Hello again, join us on our usual Sunday lunch.

As you know by now, we go to attend Holy Mass first, then lunch.

We are all free to suggest where to have it, and every one of us is free to agree or disagree. When I really really want to go to my choice place, I campaign, so I get the majority. Its easy, its just two of the three men in my family and I win!

This time, I did not have to. We were one in saying that we have not been to Cibo for a long time. So we went.

Oh how we missed this


It shows, huh…

My boys are grown men. Gone are the days when spaghetti, angel hair, lasagna and fettucini topped their list. Here he is enjoying his farfalle or bow tie pasta. I like it when my family is more open to new options.


My honey thinks that Cibo’s serving has lessened. I think its my younger boys’ appetite increasing. Or maybe he is right. What is your observation on this?




Over lunch we talked about how my client to client interaction is eating a lot of my time, particularly my social events clients. How can I reduce that amount of time when I am considered not just a planner but a friend and a family member.

A bride tells me that her parents are separated, but they will both attend the wedding and I must make sure that they will not be placed anywhere near each other.

A couple tells me that they are already civilly wedded, as they hand me their documents. No one in their family knows.

A groom asks me how big a 5 month old tummy is, and reiterates that the designer must be informed by me.

A debutant tells me to make sure that her parents give her a surprise number. A mother tells me not to even give a hint that she is preparing something for the debutant.

A father squeals that he chose the engagement ring, not his son. And his wife does not know.

The list goes on…

I told them its empathy.

Its what?

Its understanding one’s life situation. Its respecting them. Most of all, its sharing that feeling.

I care about and I care for my clients, just as I would with friends and family. I do not go through the motion of discussing my checklist with them mindlessly. I take my close interaction with them as an opportunity to gain more insight of them. One instance, I saw how a family respected their grandmother so much. Old as she was, her opinion was always sought. So in one of our meetings, I asked the debutant and her parents that if grandma would be willing to deliver a toast, would they welcome it?

Eyes lit!

And she delivered the most hilarious speech of the night to a completely silent room as guests struggled to listen to her punchlines only to fill it with so much laughter in between.

How easy it is  to understand when one can relate to the problem, but young as my sons are, I told them to ask questions and listen with their heart. In so doing, they are already relieving the stress in person’s heart.

Listen, listen, just listen. Since you may not have experienced what they are saying, its the only way for you to put them in your shoe, to feel them and eventually understand them.

Empathy, I told my sons, is also being generous with your assurance, not failing to mention that even at your age, by what you honestly feel, things may turn out well, in the end.

My honey was strong in his advise to empathize with people without prejudice

I read and shared that when one knows how to empathize, bullying is lessened.

I remember an aunt-in-law who is based in Canada who said that she would fix and put back to hanger the clothes she has fitted in the dressing room because she has a senior citizen relative who works in Target doing such. That’s empathy!

In my marriage, empathy helps us live with more meaning. I always feel for my honey, and I know that he does too. I may be so angry at him over something but I never do anything disrespectful. And I enjoy the same from him.

I am glad I have the sensitivity to empathize. It is a fact that each one of us has it. I am glad that we were able to talk about it as family. I really am a lucky wife and a happy mom.

In Gratitude,

Bangs Zaldivar