And Then There Were Two: Meet the new West Coast PapiBlogger Octavio Navarro

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Octavio Navarro and Manny Ruiz form the new PapiBlogger.com tandem of old school Latino dads.

BY MANNY RUIZ (@MannyRuiz)

I love blogging because over the past two years of publishing PapiBlogger.com I’ve had the chance to journal about my family and in the process I’ve been able to do some amazing things that are truly a blessing.  Blogging on this platform has not only taken me on some incredible road trip adventures but it has also helped keep me fresh thinking for other ventures that I’m involved in such as the Hispanicize event, Latina Mom Bloggers and the new DigiBunch.

As this blog goes on its third year in operation, I’ve come to realize that in order to take things to the next level, PapiBlogger has to evolve beyond me.   I know this platform matters to many of you as well so I’m proud to say that PapiBlogger is ready to take a major step that will not only change it but will improve it.  Today I want to announce that my marketing industry colleague, friend and former Ford Motor Company client Octavio Navarro of Orange, California is joining me as my co-PapiBlogger.  (You can call him West Coast Papi).

Octavio, 42, is a devoted husband and father of two who is extremely eager to produce content, get to meet all of you and more.  He’s also a great contrast to me in multiple ways so today I want to introduce you to him in the form of a Q&A.  Consider this your ultimate primer on Octavio, my new co-owner, partner and brother on PapiBlogger.com.

MANNY: Octavio, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
OCTAVIO: I am 42 but a kid at heart.  I am married with two kids.  I live in Orange County California (a few miles east of Disneyland) but grew up in Los Angeles.  I was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. at a very young age.  I grew up in Huntington Park (not Huntington Beach).  By the time I was in elementary the city had become primarily Latino but still run by Anglos, so Spanish was spoken at home or only to people close to you.  I am a product of the 80’s, TV, video games, and burritos.

I like to continually be learning, whether it is about black holes or the origins of corn, reading poetry or writing.  I know a little bit about a lot of subjects so in a sense, I am more of a generalist then a specialist.  For instance, I like to create so I do a lot of DIY projects; I know how to cook because I was a single for most of my life; I know a lot about cars because L.A. is the car capital and I worked at Ford for 14 years.  I also like electronics and gadgets.

MANNY: Now that you’ve joined this platform we’re going to have A LOT of changes because the truth is you’ve got a lot of practical skills that I don’t around the house, in the kitchen and even in the garage.  How is PapiBlogger going to change?  

OCTAVIO: The site will get much better with a revamp, more consistent and varied content.  Our aim is to offer a broader prospective, especially given that we can bring a West Coast vs. East Coast approach and that one of us is Cuban American and the other is Mexican American.  Between the two of us, we also cover a wide range of children ages so we are able to offer advice for almost any age.   The new PapiBlogger.com will immediately add more sections including cooking lessons for Dads, DIY, tools and gadget reviews and even vehicle reviews.  The great part is that you and I are just two old school dads who share many values and like to have fun and it’s perfectly good that we don’t have the same skills because that makes PapiBlogger more varied and appealing to the moms and dads that read it.

MANNY: What are some of your most important values?
OCTAVIO: I believe in loving God and others.  From those two follow family, integrity, justice (fairness) and compassion.

MANNY: Tell us a little bit more about your family.
OCTAVIO: I’m a new dad and relatively new husband.  My wife’s name is Mariana and we have two children.  Jacob just turned 2 years old and Sadie is about to turn 4 months old.  We are blessed to have two great kids and live in weather that we can enjoy the outdoors almost year around.

I come from a large family of six kids.  There were three males and three females—a Mexican Brady Bunch.  I am the third oldest so that made me the peacemaker and an introvert.  We had a lot of fun together as kids but also got into a lot of trouble.  Overall, growing up was a bit tough but it helped me build character, taught me the importance of family and the need to set high standards or goals.

MANNY: How did you meet your wife?
OCTAVIO: I meet my wife through work.  She was working for a company that did event marketing for Ford and we started seeing more and more of each other at various Ford or Hispanic events.  I eventually realized I loved her and was a better person around her.  After about two years of dating we finally decided to get married and did so suddenly. My wife will tell you that we met about about two years before we started dating but that I don’t remember the night.  To me, what is important is that we found each other when I was ready for the relationship.

MANNY: What do you mean you were “ready” for marriage?
OCTAVIO: I mean that there came a time in my life when I desired to have more meaning than selfish pursuits.  I was born to be a father and husband.  I know that might sound weird to people that know me because I was the last of my immediate family and friends to be married.  Many thought it was because I feared commitment, but the opposite is true.  I knew how important the commitment of being a father and husband were.  I saw how destructive it was when those responsibilities are not fulfilled.

I was born an old soul and was very responsible and mature as a child.  I also had to grew up fast and don’t feel I had much of a childhood.  So when I went off to college and was away from my family and many responsibilities, I took the time to enjoy myself and see the world.   Everywhere I went and everything I saw reinforced the importance of the need for strong, God-fearing men.

To bring peace and meaning to my life, I knew I had to return to my path of being a strong, God-fearing man.  With my wife, I had the chance to be that man and I took it.  Many of my friends were greatly surprised by my “sudden” marriage, but in reality it was long overdue.

MANNY: How would you describe your parenting style?
OCTAVIO: My wife will tell you that I am a pushover but the truth is that I am Authoritative—I support and closely monitor my children while setting boundaries.  That is in contrast to an authoritarian (control freak) or passive (non-supporting) parent.  Again, I am old school in that I believe you have to give kids room to explore, learn and have fun but need to set boundaries for their safety.  To grow up responsibly they need discipline and routines.  At the end of the day I am their father not their friend.  I want my child to feel loved and safe, but I will be damned if I will let their temper tantrums ruin my day!

MANNY: What are some of your pet peeves?
OCTAVIO:
I believe in fairness and civility.  Therefore, I dislike selfish and dogmatic people like that guy that drives on the highway shoulder then cuts in at the last moment further delaying those that were patiently waiting their turn.  Or the person that says they want to discuss an issue but refuse to listen to the other person’s point of view.

So there you have it.  Octavio and his family are now officially part of this expanding “Old School” PapiBlogger familia.  Thanks for keeping up with the Ruiz’s and the Navarro’s and don’t be shy to reach out to us with your feedback, thoughts and ideas.  I can be reached at Manny@PapiBlogger.com.  Octavio can be personally contacted at Octavio@PapiBlogger.com.

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  • BohemianBabushka

    A Papiblogger tag team- oh my. Welcome Octavio, Bienvenido y looking forward to reading your posts. BB2U

  • Babushka, I think you are like the official Walmart greeter of Latino blogging 🙂 Thanks for always being who you are!

  • Pattie Cordova

    How great! I had the pleasure of meeting him at an event recently and he was wonderful and really got the feeling that he is a great father and husband. Congrats on getting him on board!

  • Denise Cortes

    Looking forward to hearing the West Coast Papi’s perspective! I’m Mexican-American, from SoCal too…and I have six kids….so heyyy we probably have alot in common. Love to hear about a strong, God-fearing man of integrity!!

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