It’s a big birthday for me this month. On the eighth day of this eighth month of the year, I celebrate the big 5-0. Of course whenever these major milestones come around, I start thinking hard about whether I’ve been making the most of my unplanned life. For decades I’ve been going wherever the wind takes me and have been trusting God to guide me down the right path. So far, I’ve been okay.
When I turned 30, I had a pretty cool job doing the news on Bloomberg TV, had just made a down payment on my first home in New York, and was giddy to be in a new relationship.
Ten years later, at 40, I was heartbroken and just out of a relationship. But I had a fun job writing and editing food and restaurant stories, and had my first published children’s book, also about food.
And now, at 50, I no longer have a home of my own, but am back in Manila surrounded by the people I love most. I have a special someone who makes me smile every single day, a magazine job I truly enjoy, plus, I get to write books—over a dozen so far—a childhood dream fulfilled.
There have been major bumps and heartbreaks along the way, and way too many deaths, but fortunately my family and I have managed to pick ourselves up each time.
I live on a journalist’s salary which isn’t very much, my ankles and knees creak, and I have crow’s feet around my eyes, but as a whole, life has been good. Here’s to another half century.
For this month’s issue though, we celebrate the next generation. Brilliant, bright-eyed kids on the cusp of adulthood, thrilled yet slightly anxious about being sent out into the real world, many of them on their own for the very first time. It was wonderful spending time with these young people who have their whole lives ahead of them, so many opportunities for them to use their talents to help make this world a better place.
There was a particularly earnest young man named Romnick who bubbled over with enthusiasm telling us about the 1,500 trees he has planted in his hometown in the foothills of the Sierra Madre. That past weekend, he said, he and other school friends had planted 300 more.
Yes, he has been accepted into the Ivy League, but he was much more delighted to share how he first plans to travel around the Philippines to share his story, hoping to inspire other young people to dream big and reach for the skies.
FuLL cIrcLE clockwise from top left: yvette with a group of this year’s best and brightest graduates; yvette almost 50 years ago; her first home in new york; haluhalo Espesyal, her first published book; with romnick Blanco.