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This Mom Turned Lessons From A Failed Marriage Into Her First Book

Rina Bernardo leaves a guide to life and love for her two kids.

“I wanted that life with him to end. I wanted me, to end. And then maybe, I’ll find myself again.”

These moving lines are from MagAge: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Say: “I Do” by Rina Ignacio Bernardo. A technical support representative from Quantrics Enterprise, Inc., she’s also a first-time author through the 90-Day Book Writing Challenge founded by speaker, trainer, and author Sha Nacino. Rina’s book, as well as the books of her fellow graduates, will be launched in a virtual event held during the much-awaited Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) on Friday, October 1, from 6 pm to 8 pm.

“I chose that quote because I was truly lost back in the day,” she says of the lines she shared from her book. “I needed to get myself back up again, for the sake of my children. I wished that time, that there was a book of guidance of some sort that I could have read before I even agreed to take on such a gargantuan commitment that is marriage. That day, I truly realized that I was not ready. And honestly, I didn’t want anyone to go through what I have gone through, which was mainly my motivation.” (Read: Prayer For A Christ-centered Marriage)

My Pope Philippines chats with the 38-year-old mom to find out more about her book, what she loved most about the experience, and if anyone can actually write a book.

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Photos from Lazada Philippines and (background) Manila International Book Fair Facebook

Is this your first book? What made you join the 90-Day Book Writing Challenge?

Yes, this is my very first book. I decided to join the 90-day Book Writing Challenge as it was my life-long childhood dream to write a book.

The opportunity presented itself one day in my social media account. I went ahead and registered for it thinking, at least I’d finally have an idea on how to go about it. I have kept a lot of articles and notes that with this pandemic, it was an opportunity to finally organize them and make something productive. (Read: These 5 Scents May Just Help You Be Productive)

What’s it like to write a book in 90 days? Can anyone write a book?

It was a life-changing experience. Yes, anyone can write a book. As Ms. Sha Nacino has said to us during the course, if you can write a sentence, then you can write a book.

It’s only a matter of believing in yourself. A matter of sending a message that you know will benefit people. To make them realize that they are not alone with whatever it is they are going through or what they want to know. Life is an ongoing story in itself. It’s up to us now which part of that life we would like to write and share to the world.

What is your book about and what is its key takeaway?

It’s a glimpse of the reality of a married life that is bound to fail, when one is not “ready and willing”. Its message is to instill the value of the Sacrament of Matrimony as a life-changing decision, and for one not to be affected by what society dictates just to conform.

The book is mainly a guide meant for my two children so that as I pass on, I’m still able to leave them a tangible life lesson that they can go back to. (Read:3 Valuable Lessons We Can Learn From TV Moms)

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Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

Why did you decide to write about the topic you chose?

It was mostly for self-reflection. I kept a journal all throughout my life and as I re-read them one day, I wondered to myself if anyone may have gone through the same path as I did. I wanted to share my story just to find out, really.

I was convinced to write about it when my then 12-year-old daughter asked, “Mommy, why marry when you know you didn’t really love each other in the first place? Did you even ask yourselves that before you got married?”

And then I also read an article about the signs of marriage about to fail. I took it as a sign.

With that, I went ahead and followed the modules provided by the 90-Day Book Writing Challenge, and wrote everything down day after day, as if somebody was whispering the words to me. As I finished one chapter and another, the day just passed by like a blur. And then, here we are. I still can’t believe it.

What did you love about writing this book?

I learned to forgive myself and the people surrounding me, and finally have a full sense of purpose and worth.

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Photo from Manila International Book Fair Facebook

Where can we get a copy of your book?

They can purchase an ebook format at the MIBF website for only P150.

Or if they want the physical book, they can purchase it through CentralBooks’ Lazada and Shopee websites or at CentralBooks at SM Megamall 5/F Building A, for P250. Hardbound books are available upon request through the shopping sites for P375.

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