Councilor Alfred Vargas showcases life as a non-smoker and a family man

Friday, September 15, 2023

It’s never too late to quit smoking. The sooner you quit, the more you can reduce your chances of getting cancer and other diseases.

Kicking cigarette habit offers rewards that you’ll notice right away and some that will show up over time specifically in your health, lifestyle and finances.

This is what Alfredo Paolo Dumlao Vargas III or popularly known as "Alfred Vargas" realized and became enlightened as to how he can better change his habits into something that not only him will benefit but also people around him.

The incumbent councilor of Quezon City from the 5th district shared how he learned how to smoke, "I was in HS when I first tried. Nadala ako sa peer pressure nun. Coming of age time. Nagbibinata and trying to discover things. Start ng mga gimik, soiree, and barkadahan."

He added that he always wanted to quit smoking but he didn't realize that it became a habit. His father was a chain smoker and he doesn't want to follow his footsteps.

Councilor Alfred also shared that he sacrificed a lot just to change his lifestyle, "I experienced a 2-month extreme withdrawal. Nagkasakit ako. I got so hot-headed and easily irritated. I lost focus in everything I did I couldn’t even read properly. I didn’t go out at all during this time because I wanted to avoid temptations. I sacrificed my short-term fun for my long-term goal of really being healthy. I lost some friends along the way coz 'hindi daw ako marunong makisama at KJ na daw ako'."

His motivation to be a full pledged non-smoker is his burning desire to live longer, healthier and happier for my family. He wants to see his children graduate, have successful careers and meet his grandchildren in the future and spend more quality time with them like traveling and make special memories with them that he can treasure for the rest of his life. "My mother died of cancer kasi. And so did several of my relatives. Natatakot ako sa cancer coz of this family history. And the best way to minimize my chances is to live a healthy life and stay away from stress."

He added, "The way I did it was through cold turkey. I stopped instantly. I remember distinctly that on the night of August 23, 2003, twenty years ago, I smoked my last pack. It’s not easy. The first few days of quitting are manageable but it becomes more difficult as time passes. Hangout with people who don’t smoke. With people who have the same life goals and health goals as you."

There are a lot of advantages of quitting smoking and according to Councilor Vargas, a healthy body, sharp mind makes him more energetic (he can lift heavy weights, run longer) plus he can sleep better and have a good state of mind.

His mantra so that he will not go back o his old habit is to tell himself, “been there, done that, and I don’t want to be that old self of mine anymore.”  It's a big challenge for him but for 20 years, he is still winning and fighting.

He shared an advice to other smokers who wants to quit and have a healthy lifestyle, "Do it now. There’s no perfect time for quitting but NOW. You can do it."

For now, Alfred is busy juggling being a public servant and doing his very best as a father and husband to wife Yasmine. Yasmine Espiritu-Vargas is now pregnant with her fourth child with Alfred. They already have three children, Alexandra, Aryana, and Cristiano. Even though she is on her bed rest right now, she still makes effort in managing the household and taking care of their children and she is doing this from her bed! They are very lucky because their household help are also very keen in doing their job and very helpful in every way then can. He shared, "Ako naman, minsan ako ang nagsusundo sa mga kids sa school. Mainly, parang nurse at masseuse na rin ako ni yasmine dito sa bahay. I massage her every night para mahimbing tulog niya. Yung mga anak naman namin, tumutulong din palagi sa mommy nila at napakadaling utusan.

While all of this is happening, nakakapagbonding kaming mag asawa at family nang mas matindi. Kahit mahirap ang pinagdaraanan, masarap at masaya kasi magkasama kaming buong family and we take care of each other. "

Alfred also shared that he enjoys doing the grocery, he doesn't find it hard at all because he always follows the list his wife gave him and he doesn't go over board because once he does, somebody might be scolded. They manage their finances really well and wants to focus on necessity as always since the family is growing.

He wants to share an advice to the fathers out there that are just like him, who manages to also do the role of the "ilaw ng tahanan", "Very good! Go lang nang go para sa pamilya. Basta para sa pamilya, kahit ano pang pagsubok yan, kakayanin natin yan. Wala namang mas hihigit pa kaysa sa asawa at mga anak. Yan ang tatay!"

Alfred Vargas is truly a role model to those who are not just busy with their work and making a living, but also doing his very best to spend quality time with his family because time with them is priceless. He truly has come a long way!

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