Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Blog #50: Who is Pinknomenal? (A Look Back and Ahead)

Hello Beauties! I was thinking very hard what to blog today since my hands are itching to write something, anything. I have a lot of topics lined up that need to be written down but somehow, it came to me in the shower. Why not write about me?

I've been blogging for almost half a year now (with two months hiatus due to my delicate first trimester) but now, I'm more active than ever. Opportunities are knocking and I'm currently struggling to keep up! Haha But I'm not complaining. How can I when besides being blessed with collaborations with brands I love, God has gifted our family with the greatest blessing my husband and I could've asked for? We patiently waited for her and now, she's finally sent to us. We're on our fifth month and we've gotten to know the gender of our first baby. She's a girl and we decided to name her Chace Katelyn Reyes.

The joy of finding out Baby Kate's gender was overwhelming. My friends and relatives already made their guesses on her gender and all of them (not a single one) said our baby would be a girl but hearing it directly from my OB was something else. She's a girl and she's alive inside of me! A few more months and she'll be with us, looking at us, staring at our eyes. It's just an inexplainable feeling! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me share with you the joys I'm feeling with regards to my journey to motherhood a little later and give you a background of who I was before I became the woman I am now.

My real name is Ma. Khristine Dulay-Reyes. I grew up in a comfortable family and was surrounded by a lot of people during the early stages of my life. Our former home in Moonwalk, Paranaque housed myself, my mother, father, half-brother, Kuya Mark, my two aunts from my father side, five of our sales people, driver, my yaya, her nephew and a house help. Our former house was bigger than our current home now that's why it didn't feel crowded then. It was actually a very happy surrounding and helped a lot in developing my socializing skills. My toddler years were super easy. I grew up in luxury, attended a private pre-school in Multinational, Paranaque and was given anything I wanted, even without asking for it. As young as four years old, I already had my first out of the country with my parents. We went to Hong Kong for vacation and I was the happy kid marveling at a new surrounding. We would attend Sunday Mass together, myself, my mom, my dad and my Kuya Mark then we would eat at different restaurants, new ones and old, even hotels that serve luxury buffet when dad would feel like it. At such an early stage, I was exposed to a lavish lifestyle and thought back then it was the norm.

When I was about six, things started changing. Dad was MIA more frequently. Mom would be out for business trips abroad and locally. I spent more time with my yaya, our house help and sales people more than with my parents but I wasn't resentful. They said it was for us, for the family so we could continue living the comfortable life we were used to and I was too young back then to know otherwise. Plus, the people around me were so fun to be with. I felt like I belonged to a big family.

It was when I was seven (as far as I remember) when my dad and Kuya Mark packed their things and left home. I was told it was for the best, that it was better than me witnessing my mom and dad in a relationship that they were both not happy with. I had questions but decided not to ask them as I trusted my parents decision. After all, they only want what's best for me, right? My mom wasn't bitter about the separation and never said a bad thing about my father. She continuously reminded me to respect and love him for he raised me and gave me the comforts of life. It was just things weren't working out.

My mom and I continued living with the same crowd sans my dad, Kuya Mark and my two aunts. I still continued living luxuriously with our business getting stronger income-wise than ever. Mom frequently traveled abroad for her business transactions and I continued bonding with the people who taught me about the simpler things in life. As time passed though, mom spent more time with me and we became inseparable.

By the time I was ready for grade school, my mom enrolled me at St. Scholastica's College Manila. It was a rough start for me as I couldn't keep up with classmates who were more articulate than I was that I needed a tutor in English. Funny how I ended up loving the subject I was struggling with in the beginning. I improved and school life became easier after that. I wasn't an achiever thought, at least not until I set foot in College.

Even though I didn't graduate with flying colors during my high school graduation, college was a different story for me. These were the years that I shone. Getting into college wasn't an easy thing for me. I was faced with a difficult, life-changing decision: what college to attend. I received an acceptance letter from De La Salle University Taft for my application to AB Major in Literature. My future was set but a moment of second thoughts plagued my mind. 'Is this really the course I want?' 'Will I end up getting the job I want?' 'Will I make money out of this?' I wasn't sure and at the last minute, I decided to pursue Journalism.

