Odette Pumaren On Family And Why There’s No Place Like Home

The congressional spouse, mom, and executive talks about the importance of prioritizing family and faith, the value of service, and the joys of creating a nurturing home

What is the difference between a house and a home? The former, often attributed to the physical, denotes a place of shelter, a dwelling with four walls. The latter, on the other hand, invariably leads one towards notions more intangible, as is the case when we asked Lifestyle Asia cover star Odette Pumaren. “To me, a home is a sanctuary, where love, laughter and memories are created. It is a place where family and friends feel welcome and valued,” she shares. “A house becomes a “home” when it’s filled with warmth, comfort, and personal touches that reflect the people who live there.”  

Oversized gingham print asymmetric set, ROBERT VILLAR; Bird brooch and cuff, JUL B. DIZON.
Oversized gingham print asymmetric set, ROSBERT VILLAR; Bird brooch and cuff, JUL B. DIZON.

It is indeed a privilege to be able to transform a house into a true home, and one Odette takes to heart. As the mother of three children, with husband Congressman Franz Pumaren, the proud homemaker is keen on creating a nurturing oasis for her family. “Our home is a safe haven where my family feels comfortable being their authentic selves, sharing their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment,” she declares.  

READ ALSO: Living Legacy: Hard Work, Faith In God, And Love Are Pillars Of Nita Laurel-Yupangco’s Family

Family Values

It is truly a beautiful family life the Pumarens have created, one that began when Franz had asked a mutual friend to set him up with Odette shortly after the latter had graduated from college. “We dated for a little over three years till we got married. We are celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary this December,” she proudly shares. 

Chartreuse ruffle dress, SANDRO DELA PEÑA; Tassle earrings, JUL B. DIZON.
Chartreuse ruffle dress, SANDRO DELA PEÑA; Tassle earrings, JUL B. DIZON.

At that time, Franz had been playing basketball professionally in the Philippine Basketball Association, after an equally successful run as a college player. After his turn as an athlete, he then directed his talents to become a lauded basketball coach, before eventually entering politics. He is currently serving as a congressman representing the 3rd district of Quezon City. And through these various seasons, his wife has loved being by his side. 

“As a PBA player, PBA coach, and collegiate coach, my husband Franz has always been in the public eye. So politics is basically also dealing with people, except it’s more service oriented. I never missed a single game of his, as a player nor as a coach,” she says. “I am his staunchest cheerleader.” 

Beige trapeze dress, GIL JUSTIN SALAZAR; Diamond cuff, JUL B. DIZON.
Beige trapeze dress, GIL JUSTIN SALAZAR; Diamond cuff, JUL B. DIZON.

She shares that she often supports her husband’s public service endeavors by helping him conceptualize projects that would benefit their district. She would also often accompany him to various events, such as baptisms, weddings, and graduations, as well as the inauguration of day care centers and livelihood projects. 

The couple has three children, Luigi, Nico, and Maxine, who are their pride and joy. “They are grown and thriving in their respective endeavors,” says Odette. Luigi, 30, handles their leasing and sports facility, while Nico, 28, handles their trucking and hauling firm. “He recently got married last December to our lovely daughter-in-law Alia Hortaleza,” she declares. Meanwhile, the couple’s youngest daughter Maxine, works for San Miguel Corporation as an accounts manager. “I couldn’t be more proud of the people they have become,” remarks the beaming mom. 

Stylish Soirees

Apart from creating a wonderful abode for her family, Odette likewise adores opening up their place to family and friends. “I delight in hosting intimate gatherings at home, creating a warm and relaxed ambiance,” she shares. “I enjoy crafting menus tailored to our guests’ tastes, often with a French-themed set up.”

Being a thoughtful hostess, she makes sure to consider everyone’s dietary restrictions, and endeavors to prepare food her guests will enjoy. She likewise feels it is important to make sure guests are all properly introduced to each other. “I delight seeing that the guests enjoy the food, the company, and every detail I’ve meticulously prepared for them,” she shares.

Emerald green asymmetric dress with pearl detail, ROSBERT VILLAR.
Emerald green asymmetric dress with pearl detail, ROSBERT VILLAR.

Of course, the hostess ensures that her parties are also filled with elegant eye candy. “I cherish using my silverware and crystal glasses to give it a touch of elegance,” she declares of her tablescapes. She finds inspiration from the table settings she sees at her friends’ homes, or from magazines. 

