There were quite a few things Nicomaine Dei reveals in her autobiographical book, Yup, I Am That Girl — and yes, that's Maine Mendoza's real name. The woman behind the Yaya Dub character was an awkward kid in school, hated pineapple on her pizza, and wants to use her fame for good (last December, she organized an auction to raise funds to donate to several charities).
Published by Summit Books, Maine also devotes several pages of her book to her childhood, her parents and siblings, and family life. Going through the star’s stories, below are the lessons she's learned from how her parents raised her and siblings
1. Family will always be important. Maine comes from a family of five children. Her parents, Mary Ann and Teddy, always treated each of their birthdays as a big deal. “Even if we didn’t have much back then, my parents made sure that there would be a celebration for us.”
Even with her full schedule, Maine makes efforts to spend time with her family whenever she’s free. Sundays are also reserved for family lunch or dinner where each member is present.
“My family is very, very supportive of everything I do,” she writes. “We may not be perfect, and we may have a lot of misunderstandings, but I still wouldn’t trade them for anything.”
Her mom’s words of wisdom when she and her siblings fought were always, “Sa huli, tayong pamilya at kayong magkakapatid lang ang aagapay sa isa’t isa. In the end, if everything fails and everybody leaves they are the ones who will stay and stand beside me.”
2. Hard work, hard work, and more hard work Maine couldn’t be prouder of her parents. She describes them as hardworking and shares that her mom was even a working student in high school. “My parents started everything from scratch. They didn’t rely on luck and worked their a***s off for our family,” she writes. “They taught [me and my siblings] the importance of giving our best in everything we do and the value of living within our means.”
Through her parents' hard work, Maine was able to study Culinary Arts at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. Today, thanks to them, she and her siblings are all able to live more comfortable lives. “They taught us that if we really want something in life, we have to work hard for it. Besides, nothing worth having comes easy.” 3. Parents can be strict — but it’s always out of love “[My parents] are strict when it comes to our finances, studies…everything!” says Maine. She adds, “Tatay is a very strict dad, especially when it comes to suitors.”
Their parenting style is a balance though. Case in point, her dad shows his love in other ways. “When it comes to money, he’s very generous. He always says, ‘Humingi ka sa akin ng piso, bibigyan kita ng dos.’ True. He gives us extra cash all the time without us asking for it,” Maine says. She also loves that he passed on his “silly genes” to her. “He might seem reserved at first, but once you get to know him, he’ll make you laugh.”
4. Loving relationships need and deserve attention and effort Maine describes her parents as "#relationshipgoals." Apart from love, it takes effort, understanding, and a sprinkling of sweetness for a relationship to withstand the test of time. “They are the type of couple that still holds each other’s hand while going around the mall. Tatay even carries Nanay’s bag every time they’re out.”
Arguments are part of a relationship, but her parents know that their love for each other is infinitely more important than a disagreement. “They fight, too. They both have their own ‘topak’ — they just know how to handle each other’s ‘topak’ properly,” Maine writes. “I also want to be loved and appreciated like that.” Take note, Alden!
5. Stay humble She may be living the life of an ultimate artista now, but Maine had a simple childhood. She and her siblings slept in one bedroom — because there was only one to begin with. She received hand-me-down clothes from her older sister. As a treat, her parents took the family to the mall on weekends to go window-shopping and eat at a fastfood restaurant. “We considered dining there a luxury at that time!” she says.
“I’ll always be proud of our humble beginnings as a family. We all experienced how it is to live with just enough. But now that we get to live more comfortable lives, my siblings and I have learned to appreciate every little thing we have because we know how hard our parents worked for everything.”
Published by Summit Books, Yup, I Am That Girl (P295) is available at your favorite book store.