A Tale of a Mother

May 20, 2017

Teresa “Idai” Romero grows up in a poor and broken family. Both her parents were relentless in working hard so as to provide for their whole family. But the demand of keeping a big family fed leads her mother Flor to search for a better opportunity in Manila, prompting the inevitable separation of Idai’s parents. Due to this, Idai is forced to work at a young age, taking over her mother’s responsibility with her small hands that can only do so much. Wanting to be more than just her status, Idai starts to sell ice candies and local delicacies, so she can help her father feed her younger siblings. As she grows, Idai promises herself that she will never let her future family apart so as to avoid inflicting emotional pain and leaving a void in the hearts of her children, just like how she feels. Years later, Idai flies to Manila to work for their rich neighbors who hired her as a house help. There she searches for her mother and eventually meet and live with her again after several years. But just about five years later, Idai (17) gets pregnant and starts her own family with Alfredo (22). Years pass and Idai (40s) establishes her own family with Anthony (10), Rosalinda (8), Charlie (6) and Christopher (2). Trying very hard, Idai lives by her promise of not letting anything keep their family apart. Until one day, her youngest child Christopher is abducted by Roma/Samina, a Muslim mother in Binondo, Manila. She immediately reports the incidents to the authorities but to no avail. Little did she know, Christopher is in the good hands of Roma/Samina, an illiterate but loving mother. 16 months later, Roma/Samina allegedly reaches out to her saying that they have Christopher in their custody in Lanao and will only return him upon receiving P30,000 as payment for all the expenses she has spent during Christopher’s stay with them. Idai, desperate to see her son and keep her promise to keep her family together, takes this as a kidnap-for-ransom case, reporting this and asking for help from the authorities. Fighting for her son, Idai soon flies to Mindanao to pursue the meet-up and arrest of her son’s abductors. There, Teresa meets Amalia, the sister of Roma/Samina who coincidentally reunites with the latter. Soon, Roma/Samina returns Christopher to Idai. Idai jumps to embrace her son, but to her shock, Christopher does not recognize her. He does not speak Tagalog and instead speaks in the native Muslim dialect. This pains Idai. Due to the kidnapping of her son, they are robbed of almost two years of togetherness and the memories he has of her. Meanwhile, after the investigation, sisters Roma/Samina and Amalia, Christopher’s alleged abductors, are both sentenced to reclusion perpetua for the kidnapping of Christopher. Moving forward, upon the imprisonment of two longing mothers, Teresa brings back all the time she had lost when Christopher was away.

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