Mom We Love: Risa Hontiveros-BaraquelSeptember being the solo parenting special of Smart Parenting, we bring you a formidable Filipina icon of woman empowerment in modern society.
Amidst the buzz of arguments and clashing views regarding the RH bill, an ongoing demolition in Old Balara, we set off to interview politician, Akbayan party-list representative, activist and journalist Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, in her home located not too far from where the action was.
Risa is every bit as refined, mild-mannered and soft-spoken as we see her on TV. Which makes us wonder, in the middle of political and social issues she faces every day, how does she keep her cool and look after her family with finesse?
Unbeknownst to many, Risa is a solo parent to four children, namely 18-year-old Kiko, a freshman in college, 16-year-old Issa, 14-year-old Ianna and 9-year-old Sinta. Imagine how challenging it is to discipline kids coming from different age groups!
“[My bunso] is five years younger than the one she followed, so para siyang panganay ulit and she’s Miss pasali, she’s always trying to squeeze in [between] her two ates. The three teenagers, they tend to cluster together; they can also be very hard on her, disciplining her.” Risa has to remind the three eldest to go easy on their baby sister since she’s the only non-teen in the house. “They have their own dynamics among the three of them; minsan love-hate talaga. But generally they get along; they enjoy each other’s company.”
Incidentally, each of her kids go to four different schools in four different cities. Risa jokes, “Wow, I’m a parent in the whole educational system, on all levels, and I’m a member of all the parent-teacher organizations!”
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