It’s been exactly a month since Pursuit Manila’s special Mother’s Day gathering at Karen’s Kitchen. If you’ve been following the hashtags, you know that many of us couldn’t stop talking about this gathering for weeks!

Few days after the gathering, I tear up when I think about what just happened there. Few weeks later, reading Marilen and Martine and Rica’s posts still bring tears to my eyes. One month later, my supply of Sanicare tissue has ran out, as well as the tears, but I think I speak for the other moms when I say that what happened that day left an indelible mark in our hearts. (Not to mention, “Sanicare” will forever be Pursuit Manila Moms’ term for kakaiyak moments. #insidejoke)

Since words are failing me, I’m going fill this page up with photographs and stories from the other Moms who were there instead. :)

Pursuit Manila


The attention to detail reminded me that God is also concerned with the details in my life as a mother. A mom’s day is made up of details, from the way the kids’ meals are prepared down to how the house is cleaned. Being pampered through the Pinterest-worthy details made me and the other moms feel especially loved. It was nice having things DIY’d for us for a change, when we’re all so used to DIY’ing and life-hacking things for our families and partners.

The talks— by Rhiza, Ms. Karen, and finally by Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio—were much needed. As women, we bond through conversation, right? As moms, we bond through empathy, encouragement and mutual appreciation for all the things we go through. Rica’s message brought this to the fore, very poignantly. It was refreshing to hear.

It really was the best Mother’s Day event I’ve ever been to. As a blogger, I’ve been to loads of mom-related events, and none could compare to this one. I know it’s because the entire team behind Pursuit Manila poured their hearts and hands into this gathering. I know it’s because the women who came together then were all relieved by grace, the kind of grace that can’t come from even the best of makeovers. I know it’s because that afternoon was an appointed time and place for all of us to be blessed by God, to be refreshed by His words through his servants, to be relieved temporarily of our duties as keepers of the home so that we could just be. It was truly a Mom’s Day worthy of a celebration. And I’ll remember it as one of the best celebrations ever.”

~Martine De Luna


Tears flowed in the room when we began opening the box of goodies containing the most important gift of all—our surprise letters from our families…(I was duped! I thought I didn’t need to get one being their guest speaker for the day! Hah!) When I began looking around the room I realized that there isn’t any better reward for moms but love and love alone. No exception, all of us began sinking in our seats while reading the letters written by our husbands and kids, albeit our vision blurred a bit by our tears.

Every big and small thing in the box meant to touch the mother’s heart. It was well-curated, well-thought of, down to the Sanicare facial tissue which we used for wiping our salty tears away. I again realized a thing, that the gift of thought always far exceeds the gift of what is merely material. Moms are some of the most unseen, most neglected parts of a home. They easily disappear behind the dishes, the pile of laundry, and all other service that comes with the role. So to be noticed, to be remembered, to be thought of, while simple, is huge for a tired mama who might have even forgotten to look at herself today in the mirror…and Pursuit was sensitive about it and addressed that perfectly on our little mom’s day.”

~Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio


Yesterday’s experience was totally new to me, being surrounded by moms of all shapes and sizes who are practically strangers to me. But it’s so amazing how the same faith can bring different people together, and it was so refreshing to see how we can all already relate to each other’s experiences (all breaking down at the very mention of “You deserve a break.”) even before finding out each other’s names! It amazed me to learn that I am not the only one experiencing all these troubles, and that having moments of “failure” at motherhood is completely part of the experience. I was reminded that I am not alone, I am not a failure. And just like that, I felt a lot better about myself… My family is the kind that never really celebrates Mother’s Day, so yesterday was a first for me, and it meant so much! Thank you!”

~Nike Nadal


Lo and behold, I unfolded two far more precious items instead–letters from my husband and my kids. Needless to say, happy tears overflowed after that. Those letters are definitely among the best gifts I received on my birthday, this year and most likely, for all years! To top off everything, somebody announced it was my birthday, and so I had a whole room of women singing a Happy Birthday to me! That was pretty awesome :)

I drove back to my family with a renewed sense of awe and gratitude for how faithful the Lord has been to me these past 32 years. Not just my making me mom to Jaden and Sophia, but for everything that I am today. Thank you, Pursuit Manila, for being instrumental in making my birthday truly special :)”

~Stella Pastores






Photographs taken by Sheila Catilo & Love Ocampo.

Meet our Pursuit Manila Team (Top to Bottom, Left to Right): Love Ocampo, Stef Juan, Marj Liwag, Jamie Espadilla, Sheila Catilo, ME, and Karen Pascual

THANK YOU!! @omfliterature for some books for our kids, post cards and parcel tags from @craftsmithliving, wooden spoon from, pretty notebooks from @23060_ph, @kitchencountermnl mason jars that became the “Super Mom’s Survival Kit”, @sheilacatilo for filling up the jar with some hilariously true Mommy essentials (thank you Sanicare and Human Nature!), hand painted cookies from @cukiconfections, Proverbs 31 pouch from @izzoshop, discount coupons from @elin_ph, and some inspiring bracelets from @theinspirationseekers! Thank you also to @cheeekytita for the beautiful flowers and floral arrangement. And @eenieminnicupcakes for the cookies that didn’t make it to this picture because as soon as I got home and my kids started digging into my stash and the cookies are gone in like 10 minutes! Haha. Thank you so much you guys, I can’t thank you all enough. The Lord will bless your kindness and generosity tenfolds.

About the Pursuit Community

Pursuit Community was founded in 2010 by Karen Stott for a small group of Christian female photographers in the US, and was then called “Pursuit 31″ (based on the Proverbs 31 woman). Since then, Pursuit has grown to become a global community of, not just photographers, but women in various creative fields who live to bring God glory through their work, their homes, and their lives.

Every year we have Pursuit Community Conferences held in Georgia, which attracts a lot of female creatives in the US. We also have a hundred small groups meeting online and locally across 30 states, including local groups in Canada and Asia.

Who is Pursuit Community for?

Pursuit Community is for the creative women—photographers, writers, bloggers, artists, song writers, calligraphers, designers, florists, stylists, makeup artists, bakers, crafters, creative business owners and the like. We find that one thing we have in common with each other is our desire to create something to reflect the beauty of The Creator. And because we’re all creatives, we support each other, pray together, and talk about our creative businesses and pursuits.

Pursuit Manila

Pursuit Manila was launched in the Philippines in January 2015 and, because it’s the first of its kind in our country (and the whole of Asia), has attracted a lot of Christian female creatives in Manila. An average of 30 women come together every month to worship together, pray, encourage one another, learn from each other, and grow in our faith. We come home from every gathering feeling more inspired to pursue our calling as a mom, a wife, a sister, a friend, while also pursuing our creative passions.

To know more about Pursuit Community, here are some helpful links:

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To know more about the global community we’re part of, SUBSCRIBE TO PURSUIT COMMUNITY HERE. You’ll know about what’s happening, not just here at Pursuit Manila, but the local communities and gatherings happening simultaneously around the world. ;)


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