To create her sophisticated and unique place settings, she uses a mix of plates from Pottery Barn, with some finds from Bangkok, and silverware from Christofle. Tables are accented with crystal vases from Rustan’s, as well as accessories from Philux and Restoration. Her go-to florist is Fig & Vine. She is likewise a fan of society caterer Happy Ongpauco Tiu, whose table decor and food she loves. 

Sartorial Expression

Naturally, the lady of the house is keen on dressing up for her dinner parties, with her outfit of choice being a cocktail dress and comfortable heels. She favors pieces from brands such as Celine, Alaia, Chanel, Loewe, and Hermès, and favors a clean, and sophisticated aesthetic. “I like to stick to the basics and wear clothes that flatter my body type. I feel I have evolved from more colorful and bright tones to more muted silhouettes but edgy designs,” she reveals. 

Teal brocade dress with pearl and cutout details, ROSBERT VILLAR; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.
Teal brocade dress with pearl and cutout details, ROSBERT VILLAR; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.

She is also a fan of local designers. She expresses her admiration for the work of couturiers like Dennis Lustico, Ivarluski Aseron, Patty Ang, Rosanna Ocampo, and more. With regards to jewelry, she has an appreciation for art deco motifs, and vintage designs. 

Her modern style of course extends to her home, conveyed via minimalist interiors accentuated with key pieces. “I make my house feel more homey by adding personal touches like family photos, artwork, and decorative pieces that reflect our personalities, interests, and love for travel and cultural experiences,” she notes. 

Gunmetal gray parachute top and chartreuse skirt, SANRO DELA PEÑA; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.
Gunmetal gray parachute top and chartreuse skirt, SANDRO DELA PEÑA; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.

She mentions some of her favorite home stores as Furnitalia, Talenti for outdoor pieces, and Meridiana for indoor ones. The works of renowned local designers Kenneth Cobunpue and Vito Selma are likewise a part of her well-appointed home. 

Leaning towards bright abstract art pieces, some of her favorite artists are Bernie Pacquing, Rodek Tapaya, and Jigger Cruz. Works by Jinggoy Buensuceso, and sculptures by Daniel dela Cruz also resonate with her. 

Domestic Rhapsody

As a wife and a hands-on mom, Odette is often engaged in pursuits of the home. “I love being a homemaker because it allows me to create a nurturing environment where my family can feel safe, supported, and loved,” she shares. “I cherish the moments spent with my family, watching them learn and grow, and being there for their milestones and achievements.” 

Since her husband’s schedule can get pretty busy, the couple makes it a point to go on regular weekly date nights. And since her children are also all working and have different work schedules, she is likewise keen on making sure they have time for each other. “I also believe that it’s the little things, like a warm meal, or a cozy atmosphere,” she adds.  

Ivory crochet dress, MALIGAYA; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.
Ivory crochet dress, MALIGAYA; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.

The busy wife and mom also endeavors to carve out time for self-care and for herself. On a typical day, after she had seen her husband and kids off to work, she loves attending Megareformer workouts at Elev8 fitness studio. She also enjoys attending Bible classes twice a week. 

As a family, the Pumarens are understandably quite into sports and fitness. “I was definitely influenced by my husband to prioritize fitness as a lifestyle, as I never would have gone to the gym if not for his nudging,” Odette shares. Her children also sometimes join her in her Elev8 classes. Meanwhile, her sons play basketball regularly and go to the gym with their dad.

One of her favorite parts of the day though is at the end of it, when everyone is asleep and she can indulge in some quiet time to herself. “I use this opportunity to catch up on reading my devotional books and social media, allowing me to recharge and reflect on the week ahead,” she reveals. 

Women and Leadership

On top of being a consummate hostess, wife and mom, Odette is likewise an executive at one of their enterprises. “As VP of Lunimax, I’m most involved in the strategic development and growth of the company, focusing on building partnerships and opportunities for our clients and team. I’ve been with Lunimax for over 10 years now, starting as a consultant and growing into my current role,” she conveys. She shares that the company engages in specialty contracts involved in the design and construction of world-class sports facilities, like the Gatorade Hoops Center.

Navy and ivory pleated dress, DEBBIE CO; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.
Navy and ivory pleated dress, DEBBIE CO; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.

