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Guia Donido on embracing one's self

Guia is a professional trainer, a passionate storyteller, and an advocate for Tourette's Syndrome (TS) awareness. Guia, whose name means 'red guide' is a true inspiration who reminds us that living with a condition does not define our capabilities.

How old are you?

I am 35 years old.

What do you do for a living, and what are the things that make you feel more alive?

For a living, I am the Chief, Business Management Training Services Division of the Philippine Trade Training Center, the trade training arm of Department of Trade and Industry. Our team is in-charge of the conduct of enterprise development training programs for MSMEs

The things that make me feel more alive:

1. Being a mother to my son

2. Telling stories to make people feel whatever kind of emotions they need to feel

3. Empowering others; making them feel they can be whatever they want to be.

What do you want people to know about what it’s like to live with Tourette’s Syndrome (TS)?

That we are just like anybody else. We just have some choreography and sound effects. We can do anything that people without TS can.

How do you use TS as a way to empower others?

By living my best life every day. By being passionate in everything I decide to do. Being the best on every task assigned to me. I want to empower others by showing them that #iammorethanmytourette.

What is your advice to Parents whose children have been diagnosed with TS?

To the parents whose children have been diagnosed with TS, be your child’s strongest support system. I know it’s hard to see your child having those involuntary vocal and motor tics but always make them feel that you believe in them. They may have the tics but they can still be anything they want to be. Make them feel that they are more than the tics they have. Build their self-esteem and confidence while they are still young and at home with you, so when they face the world out there, it would be hard for other people to break their spirit.

What do you think is the biggest challenge, and the best thing, about being your age?

The biggest challenge of being my age that thin line between “I know better now” and “What should I do?” Sometimes, it’s hard to decipher when am I wise enough to decide on the matter or when should I consider the advice of the other people.

The best thing about my age is knowing enough about life that I can share to the younger generation. Young enough to be open to learn from the wisdom of the older generation.

How have you grown wiser in the past two years?

Looking back on the past 2 years I’ve learned that I am exactly where I must be, no matter how I feel otherwise and I will be exactly where it should be.

I tend the create plans for my future and the future of my family. But I also leave a space in my heart for whatever the universe has in store for me, (and to understand) whether it is aligned with mine or not.

I’ve been wiser on how to handle challenges. Hardship is part of living. Easy is for the dead.

But the most important thing I have learned is knowing when to put myself first. Before, I usually put everybody else’s needs before mine, but I learned now when to put my needs first so I can better take care of the people who need me.

Who are the women you look up to and how have they helped shape your life?

Super B (STA co-founder Bianca Gonzalez) has been one of the women I look up to since YSpeak Days. How she embraced her morena skin affirms my confidence in my own skin. As I followed her on social media, I felt like her journey on being a wife and a mother served as my pointers on the things I am going through now as working mom. She’s my constant reminder that popular is different from empowered and I will always choose the latter.

My mom. When I became a mom myself, I realized how I learned so much from my mom being a mom. All the love and patience she gave while raising me are the love and patience I now give to my son, and also to my staff members.

She Talks Generations celebrates wisdom-sharing among women; and highlights the different perspectives and unique strengths that we bring to the table at every life stage.

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