NOTHING makes a mom happier than being reunited with her child after separation. Technology may somehow bridge homesickness with a daily dose of video calls and chat exchanges but never would it be a substitute to the personal touch and a warm embrace.
Such longing was evident when Prescilla Petecio welcomed back her daughter Nesthy who recently clinched the country's first Olympic women boxing silver medal at the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) District in Sasa, Davao City on August 30.
Nesthy's siblings Norlan and Neftali were there, too. It was a homecoming of sorts for the family since the 2019 Aiba Women's Boxing World champion was away for over seven months.
It can be recalled that Nesthy stayed in their Tuban home in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur last year when all national athletes were sent to their home residences by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) due to Covid-19.
Nesthy and Norlan returned home on July 27, 2020, and it was on January 15 that the former flew back to Manila for the national boxing team's bubble training in Laguna for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and 31st Southeast Asian Games. The team then went to hold another bubble training in Thailand in March before the Olympics-bound squad went to Tokyo while the rest of the national team returned to the country.
After Nesthy arrived in Manila on August 9 from Tokyo, she and her fellow Olympian boxers stayed in a Tagaytay City hotel for quarantine until August 18. She stayed in the National Capital Regionuntil August 29. During her stay there, she has been to several face-to-face and virtual courtesy calls to President Rodrigo R. Duterte and San Miguel Corporation's Ramon Ang, as well as Phoenix Petroleum and Suntrust Properties bigwigs, and Philippine Coast Guard top officials. She also granted a lot of TV, radio and other media interviews.
But despite the celebrity stature the public has accorded her, not to mention the millions of cash incentives awarded to her for her Olympic feat, Nesthy has remained humble so is her mother and the rest of her family.
The family lived in poverty when Nesthy learned the ropes of boxing in Bago Gallera, Davao City. They lived in a makeshift house made of tarps and woods. Nesthy and her siblings would scour scrap metals and bottles on the street to sell at the junkyard and vend yema on consignment so they can earn for their school allowances and buy rice for the family.
There was a time when a pregnant Mama Prescilla, Nesthy shared, also helped their father Teodoro to collect chicken dung at Iluminada Farms.
The family never hid their poor stature from the start and never bragged about the cash windfall and congratulatory tokens in the form of real properties, free fuel, and flights Nesthy has been receiving.
So it is saddening that a netizen, for lack of sensitivity, would comment that Mama Prescilla was thinking of money when she was held in Nesthy's embrace at PCG. The two just shrugged it off but other members of the family cried foul.
No mean comments would turn the tight-knit mother and daughter tandem down or turn them against each other. Nesthy always talks highly of her mom and the latter would often do the same. They spent more time at the hospital when the elder Petecio was admitted for hypertension after eating durian.
They have been through the worst in life. They can face even the rudest remarks with a smile.