Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

The Young Mothers of Tumana

by Rachel Ann Rosales Parr

The MLAC team, spearheaded by Dr. Ma. Lourdes “Honey” A. Carandang, went to Barangay Tumana (Marikina) on April 22nd 2017 to conduct a parenting workshop with about 30 young mothers of the community. This was the 6th of an ongoing annual series of parenting activities organized and facilitated by MLAC in partnership with LINKS School for Life for the residents of Tumana.

The workshop started off with the main idea phrased as a question, “Paano maging mahusay na magulang?” (How does one become a good parent?) This may sound like a daunting question but it is one that falls squarely in place with the MLAC flagship advocacy entitled, “Parenting is Nation-building.” This advocacy was given its name by Dr. Honey Carandang and was borne out of her unwavering belief in the critical role of parents/caregivers as co-builders and shapers of our children’s identities – the very identities that will create and impact the future of our nation.


Dr. Honey talks to the mothers on how to become a good parent

Unpacking this huge question was done through an informative talk wherein Dr. Carandang discussed the importance of communication; disciplining with dignity; truthfulness; family bonding; having fun with your child; finding a support group; and most importantly – taking care of oneself. Participants were then divided into smaller groups, each assigned with an MLAC team member to act as moderator/facilitator. The young mothers in each group were invited to reflect on the talk, identify the points that resonated with them, and impart ideas on how they could apply or use these take-home points.

Learnings shared

One of the more salient points noted was about the challenges involved in disciplining a child. While many mothers talked about not wanting to curse, shout, or become violent towards their children; the stressors of being hard-up, having poor role models, and the lack of support systems often led to lapses in their efforts to be kind and respectful parents. Several mothers talked about the difficulties in shielding a child from learning how to curse or how to unlearn the behavior of using foul language. This is an impossible task for so many who continue to live in conditions where swearing and the use of offensive language are rampant in the community, in social media, and in local television where well-known public personalities are constantly seen touting this behavior as a sign of power and bravado. There were several young mothers who, despite the harsh living conditions, recognized the value of being truthful and being able to talk to their children in a way that does not hurt or diminish the child. For some of them it was time to break the cycle of being hardened and desensitized to violence and cruelty.

It was also observed and noted that a significant number of the participants were single parents who lived with or near the houses of other family members. This was seen as a highly valued social condition that allowed them to leave their child in the care of relatives in order find work and earn a living. Unfortunately, there were quite a few single mothers who did not have the same supportive family conditions. As a result, some have become despondent, while others talked about abandoning and neglecting their children.

The value of self-care appeared to be relevant to many of the young mothers. Several of the participants saw themselves as young adults who should give importance to looking good whenever possible, notwithstanding the stressful and worrisome lives they lead. However, the lack of social support, resources, and the lack of time prevented many of them from even fulfilling the most basic tasks of eating on time and bathing as regularly as they would want to. Those who were married and those with common-law partners mentioned the need to find ways or strategies to get their partners to participate and be more engaged in taking care of the children. This, in turn, would create more “bonding time” for father and child and allow more “me-time” for the mothers. Some mothers seemed to find the concept of relaxation and doing things for the “self” alone as ideas they haven’t thought of for a long time.


The MLAC Team, Dr. Cecile Palma, and the young mothers

Reflections and conclusions

In the small groups, each young mother appeared to listen intently to the other, seemingly in quiet acceptance of their differences and perhaps smiling as if to echo the oneness and interconnectedness of their experiences – as mothers and as Filipino women. Part of the value of these small group sessions is in the way that the interactions reaffirm the uniqueness of each participant within the context of the shared experiences that connect and bind them to one another. Dr. Honey Carandang and the MLAC team work with Filipino families through a dynamic process that involves communicating knowledge and creating shared spaces, which participants may use to appreciate their individual and common experiences in a deeper way. It has always been a main objective of these parenting projects to have participants emerge with renewed energy and gain insights that they can own. Hopefully, being able to claim and give meaning to their own stories will give these young mothers the courage and the optimism they need as caretakers and co-builders of the next generation.


Video excerpt from Parenting Academy 2 – Dr. Honey talks about Discipline

Hello everyone! 
Check out our newest video on our YouTube channel. The video is an excerpt from Dr. Honey’s plenary talk during Parenting Academy 2 last Feb.27, 2016. She talks about one of the most important topics on parenting – Discipline.

