by L Meniado

“Paano ba ‘to?!” (“How do I do this?!”) seems to be the most essential question we have tried—and are still trying—to answer since we became acutely aware we have grown old. We have succumbed to Googling the answers and consuming every article about being in our 20s posted on Thought Catalog or Huffington Post to make ourselves believe we are prepared to face adulthood. As we take uncertain steps forward, we desperately search for validation that we are doing just fine.

I, for one, have realized by now that knowing what I’m supposed to do in life or how to deal with adult stuff is way, way harder than answering my thesis’ research question. Good thing there are reading related literature that can lead me to useful tools in formulating my framework for life—Bianca Gonzalez’s Paano Ba ‘To?!, for one.

THE STORY

Bianca Gonzalez, TV host/Editor-in-Chief of Meg magazine/columnist/Young Global Shaper/blogger aka all-around superhuman, shares her life lessons and secrets to being SUPER through her first book, Paano Ba ‘To?! How to Survive Growing Up.

This book is a compilation of advice for 20-(even 30-) something Filipinas on: 1) Family, 2) Friendship, 3) Love, 4) Career & Money, 5) Failure, 6) Fashion & Beauty, 7) Purpose and 8) Self. Insights and stories from local personalities like Toni Gonzaga, Anne Curtis, Luis Manzano, Ramon Bautista and Atom Araullo are included as well.

WHAT I LIKED

On professing your love to your crush

Tandaan, dalagang Pilipina ka, Wag kang aamin!”—Ramon Bautista

On handling office blunders

“If you can correct it, do so, and learn your lesson and never do it again. You will earn your workmates’ respect even more if you can move on from blunders gracefully, instead of trying to avoid everyone or ranting by posting a controversial or cryptic status on Facebook.”

On managing your money

“Never buy anything with money you don’t have.”

On being an awesome workmate

“Never underestimate people. You’ll never know how they can help you in the future.”

On failure

“In every setback, there is a chance for a comeback.”

On choosing your career

“We have to make the most of every opportunity, but the crucial ingredient is having a clear idea of who you are and what you stand for so you don’t get lost in transition.”—Atom Araullo

On being comfortable with yourself

Magbo-bloom ka rin.”

HOWEVER…

The conversation between Anne Curtis and Luis Manzano about friendship is very conyo (not that I have anything major against that; it just gets annoying) but some parts still count as cute.

A few typographical errors were also here and there but may be corrected in the second run of publishing.

tl;dr

There is no ultimate guide to growing up tailored for every one of us. As Bianca herself wrote: “Ikaw lang ang makakasagot niyan…” The truth is, growing up is a personal experience—we can only learn by going through it ourselves. It involves intricate and individual discoveries. However, it is comforting to know that there are people out there who are not only going through the same but are also willing to share how they survive(d) growing up. ☁

***

GIVEAWAY

We have a signed copy of Paano Ba ‘To?! waiting for you!

Answer the question “What is the best piece of advice you can give to anybody?” in the comments section below. Get creative and clever with your answers! Link to blog entries will be counted. Winner shall be chosen on the 27th of December.

Update: Congratulations, Nerissa! Email us at hello@bookbed.org. Thanks to everyone who joined. Until the next one! 

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13 replies on “Bookbed reviews: ‘Paano Ba ‘To?!’ by Bianca Gonzalez (plus a giveaway!)

  1. Kindness is free.

    It doesn’t matter how small or big the act is. Sometimes, you can lift a person’s mood just by saying hello or giving thanks. When I was really young, I read a quote from a poem by Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That had struck me right in the heart. I thought, I want them to feel warm and happy when they think of me. I want to be remembered as someone who was kind. Not popular or the best but kind. And I think kindness is inherent in all of us, we just have to be a little more aware of what goes around us and take time off thinking of our busy selves and remember others. Kindness can result to a lot of good things for you and others… sometimes when you least expect it.

    Like

  2. I encourage you to make mistakes.

    Life was meant to be lived; it isn’t fulfilled just by being happy. I read somewhere that people are tested by two things: 1) by nothing happening 2) by everything happening all at once. If you have felt discomfort, solace, and pain and yet here you are reading this piece, then congratulations! You have proven yourself the strongest sperm of your dad.

    Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Go ahead, TAKE RISKS! You aren’t sure if it’ll work? Try it anyway! The harm comes when you haven’t tried at all. No one ever succeeded with a perfect record, they stumbled somewhere along the road but they got up more than the times they fell. GET OUT OF YOUR BOX! Try out new things! Jump off the cliff, open your eyes, then build your wings on the way down. Only then will you realize that the things holding you back were ‘just things.’

    “Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers ever grow on it.”
    — Vincent Van Gogh

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  3. “…*silence*… Kaya mo yaaaaaan!” (with an assuring tone, a nod and a smile)

    Friends will open up to you with their problems with school, work, family, love, and the likes, and you as a friend will be there to listen, give advice, pros and cons of the situation and whatnots. But at the end of it all, with all the talking and tears, the assurance you give the person that he/she can deal with his/her problem is enough. That’s the best advise I can give to someone, a tap on the back and a kaya-mo-yan nod (sometimes with a wink). Or a kaya-mo-yan hug (for my friends I treasure deeply). ‘Cause at the end of the day, no matter what you advise them, it would be up to them, it will be their decision on how they will face the problem. Like what Biance said, “Ikaw lang makakasagot niyan.”

    🙂

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  4. “Always remember: There are a lot of people out there who are suffering worse. Cheer up!”

