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An unforgettable Christmas for Edric and Joy Mendoza starts with meaningful family connections

By Tanya Lara Published Dec 23, 2023 2:30 pm

International speaker and edu-preneur Edric Mendoza and his wife, motivational speaker and book author Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza, have a busy, lively household every day. With six children that range in age from five to 20, they have mastered the art of listening and creating a safe and open space not just for their kids, but for themselves, too.

“There’s a safe space that we own as a family that protects us with love and care,” says Joy.

“And we call that place home,” says Edric.

Christmas for the Mendozas is all about meaningful connections, a purpose that PLDT Home highlights in its 95th anniversary. Christmas is a time when it’s especially important to maintain connections and express your love to your children, friends, and family near and far. Beyond the holidays, PLDT Home knows that it’s vital to have reliable and fast internet every day for families—for the kids to call their parents to tell them where they are, for the parents to be there when the kids need them, and for couples to maintain their relationship.

With Christmas just a few days away, it’s easy to get caught up in the preparation for the holidays. Pausing from all this and intentional efforts help parents create moments of closeness with their kids. Here are more tips that have helped Edric and Joy create a harmonious home for the family of eight.

Love, faith, and God

Edric and Joy’s six children—Elijah, 20; Edan, 17; Titus, 15; Tiana, 13; Catalina, 10; and Caylee, 5—were raised in a loving home anchored by their parents’ love and faith in God, the center from which all their relationships spring.

When they met and fell in love, Joy and Edric were already both and separately deeply committed in their faith.

Edric says, “Love is what cements all that. What helps create that bond is really our faith. It’s God who brings that all together for us. What makes our relationships meaningful is the first relationship we have with God, so that then we are able to do that with everybody else.”

Open communication

Joy says, “We understand that every home is different. For us, open communication is really so important because it’s the only way to get to know who our children are.”

It may sound easy, but when kids reach an age when they make their own meaningful connections with friends, many start keeping secrets from their parents. Meaningful conversations pave the way to open communication—about anything and everything they are experiencing—whether they’re being bullied in school, their crushes, their accomplishments and failures, and relationship with their friends. 

“Open communication is two-way. Gusto namin when they have problems, when they have issues, they would think of going to us first,” says Joy.

Their son Edan says, “When we have these meaningful connections with each other, we know how everybody feels. We share the same purpose as a family.

Edric adds, “A house divided in itself will not stand. If you want a house to stand, you need to have meaningful conversations.”

Listening—not just expressing—is a big part of having open communication. “I like the principle of don’t react, interact. So be quiet, listen, and you’ll be able to listen with your heart. You’ll see what’s going on,” says Edric.

There’s a verse in the Bible that Edric and Joy apply to help them do that exactly, James 1:19, which says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” It’s a verse that the kids apply to each other too. After all, having that many siblings in the house can lead to rowdy moments.


Even as adults, we love it when we are appreciated for something we did. A simple thanks, a gesture, a small gift—they have the power to make us feel good, to lift us, and make us do better for ourselves and for others, too.

Joy says expressing one’s appreciation matters. “I realize when I tell my kids, ‘You know what, Tiana, thank you for helping me clean up the room, I really appreciate it.’ Or when I tell them, ‘I love you so much, I really appreciate you guys,” it brings them joy. 


Forgiveness builds trust—it nurtures the heart when someone asks for it or gives it. It makes our relationships more resilient and gives us emotional safety. When children or parents exhibit behaviors that test the other’s patience and understanding, forgiveness conveys the message that despite that, love remains.

Parents don’t know everything, and when they make mistakes, it is important that they acknowledge it to their kids as well. “One of the most important things is to also ask for forgiveness. Being able to ask for forgiveness (makes the kids) know that they’re seen and appreciated,” says Edric. 

The spirit of Christmas is rooted in giving and acts of kindness—whether it’s listening, appreciating, or forgiving—can be a powerful way to maintain the strong bonds of a family.

This season, PLDT Home offers us ways to deepen our connections. Make that call, set up that video reunion, and make the season more meaningful for your loved ones.

Learn more about the Mendoza family’s secret to meaningful connections in this video.


Editor's note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring, and educational content created by The Philippine STAR in collaboration with brands like PLDT Home.