It was such serendipity that, just as we began another week of stay-home orders, a surprise delivery turned up at our front door.
The bright yellow package, all wrapped in love, was one of those unexpected moments of joy. I excitedly opened it to find a colorful Swatch in statement red, filled with hearts, bold graphics, and the words “Wonder Mom” in all caps emblazoned across the dial.
The limited-edition #IamWonderMom watch brought back happy memories of last year’s Mother’s Day project—a delightful mother-daughter tea party that Susan Joven and I had organized with Swatch doyenne, Tita Virgie Ramos.
With its superhero design inspiration and all that this special Mother’s Day creation celebrates, I couldn’t help but think about my own beloved Wonder Mom who had dedicated her life to my dad, my brother and me.
From picking me up in school every day to sending Tupperwares of her coveted cookies to my college dorm, she was always there for me. My mom was the perfect homemaker, an impeccable cook, and my best friend. The quiet grace and unwavering faith by which she lived out the last few years of her life were, for me, her most powerful legacy.
Today, as we face this coronavirus crisis, I have absolutely no doubt that she is up there looking after us.
The minute a state of emergency was declared and our city went into lockdown, many had one question: “What can we do to help?” Leave it to a mother’s instinct—that natural inclination to nurture, nourish and protect. In no time, moms around town mobilized their families, friends and neighbors to help pack relief goods, feed front-liners and donate personal protective equipment (PPE)and essential supplies to communities in need. As we celebrate Mother’s Day and honor mothers everywhere, find out how some real-life
Wonder Moms reached out to share their blessings, and about the valuable experiences and life lessons they learned during the lockdown.
Sofia Zobel Elizalde
We were very happy to have been a part of Project Ugnayan that helped feed a tremendous number of families that suffered greatly from the lockdown, having no daily income for food. At home, my husband and daughters also prepared large quantities of ethyl alcohol and my daughter Cristina made masks, all to donate to front-liners.
Through my STEPS dance school, we organized free dance classes for all fellow artists on our Facebook page. These classes help fellow dancers stay in shape while having no work.
We really never know what is coming our way . . . This is the time that we not only have to think of ourselves, but of others and how we can help in this terrible crisis.
During lockdown, I am grateful being able to spend precious time with family. We normally all lead such busy lives that we never have this much time to do things together at home. This has been the silver lining behind this enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Katty Roxas-Chua Qua
We’re a group of eight moms and we prepare 1,050 home-cooked meals weekly for front-liners. We began last March 20. Our children occasionally help when they are not doing online classes.
I’ve been having longer and more meaningful and fun conversations with my parents and siblings since the lockdown. Who would have thought? Our weekly Sunday dinners have turned into 8 p.m. Sunday Zoom chats that sometimes go on for over two hours.
With Charlene Escaler and Claudia Tambunting, I helped implement a feeding program we named Project Food with the simple promise to deliver meals for 45 days to daily wage earners in two of our neighboring communities, who have lost their sources of income as a result of the lockdown. Our efforts are focused on a total of 1,200 of our most vulnerable neighbors from two barangays.
Project Food could not have happened without the generous contributions and support of our many donors.
Lockdown has allowed our family the time to reconnect and to understand that living in the present is what truly matters. Every day and in every way, we work together to stay safe and healthy.
At home during ECQ, our family and entire household volunteered to make face shields to provide health workers. Likewise, our kitchen was kept busy cooking up numerous meals for front-liners in different hospitals around the city.
We have retreated back to basics . . . And our needs have become much simpler during this crisis. Now more than ever, health is most important. I realize that prayer, staying in good health and spending quality family time is all that matters.
Our family was happy to offer our apartment buildings for the use of health workers from Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and Polymedic Hospital. We supported various community efforts including Caritas Philippines (through Fr. Tito Caluag) and Project Food, an initiative to give daily lunch packs to neighboring barangays of our village. We contributed food to PGH (through Dr. Efren Domingo), to medical workers and front-liners in government hospitals and police in checkpoints. We also provided hazmat suits to medical staff of Ospital ng Makati.
Live in a state of gratitude. There are always blessings around us to be thankful for—the simplest things. In times like this, you realize that simply breathing is a blessing.
I wanted to help keep people home and fed so at first, I started sending alcohol and little food to a large barangay near us. I shared my efforts on community Viber chat and people approached me and asked how they could help. The barangay has over 57,000 people most of whom have no capacity to earn during the ECQ.
The nicest gifts this lockdown has given me are new friendships. I have become friends with neighbors I have never met nor seen. I am humbled that they have supported our feeding program and have trusted me to share their blessings. I have made friends with a barangay captain and with women helping farmers sell their produce. I have renewed faith that there are politicians willing to serve and help their constituents. I have done all this with just my smartphone and without leaving my house . . . But I couldn’t have done it alone. I am so grateful for my new and old friends.
Ginggay Joven dela Merced
At the onset of quarantine, our hearts bled for the no-work-no-pay sector, those living from paycheck to paycheck. The thought of them having nothing to feed their families weighed very heavily on us.
Initially, we were just sending humble monetary donations. But later, we, as a family, decided to do more. For days, with my children, we were tirelessly packing bags of rice and canned goods, from day to night.
I hope that it gets cemented in the kids’ mind—through their parents’ example—to put other people’s needs first, above their own. It pays to always listen, understand and empathize.
This crisis galvanized our beliefs that nothing positive will come out of constantly bickering and complaining. Everyone has a unique struggle of their own . . . So always seek to find the silver lining, and always find something to smile about.
With the aid, collective efforts and generosity of my good friends, and also our Joining Hands Foundation, we were able to donate and provide PPE to brave and caring front-liners in various hospitals.
Looking back on these past few weeks, I’ve learned so much about time, isolation, and separation, and how to slow down. Appreciate the small things and value the treasures of life. The pandemic made me realize that we are all equal regardless of social status, financial standing, religion or race.
Place your trust and faith in God and know that He is in control of everything.