I’ve had my fair share of arguments with my family. With my mom when she felt I was getting out of hand during my “rebellious stage,” with my brother when he was being protective of me with my first boyfriend, with my sister, whom I shared a room with, whenever she would get my things without asking permission, and even with my dad when I would get scared of his sudden flare-ups. Hindi perpekto ang kahit anong pamilya, at alam mo, okay lang iyon. You may have different personalities and you all have your share of faults, but at the end of the day, there are no ties like family, and when everything else in life seems like it’s falling apart, your family is there to love and support you.
–Paano ba ‘to?! How to Survive Growing Up (Bianca Gonzalez)
I bought this book because I’m curious about Bianca Gonzalez’ private life. I know she was once a commercial model and now, a product endorser. And she’s not just a pretty face but a real good host. But I wanna know what her journey was like to get to where she is right now—successful in her chosen fields as a host, as an editor, as a columnist, and an advocate of so many good things. Not to mention, a local celebrity. I wanted to get a glimpse of who she is as a person. Like, how did she deal with family problems? Insecurities? Or even office politics? What’s her beauty secret?
In every introduction of every chapter, Bianca would reveal something about herself that has something to do with the topic on hand. Sort of a teaser. Then when you turn to the next page, there is a Q&A about common issues concerning family, friendship, love, career & money, failures, so on and so forth, that Bianca would answer candidly, sharing pieces of her heart based on her personal experience. And not to be all-knowing, there are also advices from the expert (psychotherapist, life coach, change consultant, dermatologist, etc.) to make things objective not just subjective. And to add spice, author Bianca also included sharings/lessons learned of her celebrity friends like Toni Gonzaga, Ramon Bautista, Anne Curtis, Tim Yap, Marian Rivera, Iza Calzado etc.
For example, Issue 1: “Ay, ang taba taba mo!” or “Dami mong pimples ngayon, ah!” How do I deal with negative titas without being disrespectful?
Bianca says: “How you will handle this depends largely on your personality. If you are quiet and non-confrontational, just smile and laugh it off. Kahit na sa loob loob mo nabwibwisit ka. Kung ikaw ang tipong komedyante, sabihin mo, ‘Ikaw din po, tita,’ tapos tumawa ka, tapos may konting hampas pa sa braso. If you are brutally frank, ask her aside to talk and tell her that you were offended by her comment. Minsan kasi nauunahan lang sila ng pagiging taklesa at hindi naman nila sinasadyang makasakit. Take their quips and comments with a grain of salt. Wag din masyadong dibdibin.”
Another example, Issue 2: “Lahat sila may BF na, ako single pa rin.”
Expert says: “If your focus is on being in a relationship, that is a clear recipe for not finding one. Quality relationships come into our lives when we are in our “best form.” Be free of any desperation for love and start spending time pursuing your passions. This will make love happen to you naturally, and when this love comes, it will last!”
Third example, Issue 3: “Why do guys cheat?”
Ramon says: “Because these guys do not love you.” (Pak!)
Also, to make this interesting book a little more interesting, Bianca posted her Top Ten insights at the end of every chapter, sort of like her “Key Messages” to the reader which are really personal. She wrote about “10 Mistakes I Made In Past Relationships That Prepared Me For The Right One,” “10 Difficult Things I Went Through At Work That Taught Me Valuable Lessons,” “10 Winning Mindsets I Learned Through My Failures,” so on and so forth.
I forgot to tell you that on the last page of every chapter is a blank page with a question. Here, the author will ask you something about your family, your career/dream job, your ideal partner, etc. And this sort of made this book interactive, a two-way thing because you’re not just a reader but you’ll be a writer answering questions posed by Bianca, writing them down on the blank page of every chapter of the book, and I remember thinking and reflecting seriously about it. It’s fun when you’re honest, no matter how embarrassing, because from here you’ll learn something about yourself also that for so long you’re shy to admit. And this goes without saying that this book I just bought will not be shared with anyone because of those personal stuff I wrote which I think are for my eyes only.
Paano Ba ‘To?! How to Survive Growing Up is honest, just relax thus it’s a very positive book that I finished reading for one day only. It has a lot of things going in it, it’s fun (it comes with stickers, too!), it felt like I was just having a conversation with Bianca here, or with each person who contributed to make this book a very good companion during my free day.