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Full-time mom, 80, shows parenting is a feat

CLARK FREEPORT—Full-time motherhood is the “only thing” 80-year-old Juliet Gomez-Romualdez did much of her life.

And she’s glad her vocation remains cherished these days after the Pampanga provincial government conferred on her the Most Outstanding Kapampangan Award (MOKA) in the field of parenthood during the province’s 444th founding anniversary on Friday here.

“Parenting is the only thing I did in my life,” she said beaming with pride and in a firm voice, earning loud applause from the audience.

Born and reared in what is now Mabalacat City, Romualdez left her teaching post in an American school in Pasay City just after she married Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez, the former Leyte governor and ambassador.

She said she took pride in what she and her husband, who died in 2012, have achieved—successful children.

She was referring to Daniel Andrew, an architect in New York; Benjamin Philip, president and chief executive officer of the country’s first mining firm, Benguet Corp., as well as a director of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin, and Maria Remedios Paz, an international banker and investor married to a grandson of former French Prime Minister Georges Pompidou.

Like the ever-doting mother, Romualdez gently asked the audience to consider voting for her son, Martin, who is running for senator and who accompanied her to the event.

All four siblings studied in Ivy League schools because “education is the best investment we can give them,” she later told the Inquirer.

Interviewed after the rites, Martin said: “We were blessed to have a very nurturing, loving and caring mother who gave us a very secure, comfortable and happy home.”

He said he finds working mothers to be “more impressive because they juggle motherhood and work.”

“They’re superwomen,” he added.

Romualdez said her full-time parenting has “paid off because my children are great.”

With 10 grandchildren, she said she isn’t over with her work, interrupted now and then by her big “bisyo” (vice)—traveling.

She said she puts lots of time, too, in gardening. Aside from her home in Forbes Park in Makati City, she maintains an ancestral house in Barangay San Francisco in Mabalacat, which was what was left of the land expropriated by the US government and attached to the former Clark Air Base, now a free port.

The 2015 MOKA was also awarded to Cid Reyes (arts), Michael Escaler (business and entrepreneurship), Eduardo Mutuc (culture), Dr. Matrose Pelayo-Galarion (education), Ambassador Laura Quiambao-Del Rosario (government service), Judge Maria Angelica Paras-Quiambao (judicial service), Police Officer Comet Dimla-Dumangeng (law enforcement), Ruperto Nicdao Jr. (mass media), Virgilio Malang (science and technology), Nun, nurse and medical doctor Eloisa David (social service) and Jayson Castro William (sports).

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