Oh Boy! What’s it like to raise Pinoy boys? by Ching M. Alano (Philippine Star)

Oh Boy! What’s it like to raise Pinoy boys? by Ching M. Alano (Philippine Star)

May 03, 2011
Images used in the Philippine Star article

Mom of three Pinoy boys (now fine young men) Rose Fres-Fausto answers the above question foursquare in her book, yes,Raising Pinoy Boys (available at National Book Store, Powerbooks, Fully Booked, A Different Bookstore)that’s bound to warm the heart of many a mom.

Marty, Enrique, and Anton are Marvin and Rose Fausto’s assets and their greatest gifts to the world. This mom declares, “I believe that the best thing parents can do for our country is to raise their children well.”

Marvin and Rose did raise three wonderful sons who make them the proudest parents on earth. And now, Rose, who was half clueless as a first-time mom 20 years ago, shares sparkling gems of wisdom/invaluable lessons on parenting with all neophyte parents of sons out there (in the interest of fair play, maybe another mom could write about raising daughters). Samples:

• Lesson #1: Because we are all born with unique personalities, it is very important to acknowledge and in fact celebrate these differences. Let all family members acknowledge that there is no superior or inferior personality type. Being aware of how each family member is wired not only fosters harmonious family relations but also provides fun and excitement for all.

• Lesson #2: Being aware of the stereotype first-born, middle-born, youngest syndromes and realizing that our children did not choose their position in the family enable us to balance the expectations from each child and apply the appropriate parenting style to compensate for the inherent consequences of their position in the family.

• Lesson #3: Choosing our son’s preschool is very important as this will be his first taste of schooling, an endeavor he will take for the next 14 to 17 years (or more if he will take up post-graduate studies). It is crucial that we find one where he will enjoy and which will nurture him.

• Lesson #4: Finding the right college is another important choice to make and our son will now take the more active role. By this time, he already knows what he wants and what suits him. Give him guidance and suggestions but definitely, the choice is ultimately his.

• Lesson #5: Developing good study habits in your son is setting his habits for life. Thus, we should take an active role in this aspect. Because, come to think of it, all the good study habits they will develop now will likely be the foundation of how they will live their adult life.

• Lesson #6: The importance of sports in a boy’s life goes well beyond his physical development. It also provides him good social and emotional well-being and a good training ground for a successful adult life.

• Lesson #7: Whatever dreams and aspirations our sons have, they will always have to deal with money in their adult lives. In fact, being good with money at an early age will allow them to follow their dreams. Money really matters; it’s our tool to have a comfortable and meaningful life, the very life we wish for our sons.

• Lesson #8: Raising healthy sons involves teaching them emotional literacy. Open communication lines help build a stronger family whose members are able to help each other in times of crisis. This way, parenting becomes more enjoyable despite expressive and opinionated children.

• Lesson #9: Let’s celebrate our traditions and forge unity among our family members. Traditions bind our families and foster intimacy. They give character to our families and help our sons know themselves better.

• Lesson #10: We all want the best for our children and we’d do everything to give them the best upbringing. Listen to yourself and honestly assess what’s the best arrangement during their growing-up years because you can’t turn back the hands of time.

While she could write volumes (or a whole book) about her sons, Rose devotes some precious pages of her book to other parents’ model sons.

For instance, there’s Lance Gokongwei, now president of Cebu Pacific Air, Inc. and Universal Robina Corporation, who learned only too well the lessons his father, business tycoon John Gokongwei Jr., taught him. As to what these lessons are, John asserts, “I don’t think we did anything extraordinary to train our children. We traveled together during summer. We also live simple lives. We are simply there when they need us.”

There’s the inspiring and very meaty story of Tony Tan Caktiong, the dynamo behind the Jollibee Foods Corporation who started with just a couple of ice cream parlors and now has thousands of stores worldwide with assets worth billions of pesos. Cool!

The second of seven children of an ordinary couple, Tony learned how to be responsible, independent, resourceful, and frugal at a young age. A bright student who was always in the honor roll, Tony never thought he would be a brilliant star in the business firmament.

If you ask his mother, Chan Hui Em, about the secret to Tony’s success, she’d simply reply, “He remains a simple, honest, humble, generous, friendly person as he was when he was a boy. Like then, he shares his blessings. He does not only take good care of his siblings and family but also his employees.”

Now, you know why we should always bee jolly.

Then there’s the Tan brothers triumvirate — Nestor, Raul, Lorenzo Tan. Their mother Erlinda Villanueva Tan trained her boys how to handle money. As little kids, they would stash away their savings in a bamboo piggy bank their mother gave them. Little did she know that two of her boys would turn out to be presidents of two of the country’s leading banks. Nestor Tan is the president of Banco de Oro (BDO). Lorenzo Tan is the president/CEO of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation. Raul Tan is vice president for engineering of Therma-Wave, Inc. in Freemont, California.

Surely, you can bank on the Tan brothers!

There’s also Tony Meloto, the spirit behind Gawad Kalinga (GK), a non-government initiative to solve poverty in the country. He dreams of ending poverty for the five million poorest Filipinos and build a first-world Philippines by 2024. Probably not such an impossible dream for this son whose GK has inspired scores of young people to build homes for the less fortunate so that they, too, can dream their dreams.

Rose Fausto shares her own dream: “I dream that all Filipino parents will raise their children so well that in the future we will have an abundance of talented, honest, and competent Filipino children who will grow up to be talented, honest, and competent Filipino adults who will always do the right thing whether someone is looking or not. Their number will reach a critical mass that they will be the norm and not the exception…”

Indeed, the son also rises!

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Apart from the leading bookstores, Raising Pinoy Boys is also available in schools like Ateneo, Xavier School, La Salle, Southridge as well as MLAC Institute for Children and Families, Carewell Foundation, and Central Books. Also, visit www.RaisingPinoyBoys.com.

Link to the Philippine Star aricle: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=80&articleId=681876