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From mamma to glamma

By MILLET M. MANANQUIL, The Philippine STAR Published May 14, 2023 5:00 am

They do not look like the archaic, stereotyped picture of a grandmother: gray hair in a bun, knitting needles in hand, shawl on the shoulder, sweetly smiling on a rocking chair.

Today’s breed of grandmother is younger-looking, with sleek haircut, iPad in hand, off-shoulder top, chicly sipping a cup of cappuccino with friends.

They are hot mamas who have become glamorous grandmas. Call them “glammas,” then. 

Some of them may still be in denial at times, still in disbelief that they are now lolas. But undoubtedly, they are proud glammas. Proud that they are mothers of mothers who are bringing up their own children the best way they can. Proud of their grandchildren, who are growing up with grit and valor in their blood. For today’s glammas are feisty and iron-willed, having survived the tempests of our times.

Four glammas talk about the joys of grandmothering, and the lessons they would like to pass on to their grandchildren: Crickette Tantoco continues to embrace retailing where husband Donnie is a mover in the luxe retail business. Marissa Concepcion, whose husband Joey famously leads in business mentoring, now makes it her business to have an apostolate. Margie Moran-Floirendo reigns in a universe where culture matters, as well as grandparenting with businessman Tonyboy Floirendo. Beng Dee is the woman always beside Rikki, who is an iconic restaurateur and innovator in the food industry.

Crickette Tantoco

Faith, love, authenticity and gratitude are values I want to pass on.

For me, the biggest joy of being a grandmother is seeing my children’s children grow up healthy and thrive. It brings me immense happiness to see them reach their milestones and achieve their dreams. I love watching them learn new things, explore the world around them, and become the person they were meant to be without the day- to-day pressure of hands-on parenting.

As a grandmother who has been blessed with a close-knit, fun-loving and boisterous family, I feel it is my responsibility to pass on the lessons and values that have helped me get where I am today. When I think about the advice I would give my two granddaughters, the most important thing that comes to mind is the importance of faith. I would urge them to always put God at the center of their lives, and allow Him to lead them in their lifelong journey.

Crickette Tantoco with Victoria Anya Ng, two months old, and Gianna Noelle De Los Reyes, three years old

Another important piece of advice that I would give my granddaughters is to be true to themselves. I believe that every person has their own unique gifts and talents, and it is important to recognize those strengths and use them to make a positive impact in the world. I would encourage them to follow their passions, to set goals, and to not be afraid to take risks and pursue their dreams.

Finally, I would also emphasize the importance of gratitude. I believe that focusing on what we are grateful for can have a transformative effect on our lives. By recognizing and appreciating the blessings in our lives, we can cultivate a sense of joy and contentment that can help us overcome any challenges that may come our way.

I am excited and extremely hopeful to see what the future holds for my grandchildren. I am reminded of the power of faith, love, authenticity and gratitude. If I am able to pass on the importance of these values, I think it would be more than enough to carry all our family’s future generations through the different and constantly changing times.

Marissa Concepcion

I want my grandkids to look back and say: ‘I learned that from my grandma.’

I had a great relationship with my grandmamas. They were my friends, my confidantes, persons whom I loved and learned so much from. I enjoyed their company. They taught me love of God, family and service to your family in the best way you can.

Marissa Concepcion with Luca and Alonzo

So, seeing my grandkids, I can’t wait to get to know them, listen to them and tell them stories and share with them all I know.

I cannot believe that I am already at this stage and that my own children have their own children.

I don’t believe in spoiling them. I want to give them deeper learnings. I want them to look back and say: ”I learned that from my grandma.” Of course, the good things.

Joey Concepcion with son Christian and grandsons Alonzo and Luca

I am quite the disciplinarian. Rules are rules.

But at the same time, I want them to have great fun traveling with us and having special moments together.

My apos are Alonzo, four years old, and Luca, 10 months old. Can’t wait to have more.

Margie Moran-Floirendo

My big thrill? Rediscovering my youth, which is still alive and well within me.

Among the greatest thrills of being a grandmother is rediscovering your youth still alive and well within you. That’s the feeling I have because of an extraordinary love bond with seven-year-old Cosima and four-year-old Adriana. When I open the door, they come running to hug me as they shout: “Hi, Lola!”

Margie Moran-Floirendo with her granddaughters Cosima and Adriana, mother Charo Moran, and daughter Monica Ugarte

I recently took my two granddaughters to Disneyland in California, and the amusement as we entered consumed me. Disney is magical, and taking the rides with them, like It’s a Small World, was an incredible experience for me as a grandmother as I pointed out the costumed dolls in front of us. The sounds and sights of the Disney characters added to our excitement. Recently, I treated them to the Broadway musical The Sound of Music, an unforgettable, outstanding musical about a strict captain with seven children and a nanny with perfect savvy in bringing the joy of music into their lives, at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater. Before that, their mother made them watch the movie with Julie Andrews, the film that spans three generations. Then, in the theater, they sang the songs they had memorized. I was overjoyed as I watched them. I reminisced about my childhood and my experiences as a mother when my daughters were their age, which gave me a feeling of satisfaction. I know I brought up my daughters, Monica and Gabbi, well because I see them as a good mother and a loving aunt, respectively.

My daughter’s family lives in Davao, and when I visit, they take turns with the sleepovers. So watching them wake up in the morning beside me is always delightful.

Cosima and Adriana, like my two daughters, have different personalities. Cosima is seriously involved in everything she does, whether schoolwork, piano lessons, ballet rehearsals, music classes, golf lessons, soccer, or as an equestrian. She frowns when she is called pretty and appreciates instead being called smart.

On the other hand, Adriana is a sweet, wannabe princess and beauty queen. She wears party dresses and children’s high-heeled shoes even if she is just home. I can tell this little lady will be an extrovert, but for the meantime, as is typical in four-year-olds, “NO” is her usual reply to requests.

My advice for them as they grow up is to honor their father and mother by showing love, gratitude and obedience. Family is the core of life because it is the foundation of community and relationships.

Beng Dee

The virtue of filial piety is most important.

Being a grandmama makes me feel like I hit the jackpot!

They are my greatest gifts. No words can describe this amazing feeling I have. My advice for them and their generation? Always practice the virtue of filial piety.

Beng and Rikki Dee with Parker, Enzo, Billie, Ean and Braeden

From Cheeno and Kidd, we have Enzo, Ean and Elizsa. Enzo, 10, is our special boy. As the eldest, he is the most caring towards his younger siblings and cousins.

Ean is our sweetest. He likes to play the piano. He also plays soccer, tennis and taekwondo. Elizsa is our new princess, she’s still very fragile at two months old.

With Paxton

From JR and Bea, we have Braeden and Billie. Braeden, seven, is our mathematician. He is fascinated with numbers. Billie, five, is our little model. She loves playing dress-up and is very comfortable with the cam.

From Erika and Patrick Gonzalez, we have Parker and Paxton. Parker, four, loves to explore things. Most of all, he has a great appetite, like a real “FooDee.” Paxton, at four months old, is already showing signs of being a FooDee, too.

Now you know the reasons why Rikki and I always look happy.