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Mother’s Day, admittedly, is a manufactured “holiday.” What isn’t manufactured, however, is the affection we feel towards our mothers – whether they’ve been our mothers since birth, later in life, at work, or whenever. Mother’s Day is a perfect opportunity to be cheesier than usual and make sure the mothers in our lives know that they are loved, they are appreciated, and that no matter what we say, we need them in our lives.
But this year’s Mother’s Day comes at an extraordinarily trying time – a pandemic forcing most of the world to seek shelter in their homes as essential workers struggle to contain the deadly novel coronavirus. So for Mother’s Day, we asked mothers from different walks of life to write a letter to their children as the world braves this pandemic.
A few weeks ago, Rappler ran short stories from students from the AHA! Learning Center about how they’ve been handling the coronavirus pandemic. This time, we feature the hardworking mothers who’ve helped their kids learn despite the schools being shut down. Mila Panlilio is mom to John Paul, a student at AHA! Learning Center.
Dear John Paul,
Simula noong narinig at mabalitaan ko na ang sakit na COVID-19 sa ibang bansa, ako ay nabahala at lagi kong sinasabi na sana matapos na ang sakit na kumakalat para wala nang mamatay. At sinasabi ko lagi na sana wag tumama dito sa Pilipinas dahil nakakatakot.
At bigla nalang isang araw napanood ko sa balita na may COVID-19 positive na tao dito sa Pilipinas. Lubos akong nabahala para sa maraming tao at lalo na sa ating buong pamilya. Hindi ito biro at bilang isang ina o kahit sino mang ina ay hindi gugustuhin na magkaroon ng sakit ang kanilang mga anak. Hanggang kaya ko at humihinga, ako poprotektahan ko kayo aking mga anak.
Kaya mula nang nagkaroon ng pandemic, sinisigurado kong ligtas kayo at hindi ako magsasawang pangaralan kayo tungkol sa COVID-19. Lahat ay aking ginagawa upang ang ating buong pamilya ay maging ligtas at hindi na rin makadagdag pa sa gagamutin ng ating mga frontliners.
Sa panahon ngayon na sama-sama tayong nanatili sa bahay, panatilihin natin ang sabay-sabay na pagkain at ang pakikipag-usap sa isa’t isa, nang ganon mapayuhan namin kayo ng inyong dapat gawin, lalo na sa panahong ito.
Mahalagang buo ang pamilya natin dahil ang bawat isa sa atin ay nagbibigay saya. Karamay niyo ako sa lahat ng hirap at ginhawa. Tayo man ay hindi mayaman sa ibang bagay, ang pagmamahalan, pagtutulungan at kabutihan sa ating pamilya ay siyang ating kayamanan.
Dear John Paul,
Since I found out that COVID-19 was spreading in other countries, I’ve been worried. I hoped it would end soon so that nobody else dies. I also hoped that it wouldn’t reach the Philippines because that’s be a nightmare.
Then one day, I learned from the news that someone in the Philippines tested positive for COVID-19. I was worried for everyone – especially for our family. A mother would never want herself or her children to get sick. I’ll do whatever I can to protect you, my children.
Since the pandemic started, I’ve been making sure that you are safe and made aware about COVID-19. I’ve done everything I can to make sure the family is safe and nobody gets sick; I don’t want to add to the burden of the frontliners.
Now that we’re spending time together at home, let’s make sure to eat our meals together and to always talks to each other so that we advice you on what to do, especially during the pandemic.
It’s important that we’re together because each one of us brings joy to the family. In happy or sad times, I will always be there. We may not be rich in other things, but our family is rich in love, togetherness, and kindness.