I applied for AB Mass Communication Minor in Print Journalism. I was a writer by heart, I knew it. I've always loved writing and never felt bored scribbling on my tattered notebook. I even finished a whole spiral with a story I wrote at a young age of 11 years old titled "No Ordinary Love". It was cheesy and all things fluff but I was so proud of it. It was my creation. The story, the characters, the plot... they were all mine, a result of my playful imagination. That notebook was passed on from one classmate to another becoming my first ever readers and audiences until I couldn't get hold of it anymore. Now I wonder where that old, tattered notebook ended up.

My college years were the most fun period in my school life. I excelled academically, even became a consistent Dean's Lister all four years of my college. I made a lot of friends and even kept a handful of them until now. They're now my sisters for life, Diane, Cindy, Katrina, Ioni and Joanna. 

They're the ladies who became my bridesmaid and maid of honor on my wedding, women who's weddings I went to and became a bridesmaid to. They're my sisters who I share my ups and downs with through relationships, weddings and even pregnancy. 

I bloomed in college and I was at my happiest. I graduated Cum Laude with distinction with all the love and support I was receiving. This was also the time I met the first man I fell in love with truly and the man who would later on share the rest of my life with. My husband and my best friend, Archie.

I was employed right away after my college graduation but it was more of unintentional. I tagged along my friend, Cindy, to one of her job hunting trips carrying with me only a resume I intended to drop by Summit's office. Yes, I was aspiring to be a legit journalist. I wanted to explore writing for a magazine, more specifically, Preview or Cosmopolitan. Hey, dream big, right? I was naive then. I believed that my academic achievement was enough to get me in to the most prestigious magazines of our country but I was sidetracked. My friend convinced me to try BPI's job fair with her at that time and I remember being hesitant at first. I didn't even have a pen with me! I went through with it and had to ask my seatmate embarrassingly for a spare pen just to answer BPI's exam. I didn't even finish the whole thing so I wasn't expecting much. I just told Cindy I'd wait for her to finish her series of interviews and chill in one of the chairs. Haha So it was a huge surprise for me when an HR personnel approached me and told me I was going to be interviewed. I was pretty sure I flunked the test! Confuzzled, I hesitantly followed her into another room where a confident, bright and commanding man was waiting for me. I found that he was Mike Miranda, BPI Express Credit SIP Usage Manager and my soon to be boss at that time. I can remember that he was smiling brightly at me and seemed approachable but he had an aura that somehow intimidated me. He looked and seemed accomplished and brilliant. He asked me a series of questions but one challenge stuck in my mind - sell me anything. After rattling my brain for a product, I finally decided on selling my favorite authors, Sidney Sheldon and Dan Brown. I remember him telling me that he's not into dramatic plots and series which were my initial selling points of my argument and as a last resort (or maybe my desperate measure), I told him "why not try something new then? You might actually like it!" in my most convincing voice although I wasn't sure my final argument was strong enough to convince him. He laughed and ended our interview and my friend and I left the bazaar without expecting much. I wasn't set on applying after all. It was a week later that I got a call from BPI's HR telling me to take a medical test in Makati and to report to the BPI Express Credit building, their Paseo de Roxas branch. I was aghast. How did I get in? I still took it though since my application for magazines and Philippine Star never came through. By 2008, I officially became a Marketing Associate for BPI Credit Cards - Usage Department.

After more than four years working for BPI, a bigger opportunity came knocking. I was accepted as Asst. Brand Manager for designer watch brands. I ended my career in BPI last May 2012 and started a new one in Newtrends International. Work was tougher and more demanding and competition was more cutthroat. I was working for a Retail Company which thrived on sales and profit. I had to step up. I would leave home at 6 AM and return at 11 PM, sometimes, 12AM or even later. Most of the time I'd forget about text messages and personal calls, even skipped meals just to beat deadlines. I started losing time for myself and spending more time at work. My emotions circled on my work life - my achievement, my failures, my shining moments and frustrations. I was too consumed by work that I needed a step back to realize I've totally forgotten about my priorities: my personal life. It was in 2014 that I finally decided to let go of my corporate life. It wasn't an easy decision and it was one I made with a lot of prayers and consultations. My priority was my family, my husband who has always been supportive of all of my decisions and loves me unconditionally and my mom who stood by me through everything. While building my career, I was slowly neglecting the people who mattered. I was also self-destructing and couldn't find the work-life balance every millenial's bragging about.

