Meet the Astro Family of Blinkinia Beach by Jill Doczi (Re-Print Cover & Essay/Interview by Bayfront Living)

Tony and Myla Astro have a prolific social media presence and even their relationship began online. They both attended the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, even taking classes in the same building, but their paths didn't cross at that time. They finally met through American Online dating in 2000 while Tony served in Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme, CA, and Myla lived in Manila, Philippines.  

"We had a two-year, long-distance relationship where our only means of communication were emails and an expensive international long-distance call," said Myla. 

In May 2001, Tony visited Myla in the Philippines and they planned to marry there in December of 2001. Then 9/11 occurred, preventing all military personnel from leaving the United States so they changed the wedding location to San Diego, CA. Myla officially moved to the US in 2003.

They continue their online presence as a couple with a YouTube page called MT Nest ("M" for Myla & "T" for Tony) where they blog or capture their adventure as new empty nesters, starting with packing up their son for college and continuing with their daily life and travels, including YouTube Shorts and Facebook Reels on advice to college students and parents. 

Tony enjoys creating content on social media. He loves to sing and has his own Karaoke Facebook group called Covideoke (created during the pandemic) and Coastal Virginia Karaoke or CoVaoke. He duets or collaborates with various amateur singers around the world. He also created the first Facebook page for the Navy, gathering 35,000 subscribers for career counselors called CareerWise in 2009. Following a decline due to inactivity, he has begun revising it to Commercewise. He also likes to create unique social media content including stories about their potted houseplants. Even the family pets have their own Facebook pages.

Myla received a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Santo Tomas and a Master of Business Administration with a marketing focus from Ateneo Graduate School of Business. She worked in two Telecommunications companies, and UK based multinational electronics company  that has a branch in the Philippines and Singapore as a marketing manager. She had a total of 12 years of work experience before migrating to the U.S.. She immediately immersed herself as an ombudsman for Airborne Command & Control Squadron 116 (VAW 116) for a year to learn more about the life of military family and be able to cope with it and now works as the executive owner of MVOSS Creation, LLC — a promotional marketing and consulting company.

They jointly own MVOSS Creation LLC, a promotional marketing and consulting company, that services various organizations across the U.S. and the Hampton Roads area for 15 years now, providing custom-printed promotional products, marketing videos and networking events.

Tony received a Bachelor of Commerce in economics from the University of Santo Tomas and a Master of Organizational Management from Laverne University before completing his Ph.D. in counseling with a Doctorate in behavioral science and human services from Capella University. He served as a U.S. Navy chief career counselor for 23 years and retired in 2014. His duty stations included Naval Base Ventura County — Port Hueneme, Naval Air Station Point Mugu in CA, Naval Submarine Base New London, CT, Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA, and Military Sealift Command — Naval Station Norfolk, VA and tours or deployment on board three Aircraft Carriers and two Seabee Battalions: USS Independence (Tony's first duty), Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Five, Naval Mobile Construction Forty, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Nimitz, Tony currently serves as Consultant and Founder / Owner of CommerceWise, a consulting company & FusionMeet, a cultural and professional business networking.  He's also the current vice president of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Virginia for marketing and communication. He also volunteers as a production cameraman at Grace Bible Church while Myla serves on the hosting team. They lead a small community group that meets at their home to study the Bible and enjoy potlucks. Tony and Myla both serve as board members of Montero Medical Missions; both also are members of the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce and represent Hampton Roads in major chamber and networking events.

Tony also speaks at various symposiums (like Virginia Wesleyan University, Regent University, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown and other business network socials) speaking about military transitioning, cultural intelligence, veteran benefits, doing business with the government, inspirational talks and topics on social media. Tony was also the president of two Virginia Beach Toastmasters Clubs from 2016-2019.

"We love to travel and have seen at least all major cities in 50 states, most cities in Europe and Asia," said Myla. "We like to meet people through various networking and hosting a small group for our church. We like to collect mugs, shot glass, magnets and bells from all cities we have visited around the world. We also subscribe to Netflix and Prime (watching suspense thrillers, reality shows like AGT) and travel with our two dogs Bentley and Blinky. We also love reading books on business, Christianity. Every navy station Tony was assigned, we tried to create memories. We did three cross-country drives and that’s the best experience and memories we created, and our son will treasure most."

Their son, Sam, attends James Madison University as a freshman pursuing Kinesiology towards Doctorate and someday a career in physical therapy or in sports medicine. He played different sports while growing up, but his love and passion for basketball started middle school. He played with Great Neck Middle School basketball team and then became junior varsity and varsity player at Frank W. Cox High School. He also became a part of the Filipino- American Basketball Team in Virginia Beach and his team represented Virginia for the Filipino-American East Coast & National basketball tournaments. Sam also plays musical instruments including flute and piano. Without any formal piano lessons, the first piece he played was Beethoven’s "Fur Elise," which he learned from YouTube. 

"We took him to a formal piano class and his piano teacher recognized him Pianist of the Year during their recital in 2012," said Myla. "He was a consistent honor student from grade school to high school and graduated summa cum laude from F. W. Cox High School. He served as a community leader for 5th graders at Grace Bible Church, volunteered at vacation Bible school and taught middle schoolers basic basketball skills during summer time. He has traveled with his parents every year overseas and on coast-to-coast road trips every summer until he turned 16 years old. He continues to enjoy basketball, golf and surfing.

The Astro family's first pet, Daisy (a corgi mix that lived 14 years) traveled with them most of the time and has her own Facebook page called Daisyland. They now have Blinky, an 8-year-old Shibainu/corgi mix that has the Facebook page "Blinkinia Beach" and Bentley, a 2-year-old Maltese/shihtzu mix with the Facebook page "Bentleypeake Bay." The Astro family believes in rescuing dogs. Daisy came from CA SPCA, Blinky from North Carolina and Bentley from South Carolina. They all love road trips.

The family first moved to Virginia Beach from Norfolk in 2014, choosing to live in the Great Neck/Shore Drive area for its great schools and then in 2016, they purchased their home at The Landings. They have always lived along the beach even when in California so they feel right at home in this community.

"Our property is perfect for us now as empty nester[s] — close to everything: grocery store, pharmacy, bars, parks, restaurants, hotels and military base," said Myla. "We originally purchased our home because of the elevator that goes straight to our home. We have a mother-in-law suite downstairs, where Tony’s mom lived for a while before moving to the assisted living facility. It is now used as a spare room and another room downstairs is being used as Tony’s office after moving out of the Town Center during the pandemic. Our garage is used as our music karaoke room."

Sam gets his own room when he's home and Myla has her own office as well. They really enjoy the proximity of their residence to other activities in the area such as the Chesapeake Bay the oceanfront, First Landing State Park.

"We love catching crabs every summer and fall and [are] incredibly lucky to have lived here for seven years," said Tony. "Our neighbors oftentimes invite us for a potluck or party. We love [the] First Landing neighborhood and the people who live here. Walking along the bay, Cape Henry and biking along First Landing State Park or even watching the sunset always brings peace and subjects for Tony's video and photography. It’s a great way to relax and just enjoy its beauty. The bay is also a great place to meet other people, whether they live in the area or [are] tourists visiting. If you would like [me] to host a karaoke or dance or birthday party with AstroFusion DJ and Party Service and if you are within the Great Neck area, please let me know and I will be happy to be the master of ceremony of your event at your office or home or at the beach."

Written by Jill Doczi for Bayfront Living.
Photography by Heather Miva
Dog solo photo by Mvoss Creation