What gives life meaning | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Seated: Gi Sicat, Sea Princess and Marivic Limcaoco; standing: Cindy Yang, Bea Lhuillier, Crickette Tantoco and Patty Chilip
Seated: Gi Sicat, Sea Princess and Marivic Limcaoco; standing: Cindy Yang, Bea Lhuillier, Crickette Tantoco and Patty Chilip


Happy Easter! May this special day bring happiness, love, and peace to all, especially during these times when everything is even more uncertain. May the grace of God, the Son and the Holy Spirit warm your home and cover you with a more purposeful life.

For Christians worldwide, the importance of Easter is to mark Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. His triumph over death is a glorious assurance of the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. The purpose of Easter also means a full confirmation of all that Jesus taught and preached during His three-year ministry. If He had not risen from the dead, He would have been thought of as just another teacher or prophet. However, His resurrection provided final proof that He was really the Son of God and that He had overcome death once and for all.

Easter for me is all about greater hope and promise. It is also about renewing life with a more meaningful purpose. One year into this deadly virus, with cases hitting closer to home than ever, everything feels even more anxious and unstable. As I reflected on all this during Holy Week, I ended up spending a lot of time thinking of ways to deepen my relations with my family.

It also made me reevaluate the true meaning of life. I realized that there can be no singular meaning of life to stand for everyone, as life is simply different for us all. It is full of complicated twists of emotions, experiences, challenges, thrills and lessons—all merging into one interweaving of great stories. For me, what gives life meaning is not the end goal or outcome, but the quality of our journey. The journey through the different chapters of life is what makes a fulfilling narration. To discover life’s greatest lesson, one needs to overcome challenges and learn from all the hardships.

Jo-ann Soler, Vina Francisco, Sea Princess, Tinkay Crespo-Prieto and Lorna Laurel Lopez

Devoting self to others

It becomes increasingly difficult to realize what life’s ultimate plan is, because it depends on how we interpret the lessons that reveal themselves to us at different points in time. As challenges come into our life, the struggle lies in choosing which lessons to apply to the new, uncertain situations we face. One way to put some meaning into life is to devote yourself to loving others, to the community around you, and to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. People can put too much focus on the things that are not nearly as important as the things that truly fulfill us. When one does not busy oneself with chasing the wrong things, it gives an opportunity to clearly see the right things.

When you decide to do things for others and not spend your time worrying about yourself, it can help you feel fulfilled in the knowledge that something you did was worthwhile for someone else. If people could apply this approach to their own life and pay things forward, things could be better for us all. Be careful that you are not too devoted to yourself that you lose sight of your purpose in life.

If there is a silver lining to this pandemic, I believe it is the fact that we have all learned to value what is truly important and to spend as much quality time with the people we love. In this time of social distancing, let’s not forget to stay connected and make the people in our lives feel loved. Counting blessings and appreciating them truly make life more meaningful and precious.

I have recently learned that keeping a gratitude journal is an important component of a mindfulness practice. Journaling has provided clarity on what is most important to me and has helped me appreciate everything and everyone around me so much more. It helps me start my day in a positive mood and fuels me with feelings of optimism. It allows me to embrace my day with enthusiasm.

Naissa Carmona, Ludette Corcellut, Mayenne Carmona, Manolo Carmona, Marisa Chan, Annie Carmona-Khunke and Leana Carmona

Focusing on family

All my random thoughts are jotted down and offer some clarity after. The challenging aspects brought about by this pandemic have really screwed up our minds. The blurred lines between working and nonworking hours are starting to take a toll on family life. Maintaining balance is critical to avoiding burnout, so try to set working hours and stick to them. When the workday ends, shut everything down, put your computer away, and enjoy your evening.

Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments. This global crisis has created a new sense of isolation and disrupted family connections. Some marriages are also being shaken due to past issues that are now unearthed. But at the heart of humankind’s existence is the desire to be intimate and to be loved by another. Marriage is designed to meet that need for intimacy and love.

In the security of love, a couple can discuss differences without condemnation. Conflicts can be resolved. Two people who are different can learn to live together in harmony. We can discover how to bring out the best in each other. These are the rewards of love. True love always liberates.

For the moment, my love life focuses on my family. I can’t wait to spend some relaxing time with my hubby, Dennis Valdes, in Balesin Island Club. We are all looking forward to the Aegle Wellness Center Serenity Series on the weekend of April 23 to 25. Bikram Yoga instructor Ollay Aninion will be sharing her feng shui tips, as well. So what is the true meaning of life for someone who has reached a 100th birthday? Living with no regret, being spiritually connected and being physically loved are just some of the initial tips from Manolo Carmona, the father-in-law of my good friend Leana Carmona. Tito Manolo became a centenarian last December.

Cheers also to Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., who will turn 100 years old on April 7. And on April 9, Nini Quezon Avanceña, the oldest living daughter of President Manuel L. Quezon, joins the centenarian club, as well!

Make every year count! You only live once!

Leana Carmona, Sea Princess and Kitty Jacinto


Piolo Pascual and Tessa and Dennis Valdes


Manolo Carmona, who is 100 years old, and his lovely daughters (from left) Marisa, Ludette, Mayenne and Annie


Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and granddaughter Bea Tantoco Reyes


Sea Princess and Leah Caringal
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