Soon after my three-year stint on “Idol Sa Kusina” ended, it dawned on me that I was completely jobless. Well I do have my home-based baking business to help augment my TV income, but like most businesses, it reached a plateau and needed new products to excite my consumers.
So it was not long after that that I realized I only have one basket where all my eggs are, if you know what I mean. Most people may not know that on-cam TV appearances produce a substantial amount—like a one taping day may already cover a month’s house rental. And when that was taken away, naturally, as a parent—and a solo one at that—I had to replace it with something to fill in the amount, if not exceed it.
So in that weekend of July 1, shortly after I received the final word from GMA, I was praying fervently to the Lord the way I did in August of 2011 before He whispered about putting up my business. This time, however, I was asking Him to revive it with a new offering.
In the most unexpected moment, while watching “Trolls” and “Inside Out” with Gummy in our playroom, the idea of making the best chocolate cake came to me: Since I love chocolate cakes and I am always on the lookout for great ones, I thought, “Why not make it the way I want it to be?”
And so that Monday, July 3, I started my research and development for the best chocolate cake there could ever be. Ten days later, I finally announced that orders were ready to be taken.
Now, my #AllMineCustomizableChocolateCake, the first ever fully customizable chocolate cake in the market, is a testament of an answered prayer when you seek the Lord. Because when we ask, He always answers. We just need to be still and attentive as to how He will whisper the answer to us.
I believe it is of no coincidence as well that our Yaya Mapsy also had to leave for her much-deserved two-week vacation in Samar when I opened the cakes for orders. And so you could imagine a chaotic but chocolately two weeks for Gummy and Mummy who had to disperse a hundred cake orders in six days (no work on Sundays)!
I knew it was a test to manage a home-based business along with my daughter’s final two weeks of vacation but I turned it into an opportunity for growth and building of our relationship as a mom-and-daughter team.
When we are yaya-less, I notice that Gummy is more helpful around the house and even more thoughtful of me. She takes initiative to do chores, I guess because she sees how non-stop I am in the kitchen. She volunteers to wash our dishes after eating, sweep and mop the floor (although I had to redo those again, but the effort is much appreciated) and even throw the garbage! Everyday was tiring but it was filled with magical moments for me, witnessing my daughter grow in maturity and responsibility.
One such touching moment came one late night, at around 1 am, when she asked for a mini cake she can work on. After covering it with ganache and sealing the container with a ribbon, she handed it tome with a written note that said, “Mom, I made this cake for you. Please eat it so you wont go hungry when working.” Her tiny gestures of love mean the world to me.
It was also during this time when I was able to train Gummy to bathe on her own. For the longest time I would give her a bath myself because that’s my lambing to her. But since she’s on first grade, she needs to learn these things, even if it tugs my heart.
What really teared me up one night was when she volunteered to mix the chocolate ganache and said “Let me help you Mom so you can finish earlier.”
Moreover, after that task, she said, “Mom I will put myself to sleep okay? So you can finish sooner. Don’t worry, I can manage.” That really broke my heart! That was the first time I heard her say that and I felt guilt all over. Was my busyness so noticeable that even my daughter did not want to disturb me?
Aside from showing Gummy the reality of labor—everyday she would ask me, “Mom how come when I sleep you are baking and find you still baking when I wake up? Didn’t you sleep?”—she became more aware of the hard work put into earning therefore giving her an idea of value for money and gratitude for all things.
She also became my cashier during this period. We delivered the cakes personally and she would receive the money, attempt to count it and place it inside a small purse. At the end of every day, when I do accounting, she would be mesmerized at how “rich” we already are based on the 20 and 50-Peso bills abounding on the table. And when we are out, she would make me laugh by saying, “Mom please don’t spend much,” even when I have yet to teach her the lesson on capital and budgeting.
Yes, I was sleepless for the last two weeks but this milestone-filled period was also beautiful and memorable for me. It was the perfect circumstance to teach my child about life, hard work and money.
If you are in a similar situation, completely “help-less,” turn it into an opportunity to grow. Instead of whining and being irate, help yourself. Or better yet, ask God for the help you need. God always works out everything for the good of those who love Him [Romans 8:28]. He sure has taken your extra set of hands [may it be temporarily or indefinitely]to teach you something—to train you. I say, just be open. Let God work in and through you. It will be good for you.