Given her many other responsibilities, she is grateful for her flexible work schedule and her supportive partner. This allows her to still be present for her loved ones and to prioritize family. ”Effective time management, delegation, and self-care also help me navigate my various roles with grace and energy,” she explains. “I’m glad my eldest son Luigi also works for the company now, bringing in his eight-year experience in FMCG marketing into our company.” 

With regards to her leadership style, Odette aims to create a collaborative environment, empowering their team to innovate and excel. “I foster an environment of open communication, trust, and continuous learning, encouraging our team members to grow and shine. Together, we drive success for our clients and our company,” she declares. 

Oversized gingham print asymmetric set, ROBERT VILLAR; Bird brooch and cuff, JUL B. DIZON.
Oversized gingham print asymmetric set, ROSBERT VILLAR; Bird brooch and cuff, JUL B. DIZON.

She believes women can cultivate qualities like empathy, kindness, and selflessness to nurture and inspire those around them. “By embracing their unique strengths and talents, women can create loving communities and homes that foster growth, support, and love. Some important qualities to cultivate include active listening, patience, understanding, and a willingness to learn and grow together,” she maintains. “I strongly believe in women supporting other women, lifting each other up not tearing each other down.”

A Family Affair 

But it’s not just all work and no play. Odette shares that they also love trying out new restaurants and watching movies as a family. “We love exploring new culinary adventures, visiting stunning beaches, and discovering artistic gems together,” she expresses.

Given the many beautiful locales in the country, and their love for travel, it can be hard to pick favorites. Although, Odette does have a few at the top of her list. “In the Philippines, I love exploring Bacolod for its delicious food, Boracay for its vibrant energy. Palawan for the stunning beaches, and Balesin for its good restaurants and themed villas,” she professes. 

Ivory pleated dress, DEBBIE CO; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.
Ivory pleated dress, DEBBIE CO; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.

Beyond our shores, she is drawn to the vibe of New York, and the rich history of Europe. She loves the and vintage shopping scene in London as well. Japan is another favorite, especially for the food, the culture, as well as their very disciplined way of life. When abroad, she makes sure to visit the country’s museums, as well as their flea markets. 

For their 25th anniversary, the couple visited Cape Town and instantly fell in love with the place. “The food, warm hospitality, the perfect backdrop of the mountains and the sea was truly something worth revisiting,” she reminisces. 

Having been married for more than three decades, she believes one important secret to a strong relationship is communication. Another is their faith. “Putting God in the center of our relationship is key. Our children see that we lead by example, so they realize it takes two to make a marriage work,” she says.

They likewise overcome life’s challenges as a family by supporting each other, communicating openly, and relying on their faith and values. “We also prioritize quality time together, whether it’s a family dinner or a fun activity, to strengthen our bond and create lasting memories. We also make it a point to hear Sunday mass together as a family,” she shares. 

Faith, Service, and Purpose

The congressional spouse is also active in supporting various advocacies for the benefit of their district. “I believe in the power of community and compassion,” she shares. “I’m proud that the first dialysis center in District 3 Quezon City was a project of my husband.” 

She believes that power is the ability to make a positive impact on others’ lives. “Success is not just about achieving personal goals, but also about lifting others up. I consider myself a leader by example, inspiring others through my faith, family values, and community service,” she declares. She cites her parents as her role models, as they had taught her the importance of God, family and service. “I’ve learned from them the value of hard work, resilience, and generosity.” 

Ivory pleated dress, DEBBIE CO; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.
Ivory pleated dress, DEBBIE CO; Jewelry, JUL B. DIZON.

Of course, she greatly admires her husband Franz and the work that he does and continues to do. “He selflessly serves our community and inspires others through his leadership and compassion,” she says. “The best way to transform people’s lives is through genuine connection, empathy, and support.”

As a woman of faith, Odette shares how she is passionate about sharing God’s word and supporting others in their spiritual journeys. “My life’s purpose is to leave a legacy of love, faith, and family. And to inspire others to do the same. I strive to be a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, and to use my life experiences to make a positive impact on those around me,” she conveys. “I’m content and at peace, knowing I’ve somewhat achieved my purpose. But I continue to work towards deeper connections and have a greater impact as a follower of Christ.”



Sittings Editor CANDY DIZON

Creative Director PAOLO TORIO




Shoot Coordination MAE TALAID

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