Friday, April 6, 2012

AB Marriage/ BS Parenting

Do you ever wonder why one would need years of training to become a professional and yet none to be a spouse or parent? I mean, look at doctors, bankers, etc. A doctor takes years of school and training; bankers have at least four; heck, even an office assistant needs at least two years of vocational school to start work! Whereas some couples go into marriage and parenting without relationship and nurturing credentials to their name. So yes, did you ever wonder why?

A lot of marriages today fail because, let's face it, couples rush into it unprepared. Why should one or two pre-wedding seminars suffice? If a spouse's role or a parent's role is most vital in a person's life, then, why, pray tell, do we go into unions as novice and not experts?

I should know as I rushed into marriage as well - unprepared for what was to be my role for the rest of my life. I remember when, after R and I started having problems (the bigger ones that count), my friend F told me about how we should seek counseling or attend family seminars to save our marriage. I had pushed the idea aside, thinking I knew better, when really, I knew nothing about saving marriages and keeping my family intact.

R and I have been 'physically' separated for about 2+ years now. Nothing could have prepared us (kids included) for what was to come after he left. Communication was hard (we always ended up on each other's nerves) and visits were nil (especially when he moved South). And I suppose, the hardest thing for a parent was to explain the situation to the kids (more for A, but RL has been asking more about his dad lately). If I was unprepared to be a mom, how much more a single mom! I needed help. I sought the advice of friends and family, and although I appreciate their opinion and take on my situation, most didn't know exactly what I had to go through (as most, in fact, none of them knew how it was to be separated - I am blessed with friends in healthy, godly marriages, ha!).

If parenting is hard for couples, what more for those who have to tackle being BOTH mom AND dad alone? Single parenting is tough. Having a family is no joke. It is the basic unit that affects every individual. I want to be the best parent I can be to my kids, but really, I can only do so with God's grace. I don't even know how and where to start! So I reiterate, why do we go into starting a family unequipped?

Apparently, I am not alone in this thought. Last year, three friends saw the need to help couples prepare themselves for marriage and parenting. They got together to organize what is to be the first-ever FAMILY CONGRESS in the Philippines, happening on August 25, 2012.

Meet Maribel Dionisio, Rowie Matti and Fides Reyes - the organizers behind this big event. I got the privilege of meeting the three ladies during a parenting talk a few Saturdays ago. Maribel Dionisio co-organized the 1st Ateneo Family Congress in 2005. The desire to educate couples and parents spurred her desire to put up FAMILY CONGRESS 2012 - BFF: BUILDING THE FILIPINO FAMILY. With the help of organizing expert, Fides Reyes (F.I.D. Event Services) and educator, Rowie Matti (Galileo Enrichment Learning Program), Maribel hopes to help educate Filipino families about relationships and love.

The Family behind FAMILY CONGRESS 2012!
Clockwise from Top:  Maribel S. Dionisio, Ma. Rowena J. Matti and Fides M. Reyes
FAMILY CONGRESS 2012 aims to provide a venue for learning by gathering the best experts in the field of psychology, parenting, and relationship to share their knowledge to family members, educators and organizations in the most effective and simplest way.

Check out the line up of talks, speakers and activities during this whole-day affair:

AM Sessions:
* Migrating and Managing the Digital World by Queena Lee-Chua, Ph.D.
* Handling the Bully and the Bullied by Honey Carandang, Ph.D.
* Built for Forever: Preparing Singles for a Lifetime Relationship by Rissa Singson-Kawpeng
* Teen Talk about Love, Sex, and Dating by Dan and Nabelle Caballes
* From Wellness to Wholeness (for adults 21 & up) by Harriet Hormillosa, M.A.   
PM Sessions:
* Being Friends Forever in Marriage: Learning the Art of Fighting by Allan Dionisio, M.D. and Maribel Dionisio, M.A.
* Teaching Parents to Talk to Kids & Teens about Crushes, Sex & Relationship by Michelle Alignay. M.A. and Aiza Tabayoyong
* Managing Teen Emotions by Obet Cabrillas
* Career, Relationship, and Life Plan for Singles by Pia Nazareno-Acevedo 
* Beyond the Tears: Griefwork by Cathy Babao-Guballa

All registered participants get to choose one session in the morning, and another in the afternoon. Aside from these 2 sessions, guests will also get to hear inspirational messages from Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle and motivational speaker, Francis Kong!

How I wish they started having this 10 years ago! But then, it's never too late to learn the ropes on how to nourish a lifetime commitment. At least now, I know better.

FAMILY CONGRESS 2012 - BFF: BUILDING THE FILIPINO FAMILY will be held on August 25, 2012, from 8AM to 5PM, at the Valle Verde Country Club, Pasig City. It is presented by The Love Institute, in partnership with Galileo Enrichment Learning Program and F.I.D. Event Services.

Early Bird Rate I (register on or before April 30): P1300
Early Bird Rate II (register between May 1 to June 30): P1400
Regular Rate: P1500 per attendee
Promo Rate: 6+1! (Pay for 6, get 1 FREE, based on regular rate of P1500 each)

Registration fee is inclusive of seminar fee, meals an loads of swag!

For more information on FAMILY CONGRESS 2012, call the following numbers:
(02) 579-0100
(0917) 897-2903
(0922) 252-1896

Twitter: @FamCong2012
Facebook: /FamilyCongress


  1. Thank you so much for this blog. We hope it will help more people build a stronger family, by God's grace.
    Hope to see you there. =) Fides

  2. Hello. Thanks for the info. Will share this in my blog ha.


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