Niña Corpuz reconciles motherhood, work and well-being

TV host-broadcaster Niña Corpuz can make the best sourdough-inspired chocolate chip cookie. That’s according to his three children – Stella (10), Emily (seven) and Luke (four).

Apparently, the children approve of, even patronize, the things Niña does for them and for the family, including baking and cooking.

Juggling work and home is never easy for Niña. In 2017, she was simply in a dilemma to find children’s clothing that represented our culture for her two daughters. This is what inspired her to launch Niña Inabel, a line of pure cotton inabel clothing from her hometown, Ilocos Norte.

“I wish I could say that women can have it all – to some degree, yes, but not at the same time,” Niña said. “Sometimes there are sacrifices to be made. Sometimes I can’t attend a school activity or sometimes I can’t attend an exhibition because I have to be a mom.

With her husband Vince Rodriguez and their children (left to right) Luke, Emily and Stella.

“It’s tough, but it’s also about being okay with my decisions as a mother or as a businesswoman or as a host. I try my best to balance them all, but honestly, you can’t. It’s not a perfect life. What’s important to me is being at peace with my decisions and learning from my mistakes. Every new day is a chance. to be better.

Married to Upstream.ph CEO Vince Rodriguez for 14 years now, Niña is savoring the time her family has together during this pandemic. Watching her children grow up makes Niña realize what matters most: them.

“We’ve been ‘forced’ to spend all this time together at home and it’s brought us closer than ever,” Niña admitted. “We also tried to spend more time with my parents by doing ‘bubble trips’ outside of Metro Manila. I wanted my children to spend as much time as possible with their grandparents.

“After the strict lockdown we went out, visited the outdoors, the beaches, the lakes, the mountains. We showed our kids the beauty of nature, we hiked, paddle boarded, visited farms. Our little family adventures made us realize how beautiful our country is and that you don’t have to fly to do all this.

“There were extraordinary special moments that would never have happened without the closures. This pandemic will end one day and, of course, I will look back and say to myself, when will I ever be able to spend so much time with my children? Despite the challenges, in some ways it was magical. Now things are slowly getting back to normal, we are all busier and the traffic is back! (Laughs).”

The TV host is also an avid cyclist.

Niña is only too grateful that her husband, Vince, is undoubtedly her partner in more ways than one. He manages the streaming service created by producer Dondon Monteverde and director Erik Matti, in partnership with Globe, which was born out of this pandemic following the closure of cinemas.

“Vince has always been a very supportive husband in everything I do,” beamed Niña. “He encourages me even if I fail. It’s important to have a partner who motivates you, understands you, and loves you no matter what.

“He is also very busy with his work, but often I ask him for fashion advice (for Niña Inabel), really! He’ll probably laugh, but he’s my “fashion advisor.” His advice is always the same, somewhere along the lines of less is more, keep it simple and classic or he’ll just ask me, “Will Angelina Jolie wear this?” Tapos ang usapan.

Niña is grateful that her kids have finally figured out online distance learning, so there’s no need to watch them closely. “I can go straight to work supervising Niña Inabel,” she said. “Sometimes I’ve scheduled live events and interviews for Hashtag Healthy Naman and Mommy Niña PH, which is on my YouTube and Facebook page.

“In the afternoons, I check the children’s homework and school deadlines, which can also be quite stressful. I’m sure parents can understand that. I also like to cook something I see on the internet or bake cookies or tend to my little herb garden.

On weekends, Niña’s family tries to do physical activities. “Or we go somewhere, anywhere, as long as it’s outside without the crowds,” Niña offered. “Or we just relax at home, have a pizza day or a family movie night, we cuddle together, we kiss and kiss to death. Time flies and I hope I can still do all these things with my kids for as long as it takes.

Personally, she got into cycling just this pandemic. “First around town with a folding bike, then nearby places like Antipolo and San Mateo, Rizal with a mountain bike,” she conceded.

“It’s exciting and liberating to ride a bike – being closer to the ‘streets’, seeing the sights, whether it’s feeling the fast food or the pine trees outside of a four-wheeled vehicle has made me feeling grounded and grateful was exactly what I needed during a pandemic, not just physically but mentally.

In 2017, Niña even wrote a book, How To Raise a Superstar?, for ABS-CBN Publishing and Working Mom, featuring her interviews with doting celebrity moms, including Karla Estrada for Daniel Padilla, Min Bernardo for Kathryn, Mommy Pinty for Toni and Alex Gonzaga and even Mommy Dionisia for Senator Manny Pacquiao.

Niña’s mom, who is a lawyer-CPA, is her “superwoman” mom. From her, Niña learned to be generous. “She always said that to me since I was a child, paulit-ulit,” Niña recalls. “When you give, you get more back. She showed us how it was done – it starts at home and with the people around you. Her employees have stuck with her, 20, 30, 40 years, since I was born, they are still with us.

Unsurprisingly, Niña has learned to surround herself with people who constantly inspire her. “They should be leaders who set an example or everyday heroes who act in the moment, to improve the life of someone, one person or a community at a time,” she concluded.