Carmina Villarroel had no qualms in admitting that she is a late bloomer when it comes to the kitchen.
Early on, she told her husband, actor Zoren Legaspi that she can do everything expected of a wife—from cleaning house to doing laundry—except cooking.
“Don’t make me cook 'cause I really don’t know how to cook,” Carmina recalled telling Zoren.
She then confessed, “I’m scared of the kitchen.
“Parang in-accept ko sa sarili ko na hindi ako nagluluto, parang feeling ko hindi ako gano'n.”
The Kapamilya actress was interviewed during her launch as the new ambassador of Knorr at the Blue Leaf Events Place in The Fort, Taguig, last November 20.
The event also coincided with the launch of Knorr's campaign, Sarap Ng Lutong Nanay.
Her twins, Cassy and Mavy, who are now 13 years old, were only nine when she realized she had to do something about her inability to cook.
“After a while, I realized there was something missing as a mother, as a wife.
“Parang may kulang,” she related to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press.
Carmina continued, “I realized my kids were growing up. Personally, I felt kind of embarrassed because hindi ako nagluluto.
“Never akong nagluto for my kids, so parang I felt, parang hindi ako 100 percent mommy.”
She resolved to confront her fear and entered the battlefield—the kitchen.
“So yun ang motivation ko. Nag-aral akong magluto just because gusto ko lang mawala ang fear ko sa cooking.
“In-encourage ko sarili ko na mag-aaral ako, para mawala ang fear ko.”
OVERCOMING HER FEAR. She knew she made the right decision when she realized how rewarding it was to cook.
It gave her confidence as a mother and wife.
“Because of my family, my kids especially, nag-aral talaga akong magluto. Tinanggal ko yung fear ko of cooking.
“And then yung pagluto ko, oh my gosh! Kakaiba yung fulfilment. It's rewarding!” she beamed.
“Madali lang pala.”
She revealed the very first dish she whipped up.
“Unang-unang niluto ko sa kanila, tinola.
“Imagine mo, never pa akong nakapagluto ng sinigang sa buong buhay ko, to think ganun-ganon lang naman. Tubig-tubig, boil-boil. Di mo kailangan ng special talent for sinigang,” she said in her animated way.
She narrated how she felt when she served it to her husband and children.
“Feeling ko nanalo ako ng award.
Her achievement was shared by her loved ones.
Asked how Zoren felt when she was finally able to preside over the kitchen, Carmina replied, “Sobrang happy siya. 'Finally nagluluto na ang asawa ko!'”
She added that Zoren sometimes requests her to cook certain dishes, and the latest was chicken giniling, which Zoren would bring to his taping in Baguio.
It's the same case with her twins. “Masarap ang feeling na nagre-request na ang mga anak mo sa 'yo.”
She continued that a mom does not even have to learn how to cook fancy dishes to please her kids and husband.
“Hindi naman talaga kailangan na super fancy ang dish, just a simple dish.
“I'm very thankful—my kids, my family—they're very appreciative talaga.
"They always say, 'Thank you, Mom, you're cooking for us,' or 'Mom, it's very delicious.'”
TIME MANAGEMENT. Carmina said it is not enough that she conquered her fear of cooking.
Working moms like her should be able to find time to cook.
“It's really time management... because we're working moms, di ba? So it's really hard.
“But if you really want to cook for your family, you really have to sit down with your helper, with your cook and say, 'Yaya, ito yung gagawin ko for dinner, so please prepare the ingredients...'”
She offered tips to busy moms who find it a challenge to squeeze some cooking time into their schedule.
“For those moms talaga na walang katuwang, I think you just have to make time talaga. Plano talaga.
“Kung hindi kakayanin ng weekdays, then cook for your family on weekends, so looking forward sila na, 'Oh, it's Saturday or Sunday, my mom's going to cook.'
“I know it’s hard to cook for your family, especially ngayong marami ang career moms talaga, so kung puwede, you just have to find time.”
She even cited a practice in the States where people would prepare dishes for the whole week, store them in the freezer, and reheat the dish at dinnertime.
“In the States, hindi naman nila kayang magluto araw-araw," she said.
She also added that moms can go to www.knorr.com.ph and find easy recipes to prepare for their family.
Carmina said that if you're a mom, learning how to cook is worthwhile.