Toni Pino-Oca: Glam mom


IT IS said that angels cannot walk on earth and so God sent mothers. They make cookies and costumes. They turn a house into a home. They go by hook or by crook to see their children. Their tears shed at the sight of their babies for the first time, their hands that taught how to tie shoelaces and their goodnight kisses on the forehead. They go to places with kids’ stuff in their handbags and their shoes have to keep up with a toddler’s sprint. They are in constant pressure, but all their children see is the beauty and happy side of everything.

Mothers have the toughest job ever, and on this Mother’s Day, we take it from the inspiring fashion blogger mom Marie Antoniette Pino-Oca, or more known to her followers as Toni Pino-Oca.

The 31-year-old fashion blogger who just started her Mommy Diaries blog is also one of the organizers of Pen Meet Cebu, an event created to gather calligraphy enthusiasts. She did a talk on Shoes and Style for SM Seaside, and on Urban Fashion for Amway Philippines. On top of her seemingly endless appointments, Toni gracefully juggles her roles as  wife of a seaman and mother to 12-year-old Isabel and three-year-old Vania at home.

It was a playful mommy-daughter duo summer afternoon with Toni and Vania who seems to always carry the sunshine with them. Follow her on and @tonipino on Instagram. By the way, this gorgeous fashion blogger mom is a registered nurse. Hashtag, Supermom.

How did you start as a fashion blogger?

I started in 2009. It was just a plain fashion blog where I share my OOTDs and my style inspirations. It wasn’t a consistent blog. I’d stop six months at a time. I started with a different blog name and in the course of seven years, I’d changed my blog name three times. It was until in 2011 when I decided to do it more frequently.

Last year grand endorsements started coming in. At one point, it’s like a sideline now. I know there some blogs that are like that but I didn’t know how AdSense, and Nuffnang works. Basically, what I wanted to do was only to share. First my fashion posts then came some invitations to restaurants. And so I said, okay, I’ll try that, and then came store openings so it became about events, and just recently I decided a mommy blog.

How is your mommy blog so far?

Though the entries are not that many, I’m working on it slowly and I’ll work on it more. I just started it last year and now I am incorporating it in my blog now.  It’s like a guide to all mothers.

What’s the first entry about?

My first entry was our El Nido trip with Vania. I was searching how it is when you travel to El Nido with a toddler knowing there’ll be a lot of island hopping. I needed tips but I didn’t see much. What I saw was just to bring a floater for her for island hopping especially if we go to secret lagoons and stuff like that. So I found it very helpful for other moms if I’d post something about travelling to El Nido with a toddler. So that’s how it started.

Also, being a shutterbug, documenting her milestones, I have a photo of myself when I went to Lake Danao in Camotes back when I was still pregnant. Four years after, we went back there this time with Vania. We recreated the photos like before and after. (Laughs).

What challenges do you face as a mom given that your husband is away?

Time management.  I lack on that even before. The struggle is just there. Right now we sleep very late inasmuch as I want to start our day early because she starts school in June. Also, every time there’d be events and we have already made plans to go out, I had to go home all the way to Lapu-Lapu. And also, Isabel needs a lot of help. I have to balance the time between her and her ate.

Toni and daughter Vania. (CDN PHOTO/EDD BUENAVIAJE)

Toni and daughter Vania. (CDN PHOTO/EDD BUENAVIAJE)

How do you keep up?

It helps that my parents live nearby, so when I have to go out, my mom is there to look after my daughters.

How is your mom to your dad?

Well, my mom is full hands-on in cooking and everything. She particular about moisturizers and stuff and makes sure she puts some on my dad. (Laughs). She massages my dad. They’re not the mushy type of couple but it’s easy to tell that they both look after each other.

How do you balance being a mother and a wife?

Constant communication with my husband. We tell each other not to keep secrets. I tell him everything. Even the littlest of things we talk about… like how’s dinner. We do video calls every chance we could get no matter how late. Before the contract was every after 10 months which was too long. Good thing he found another company and he’d be home now twice a year. He’s turning 32 next month and he’s coming home. If could come home for his birthday, it would be his first birthday year in 10 years, I think.

How is Vania taking this?

When my husband came home last time, she’d never sleep without us. So I cannot imagine leaving home for five days without her. We leave a block away from my parents, so we can just leave her with her grandparents but during bedtime, she will always look for me. Last minute to our El Nido trip, we decided to bring her along with us.

What’s your husband’s say in what you do?

He’s full support of my blog. He actually is the one who reminds me! He’d say, “I’ve been checking your blog, there’s no entry for this week,” or “the picture doesn’t look good”. Also, sometimes I ask permission if I can post bikini photos and he said as long as it’s’ not too sexy or provocative.

Tell us about Pen Meet Cebu.

There are four of us organizers for Pen Meet Cebu. I got into calligraphy last year. It started trending on Instagram about pointed pen-and-brush calligraphy. It started when I bought Vania her art materials. I followed Anina Rubio on Instagram. She just used a brush for all her letterings so I started doing that as well.

Eventually, I bought all the calligraphy stuff! We realized we have many enthusiasts here in Cebu but we don’t have that many events to gather everyone. They have Pen Meet Manila so I asked the organizer there if we can hold one in Cebu, and she said yes. We looked for venues. It’s like a gathering of pointed pen-and-brush calligraphy enthusiasts in Cebu. (Laughs).

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How did it go?

It was a lot of fun. We didn’t expect a lot would join. I just opened around 20 slots and many are asking if we could open more! (Laughs). This is when you’ll see that we have more workshops here in Cebu because we have many creative individuals here.

Whom do you take your love for art from?

Actually, my lolo paints. He’s forte is oil painting. I got it from him. I was a lolo’s girl! (Laughs). He would paint during his last years and I’d be sitting beside him also doing my thing.

What did you get from your mom?

I got my love for cooking from her. She’s a stay-at-home mom. My dad preferred her to stay at home and look after us, her four children. We’d bake cookies and cakes when I was

TAGS: blog, blogger, Cebu, daughter, family, fashion, mom, mother
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