Monique Florencio – “Philanthropy” Award Doula Training Scholarship Winner March 2022



Monique Florencio - "Philanthropy" Award Doula Training Scholarship Winner March 2022


Monique Florencio Written by Monique Florencio

More about Doula Training Scholarship here!

Monique Florencio – “Philanthropy” Award Doula Training Scholarship Winner March 2022

Shifting to motherhood and losing myself

My name is Monique and I’m from the Philippines. I’m a mom to three boys and most of my time is spent attending to their needs. I work at home, and I also homeschool my children so as you can imagine, my hands are full. Before having kids, I used to work in the culinary industry, but I gave up that career when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Some years after that I was in and out of online freelancing work and because of that I just became so lost as to who I really was or what I really wanted. I think part of becoming a mom is losing some part of ourselves and giving it to the tiny human being that we give birth to. So, when I became a mom, it seemed like I’ve forgotten how to do other things not mom-related and the only thing I knew how to do was to be a mother. 


Doula inspiration

It was my second birth that made me consider becoming a doula. I birthed my child in the water, and I was supported by doula Betty San Luis who has inspired me so much since then. I couldn’t explain what I felt during that time but the support and encouragement from my doula and my birth team gave me strength and empowerment to fulfill my birth plan. It was something new to me and very different from my first birth, so I wanted to share that feeling to other mothers too.


Road to scholarship

Since 2017 I’ve been browsing doula courses online but I couldn’t really afford it so I decided to take the course sometime in the future instead. Fast forward to 2021, I found out about the bebo mia scholarship from my friend Ria Magundayao, MSP of Gracious Birth Philippines. That time I was too excited to submit my application that I didn’t really think about it well. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass, so I thought that maybe it isn’t my time to become a doula yet. What felt like the end of my doula dream was the beginning of my self-care and soul-searching. From that time until the 2022 spring scholarship application, I really felt like I needed to clear my head and think about what I really wanted to do in life. I also did some self-reflection and thought about how much I wanted to do birth work and what my goals were in becoming a doula. So, when the scholarship applications re-opened, I knew I was ready. It was something I already knew that I really wanted to do.


I think that beyond wanting this scholarship is that I needed it. Like I said earlier, the doula courses are something I can’t afford. Currently, our finances aren’t really doing well since income from my real estate profession isn’t regular, my salary from my job isn’t enough, and my husband recently resigned from his job, so we also had to give up the house that we bought. Lucky enough, I was blessed a Philanthropy Scholarship Award from bebo mia since one of my business goals is to provide service to marginalized people and underserved communities. With what I will learn from from bebo mia, I plan to reach mothers who are in need and who don’t have easy access to birth education. 


What drew me to bebo mia is that they are very inclusive, and the Maternal Support Practitioner program covers a wide range of maternal and parenting stages since it’s a full spectrum course.  With this I also have the opportunity to support more mothers and soon-to-be parents from fertility to postpartum and beyond. I plan to offer postpartum help to mothers because this is something not common and available here in the Philippines, and most people focus on preparing for childbirth that we overlook the need to prepare for the postpartum period. 

More about Doula Training Scholarship here!

New beginnings yet forever ourselves

As for my business plan, I’d like to name my services SILANG which literally means “birth” in the Filipino language, and it can also mean “sunrise”. I would like it to be a straightforward name for my business and services and I want Filipinos to get used to the word “silang”. With this, I hope to give mothers a sense of pride in their own journey not just because their baby is born but because they are also born into a new phase of their life, and just like the sunrise, each day is a new beginning for them.


Similarly, birth work makes us give so much of ourselves that we need to always find ourselves and not forget who we really are. From the time I’ve read the book Educated by Tara Westover, I keep this quote in my mind –

“Whomever you become, whatever you make yourself into, that is who you always were.”

I think my self-reflection and dire need to know myself in the past years helped me to be here and made me realized that there are great things ahead for us all and we just have to look deep within us. 



More about Doula Training Scholarship here!




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