Tessa Prieto-Valdes has been known for her colorful outfits, hats, and falsies.
But what most people do not know is that despite her visibility in events, she is a dedicated family woman, and is very active in doing charity works.
“I have been a mom for thirty years,” the mother of four children beamed.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had the chance to interview the multi-hyphenate lady at her launch as Globe's brand ambassador in her Forbes Park home last December 3.
STAYING CONNECTED. Being a mom in the digital age, Tessa said she has embraced its concept, but she's also fully aware of the pros and cons.
“I think it’s really imbibing this whole new—sort of—yes, in this age of technology and connectivity, what really matters is family in the end.
“And so, it’s really saying—you know, the problem with this is, yes, we have so much connection and everything, but you’re not talking to each other anymore."
But you use it to your advantage, and, you know, my son who studies abroad now is, like we Skype and we do FaceTime and stuff like that.
“So it really matters that there’s WiFi in the house.”
There have been a few times when most of her children—Brian, 20; Tyrone, 20; Annika, 17; Athena, 10—were away.
When this interview took place, her daughter was in Cebu, and her youngest was in a school camp.
But they're constantly in touch.
She remarked, “Even a 10-year-old stays connected, even our cat has an Instagram account.
“It’s how I can find my kids.
"I mean, like, you know, thanks to social media, whether it’s Viber or WhatsApp or just on iChat, it’s like, ‘Where are you?’ you know and stuff.”
It has also become a means to keep track of her day.
“It even keeps me connected with my drivers, and my staff, and everything like that and, you know, I have, like, multiple events in a day.
“So I really need to make sure that in between all that, I’m able to submit my articles for my column, and I’m able to, you know, finish, do all of the things that I have to do.
“It’s so important to me.
“It keeps us connected everyday and it really, it really makes it more convenient to find people.”
But infusing social media and technology into daily living comes with an irony.
“I mean it’s… of course, there are some setbacks like there’s no conversation anymore on the table.
“But you know, it still is, like, we try to have this no cellphone rule on the dining table.
Tessa admitted that she and her husband are usually the first to break the rule, “But we try,” she emphasized.
BEING A MOM. What's important is that they have a happy family.
In a previous PEP interview, Tessa said, “I mean, for me, kids are the joy of life.
"You know, I’ve been blessed with being a single mom and then, you know, I’m now a mom and I almost thought I was going to be a grandmother soon but thank God, not yet!
“I think it has all its challenges.
"There’s no manual in how to be a mom, and you go through everything.
“You go through teen angst, you go through, ‘Get out of the house, mom. Get out of the room!’
"You take everything as part of life, and, you know, you just have to love them unconditionally and you just pray everyday that they are healthy and you won’t get a call that they’re in an accident of something.
“That’s my worst fear.
“Otherwise, you know, you hope that you be just blessed with lots of good times.
“And I think we also make sure that we go on, like, holidays and travel as a family.”