China Cojuangco-Gonzalez imparts lessons from her mom Tingting Cojuangco

IMAGE @china_cojuangco on Instagram

China Cojuangco with daughter Lucia; China is the youngest daughter of Tingting Cojuangco.


Mother's Day, a day dedicated to the queen of the home castle, is being celebrated around the world on May 12.

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) got in touch with chef and celebrity mom China Cojuangco-Gonzalez via text messaging, and asked her what their family plans are for the long weekend.

China told PEP.ph, "First, Lucia was the one who declared plans. She said that she wants us to go to the salon, have our hair fixed, then go to the mall and play.

"I’m not quite sure what we have in store though, definitely, we will have our Sunday Mass and family dinner… other than those conrete plans, I’m a ‘come what may’ mom.

"Maybe Gino and I should prepare lunch for both our mothers."

Lucia is her five-year-old daughter with husband Gino Gonzalez, also a chef.

China's mom, of course, is Margarita "Tingting" Cojuangco, a socialite, philanthropist, public servant, and, since 1989, a full colonel in Reserve Forces of the Philippine Army.

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The elder Cojuangco is also a Master in National Security Administration and holds two PhDs: one in Criminology and another in Philippine History. 

Needless to say, China and her four sisters—Mikee, Maia, Josephine and Lia—idolize their mom.

What lessons has China learned from her mom Tingting about motherhood?

China said, "Mom has definitely showed me the importance of patience and respect—to be a good role model that Lucia will want to see, follow and learn growing up.

"To show and practice morals and values [me and my] sisters grew up with so that our little ones will grow up as well to be fine adults."

Asked what has been her most memorable Mother’s Day celebration, China said her family likes going out of town for special occasions.

She continued, "But then again, as long as we’re all together, it’s the company that matters most."

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China and Gino now run Café Ysabel, described as "one of the very few real restaurant institutions in Metro Manila" that his dad, the esteemed chef Gene Gonzalez, opened over 30 years ago.

"As far as I can recall, Gino and I would check on Café Ysabel to see how the restaurant was doing… there’s no particular, most memorable Mother’s Day that I’ve had… what’s important to me is the family gets to spend quality time together."

Mommy China's best hack?

"Oh my gosh. Lucia is the one who’s been teaching me all these life hacks she’s been learning in YouTube!!! Hahaha!"

She stressed, "One hack in life is to take things lightly—although sometimes I must be honest, I’m very close to pulling my hair [laughing emoji].

“To find ways to insert important learnings with play so that your little one will be able to absorb them faster and easier.”

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China added as postscript: “P.S. Another best Mommy hack? Lend your kids to their grandparents and get a helper. Hahahahaha!”

More P.S.: “Just kidding. Jokes are half meant [laughing emoji].

Happy Mother’s Day, PEPsters!


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