    My mom sent me this text message 8 years ago and I held on to this ever since. And yes, I did cheer up (in an instant). 🙂

    I was a regular eighteen-year-old female college student back then – one who fell in love and got cheated on, for example. Getting over the countless times I saw him with his ex-girlfriend (while we were still together) could have been easier if I were home – with my parents & my high school best friends. But home was miles away and I could only do so much alone. I kept myself busy during the day studying & cleaning the whole apartment so that I would get too tired to cry during bedtime. For three fu*king months, I was crying myself to sleep while blogging about that stupid heartbreak EVERY day.

    Then I realized I needed help & I thought of only one person who could make all the pain go away – my mom. I was so ashamed texting her not about money nor failing grades but about a broken heart. But I did it anyway. She didn’t laugh at me. You know what she did? She told me about all her problems at home, about her relationship with my dad and how she dealt with it. She told me what other people could have been experiencing at that moment – hungry and homeless, some trying to kill themselves, women being raped, innocents victimized by terrorism.

    I was so embarrassed. And just like that, I got up, wrote about what she said (of course) and stored in my mind that whatever problem coming my way, it’s nothing compared to what other people are carrying.

    I gave this advice to all my friends who, like me (at 18), thought that losing their significant other would mean the end of the world. I will give the same to all the young readers out there – it’s okay to fall in love and there’s nothing really wrong with getting hurt. Acknowledge the pain, give yourself time to process it and then move on. And if it becomes too heavy to handle alone, remember that you have your family and friends whom you can always ask help from. Here’s one from me. 🙂

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  5. God will never give you trials in life that you can’t overcome.You just have to be strong and keep your faith on Him.
    Trust His plans and let Him lead your journey. Always remember that everything happens for a reason.If you fail, don’t lose hope and always bear in mind that God has something better for you. If you succeed, don’t forget to thank God.

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  6. Take one S.T.E.P. at a time. Step as in Stop, Think, Elect (an option) at (pinakamahirap sa lahat) be Patient.
    [Nakasulat sa Filipino dahil mas may puso magbigay ng payo pag hindi English]

    Kahit ano pa man yang problema mo… mapa-love life, acads, family o sa friends, simpleng simple lang ang kailangang gawin. Sundin mo lang itong STEPs na to:

    1. STOP. Huwag magpabigla-bigla. Huminga ng malalim. Ang paghinga ng malalim ay (ayaw mo mang aminin) nakakagaan sa pakiramdam. Puwera na lang kung hinihika ka at di mo na kayang huminga ng malalim. Pwera biro, ito ay makapagpapakalma sayo – ng kahit kaunti at sa oras na kumalma ka, maliliwanagan ang isip mo.

    2. THINK. Pag-isipan mo muna mabuti lahat ng ikikilos mo. Bakit? Dahil sabi sa science, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Ngayon, gusto mo bang mapahamak? Syempre ayaw. Kaya wag kang gagawa ng bagay na baka pagsisihan mo lang sa huli. Pag-isipan mo, mga 99 times. Pag sure na sure ka na, go! Kung hindi, try mo hingin ang opinyon ng ibang tao, simulan mo sa magulang mo, sa mga kapatid, sa kaibigan, try mo na rin sa mga kaaway mo para maiba lang. Ilista mo lahat ng lahat ng options mo at saka ka mag-decide.

    3. ELECT AN OPTION. Sa lahat ng naisulat mo, tignan mo kung ano ang pinakamabuting gawin. Pinakamabuti hindi lang sayo kung hindi para sa lahat ng taong nakapaligid sayo. At pwede ba, hindi option ang pagtakbo sa problema. Isa pa, siguraduhin mong kaya mong panindigan yang desisyon mong yan. Kung hindi, magbibigay lang sayo yan ng mas malaking problema.

    4. (be) PATIENT (o sa mga religious… Pray) Based on experience, ito ang pinakamaihirap. gawin. Mahirap maging patient lalo na sa mga panahong pakiramdam mo wala kang hinihintay. Halimbawa, ang tagal tagal mo ng nakakontrata, mga 5 years na, hindi ka pa rin nareregular; o kaya naman ang tagal tagal mo na nanliligaw, di ka pa rin sinasagot; pwede rin namang ang tagal tagal mo na hinihingi sa nanay mong dagdagan ang baon mo, pero P50/ day pa rin dahil may baon ka naman daw. (O sabi ko sa inyo, nag-aapply to sa lahat ng aspeto ng buhay eh!) Tuwing mawawalan ka ng pag-asa, magdasal ka. O kung hindi ka naman religious, be patient nga. Isipin mo na lang, one STEP at a time. Kung sa tingin mo hindi mo makukuha sa padasal dasal, eh di trabahuhin mo. Lahat ng bagay na para sa’yo ay makukuha mo. Sabi nga ng mga kapwa kong impatient, all good things come to those (who wait? Hindi na ngayon!) who fucking earn it.

    Kaya go! Madali lang tandaan! Isang STEP lang!

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  7. Have a daily reflection before going to sleep. This will serve as a self-evaluation of the deeds that you have done in the whole day. If those deeds were good, better. If not, the person must plan an action to those circumstances. Tomorrow is another day, you can still correct what’s wrong and you can still cultivate yourself and develop what’s lacking. Just remember that you’re still a student……….of life, and everything that comes your way is just a test of faith. You are always being tested, and through this, your faith will be stronger, you’ll be patient to wait for the right moment, and you’ll gonna build the courage not to be disappointed with what you encounter.

    Like

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