I'm a Filipino expat mama to a family of four living in Shunyi, a suburb of Beijing. We've been living overseas for more than a decade and can connect to both the joys and challenges of being a mixed race third culture family. Our eldest daughter of Filipino and Canadian descent was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia while our youngest was born here in China. We've moved homes seven times and lived in two countries - Malaysia and China - as a family.
While we spend most of the academic year as teachers here, we balance our holidays either driving through Canada in our recreational vehicle or traveling through Southeast Asia. We share family holiday tips and kid-friendly activities in the blog.
My husband, Steve and I teach Drama and Art respectively at the International School of Beijing. Outside of that time, I like connecting and empowering the Beijing expat woman through workshops, fitness and sustainable fashion. I founded the 21 Day Fitness and Beijing Style Circle communities that have been providing a safe space for women to support, inspire, and motivate each other through we chat, the most popular social media tool in China. Our group embraces diversity in age, cultural backgrounds, beliefs and body shapes. It has given us a space to love our bodies by exercising, fueling it with nutritious food, sharing our struggles, posting sweaty selfies, and celebrating non-scale victories as we juggle families, careers, passions, relationships, and self-care.
Although a fitness journey is a personal one, we are not meant to do it alone. Having other women travel alongside us help us to achieve beyond what we thought possible. Together, we've become stronger, healthier and more confident. The transformation that we've seen has gone beyond the loss of weight and inches to a new-found way of living in our mind, heart, and bodies. (Read about our fitness we chat group in this link: BeijingKids blog.)
As I approach 40, I'm thankful for the multiple opportunities and experiences that I've gained in media, theater, and education. I hosted a television car show, djayed the graveyard shift of a radio program, directed and acted in theater productions, and hosted live shows like Nickelodeon’s ”Let’s Just Play”, an event where I accidentally amputated Sponge Bob in front of thousands of people. While in Manila, I was also a spokesperson for Women's Wellness where I shared hundreds of wellbeing seminars in various corporate settings.