every day.

Anyway, that got me wondering why Filipinas weren't mentioned. Well Oprah, if you want to know how 30-something women live in this part of the globe, let me introduce you to some of my friends.

There's J, a single mom with four kids who commutes daily from Las Pinas to Ortigas to make sure the mag she edits gets to readers on the first of every month. She can work until the wee hours of the morning and still bond with her kids over popcorn and movies.

N is married with four kids, who has given up a promising production career in a TV network to be part of the academe (and spend more time with her kids). After years of having yayas and helpers leave after a short time, she and her husband have decided to go maidless and raise the kids on their own while pursuing their careers. When you see her, you won't even think she's worrying about the labada; she's so put together.

R is the big boss of her company. Almost every week, she travels to the provinces or abroad for meetings and client calls. In spite of her busy schedule, she makes time to bring her daughter to school, attend PTA meetings, go to church, and have coffee with me (sometimes). :)

C is happily single, also the boss of her own company. She squeezes in spa appointments in the middle of a busy week chasing printing deadlines.

E is also happily single, and is my foodie partner. We'd meet for lunch or coffee often and just talk about life when we're not talking about teaching writing to college students and checking papers.

M is a dear friend since my grad school days. She's married, with two kids and manages to bake wonderfully great breads while meeting insurance sales quotas, reviewing the kids for their exams, and praying for me. :)

In a nutshell, 30-something women in Manila do a great job balancing work, family, friends, and other stuff, and have fun in the process. Superwomen! :)

BOOK OF THE WEEK: Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture by Doreen Fernandez is a wonderful read. Through her writing, you can almost taste every morsel of a dish she describes, whether it's adobo, kinilaw or balut. Like food? Read this.

VERSE OF THE WEEK: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

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