By Betinna Carlos

It is beyond an honor to have been invited and offered by no less than the country’s oldest newspaper to write for them about the on-going journey I decided to take alone five years ago.

My gratitude to our Lifestyle and Entertainment Editor, Tessa Mauricio-Arriola, for recognizing my dedication and approach as a hands-on single mother and homemaker, and believing that my experiences can be of help to readers in similar situations. That alone makes solo-parenting feel like a walk in the park. Also my big hugs and heaping of thanks to Angel Javier-Cruz, Vice President of GMA Network’s Corporate Communications, who has also become a very dear friend, for being instrumental in making my path cross with Tessa’s toward this new exciting endeavor.

Betinna with daughter Gummy shot last 2013 by Jacob's Fountain publisher Edwin Arceo

Betinna with daughter Gummy shot last 2013 by Jacob’s Fountain publisher Edwin Arceo

I know that the Lord has put me in this situation of being a single mother for a very good reason. As it says in the book of Jeremiah, He has a great plan. I know I am exactly where I should be, and though it may be tough at certain times, I would not have it any other way. More and more, I realize that this beautiful jumble of happiness and hardships has been given to me not only to bring glory to Him but also help inspire others.

At this point, allow me to cite a verse from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Bettinna Carlos is a solo parent by choice to a five-year old beautiful and God-fearing girl named Amanda or ‘Gummy’

I know that my God calls me to comfort my brothers and sisters who may be going through a similar situation and set of predicaments in the same way that He has comforted me. I can only pray that as I embark on this journey of writing for The Manila Times that I may be able to continue to do the Lord’s work to the best of my abilities and please Him as I empower more parents to raise children His way, regardless whether they are doing it alone or as a pair.

Allow me to properly introduce myself as this is my debut article. I am not one to assume that everybody knows me just because I appear on TV. I am Bettinna Carlos, a solo parent by choice to a five-year-old beautiful and God-fearing girl named Amanda or “Gummy.”

Most recently, I became a home-cook, the personal chef of my daughter. It was a tough transition from the exact-measure-method that is baking to a to-taste way of cooking. In the last two years I learned to cook from the heart and still manage to quantify my ingredients so my followers on Instagram could replicate what I lovingly prepare in my home (and for documentation purposes in case my memory fails me sooner than expected, or in the event I decide to write a cookbook). I do not claim to be a pro in the kitchen in any way, but I do feel like one most of the time when Gummy tells me, as she savors every spoonful of her “Extra Pork, Pork Adobo,” that I am the best cook in the world.

I am an on-cam talent of the GMA Network, and have been appearing in a number of soap operas both on the afternoon and evening primetime slots over the last 13 years. However, you may recall me best if you like cooking and are familiar with Chef Boy Logro as I am his co-host and sous chef–a.k.a. “taga”–in the longest running cooking show on the network, Idol Sa Kusina. Taga-hiwa, taga-abot, taga-halo and taga-punas. I’ve been on the show for two-and-a-half years now, though ISK, as we call it for short, has been running for five. I am also a panadera. In fact, I am the “chief panadera” of my home-based baking business called Baked Bites by ABC, the inventor of Nutella Rocks.

Oh, and just recently, I officially became a blogger with my own website via my passion page www.mummybites.com.ph.

I am a hands-on mom and had only been blessed with a loving and efficient yaya in November of last year. As a single, modern, working mom juggling two to three jobs a week and wearing multiple hats on a daily basis, I manage to do everything that I have to because of the support of my family, my Mom especially. And because I know “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” This, Philippians 4:13, is my life’s Bible verse.

Finally, and perhaps the most important thing you may need to know about me is that I am a joyful, vocal and proud Christian. A CCF-er. Why do I say it is of utmost importance that everybody knows this? Because everything that I will discuss and share here about parenting is grounded on my faith. My parenting style, beliefs, and principles were formed and are continuously being shaped by my Christian faith. My approach is faith-fueled and Bible-based simply because it should be. And I am excited to share what the Bible has taught me on how to raise a child in the way he or she should really go.

In my next article, I shall retell my story about how I made the choice to become a solo parent; how single parenting became a shared and not a “solo-flight” experience for me; my approach to parenting; and my very first answered prayer as a parent.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was first published at the Manila Times. Republished with permission from the author.