Married for three years now to husband Robin Padilla, TV host-actress Mariel Rodriguez still considers herself a "struggling housewife."
In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on March 5, the new brand ambassador of Joy With Olay—a dishwashing liquid that has moisturizing effects on the skin—admitted that she still has a lot to learn about homemaking.
She looks back at her old lifestyle as a single woman: "Of course, my lifestyle before, when I was single, was really different.
"Like, dati I had other people do things for me, I only worry about myself, be kikay and all that. But now, siyempre, I'm married na and I have a home to take care of."
The drastic change, Mariel says, was challenging. However, "I'm enjoying it. This is my dream, e. Siyempre, it was also a different change, it was also a challenge for me.
"But, because I'm really enjoying being a wife, and I know it comes with it, so instead of, like, thinking, 'My God, this is so tiring' and all that, I don't see it that way.
"There's actually a sense of fulfillment everytime I do something good for my home, so it's more positive to me than anything."
The 29-year-old wife says she finds great joy whenever she learns a new skill—like creating a new organic juice recipe or learning a new trick on how to fix a broken object at home.
But when asked what is the one thing she loves to do for her home, Mariel says: "Shopping, yes, of course!"
Her latest purchase so far is a set of coasters.
"Kasi, we went to Europe, we went to Sweden and Spain. So, everytime I go abroad, I buy coasters, so I have a new set again for my house."
Asked if she has begun collecting anything for her display cabinets at home, she says: "Magnets pa lang. Wala pa, wala pa akong collection.
"Pero, darating din tayo diyan. As of now, shoes pa rin ang collection ko, e. Ano pa ako, e, struggling homemaker pa ako," she says with a smile.
But even though Mariel hasn't gotten around to that part of homemaking yet, she seems to have populated her space with the essentials.
Asked what her favorite things are in her home, she says: "I love my mattress. I love my juicer.
"I love my... I have this really nice sound system, iyon, iyon ang mga ine-enjoy ko talaga.
"I have a steam bath, I love my steam bath. Those are my favorites so far."
PLANNING FOR YOUR HOUSEHOLD. In keeping her household organized all the time, Mariel imparts to other young wives the importance of planning, particularly in grocery shopping.
"That has to be the best lesson I learned talaga, planning.
"When you go to the market or to the grocery, plan ahead, like, know what you're cooking for the week and buy what you only need.
"I swear, it saves you time, like, hindi ka paikot-ikot sa grocery, and it also saves you money because you don't spend too much.
"So, planning before, so ginawa ko na, pinlano ko na siya, and it doesn't end there!
"So, pinlano ko na siya, di ba, and I got tons of gulay, kasi organic iyong kinukunan ko ng gulay, sa Baguio pa siya nangggagaling, so ang dami kong binili hindi ko inisip hindi ko naman pala mauubos!
"So, iyon, those are the things na slowly mo pa rin siya maaano pala, hindi naman pala pwede iyong pinlano mo tapos magho-hoarding ka.
"So, hindi pa rin iyon iyong masasabi ko na I perfected the housewife role, because I still encounter everyday problems."
STORING YOUR GOODS. Speaking of her veggie shopping ordeal, Mariel also shares these tips on how to properly store your food, especially fresh produce and fruits.
"I didn't know before that apples should be in the ref for it to last longer. I thought that you can just leave it outside. No, hindi pala pwede.
"Zucchinis, you cannot leave it outside also, you have to put it in the ref. Nangyari na iyan sa akin. Ang dami kong gulay na naman, lagi akong madaming gulay, and then when I entered the kitchen...
"Normally, you would really smell that it's fresh, and then when I went inside, I said, 'Bakit may amoy bulok?' It was really, like, bad, foul smell.
"And then, it was my zucchinis. Kasi pala, it's watery, and so the smell was just everywhere, tapos parang all my other gulays got haggard also. So, now, I know zucchinis dapat nasa ref."
A list of fresh goods that should be kept in the fridge includes apples, beans, berries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, corn, cucumber, eggplant, ginger, grapes, jalapeños, leafy greens, and mushrooms.
Meanwhile, avocados, apricots, bananas, citrus fruits, garlic, kiwi, melons, nectarines, onions, pears, peaches, plums, pineapples, and potatoes are meant to be left at room temperature.
CARING FOR ONESELF. Finally, Mariel gives an advice to all wives, young or old: "They should use Joy With Olay. That's the best tip that I can tell them.
"I really feel that, as women, we shouldn't lose ourselves. We should embrace being a modern wife, but at the same time, still love ourselves.
"So, when we do household chores, like washing the dishes, it doesn't feel like you're doing household chores because you're actually also moisturizing your hands.
"And, like I always say nga, ayaw mo naman to have bad hands, di ba, kasi magho-holding hands pa kayo ng asawa mo.
"Baka mamaya makipag-holding hands iyan sa iba, di ba, so we have to still love ourselves."