Marks & Spencer x Joanna Lizares-Co: Motherhood & Mindfulness
If only you call her a Super Woman – a successful career, a responsible daughter and a sister, and above all, a wife and a mother. She takes these with all her heart, without complaining, even as she needs to haggle from Davao to Cebu City from where she originally comes from.
Left : Davao is somewhat “laid back” as compared to Cebu, this is what Joanna likes most about living in Davao. On Joanna: Classic cardigan over Essential boat neck tee, Classic linen short. M&S Collection kaleidoscope scarf, cat eye sunglasses & nude bow pumps.
Right: I am enjoying what Davao has to offer. Joanna wearing Classic top & jeggings, M&S Collection twill, cat eye sunglasses & two-band mule.
It was in 2002 when Yoga instructor Joanna Christina Lizares-Co, 46, married Dabawenyo businessman Zosimo Co. She moved to Davao City in the same year and since then, Joanna has considered the city as her second home. The couple is blessed with two beautiful girls – Gianna Simone, 12, and Simmina Christina, 9.
But a loving daughter that she is, she has remained in close touch with her family in Cebu even if it means regular visits to her father and siblings. On the average, she and her family travel to her hometown three times a year to bond with her brother and sister and friends. Her father passed away last December.
“I moved to Davao in 2002 and when I went home to Cebu, my time centered on my dad. Whenever my dad asked me to come home, I was there right away. Unfortunately, he passed away in December 2017, “ she said in an online interview. “But I promised my brother and sister we’d continue to visit.”
Even it would mean being away from her Cebu family, her decision to join her loving and a very supportive husband in Davao City was just right and she never regretted it. Although she admitted that her new base is somewhat “laid back” as compared to Cebu, this is what she likes most about living in Davao.
“It wasn’t so bad. I’m a homebody and my husband Sim made it quite easier. He had a lovely home and saw to it we would enjoy what Davao had to offer,” she said, adding that “Davao is where I have my two girls. I feel a sense of grounding here. Cebu may have been home to me, but this is where I want to stay for now.”
“My happy place is with my two girls and my husband,” she said.
HANDS ON MOM
Left: Sunday is my day to relax and it’s always spent with family. M&S Collection cotton/linen Bardot top & relaxed straight bottoms, Point court heels & cat eye sunglasses.
Right: “When playing with my daughters, I’m like just one of the girls.” Joanna wearing paisley Bardot top, cotton stretch trousers, cat eye sunglasses, heart print twill & crochet trilby hat all from M&S Collection.
As a Yoga instructor, Joanna has a tight schedule holding three to four classes a day. But this never affected her responsibility as a mother and a wife. She knows how to deal with this.
“I’m up at 5 a.m. Monday to Saturdays since my first yoga class is at 7 a.m. Some time after, I check if my girls are up for school. I teach 3-4 yoga classes spread out in the day so I get to go home in between classes or do my chores,” she said.
While at home, Joanna makes it a point to work on her other interests, spending an hour doing calligraphy, another hour practicing with watercolor or craftwork, another hour to write on her diary, journal, update her schedule.
“Dinnertime is with my husband and kids, where we talk about anything. I cap off the day reading. At around 10 p.m. I’m asleep. Weekends are with my girls and they have all my attention. We play board games, do arts and crafts, go to the mall, watch movies, and eat,” she said.
They also travel once a year, a kind of family bonding that revolves around her two girls. “We get to be more adventurous only when Sim and I travel on our own,” she said.
It’s full of laughter the way she describes her relationship with her family.
A CAREER WOMAN
Left: “The mental practice of awareness and staying in the present moment has allowed me to even to manage my time better.” Joanna wearing M&S Collection knot front top with treggings, cat eye sunglasses & navy bow pump.
Right: Joanna makes it a point to work on her other interests, spending an hour doing calligraphy, another hour practicing with watercolor or craftwork. On Joanna, M&S Collection Ditsy popover top.
It was in 2011 when Joanna started to practice yoga, which she describes as ”a holistic approach to health, wellness, and mindfulness.” She never expected to become a yoga teacher and just wanted to be good in it, basically the reason she took the Hatha Yoga teacher training program that was offered in Davao City in 2014.
“This really just happened to fall on my lap…I simply wanted to do better in my yoga practice. But what do you know? I immediately got an offer to teach at Holiday Gym Davao so I took the opportunity. It has been three wonderful years being a yoga teacher,” she confidently said.
Joanna is grateful she was introduced to such practice, which she said help her improve her well-being, her outlook in life, promoting healthy living which has become her advocacy. “Yoga introduced me to mindfulness. Just when I thought I perfected multitasking, I get shifted back to doing things one at a time. This mental practice of awareness and staying in the present moment has allowed me to manage my time even better. There is a time for study, for hobbies, for work, for play, etc.,” she said.
“In my personal experience, its getting people to understand that there are no quick fixes. We must allow the process to work and take place. If it is slow, it’s more lasting,” she stressed.
HER FASHION SENSE
Left: A blazer, white cotton button-down shirts, comfortable pants, black pumps & tote are among the basic must-have articles in Joanna’s closet. Joanna wearing Classic jersey etched jacket over tipped knitwear top with pocket culottes. M&S Collection black point court heels & tie-side shopper.
Right: Joanna on shopping for new clothes: “I have to like it a lot and be comfortable in it for me to wear.” Joanna in Classic ensemble of lime cash top with relaxed straight jeans; M&S Collection cut eye sunglasses, skinny check twill & metallic stripe bag.
Joanna isn’t the shopaholic type, but for arts and crafts, she is one, making it a weekly chore. “For clothes? Only when I need to and when the occasion calls for it,” she said.
She admitted to be a classic dresser and does not sacrifice function for form or style this why she loves shopping at Marks & Spencer because the selections fit her fashion style.
“You won’t find me jumping on the latest fashion just because it’s the trend. I have to like it a lot and be comfortable in it for me to wear,” she said.
What occupies her closet aside from, of course, yoga pieces? ”It’s shoes and bags! Stretch pants, white shirts, cardigans, day dresses, sleeveless tops, scarves and shawls,” she said.
And a piece of advise to women out there who want to feel they have a complete wardrobe in their closet, Joanna has this to say: It should contain white cotton button-down shirt, a little black dress, dark denim jeans, white shorts, knit tops, black pants, printed day dress, plain sheath dress, blazer, black pumps, neutral ballet flats, metallic evening shoes, scarves, black tote.
LIFE, LIVING IT WELL
“Yoga introduced me to a holistic approach to health, wellness, and mindfulness.” On Joanna: M&S Collection stipe Bardot top & cotton stretch 7/8 trousers.
The way things are going for Joanna only prove the possibility of just she living life to the fullest with focus on improving it as a career woman, a loving sister and a responsible wife and a mother. And this makes her a happy person.
“It is a happy, healthy life purposefully lived. At the end of my life, I would want to be able to say that with all the talents God has given me, I have multiplied it, and spent it well for the purpose given me. We only have one life, I do not wish otherwise but to live it full with my family,” she said
“I try to take care of my body, eat well, stay fit, and take time to meditate. I believe that if I take good care of myself (mind and body), I can take care of my family and others better, and be more effective in the things I do. I am not known to do things half-baked. I get into something because I am passionate about it. And when I am passionate in the things I do, I do well,” she concluded.
Fashion: Marks & Spencer 2017 Spring/Summer Collection available at Ayala Center Cebu
Photography: Wizbren Ang
Make-up & Styling: Otoy Mercado
Shot on location at Waterfront Davao.