“Modern” is possibly the most apt word I could find to describe the kind of family I am in. This is the first time I will write about my family in entirety. For what reason you may ask? None in particular, actually. It’s just that for the past two years I have been blessed to enjoy a very good relationship with my siblings and lately God is whispering to me to open up and share with everyone the kind of joy, elation and inspiration my kind of family brings.

Most of you know that I only have two brothers – Angelo and Ali, whom I fondly call Gummy’s Daddies. But I’m sure you also see King and Ton (the very talented cake creator of @AllBoutCakesByAllen in my online posts whom I also call my bros. I have 2 brothers but in reality I have a total of 5 – all of them equally guapito, siyempre. 🙂

I am the eldest of three, of course and have always said to be the only girl. But In fact I am the 4th – I have two older sisters – Ate Kat and Ate Caress. Trust me I am the happiest to have female siblings and both to be Ates; I’m also blessed with a Kuya in Kuya Martin. Kind of weird but I feel very secure when I am with them and I am reminded I’m not the eldest (therefore I’m not the one in charge, not having the last say and not the one to pay the tab -by defaut! Haha!); sometimes I even regress and just want to feel like the baby. 🙂

So to get the facts straight, we are a total of 8 children, care of Papa. It’s Ate Kat, Ate Caress, Kuya Borgy/Martin, Me, Angelo, King, Ali and Clinton. Angelo, Ali and I are from the “second” family and that makes us the “half siblings.” Want to know what’s AMAZING – amazingly modern, if I may say? Our “whole” siblings, even Papa, NEVER made us feel that we are just the second – second family, second priority. Perhaps this is why I am overflowing with love and gratitude and excitement sharing with you our family set up. I am so blessed not just with having more siblings but more so to have them love my own brothers and I as if we are completely 100% blood.

Pops' girls: Ite Caress, Bite & Ate Kat
Pops’ girls: Ite Caress, Bite & Ate Kat
Carlos Boys: Clinton, Kuya Martin, Anjo, Papa, Ali & King.
Carlos Boys: Clinton, Kuya Martin, Anjo, Papa, Ali & King.

Moreover, our mothers treat their “step/half children” as if they are their own. My Mom is friends with my siblings. She welcomes them at home, cooks for them and they exchange food and desserts. They watch TV and movies together; and enjoy staying up late just talking – parang barkada. I appreciate the love and respect my siblings have for my Mom.

My siblings’ Mom, Tita Leah, we see her on special occasions. We engage in conversations and she never fails to ask how my Mom is. Thank you for your kindness, Tita. The first time we were all in one gathering, all siblings and Tita Lea was during my sister’s wedding in January 2014, where my brothers and I were invited and Gummy was even one of the flower girls. We felt very special. Sa totoo lang naman, gaano ba kadalas na ang mga ‘anak sa labas’ (sorry for the painful term, just being perfectly honest) ay kinikilala at ipinagmamalaki pa ng mga kapatid nila sa unang pamilya? Na kahit sa mga espesyal na okasyong dapat ay pawang pampamilya lang nila ay imbitado pa? I AM SO BLESSED!!!! Blessed beyond belief, to be accepted like this!

I know some people may not understand and may even refuse to accept our kind of set-up. But you know, we CANNOT CHANGE OUR PAST. We have no control over it. What we do have control is our present choices that can change the course of our future. If you are in a similar familial set-up, what would you do? Would you hate or continue hating your father or mother for having other families? There is no point in hating. It is such a waste of time. Why don’t you choose to accept and move on and see the good things the Lord may be showing you or teaching you through your situation. 🙂

Truthfully, I have my Mom to thank… for raising us the way she did and for disclosing the truth from the very beginning. We grew up knowing about our siblings, our situation; knowing that we are second family. My Mom is level-headed, liberated and has always been open. She never felt the need to hide anything from us. So now that we are old, we don’t have issues, hangups or baggages. 🙂 Thanks Mom for your honesty.

