Who is Truly Rich Mom?


Editor’s note: Today, I’m thrilled to welcome our newest contributor to the site — and our first blogger from the Philippines. Tina shares her background and her family with us below. I’m so happy to get to know her and to learn from her! Please join me in welcoming her to CatholicMom.com! LMH

So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear? All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. (Matthew 6: 31-33)


Hi, there! 🙂 My name is Tina Santiago-Rodriguez. That’s me up there, with my beautiful family (yes, I know, I’m biased! Teehee!), as of January 2013. The Bible verses above our photo are our family’s guiding passage. 🙂

I usually introduce myself around the web in this way: I’m a Catholic wife and home educating mom by vocation, a physical therapist by education and a writer and editor by profession. 🙂

As a Catholic, I strive to live out my faith in all I do, especially in being a wife to my husband, Anthony, and a mother and teacher to my kids, whom we have named after St. Timothy and St. Therese of Lisieux. Currently, I am pregnant with our third child, our latest blessing from the Lord, and am due to give birth sometime late April or early May. 🙂

If you want to get to know me a bit better, read on! 🙂 {It’s rather lengthy though — please forgive me, I got carried away! ;)}

My Life Then

I grew up in Brunei, a small Islamic country located in Southeast Asia, because my father and mother worked there as overseas Filipino workers for 20 plus years. That’s why I can speak, read and write in Bahasa Melayu or Malay, and why I consider myself as a “third culture kid” of sorts. 🙂 I had a pretty “normal” childhood, but went through rather “dark” years as a teen and young adult. (I haven’t written openly about this, but plan to do so soon, in the hope of encouraging and inspiring others.)

After finishing secondary school in Brunei, I took up physical therapy (PT) at the University of the Philippines Manila. I took and passed the PT board exam in February 1998 (I waited for the second round of exams after graduation).

I didn’t get to practice being a PT that long though, because I chose to respond to God’s call to be a fulltime pastoral worker for Couples for Christ or CFC, the Catholic charismatic community to which my family and I currently belong. My family, especially my parents, changed a lot by being in community, and we have God and CFC to thank for that.

It was around this time, too, that I met my husband. We had a “whirlwind” romance of sorts. You can read a bit more about that over here if you like. 😉

I started out serving fulltime for CFC Youth for Christ, the youth ministry of CFC, and am blessed to have gone on mission to different places, including Singapore, East Malaysia, Timor Leste, and my childhood home, Brunei.

All this while, my then-boyfriend-and-now-husband was also serving the Lord fulltime. We had a long distance relationship for a good part of the five years we were together, before we were both assigned to Timor Leste, along with my parents.

We spent the year before our marriage serving the CFC community in Timor, focusing on faith formation programs for school-aged youth, single adults and children. We also got to teach English at the National University of Timor Leste. Along the way, we learned how to speak, read and write in Tetun, one of the national languages of Timor. 😉


In January 2006, we got married in the Philippines and returned to serve in Timor as newlyweds, with my parents again. In October 2006, I gave birth to our first child. In July 2009, our second bundle of joy was born, also in Timor.


All in all, we stayed as a missionary family in Timor for about four years. Those were among the BEST years of our life, and I’ll forever be grateful to God for the awesome experiences we had in Timor.

timor3 timor2 dscf0383dscf0373

My Life Now

We returned to the Philippines in June 2010, and I left fulltime work in 2011 after a long period of prayer and discernment. Right after I decided to do so, mostly because I wanted to focus on homeschooling our children, God led me to a different path — one where I could use the core gift He’s blessed me with: writing. 🙂

Currently, my main job as a writer and editor involves being the managing editor of Mustard, an inspirational children’s magazine for kids 6 to 10 years old, published locally here in the Philippines by Shepherd’s Voice Publications. Shepherd’s Voice is one of the media ministries founded by Bo Sanchez, a well-known and much-loved Catholic lay preacher and author.

I’m blessed to work from home three days a week, so I get to homeschool while holding a fulltime job at the same time (something I know a lot of other homeschooling moms are doing). 🙂 It’s not the most ideal of homeschooling situations, but it works for us. 😉 By God’s grace! You can take a peek at our homeschooling adventures here, though for a while now, all homeschooling-related posts have been on my main blog. 😉

Copyright 2013 Tina Santiago-Rodriguez


About Author

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a Catholic wife and home educating mom by vocation, and a writer and editor by profession. Among her different roles, she believes that her most important "work" is to be a helpmate to her husband, and to raise her kids to be "Kingdom-Seekers." Find out more about Tina through her website: Truly Rich and Blessed.

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