Allan and Robin Manzano
Ethnic Backgrounds – Filipino and Chinese
Tell us what you do for:
Work: Account Executive for a major telecom company.
Hobbies: Being a Dad, looking for vacations, learning
Name of your kids, and age? Kai – 5, Noah -3
Your favorite activities with your children: Anything they want to do, but more recently they like playing Wii Sports.
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada
When did you meet Robyn? After University.
How did you meet? Through a mutual friend, and a little bit of introduction.
First impression? I wondered if this girl was Filipino and that she is way out of my league!
How did you propose? Twice! The first time was in Vancouver after a chartered boat ride on the beach. The second time was after a night at the fringe festival in Edmonton, and I surprised her in the park with a romantic showing of a custom video I made of our dating life.
Three things you admire about Robyn?
- Smarter than me
- Better looking than me
- And she’s got a heart for people and God!
Your favorite family activities? Dance parties and just hanging out together.
Biggest challenge regarding multicultural marriage? With different language and cultures in our extended, sometimes communication is a bit lost in translation, but we just try to approach with lots of curiosity to understand all the nuances.
Your advice for men on resolving conflict in marriage? Listen! Try to understand where your wife is coming from and don’t forget to took at the big picture.
Who are your biggest influences in your life and why? No one in particular, although I have had lots of good people in my life that have shaped me along the way. I have the tendency to see the good qualities in people and try to adapt their strengths into my character and who I want to be.
Tell us what you do for:
Work: Registered Psychologist. I provide counseling to individuals (including children and adolescents), couples and families. I’m passionate about my work and feel very honored to walk with people through their pain and challenges towards a more whole and meaningful life. I just opened “Refresh Counselling Services” in the NW part of Calgary, and we’re accepting new clients.
Hobbies: I like to run, cook and bake, eat, read when I can, watch Netflix and be a mom (if that counts as a hobby!). I enjoy taking time for friends and family and connecting with people.
Your favorite activities with your kids: I love my snuggles with them and just watching them learn, grow and become their unique little person.
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
First impression of Allan? He’s a genuinely a nice guy with a heart that’s ready and willing to serve others. When I moved to Edmonton for university, I had never been to the city and didn’t know anyone, and he didn’t hesitate to take me to buy a computer and set it all up for me.
Three things you admire about Al?
- His work ethic and perseverance. He’s the guy that just does what needs to be done whether it gets acknowledged or not.
- His lightheartedness and being fun at heart. I admire his ability to bring humor into situations and put people at ease. And although it’s sometimes embarrassing, he just doesn’t care if people are watching…he’s just going to dance and sing it out to his fav 80’s and 90’s jams!
- His heart for people and God. It’s just a part of who he is, and I admire his desire to see others transformed and how generous he can be.
Your family’s happiest moments? There’s been so many! If I had to pick one, it would be being pregnant for “3 months” with our first child. When we found out, I was already 22 weeks and four days pregnant! And then our son came six weeks early! I was doing grad school and had only purchased a running stroller, but it was an amazing moment to welcome a healthy baby to our family!
Biggest challenge regarding multicultural marriage? Allan and I are both second generation, so it has been pretty easy overall for us. I think our families just focus on loving and being patient with one another as well as trying not to have too many expectations. And so, I feel quite blessed that we all get along and can talk through things.
Your advice to women on resolving conflict in marriage? Be kind and gentle. At the end of the day, most husbands are not intentionally trying to hurt you or frustrate you. If you can be kind and gentle, you’ll get further in talking it out and cooperatively finding an “our way” of handling things.
Your advice for raising kids? To be emotionally attuned and engaged with them. There’s a lot of rules when it comes to emotions (i.e. big boys/girls don’t cry, don’t feel that way it’s not a big deal, just be happy, etc.) but if we can recognize and validate their feelings, it can open the door to deeper relationships with them as well as make teaching and instilling values and other life lessons easier.
Who are your biggest influences in your life and why? I believe that people come into and out of our lives for a reason and I have had a lot of people who have really had significant influences on who I am today. If I had to pick one, it would be my mom. She has had many challenges in her life, but she continually teaches me about faith, love, humility and laughter.