ToughGirl Spotlight: Roanna Jamir

This week’s TG Spotlight shines on tough mama and wife, Roanna Jamir. We were colleagues in two different companies and we also became friends. She’s the definition of a Jill-of-all-trades, someone who has the aptitude to learn many things easily, and her zest for life is truly contagious. Read on below to find out more.


Roanna turned 36 this year and celebrated a new year in life by counting her blessings–the biggest ones being her husband and her 2-year old son. Ever since she was 21, Roanna had dabbled in countless fields of work: scriptwriting, dubbing, teaching, radio show hosting (we actually used to work for the same radio station), she was a sales manager, and a singer for a rock band. All those, however, fell on the wayside when she became a news anchor (another fun coincidence was she came to work for CNN Philippines several months after I had started working there as news anchor myself). Today, she resides in one of the beautiful tourist destinations in the Philippines, Boracay Island, with her husband and son. Sounds like an easy, charming life? Keep reading.

A few years ago, she faced one of the most emotionally trying times of her life. Someone she had cared about deeply broke her heart twice. As if dealing with a heartbreak wasn’t painful enough, she was also dealing with her mother’s terminal illness and the gut-wrenching request of her mother to give her a grand child whether or not she was in a relationship. Peer pressure from friends didn’t help either–as they chided her to marry for the sake of it or at ‘least have a kid’ so she doesn’t ‘end up all alone for being picky.’


I’ve said it before as I’ve experienced it myself, “Breakups make Bodybuilders.” In Roanna’s case, she didn’t get into competitive bodybuilding like I did, but it did get her in the gym every single day. She used exercise as her outlet and was so committed to it as a better distraction from the noise of the outside world, that even when she was hungover from a night of drinking, she would still workout. While some people eat their emotions away, she decided that if she were to end up old and alone, she would at least do it looking good! She committed to it and stuck with it until she finally met the man of her dreams who would later on become her husband.

With her sweet, shy smile and occasionally introverted personality, you couldn’t tell that she actually has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder). It’s a challenge for her to do just one thing. She was very career-driven but has since learned to slow down and enjoy life. Her priorities right now are taking care of her family and consistently working on making herself better everyday in all aspects: emotional, physical, and spiritual.


Roanna turned to exercise and an active lifestyle to help her cope with demands of work and stress. She would run a mile every day and then hit the gym for a session because aside from becoming stronger and healthier, it gave her the emotional boost she needed to calm her whenever she felt the weight of stressful situations.

To help her destress, Roanna turns to her art, music, and love for cooking. She practices a form of Kung Fu that is a combination of yoga, dance, and cardio. She’s also an avid free-diver and loves to paddle board when the water isn’t too choppy.
Roanna holds on to the importance of being fit and healthy for a deep and sentimental reason: her mom. Her mom was a cool party mom who loved cooking and hosting fun parties. But she rarely exercised, ate foods high in cholesterol and sugar, was a heavy smoker, and an even heavier drinker. Her mother passed away while Roanna was 3 months pregnant with her son. Roanna herself still enjoys a good night of partying with her husband and friends, but sas since quit smoking and made a vow for her family’s sake to keep healthy so she can be around them for as long as possible.
We asked her what being TOUGH meant to her and here’s what she had to say:
I think to be tough simply means knowing who you are, what you want and understanding what you need to do to get it done…We can’t always control what happens in our lives, but what we can control is how we feel about the situation and the actions we take. Knowing that and continuously making a better version of yourself no matter what happens; that to me is being tough.
For someone who might be reading this and is going through your own personal struggle, Roanna wants to encourage you: Cry it out, talk it out, get it out of your system. Then decide how you can improve yourself and make yourself better. Pretty soon, you’ll be so caught up in feeling good about your progress that you might even forget why you started pushing yourself in the first place.  You’ll end up living a healthier and happier life while looking amazing. Best reward you can give to yourself for overcoming an ordeal.
Got any questions? Or would you like to share your story and journey with us? Email us at
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