“We know that what we need most in this country is SELF-DISCIPLINE.” – Dr. Honey Carandang

Click here :

Reflections on the Symposium on Fatherhood

Reflections on the Symposium on Fatherhood

By: Chris Carandang

Photos c/o Frances Guevara

Last February 27, 2016, I had the privilege of being assigned as moderator to the symposium on Fatherhood during MLAC Institute’s Parenting Academy 2. What made this symposium so special was that we were able to invite 3 speakers who represented fathers from 3 different generations. 


Datu Arellano

The first speaker was Datu Arellano, a young father of three young boys. Aside from being a father, Datu is also an artist, musician, and teacher. He emphasized how, as a father, he saw every moment as a learning opportunity for his kids. He also shared how the best way to teach values to his children is by modeling it to them and not just by telling them what to do or not to do. He shared how it was more effective for him to practice patience with his children rather than trying to teach patience to them.


Jonny Salvador

The second speaker was Sir Jonny Salvador, a teacher and counselor, and the current (and first lay) headmaster of the Ateneo grade school. He shared how being a father to his two very different college boys taught him how to value their uniqueness as individuals. He ended his talk with a very poignant quote from singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, saying that, “He who is not busy being born is busy dying.”


Jojo Sumpaico

The third speaker was Sir Jojo Sumpaico, who along with his wife Ma’am Ditsy, has helped a lot of couples prepare for marriage through Discovery Weekend sessions since 1978. Sir Jojo is a father to four successful adult children and grandfather to six (soon to be seven) grandchildren. He gave some very helpful tips to distinguish his two different roles as father and grandfather. His sharing also showed the importance of his relationship and strong bond with his wife and how having a very happy marital relationship also affects the whole family.

What struck me most was how all three fathers were very humble and open. All of them valued respecting and knowing how to listen to their children. They saw fatherhood as an ever-evolving process in which the father continuously learns from his children. They also emphasized how it truly takes a whole community to raise a child. 

As a new father (my wife Olive just recently gave birth to our first child this February 5), who is still gradually adjusting to the joys and challenges of parenthood, it was very inspiring for me to listen to the very personal stories of each father. It is common knowledge how important the role of the mother is in raising a child, but through the speakers’ stories, I saw how truly important and crucial the role of a father is too.

As a psychologist who handles children and talks to parents, it was also humbling for me to see that it’s not just knowledge and education that makes a good parent. To be a good father and parent, one must first be an honest and authentic person with genuine compassion and desire to raise children to become good and upstanding citizens of the world. In the end, I saw even more clearly and concretely how, as my mother Dr.Honey Carandang would always say, “Parenting is Nation-building.”

More Details on PARENTING ACADEMY 2 (Feb.27, 2016)

January 8, 2016 Leave a comment

Hello everyone!

Here are more details on the upcoming Parenting Academy on Feb.27, 2016. Please take note of the change in time. It is now from 8am to 4pm since on-site registration will be from 8-8:30am and the plenary session by Dr.Carandang will be at 8:30am. Thanks and see you there! 🙂

Save the Date for Parenting Academy 2 – Feb.27, 2016!

January 4, 2016 Leave a comment

Happy New Year Everyone! 

To kick off the new year, MLAC Institute will once again be having the annual Parenting Academy convention on Feb.27, 2016 from 9am to 4:30pm @ St.Luke’s Global City. This will be the 2nd Parenting Academy by MLAC. 

The first Parenting Academy was held last year Feb.7 and was a huge success attended by 300+ participants (not just parents but also teachers, counselors, psychologists, students, and people of different backgrounds) from all around the country.

This year, Dr. Ma.Lourdes “Honey” A. Carandang’s talk during the morning plenary session will be on PARENTING TO BUILD FAMILY RESILIENCE. The topics for the afternoon sessions will include: PARENTING IN NON-TRADITONAL FAMILIES, FATHERHOOD, EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE, and IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY: TUNING IN TO OUR CHILDREN.

SAVE THE DATE! Feb.27, 2016

More details to follow soon…

 In the meantime, here is a picture of the bookmark invite which we gave out during MLAC’s 5th Anniversary last November 2015. This bookmark is free for every purchase of the recently launched book POCKETS OF WISDOM FROM THE PARENTING ACADEMY, which summarizes the learnings from the first Parenting Academy. Available for only 230 pesos. You can order from us at 0916-6821437 and have this book delivered for a minimum of 3 book purchases.


AMMA program update

December 12, 2015 Leave a comment


by: Tessibeth Cordova

The Ama na Magaling Mag-aruga sa Anak (AMMA) Program is a community-based psychosocial intervention set out to assist the fathers “left behind” by their Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) spouses. This program is an offshoot of the findings of Dr. Ma. Lourdes A. Carandang found in her book entitled “Nawala ang Ilaw ng Tahanan,” showing the impact on the identity and self-esteem of the fathers and the well-being of the children “left-behind” by the OFW mother. This is part of a greater series of interventions designed by her with her team of psychologists, the MLAC Institute of Psychosocial Services, Inc. and the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) as the host institution in the community under its Gender and Development Program to address the social costs of feminization of migration.

