My daughter’s first walkathon experience

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Thursday, March 7, 2013


THE month of March is here once again and it reminds me of the many activities and occasions that the month has to offer.

First, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 with this year’s theme, “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.”

Thousands of events are organized not only for this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
Over time and distance, the equal rights of women have progressed. Today, it is not so shocking anymore to see women engaged in male-dominated professions like in the military. And it is not so surprising anymore as we see more and more women coming out in the open as they participate in community activities or even admit to police authorities that they are battered wives.

March is also intended for the official observation of Fire Prevention Month specifically under Presidential Proclamation No. 115. The said proclamation aims to provide education and awareness so as to lessen fire incidence here in the Philippines. Ironically, fire incidents already occurred even on the first day of the month. Recently, Davao City was already hit with three fires while Cagayan de Oro is not exempted as another fire incident razed a lodging house in Agora, Lapasan.

Thirdly, March happens to be the birth month of my husband and with this, I am always grateful to the Lord Almighty for giving me a not-so-perfect husband. That in spite of our differences, I can still count on him not only in financial matters but even in household chores. Yup, my husband does the cooking and that is why I am bloating. And yes, my husband is an expert in housekeeping such as his stylish way of replacing new bed sheets and curtains, down to buying Chef Classics teflon frying pans.

But nothing beats what I experienced on the first day of March when I knew that my five-year-old daughter, together with the yaya, (yaya issue, again!) walked home from Apovel to Iponan. Cambridge Subdivision, to be specific.

Words could not describe how I felt during that time seeing my kid in deep slumber because obviously she got tired from her more or less six-kilometer walk, which took her two hours. Apparently, I was furious, irate, enraged, steaming with anger and all fired up (and all the synonyms I can think of) when I imagined my kid walking the busy streets of Bulua and as my daughter said, “Nag-agi pa gyud mi sa Chocolate River, mommy. (referring to Iponan River, I guess) Hadlok man diay kaau oi.”

When I asked the yaya what on earth was she thinking, the yaya innocently (or shall I say stupidly) said that the jeepneys were already full of passengers. I was not sold out with her idea since during afternoons, jeepneys are usually waiting for passengers because it is not yet peak hours.

Next reason she gave was she had snacks. Common sense tells me that even if you are hungry, you should at least set aside an amount intended for fare. I recalled giving her P100 that day for the reason that I do not want my helper ending hungry while waiting for my kid to go out from school.

To validate, my smart daughter simply told me, “Mommy, nag-eat man si ate ug tulo ka bread ug sprite. Wala gani ko nangayo kay naa pa gud ko snacks,” she revealed.

No matter how I did the calculations, surely, the snacks that she ate did not amount to P100. I do not know what was running inside hear head but she managed to reason out (again) that, “Ate, si Thea man gud kay gusto daw mag-exercise busa nag-walking mi.” What an exercise, indeed!

I did not bother to question her anymore because if I did, I would end up ranting again on yayas and relate this to the Kasambahay Bill which I already featured in my previous column. And as my husband said, “Lang, daghan na kayo issues ang DSWD ug AFP karon. Dili na nato dugangan. I-control imong emotions,” he advised. Which I obediently did, anyway.

But one thing is certain, I cried a river of tears. I cried so hard that I realized I haven’t cried for a long time. Well, I cried during my tito’s funeral last month but my hardest cry was already two years back.

My heart was aching when my daughter related how tired she was and how hungry and thirsty she felt as they passed along Jollibee in Bulua. “Na-hungry ko samot mommy paglabay namo sa Jollibee pero two pesos na man lang diay ang gibilin ni ate,” she sobbed.

Oh, well. I had so many lessons learned with all of these yayas… and with their out-of-this-world antics. As my friend said, “Nakakalurky kaau imong experiences sa yaya.”

Looking back, there were a few things that I would still like to thank for. I thank God for bringing my daughter safely in spite of the hard situation that she has been through. I thank God for giving me a smart and a tough daughter who was able to withstand walking that far under the heat of the sun. Probably, my kid’s courage was more of “acquiring the power to let go of the familiar.” But of course, she had no choice.

On the lighter side, I am thankful also for the 16 ounces of Sustagen Choco that she drank during that day, for the 5ml. Ceelin and Nutrilin that she took during the morning and for the Adidas sneakers that she wore. More or less, they facilitated my Thea to withstand, according to her, “the longest walk” of her life.” Mind you, my daughter just did her first walkathon.

As for the yaya, she has been officially impeached.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 07, 2013.

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