Life! Motivation & Inspiration

A brother’s love: Boy from Tabok, Mandaue assumes responsibility of caring for his younger siblings

Daven and his younger siblings have not seen their mother for two months now. | Mary Rose Sagarino

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – At 17, Daven (not his real name), had to assume the responsibility of caring for his two younger siblings after their mother had left them.

Daven, a resident Barangay Tabok in Mandaue City, said they have not seen their mother for at least two months now.  She has not also sent word as to her whereabouts.

All that he could remember was that his mother had told him that she would no longer comeback when she finds another man who was willing to take her.

“That’s her last word before siya nilayas,” he said.

Their father was arrested in 2021 for illegal drugs and is now serving jail time.

Because of the need to care for his siblings, a five-year-old sister and a one-year-old brother, Daven decided to skip his studies.


He also suffered depression and even attempted to commit suicide several times because they no longer had food to eat.

But he would always come to his senses every time that he would see the faces of his younger siblings, he said.

“Mura ko og ma depress nga wala mi tarong kaon sa akoang igsoon atong time-a. Three days, four days [nga walay tarong kaon].  It’s so very difficult gyod namo’ng mga anak nga mabiyaan labi na ako nga teenager, dali ra makuanan sa depression when it comes to this situation,” Daven said.


Because of the responsibilities that he had to face, Daven said that “sometimes makafeel gyud ko nga gusto nako mo-end sa akoa life.”

At one point, he thought of slashing his wrist with the blade that he was holding. But his love for his siblings would always prevail and this would prevent him from already ending his life.

“Naghuna-huna ko para nila. What if mamatay ko, mag-unsa nalang sila. [What will happen to] the future [that] they have kung mawala ko nila,” he said.

Desperate to earn money

Feeling very desperate to earn money for their food, he started to join singing competitions.

Daven said that even if he did not win, he would still get the P350 consolation prize.

At times, he would also do errands for some of their neighbors like throwing their garbage for them, in exchange for a small amount of cash.

But he could only do so much for his siblings.

What was making matters worst was that they were not getting much help from their father’s relatives because they also have families to feed.

A social worker talks to Daven. | Mary Rose Sagarino

Call for help

On Friday, May 12, the 17-year-old finally sought help of Tabok barangay officials, who referred his case to the City Social Welfare and Services (CSWS) office for proper intervention.

Tabok Barangay Captain Dario Tariman said he also coordinated with Mandaue City Councilor Jennifer Del Mar, who went so see the three kids during the weekend.

Del Mar also brought some assistance which she gave to the children, in addition to the relief goods that were given by the barangay.

Daven and his 5-year-old sister and 1-year-old brother shared a meal with Mandaue City Councilor Jennifer Del Mar, City Social Welfare and Services personnel, and Barangay Tabok officials in a fast food store.| Mary Rose Sagarino

On Monday, CSWS personnel also visited the children’s home and brought groceries for them.

Camilo Basaca Jr., the CSWS head, said they would be conducting a social case study to identify the proper interventions for the three kids.

In the event that none of their nearest of kin would express interest to adopt them, Basaca said they would then recommend their transfer to the Children’s Home Center, a facility for children that is operated by the Mandaue City government in Dungguan in Barangay Basak,


Daven said that he wanted his two younger siblings brought to the Children’s Home Center where they can be cared for.

“Basta naa lay mobantay nila. Sila may importante. [Nga] matagaan [sila] og kaugmaon. Sa akoa nga side, as [the] eldest, kaya ra man nako buhion akoa kaugalingon,” he said.

Daven feeds his one-year-old brother while his five-year-old sister enjoys her friend chicken. | Mary Rose Sagarino

Daven said he plans to continue with his studies.

He is currently enrolled in Alternative Learning System (ALS) but he no longer attended to his lessons since their mother left.  He also stopped regular classes when he was in Grade 8.

Daven said that when he graduates, he wanted to find a job.  And as soon as he is employed, he intends to take back his younger siblings so that he could again care for them.

“Kung akoa ipadayun akoa personal feelings para nila, unsa may akoang matabang nila kung wala koy mahuman? Gamay ra nga panahon akoang i-antos. Akoa ra man sad sila’ng makauban [og balik].  For now, sacrifice sa,” Daven said.

Basaca said that Daven would be allowed to take custody of his siblings as soon as he finds a stable job.


As for their mother, Daven said he intends to file a complaint for abandonment against her.

“Akoa lang ma discipline siya. Ngayo ko og tabang sa DSWD nga mafilan siya og case,” he said.

Shortly after their father was jailed, their mother would leave them for at least three days without saying where she would go.

Two months ago, she had left them for good.

“Sa akoang inahan, akoa lang gyud masulti kung naa na pod siyay family, I hope dili na niya ikuan [ubson ang iyang gibuhat namo] sa [iyang] mga anak, mao nay akoang wish niya,” he added.

As for their father, Daven expressed hope that he would already change his ways after he was released from detention.  He said that he and his two siblings were still willing to accept him despite the wrongs that he did.


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TAGS: abandoned, adopt, children, CSWS, Mandaue City, mother, Tabok
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