So I made my decision, I wanted to raise a family with my husband and shower them my full attention. I wanted to have children and I knew that with my corporate lifestyle, it'll be very difficult for me to do so. I sacrificed my career and ambition, refused new opportunities like heading a Marketing Department in an emerging company in Laguna and being the Senior Product Manager for Majolica Majorca with a salary that's triple my current one because I wanted to live a different life and I can say, I've never been happier.

My life is less prestigious and flashy now than it was when I was still a manager. Yes, I no longer attend high-end meetings, travel abroad for business trips or go to exclusive events and fashion shows but I realized that those can't compare to the feeling of waking up to a smiling husband and realizing that we can snuggle longer in bed, have movie and series marathons together, cook our popcorn and attend all the important occasions in our loved ones' lives without worries of missing work or deadlines. I can also regularly meet my friends without worrying how to leave early from work or just stroll mid-afternoon at the mall for a spontaneous date with my husband without needing to ask for a leave. I now work full-time online as a Social Media Manager and a Lifestyle Blogger on the side. Yes, time goes more slowly now compared to my fast-paced, edgy corporate life but it is calmer, happier and more satisfying than getting a compliment from our GM for a job well done. I'm currently doing what I love and I'm doing it together with the man I love the most. Now that's the work-life balance I'm talking about!  

Now that I've let go of the past, it's time to look ahead. Four more months and hopefully, we'll be able to deliver Baby Kate safely. I'll be starting a new life with my family as a mother and frankly, I'm scared. No, I'm actually petrified. I don't know if I'll be able to be a good mother to Kate but I'm sure I'll be getting the support I'll badly need from my husband and my family. I think with that, we'll be able to get through. :)


  1. Sometimes one has to drop out of the fast lane to live and enjoy life. Oh dont worry about being a good mother, mothering comes natural to us women. I am sure you would be the best mom to your child.

  2. Such a big sacrifice but the reward is more than what is deserved. Congratulations!

  3. Good read ;) It is really nice to be with family more than ever. Hihi and when I became a mom, I was also afraid that I may not be able to be a good mom, to give her a bath, and to even just carry her. But, I can say that I'm a good mom to my little one. So don't worry too much. ;)

  4. It's just nice to hear that people are happy with their choice and they have their loved one's support. Im happy for you and looking forward to hearing stories about the little girl. We havent met yet but reading your stories and learning from you about make ups and food somehow makes me say sincerely that I am happy for you.

  5. Thanks for sharing your life story. :) It's rare that we get to read about another person's past. I'm sure you'll make a great mom! :) Don't fret over it. You'll do just fine.

  6. You'll definitely a good mom to Baby Kate, more so since you have already found the perfect work-life balance that you were looking for. Looking forward to seeing your little bundle of joy!

  7. You'll definitely be a good mom to Baby Kate, more so since you have already found the perfect work-life balance that you were looking for. Looking forward to seeing your little bundle of joy!

  8. Congratulations on your baby girl! It's hard really to make big decisions but I understand where you are coming from. I too decided to leave a job a love for a more chill one because I can't take receiving messages even after I clock out. I want to, like you, achive that balance in life as my little girl is slowly growing up.

  9. Wow, we have a lot in common. I also grew up in Paranaque, in a subdivision within Merville (not far from you!). I also studied in SSC, but I was in high school already when I transferred there. Then I also went to college in DLSU. I also gave up a corporate career to be a work-at-home mom and now I'm also five (almost 6) months pregnant. See? We have so much in common! :)

  10. Yey! Congrats on your baby girl! I also gave up my corporate life to spend more time with my son and do what I really love - blogging and make up!

  11. Congrats on your baby girl (I wish to have one soon too).