Recipes for Life

I just finished reading a wonderful book “Recipes for Life, Hearty Servings for a Joyful Life” by Carolina “Kay” Jimenez, with stories compiled with love by her youngest daughter, Carmen Jimenez Ong (Menarco CEO).

The book has recipes on

  • Relationships (meals are best enjoyed in the company of family and friends),
  • Health and Beauty (you get what you give),
  • Helping others (when you serve, don’t hold back),
  • Marriage (keep things fresh and put in only the best) She is happily married to businessman Menardo “Nards” Jimenez.
  • Faith (every step has a purpose and reason; trust the process and you will find joy!) and on
  • Business and Industry (passion always shines through) among others.

Here are some of her recipes in Business and Industry:

Paddle your own Canoe

Means to try to do things on your own without depending on others, even if it is just one step at a time. A reminder that you have the means within yourself to achieve your goal.

Learn the value of hard work and the value of money. Children given too much money before they know the wisdom of how to handle money usually is a problem. They become spoiled and think they can always get their way.

Kay’s mother, Arling, her aunties, her grandmother were women achievers and worked in their profession and own business. So, she encouraged her daughters to earn a living even if their own husbands can support them. It is for their sense of self-worth as well as to fund their own “luho” without asking money from their husbands.

She encouraged her children to experience running a mini business of what they like. For example, she introduced them to breeding dogs when they were kids. She even imported a Boxer champion line to teach responsibility and industriousness. Being generous, she gave me a puppy for my children breed too. Today, she encourages her grandchildren to bring new ideas on how to make a living. Miguel produces Kombucha while Gabie sells sun dried Pang-ASIN-an salt from the family farm in Dasol.

Never stop learning and don’t be afraid to ask[FGT1] why.

Always be curious about things you don’t know, especially new things. She tries to learn the latest technology and ask her grandchildren to teach her. She encourages her grandchildren to learn and explore new things. Grandson Mateo related his Lola took him and Xavi to Robotics class which they didn’t want to do. But because he already had the experience to it, he took it as an elective and thanks his Lola for that. All her grandchildren Jaime, Bianca, Sofie, Alex. Sammy, Nicky, Benj, Andie etc. excel in their studies and extra-curricular activities, You’re never too old to learn something new and grow. Always consult with experts. She loves bamboos but didn’t know what bamboo variety to plant. She consulted with Ecosystems Research Development Bureau who helped her with the initial seedlings and training. Today she has more than 40 unique bamboo species in Carolina Bamboo Garden and known as the “Bamboo Queen.” Also recognized as one of UP’s Outstanding Alumni and received the Lifetime Achievement award.

Be A Good Steward of your Resources

Live within your means. Don’t spend more than what you earn. You don’t need it. Don’t buy. That money can buy something more important in the future.

Know where every peso goes. In buying, compare, compare, compare. The cheapest option may not always be the best; also consider quality and durability.

There is no sense in being extravagant and flaunting your money. Don’t scrimp on things that matter. Always have a balance. Save. Invest wisely. Be a good steward

Exceed Expectations/ Show Excellence in whatever you do

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” Colossians 3:23.

She said that doing business has risks. You need to do your best to make it grow. Give your best whether at work in an office or work at home.

Know your Priorities

God. Family. Self. Business. These are her priorities in life and try to lead a balanced life. She always seeks the Lord in prayer upon waking up to take control of her day. She starts meetings always with a prayer.

The above are just samples of the many wonderful recipes for joyful living. I am a witness to her peaceful, contented despite challenges, life. Best gauge is her successful and God-fearing children: Menardo “Butch” Jr., a PLDT executive, GMA 7’s directors Laurie Westfall and Joel, and Carmen. Incidentally, the Carolina L. Gozon (our Nanay) Institute of Lifelong Learning will be launched tomorrow by Wesleyan University in Cabanatuan.


Ms. Tarriela was the first Chairwoman of the Philippine National Bank. She is a former Undersecretary of Finance and the first Filipina vice-president of Citibank N.A. She is a trustee of FINEX and an Institute of Corporate Directors fellow.

A gardener and an environmentalist, she established Flor’s Garden in Antipolo, an ATI Accredited National Extension Service Provider and a DOT Accredited Agri Tourism Site.

(The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of these institutions.

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