Multimedia Star Toni Gonzaga was raised in a conservative home and close-knit family, with Mommy Pinty, Daddy Bonoy, and celebrity sister Alex Gonzaga being huge parts of her typical dynamics. She misses them so much in these days of community quarantine where she couldn’t travel and see them. Nurturing a family of her own, Toni is stuck at home with husband Paul Soriano and three-year-old son Seve. But thanks to technology, she is able to connect with the Gonzaga bunch despite the physical distance.
In a Kapamilya Confessions appearance, Toni reveals that relationships challenged by time and distance isn’t something new to her. Not that she experienced a long-distance relationship in the past but she and Paul weren’t always together while they were starting out as boyfriend-girlfriend, for they had to prioritize their careers and other commitment. They, nonetheless, managed to survive the hurdles by holding on to their love. “If it’s true love or your great love, you can overcome the distance, time, and challenges because you’re willing to fight for it. And if you know in your heart that that person is the one, it’s going to be worth it,” she muses, as advice to couples dealing with the same dilemma.
After eight years of joy and tribulation and everything-in-between, Toni tied the knot with Paul in in a solemn wedding ceremonies in 2015. And life has never been more fulfilling and beautiful for Toni since then, especially when she entered motherhood, the gift she will forever cherish. “My biggest achievement in life is being able to deliver Seve in this world. It’s an achievement because not a lot of women are given that gift and privilege,” she says.
With a lot on her plate – motherhood, marriage, work, and business – the setting of Toni’s life truly requires excellent time-management skills. And it’s something she keeps on trying to improve each day. There’s no secret formula or magic to being a perfect home manager, only eagerness to learn and selfless desire to wrap the family with love and care. Toni admits that she isn’t the best cook in the world but she can fill her little family’s appetite, nonetheless. She loves to serve the taste of childhood memories on the table by copying her mom’s classic pininyahang manok recipe.
Others may think that parenting amid this pandemic can be a draining struggle but Toni’s experience as a mom on a 24/7 duty parries off this assumption. She believes that nurturing a child at the time of a crisis can be a source of hope than chaos, a life full of grace than burden. “When you put your focus and energy on your kid, somehow, you will forget what’s going on in the outside world because you will get to see the world through the eyes of your child where there are no worries, no concerns, and no apprehensions about the future,” shares Toni. Just as how children entrust their lives and needs to their parents, Toni adds that adults must take this innocence as inspiration to cling unto the hands of the Heavenly Father with child-like faith, so that “no matter what happens, there’s so much peace and content in our hearts.”
Toni simply enjoys her time with Seve by doing almost all activities together like watching movies and eating, all the while working from home. She still continues on her hosting job via online talk show “I Feel U” which premiered last May 10. In the said program, Toni features feel-good and inspiring stories and interviews guest Kapamilya celebrities through a virtual conference. The takeaways from each episode also allow her to grow more and evolve as a person and a host, hence, her most favorite episode is always the latest one.
Toni admits that the pandemic is changing broadcast media industries but she’d rather feel optimistic about it, saying she enjoys the fact that ‘workplace’ is only a few steps away from her bedroom. And while she misses being surrounded by a lot of people, she has admittedly fallen in love with being a one-woman production team at home. She even lets Seve sit on her lap and join her in her work-related activities. Of course, her vlogger side won’t take a backseat, either. Her YouTube channel is still up, although, she’s still in search of the perfect time to shoot and upload the next content. She hopes the pandemic comes to pass and things return to normal, as she’s looking forward to going back to her usual work setting.
Answering more questions from the netizens, Toni admits the she is an introvert and her trick to overcoming unfair judgment is to simply ignore the naysayers. “I think people have this certain assumption and decision about you that they have created in their minds, and what they think about you is not your responsibility anymore.” Her emotional and mental strength weren’t established overnight. Toni had to do a lot of reading and listening before was able to forge this mindset. The book she received from ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo L. Katigbak titled “Quiet” by Susan Cain helped her understand herself better and embrace her inner truths in the process.
This positivity surely radiates a beautiful aura of good vibes. And apart from her attitude, Toni says exercise helps in maintaining a pretty face because it releases toxins from the skin. She doesn’t follow a complicated skincare routine but swears by the glowing effects of a skincare product.
Catch the beautiful Toni on “I Feel U” every Sunday, 6PM, streamed through Star Cinema digital platforms.