Moms and Dads

A Balancing Act: Mark Gorriceta on Finding the Right Mix of Priorities in Parenting

Here’s how the modern dad can strike a balance between family and profession, according to a Filipino lawyer with three children

In a stereotypical household, the dad heads off to work each morning and the mom takes care of everything else—from getting the children ready for school, to preparing their yummy baon and packing them in colorful lunch boxes, and even single-handedly managing the whole house while everybody’s out and about. These have been mom and dad’s “default” roles, as portrayed similarly in national TV dramas and the silver screen. However, according to the World Bank’s Gender Landscape data for the Philippines, the number of men participating in the workforce has declined from 75.9% in 1990 to 70.6% in 2022, while women on the other hand only had a minimal difference from 47.6% to 46% respectively. Thus, households have evolved in the last three decades, with more dual-earner couples alternately fulfilling the default roles. As such, being present and finding a proper work-life balance have become more imperative for dads. But what really is a proper work-life balance? Is there a secret to dads and them doing more than just bringing home the bacon?

Mark Gorriceta and his wife Carry during a Japan trip in March 2024
Mark Gorriceta and his wife Carry during a Japan trip in March 2024

Let’s take a look at what wearing two hats at the same time looks like for fathers today. Ahead, Mark S. Gorriceta—a dad of three and a lawyer with over 20 years in private practice sheds light on how he managed to have an exceptional career while also devoting sufficient time to bond with his family.

The Managing Partner of Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra describes work-life balance as “less about finding the perfect equilibrium [between family and profession].” To Mark, it is more about setting clear boundaries and making conscious choices to find out what needs to be prioritized first at any given time. “It requires a flexible approach and the understanding that some days will be more work-focused, while others will be dedicated to family,” he tells Modern Parenting. The lawyer-dad also maintains that, throughout his long-standing career, this distinction has helped him to never miss any of his children’s significant events and milestones: “They are irreplaceable.”

Mark Gorriceta on casual getaways in Istanbul, Turkey with his family of five
Mark Gorriceta on casual getaways in Istanbul, Turkey with his family of five

Needless to say, being a career-driven dad and being a family man at the same time are still easier said than done. Even so, Mark S. Gorriceta has one oath that he swears to stand by to the end of time: to keep his lines of communication open on all ends. So much so that at work he discusses his schedule with his colleagues, and at home he advises on prior work commitments, in order to find flexibility in both when necessary. “This inclusion helps them understand my professional responsibilities and the value I place on my career, as well as my family’s well-being,” the attorney explains. In turn, Mark is able to nurture a strong, supportive relationship with his wife and children, and ensure that the kids grow up knowing they are cherished and valued—all while forging a career path that has ultimately led him to be recognized as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Philippines for four consecutive years, by Asia Business Law Journal. 

To learn more about Attorney Mark S. Gorriceta, visit his LinkedIn profile and follow him on Instagram.

Photos courtesy of Mark Gorriceta

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