Behind the Scenes

Do not be fooled. That is not a girls’ lunch out or is it a summer weekend tea party. It is just a regular summer working day for me and my staff.

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During the senate summer recess and even after session resumed, we continue to work either at the office, in my house or out of town. 

This is just one of the regular workdays we had in my house.

Now that we are working on the final drafts of both the PhilHealth and Reproductive Health bills, we have been spending even more late nights and weekends working from my house. That is Atty. Joei and me and the Reproductive Health bill.

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Bill drafting, reviewing and proof reading take a lot of patience and practice. That is why I think a conducive work environment is crucial.

After years of not having much of a living room, everything finally fell into place. The right sala set, big enough to accommodate a large group but still cozy enough for just my kids and I to laze around in at night. The right round table, perfect for breakfast or group meetings like that shown in the pic. Actually that table and chair set belong to my parents. We kind of borrowed it when I celebrated my birthday two months ago, and have been enjoying it ever since.

I like to think of my home as an alternative work environment for my staff where they can be more relaxed while still getting the work done. As you can see, professional work clothes are not required. (Sidenote on that: My Chief Of Style…Oops! Chief-Of-Staff, DG, wore a brown mid-knee  romper for work the day before. Inspired by her summer-friendly attire, I decided to wear a summer outfit the next day. So on the next day, I wore a denim romper only to find out that DG outshone me when she showed up in a bright colored romper with splashes of yellow, orange and pink. But that is fine, I am more than happy that she can freely express herself.) They are also free to raid my kitchen and my stash of chocolate (Although, I do hide that well). They are also free to swim in my little backyard pool, although so far, the only ones who have used the pool are the kids of my Chief-Of-Staff, who take their swim lessons there with my triathlon coach.

Working from my house necessarily includes an invitation to do a sunset trail bike run or swim. See that floral arrangement on the table? When I asked who would like to go for a run later, Mich, my researcher, actually tried to hide behind it! As if I didn’t know she was there! Oh well, there is always Che, my ever-reliable executive assistant/political-international relations officer. She won’t back down on any invitation to run whether it be under the sun or in freezing weather.

But like I said, do not be fooled by the homey atmosphere and the floral prints. My legislative team is lean and mean. The bills we have been toiling over will be out soon. Then we go to the next stage, which is defending them on the senate floor. Meanwhile, I would like to think that I provide an employee-friendly, women-friendly, child-friendly working environment for my staff.

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