The program began by providing the fathers with counseling services to help process their experiences and make sense out of them, leading to an enhanced self-concept and identity. They were also equipped with enhanced parenting skills in order for them to better cope with their new responsibilities at home. The children were also provided with play and mindfulness-based expressive arts therapy to help them process their experiences as well.

The program is currently on its third phase (Organizational Development and Management) which concentrates on ensuring the sustainability of the intervention. Believing in Jean Monnet’s wisdom that “Nothing starts without people; Nothing lasts without institutions,” a comprehensive and systematic approach at the community level has been started and continues to be made more entrenched.

We have adopted what we call the Psycho-CO Approach, combining the depth of psychological principles and breadth of community organizing. The psychological component has provided the heart and soul of the approach giving the members a solid core to anchor themselves on and bond themselves with one another. The community organizing (CO) component has allowed them to participate in a systematic way to build their organization by enhancing their capabilities and resources to resolve their immediate and long-term needs and concerns and in the process, has provided the expanse and synergy of alliances of institutions in their community. The fathers are now involved in strategies that will help them achieve their own aspiration to help other fathers who are similarly situated.

While MLAC is primarily responsible for working out the psychosocial dimension of the program, CIAC is the institution primarily responsible for the community organizing component. Together, these two institutions have worked very closely to implement in a systematic, holistic and integrated manner an approach to the now so-called Psycho-CO Method which yielded results that prove the relevance of psychologists not only at the immediate personal and family life of the fathers but at the community level after seeing the transformation of left-behind fathers from father-helpee to father-enabler phenomenology. The outcomes of the program have demonstrated the need to make the practice of psychology more inclusive, practical and responsive to the needs of the individual as a TOTAL PERSON which means actively establishing collaborative efforts and maintaining strategic partnerships with existing concerned institutions with similar mandate should psychologists really commit to becoming socially relevant.



The MLAC Team goes to Canumay, Antipolo to give a Parenting Workshop

October 27, 2015 2 comments

Parenting Workshop

Canumay Antipolo, August 29, 2015

By: Bless de Asis

Parents from a far-flung community in Canumay, Antipolo Rizal, gathered in a school, eagerly awaiting to attend another seminar-workshop. They shared that such visits are very much anticipated because they learn a lot. Last time, the topic was nutrition and family planning. That Saturday in August, mothers and fathers, both young and those advanced in years, gave a warm welcome to Dra. Carandang and some of the MLAC team who visited. All of them looked forward to the parenting workshop, organized by Walter Cheng and his family.

The long trip which involved traversing up the mountains and through narrow, winding dirt roads, proved to be fruitful as the parents individually shared their experiences of how they were raising their children. Most of them resonated with the need to be more mindful when disciplining their children. The ideas shared struck a right chord in the hearts of the participants because they were able to see parenting their children in a different light. They also expressed their gratitude for being given the opportunity to listen to the talk and be listened to.

All seem to agree that they were hungry for the learning and smiles of delight were on everyone’s faces as they headed home despite the downpour. It was a tiring long trek down, given the muddy, dirt roads and zero visibility because of the strong rains, but the MLAC team were awed and nurtured by the parents’ enthusiastic participation and wisdom they have shared with us.

Here are some pictures from the parenting workshop c/o Walter Cheng.

The road less travelled in far-flung Canumay, Antipolo

The road less travelled in far-flung Canumay, Antipolo

Dr. Carandang talks to the participants during the start of the workshop.

Dr. Carandang talks to the participants during the start of the workshop.

Dr. Carandang emphasizes the need to treat children with respect and the importance of listening to children's innate wisdom.

Dr. Carandang emphasizes the need to treat children with respect and the importance of listening to children’s innate wisdom.




The MLAC team with Sir Walter Cheng (father of Walter Cheng)

The MLAC team with Sir Walter Cheng (father of Walter Cheng)

Student volunteers Carla Buenaflor and Walter Cheng talk to some parents.

Student volunteers Carla Buenaflor and Walter Cheng talk to some parents.

Small Group Discussion with MLAC team member Tessibeth Cordova.

(Not so) Small Group Discussion with MLAC team member Tessibeth Cordova.

Another job well done by the MLAC team :)

Another job well done by the MLAC team 🙂