To my Papa, thank you for making plenty of us. Hehehe I’m sure it was very tough for you when we were much younger – physically, emotionally, financially, practically all aspects I’m sure. We want you to know that now that we are all adults, we love and enjoy our big number. No halves nor wholes with us. WE ARE SIBLINGS.

To my siblings, I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. I cannot emphasize how grateful I am for your acceptance, love and for the kind of closeness we have. I am looking forward to more Sunday lunches with more and more babies!

I am in tears as I close this entry. It is amazing how God brings people together; how He continues to bless us despite our past mistakes and how He brings about the greatest blessings from the most painful times in our lives. My siblings and I became close and only started seeing each other often when Papa got diagnosed with end-stage renal failure seven years ago. He underwent dialysis for 4 years so we saw each other then almost every week and when Papa had a kidney transplant three years ago, we were together almost everyday especially the first 3 weeks post-op when he could not sleep for 18 days and had a few close calls. Thank you Lord for always being in control and just moving in Your mysterious ways!

Lord I cannot thank You enough. My family is my biggest blessing and greatest source of joy and peace and hope and love. You never cease to show that in Your Family, there is no first nor second family; no categories, no illegitimate children. Thank you Lord for making our seemingly complicated set-up work! Thank you for perfectly orchestrating everything.  Thank you for your beautiful timing. Thank you for my modern family!

11 thoughts on “OUR MODERN FAMILY

  1. I really admire you, Bets…of your honesty and for being very open abt your life which serves as an inspiration to everybody and leaves you no baggages at all.
    I salute your Papa Alex, your Tita Leah and sis Irene how they raised you up, all so well.
    God bless your ‘modern family’.

  2. Saludo ako sa ginawang pag papalaki sa inyo .
    Napaka buti mong anak.
    Boss Alex has a grateful & kind heart.
    May God bless all of you more & more all the time.

  3. Hi Ate Bettinna, I adore your modern family. I am also with the same situation as yours. God really moves in an unexpected time. He has his own timing and reasons. I never felt that I belong to a broken family and I do not consider my family as ‘broken’ because we all welcomed and embraced one another. God bless your family! 🙂 Hi to Gummy! 🙂

  4. This is a very enlightening post… You have written about something personal – something human. You just unleashed the kind of truth that makes all the difference in the world – the truth that liberates souls, no matter how deep or murky the darkness. Your family story is an inspiration for those families who have difficulties to move forward – fumbling in the sea in the dark, just looking for that anchor to give them mooring. I applaud you for being candid and bold enough to open yourself and see opportunities; perceptive enough to recognize blessings; humble enough to be grateful; and fearless enough to choose happiness. The gift of gratitude has set you free to embrace life on life’s terms, and that is freedom indeed.
    May God continue to bless you and use you to touch people . Keep on writing something that has a bit of humanity in it, every now and then. Keep sharing life with an open heart and the world is yours.

    More power to your blog! God bless.

    Tita Thelma

  5. should i leave a comment here? hehehe … i practically know your mum
    and when you were born, then anjo … and finally ali, i considered you 3 as a gift from heaven .. very angelic face .. i always alwaysss admire your mum … the woman and the mum she is … now … with the person you are … you surpass her greatness …(sorry ate irene ah ) sabagay san pa ba ikaw mag mamana …. continue to be great in all aspect … bless your ❤️

  6. I just read this today and may I say Bettina you’re doing a great job! This article is an eye opener for everyone. The real life lesson you share brought tears to my eyes. Thank you! God really works in mysterious ways! To god be the glory.

  7. Been following you in IG for quite sometime. Love the morning thoughts you post everyday. It is just now that I have the chance to read your blogs and I am truly amazed. Never thought that you would come from a “modern family” as you call it. You were raised well that is why I believe that you can be a good Mom to gummy. You are so blessed! More power and God bless always!

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