Sheila Romero on Looking Forward and Leaving a Legacy

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Sheila Romero is a woman who wears many hats. But more than her accomplished roles in corporate, being a mom to her children and leading her foundation as a cancer survivor give the most fulfillment.

sheila romero for modern parenting
Top from Azucar by designer Arleen Sutton

As Vice-Chairman of AirAsia Philippines, Chairwoman of Globalports Terminal Inc., and CEO of Global City Mandaue Corp., a developer of a township project in Cebu, there’s no doubt that Sheila Romero’s name comes out on more business publications than anything. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and is always on top of her game. So it’s refreshing to see Sheila Romero in a different light. As a mom to her five children, and as the founder of an amazing organization very close to her heart.

How Her Parenting Continues to Evolve

“Raising five kids is no easy feat in itself. It surely shaped my parenting style. I believe that parenting is a learning experience which makes my parenting style an ever-evolving one. With their ages spanning from full adults to as young as 5-years-old, I make sure that I recognize each child’s personality, interests, and quirks.”

“With my experience, I find that dictating the path for your children can lead to more harm than help. Instead, I believe in instilling values and sharing life lessons that can help them in forming their own decisions and forging their paths in life.”

“At the end of the day, my parenting is very adaptive—with listening, empathy, and respect at its very core. For our adult children, I encourage their independence. I let them make their own decisions and in return, it is when they consult me about anything under the sun that I get to give them extra guidance. Admittedly, learning to be a parent for adults is still a big adjustment for me. I now try not to be too ‘clingy’ as my kids would often say. Meanwhile, I treat raising our youngest and the apple of everybody’s eyes, Steff, as a chance to be a mother all over again.”

sheila romero

Putting God in the Center of Her Decisions

“Motherhood is a calling that no one could ever fully prepare for. For soon to-be-moms, I advise embracing motherhood with three components: heaps of love, patience, and faith. I recommend asking for strength by praying for God’s blessing and guidance before you start your day. Having a good relationship with Jesus and involving him with all the decisions you make will really help you face different challenges of motherhood and having a family.”

Taking the Time Off to Reconnect with Herself

“Mothers should be forgiving to themselves. Indeed, we always want the best for our children. But as each child is unique, so are each mother’s priorities and parenting styles. Being a mother is full-time hard work, so being a multi-tasker comes as second nature to me. But taking some time off and by getting connected with my well-being, I allow myself to be more present, mature, and refreshed. I take time to travel, be one with nature, or just bond with my girlfriends.”

Sheila Romero on Surviving Breast Cancer

Romper from Azucar by designer Arleen Sutton

“Early this year, I shared my survival story against stage three breast cancer. Before my diagnosis and recovery, the foundation which I founded in 2013, I Want To Share Foundation, has already been helping the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Department of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).”

Dr. Triscia Alcasabas, Head of Pedia- Hema- Onco, PGH; Dr. Gap Legazpi, Medical Director, PGH, Sheila Romero, Founder and President of I Want To Share Foundation; Bonnie Tan and Monika Ravanera, Members, IWTS Foundation

“It’s a charity organization for children’s welfare and women empowerment. However, since 2015, most of the funds raised by our foundation were able to pay for medicines, chemotherapy, and various needs of almost 600 children affected with cancer every year. We also started with Beat It, a celebration of life as an average of 120 kids graduate from chemotherapy every year. This year, we collaborated with the Adult Cancer Department to provide wigs for women with breast cancer through the #IWanttoShareMyHair project.”

Living Her Second Life and Helping Others

When I started the initiative, I genuinely just wanted to help women and children. I wanted to extend help since that was during the calamity—when Typhoon Yolanda struck. I wanted my friends to find a reliable foundation that they can support. But upon beating cancer, I felt it as a sign from God. I was graciously favored by the Almighty’s healing love that I ought to live my second life in pursuit of my higher purpose.”

“Equipped with the lens of being a cancer patient myself, my heart grew even closer to my foundation’s cause. Experiencing it first-hand made me understand the situation of living with cancer better. After my first chemo, the first thing I donated was an alkaline machine so the children in PGH can get free water after their treatments. Patients need to drink two liters of water after their procedures.”

Sheila Romero on Looking Forward and Leaving a Legacy

“Today, I lead the foundation and serve as its champion. I see it as my duty to share my story and forward my advocacy for cancer awareness, prevention, and early detection. I want my story to be a comforting inspiration, a sharp reminder, and an empowering wake-up call. Through it, I seek to teach more people about cancer and draw attention to the hardships and needs of this sector. I already knew how to fight for myself, and now I want to give back and share the newfound strength to help others triumph in their fight.”

“Under my leadership, I envision the I Want To Share Foundation to be a beacon of hope and love for every Filipino battling cancer. It shall be an avenue to consolidate all the donations, efforts, and resources to positively impact their treatment and their lives. At the same time, I want to raise the discussion on cancer and the country’s cancer response.”

“Money for treatments is not the only key to surviving cancer. The road to recovery begs for a healthy mindset and a positive attitude as well. I Want To Share Foundation shall also serve as a place for patients to get information, to band together, and lift their spirits. That is why this year, we will launch a IWantToHeal HELPDESK which will provide access to consultation for suspected cancer patients. With early detection, it would be easier to manage and mitigate. I once started with the dream to help these patients by sharing. This time, I want it to be bigger. I want it to have a bigger role in ending and surviving cancer.”

A Year Filled with Purpose

“For this upcoming Christmas, I am most excited to have my family complete. I allotted these holidays to bond with my family. I am eager to hear their stories, and the heart-to-heart talks about their plans for the next year. As I have found the purpose that God entrusted me with, I also want to help them find theirs. Lastly, I plan to reflect on the past year and further define the legacy I want to leave in the years to come. Surrounded by loved ones, and blessed by the Lord, I am confident that the year ahead would be a year filled with purpose.”

Photography KIERAN PUNAY

Styling SIYA DARYANI and ROSHNI MIRPURI for CLOSET CULTURE

Makeup TAMARA PINEDA for NARS PH

Hairstyling VEN ANDOT for CREATIONS BY LOURD RAMOS

Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO TUPAZ

Special thanks to MANILA MARRIOTT HOTEL

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