Healing look

By: Sofia Aliño Logarta February 01,2017 - 08:50 PM


When I heard and read about Jakatia Pawa’s unjust hanging and the sorrow it brought to her family, especially her children, I remembered Ate Bebe, my goddaughter’s yaya. Bebe had worked as a high speed sewer in Metro Manila. She got married and returned to Bohol. After she had given birth to a little girl, it was revealed to her that her spouse had an earlier marriage. So she became a single parent. She had always been a hard worker; so now she worked even harder. She left her child with her mother and came to our family.

A family is blessed if they have a yaya who has a child of her own because she is especially caring towards the child. Being exceptionally industrious, Bebe did other things. Before the baby was awake Bebe cleaned the canals, removing all the plastic items floating in them. Because the neighbor’s canal flowed into ours, she instructed the aides there to do the same. At night she opened the closets to let in the lights so cockroaches and mice would not stay in them. When my godchild entered school, Bebe worked with a seamstress. I knew she was really perfectionist in this because I had a pantsuit sewed by her.

But when her daughter entered college, she felt she had to earn more, so she decided to work in Kuwait. Having heard horror stories about such work, we worried about her. Upon a short trip home, we asked her about the set-up out there. Naturally, her Arab bosses appreciated her many talents; she was not maltreated, but she has been quite overworked.

Throughout all these, Bebe maintained her enthusiasm and cheerfulness. Recently, she had very much reason for joy. Her daughter is now a permanent teacher in the public school system, teaching Technology and Livelihood Education. We could all hear her excitement and happiness, as she called all the way from Kuwait to announce that her daughter had passed the teachers’ licensure examination.

As I have always pointed out to my students, it sounds like a honor that females are the treasurers in the family, the “ingat-yaman,” but this is only good if there is in fact funds to treasure. For many women in our locality, there are limited resources. So females will do everything and anything to provide for their children. They are willing to do unpaid work as long as food for their children is assured. It is the women who seek places to get loans to send their children to school.

The most provocative news has been the use of children for cyberpornography. The uproar was great over the radio. People were so angry they declared that they would go physical if they encounter this woman who took children from the streets and not only displayed their private parts but also even wounded for the enjoyment of sadists.

Maybe this is a time to reflect on how we actually treat children ourselves. Are we actually sensitive, when we squeeze babies because we find them very cute, we do not think of the cleanliness of our hands. We rarely ask permission from the mother or the baby: May I gently pinch this little darling?

We also exercise age discrimination with children. Do we knock when we enter their rooms? Do we talk down at them? Some of us treat children as objects we own, we can do what we want with them. Have you observed how mothers use their babies to beg on street corners? What about corporal punishment?

Maybe we can take time to gaze at the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We can learn a lot from the tenderness there. Take a look at at how gently she is holding His Hand and with another hand holding his body securely. See how she is letting Him rest on her heart; how very treasured He is!

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TAGS: Bebe, college, healing, Jakatia Pawa, Voice, woman

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