Jacquelyn Pio Roda is living a beautiful life with her family in Napa Valley, California. More than living amidst rolling hills and vineyards, what makes it special is the life she and her family have built there.
Her life in the US began when she was sixteen years old and she moved to San Francisco for university. In her junior year, she met her husband Ryan, and as they say, the rest is history. Now a busy working mom of three, Jacquelyn gives us a glimpse into how she balances work and family life.
Jacquelyn’s professional life
After graduating from college, Jacquelyn worked as a Marketing and Advertising Manager for Fortune 500 companies. Here, she gained the marketing and negotiating skills that she applies to her current position as the owner of Luxmore Real Estate.
Her career in real estate began when she got her license. Initially, she intended to use it to gain more knowledge for real estate investing. She purchased her first house at 22 and was working part-time in real estate on weekends for family and friends. They lauded her strong negotiation skills and how she always advocated for her clients.
For ten years, she worked for big real estate firms, where she continued to hone her real estate skills. “I opened Luxmore Real Estate in 2010, built a good core team of professionals. It’s been an amazing ride ever since,” Jacquelyn said.
On her family and children
Jacquelyn and Ryan are the proud parents of three beautiful children: 11-year old Bianca, 9 year-old Matteo, and 5-year old Enzo, all with their own unique personalities. “Bianca is everything I was hoping for in a daughter. She is an amazing Ate. She’s so maalaga with her younger brothers. She’s very dependable, and gets things done whenever she puts her mind to it. She loves baking, reading, hanging out with friends, and recently started learning about investing in stocks.”
She describes her son Matteo as a sweet, caring, and an old soul. “He’s only 9, but he can have profound discussions with anyone on such a deep level on any topic you can think of. He has a natural ability in music and drawing and can listen to a song once and play it once on the piano or guitar. His drawings are masterpieces in perspective art. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is truly a caring and thoughtful kid.”
Her youngest Enzo is smart, curious, and loves to dance. “Enzo is adorable in every way! He is currently in Kindergarten yet reads in the 2nd grade level,” says Jacquelyn. “He’s curious about the world that he is discovering everyday. He is so full of life and endearing in so many ways. He’s got great rhythm as he’s got a good beat when he dances and he is my foodie!”
Finding her work-life balance
Just like other working moms, finding the balance between work and motherhood is challenging for Jacquelyn. She does her best to live in the moment and be present when she is with her children. Having a supportive husband is also a big factor in achieving this balance.
“I try to live in the moment. I put my phone down and put emails on hold. My kids are my “clients” at that time and I carve time with them the same way I handle appointments. I focus on them and their needs. It works best for me to give each child my full individual attention for half an hour. I think it’s better than spending 2 hours with them, but doing emails or looking at my phone during that whole time.” We think this is wonderful advice for other moms as well.
“I am fortunate to have such a supportive husband. Being in real estate, there are no set work hours, I work when my clients need me. That can be at 11 pm at night after putting their kids to sleep or 5 am in the morning to take calls. My husband and I work as a team. He takes over the kids when I need to help a client,” she shares.
Living in Napa Valley
When people think of Napa Valley, they think of vineyards and weekend wine tours. Not many people know how it is to live there. Jacquelyn and her family are lucky enough to experience this everyday, and more than that, have deep roots here as well.
“Ryan grew up in Napa and his parents still live in Napa. We thought it made sense to move to a place with family around. Ryan still has close bonds with his childhood friends and he wanted the same experience for our kids,” Jacquelyn said.
“We love that most people see Napa as a weekend getaway, but we get to live in it every single day. Since we moved here, we’ve had a steady flow of friends and family come visit as it is so fun going wine-tasting in all these world-class wineries just up the street from us. Napa may be a worldwide destination, but for those of us who live here, it still has the small town feel. It also feels like you are on vacation everyday.”
More than the easily accessible tourist destinations, what makes Napa perfect for them is the sense of community. They often spend time with neighbors and friends and enjoy playdates, having brunch, or visiting each other’s houses. Living in Napa Valley among family and friends has been a wonderful experience for Jacquelyn and her family, and it is something they appreciate everyday.
How she stays true to her Filipino roots
It is very important to Jacquelyn and Ryan that her children stay connected to their Filipino roots. They make sure that their kids are aware not only of Filipino values, but Filipino history as well.
“Whether consciously or subconsciously, we naturally impart Filipino values by staying closely connected to our immediate and extended families. It is important to us that our children feel connected to the larger group and are influenced by the love and support of a deeply caring family.”
Living in another country doesn’t stop the Pio Roda family from learning about our country’s history. “I can count on one hand the number of Fil-Am families in the entire Napa Wine Country, much less so Filipinos who grew up in Manila. So it has been a challenge to surround my kids with a deeper understanding of Filipino culture. We make it a point to really do all we can to immerse them in the culture as best we can. The boys call Bianca “Ate” and Enzo calls Matteo “Kuya”. It warms my heart to hear those words spoken so naturally as it reminds the kids that they are forever connected as siblings within the Filipino culture.”
They also put extra effort into exposing their children to as much Filipino culture, history, and values as possible. In fact, the kids attend special Filipino Zoom classes weekly.
“One Zoom class is taught by Mr. Joey Fernandez, a history teacher at the Beacon School. He teaches my kids and a small handful of other kids around the world about Philippine History. He has brought in fascinating guests of people that were in the center of those historical moments such as grandchildren of national heroes and scholars. Matteo even got to have some one-on-one time and talk to the Vice President of the Philippines, Leni Robredo.”
“These Philippine History classes sparked such curiosity and interest with my kids that it made for lively discussions at the dinner table after their Zoom classes. Both these Zoom classes definitely helped in my quest to instill an appreciation and pride for Filipino culture in the midst of day-to-day life in Napa,” Jacquelyn proudly shares.
How the pandemic affected them
Just like every other family in the world, the pandemic also shifted their lives. They’ve experienced the ups and downs of working at home, including their children learning how to avoid accidentally walking into Zoom meetings.
At the same time, the quality time spent together as a family during this time is something they value and will always hold in their hearts. “We will never forget the number of family meals we were able to spend together, often taking the time to enjoy one another and conversations during breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s become a time to reconnect and enjoy one another’s company. It sounds simple, but the pandemic allowed us to really enjoy those simple pleasures,” she further shares.
Jacquelyn and her family are truly living a wonderful life in Napa Valley, California. More than just being surrounded by beautiful scenery every day, their life being surrounded by family, a close-knit community, and good friends that make it truly special.
PHOTOGRAPHY Tubay Yabut
ART DIRECTION Ria Pio Roda
STYLING Ria Pio Roda, Arlene Sano, Donna Berg and Ramsey Sophorn
MAKEUP Monica Fernandez of Napa Valley Makeup
HAIR Alexis Jessup
Shot on location at Clos du Val Winery
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