Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Delivering Stories of Progress


A GIRL FROM MARAWI: Mom in the New Age

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Okada Manila
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By Samira Gutoc

Many of you may perceive me as a strong-willed and brave woman. I speak on the stage in front of so many people without any fear or nervousness. I resigned from the Duterte administration to face the ongoing war in my hometown.

Unknown to many, when I was young and until I was in college, I was a shy and timid girl who always just to be on the background, doing staff work and other activities. But never did I ever imagine that I will be speaking in front of so many people until that fateful day came into my life.

It was my Mother Tomanina who taught me to develop my oratorical skills, and literally, she stood up in my front to ensure that I have the right skills that I need to acquire as an orator.  The great sacrifice she had to make to bring out the best in me. Because despite being a working mother tending us five siblings and doing also the household chores such as cooking and taking care of us all. And for me, my goal back then was to study hard and set my goal to pass and be admitted to the University of the Philippines, and take up law or study at the London School of Economics.

I may not have been the lawyer that I wanted to be or study in London, but I still count my blessings as I had been to ten countries to represent the Philippines in various conferences about social justice, youth, and other issues of our country.

Looking back, I realized that all mothers have a lot of burdens to carry and even my very own mother has her so many obligations to fulfill at home, in her workplace and organizations she serves.

Hence, this Mother Day, we have to thank all the mothers out there and greet them Happy Mother’s Day. May they all be filled with happiness and goodness and remain to be proud mothers of their children.

Apart from the mothers, I would like to extend a special greeting to the admirable group of fathers, siblings, relatives, and guardians who wholeheartedly and bravely fill the role of a mother. We often forget that, in situations where a mother cannot fulfill her calling, there are those who will be able to take responsibility to raise, nurture, and love the new generation of Philippine Patriots.

So, to every single person who fills the role of a mother in the lives of their family, and for every mother who dared to dream while balancing the needs of the clan and work amidst a less than ideal situation and an uncertain future, know that you are our hero.

And as a mother to my 4-year-old son, and as a child to my most precious mother, I felt extreme joy that we have in spite of the trials of being a mother.

So to all mothers and those who take the role of a mother, continue to let illuminate not just your home, but also our beloved country.

Let us hold on and stand together as the prospect of COVID19 remains uncertain…

#peacetayo #happymothersday


I would like to take this opportunity in my column to thank all the sponsors of “Ako Bakwit” for their mercy, compassion, generosity, and kindness and these are Angel Locsin, Boy Abunda and Accenture for donating relief goods in Manila for informal settlers, Muslim vendors, Stranded families, and evacuees. Mabuhay and God bless you abundantly.

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