Faces of Cebu Life!

FACES OF CEBU: Joanne Albiso, 27, paraplanner and mother

CEBU CITY, Philippines – When Joanne Albiso welcomed her daughter Eirinn to the world, times were different.

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, mobility restrictions made it difficult for her to experience the normal life of a mother. While pregnant, she never had the opportunity to go baby shopping, and even go outside to satisfy “absurd, late-night cravings.”

“It was not the normal pregnancy or motherhood journey since during my first trimester since the world came to a halt,” Albiso recalled.


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But this also allowed her to dedicate her time, energy and devotion to her daughter Eirinn, who is now four years old.

Mothers like Joanne Albiso, a 27-year-old paraplanner, grew up in a world entirely different from that of their children, and that of their own mothers as well.

For this Mother’s Day special, CDN Digital’s Faces of Cebu places the spotlight on the stories of how the new generations of mothers such as Albiso navigate motherhood in today’s unique times.

Pandemic mother

Joanne Albiso learned that she was about to become a mother at the age of 24. At that time, she experienced mixed feelings over the thought of bringing life into this world.

“[I felt] fear of how my family would react and excitement,” she said.

Additionally, it was during the middle of a global pandemic. So, when she gave birth to Eirinn, they could not go out to meet all family members who lived outside Cebu City.

“We couldn’t invite the godparents to her christening, and we couldn’t celebrate her first birthday because they declared MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine) that very month. But life finds a way,” said Joanne.

Joanne Albiso

Joanne Albiso and her daugher, Eirinn. | contributed photo

The lockdown gave her multiple opportunities on how to make her motherhood journey all worthwhile.

From focusing on her health to doing remote work instead of going to the office daily. And most importantly, it paved way for Joanne to watch Eirinn grow ‘every single day by her side.’

“It’s a very special gift. Most working parents would be back at the office after their maternity leave ends but I got to see an extended version of my child’s early years,” she explained.

Inspired by mom

Even before giving birth to Eirinn, Joanne knew that one day, she would become a mother – a role she admired and respected after years of watching her own mother take care of her and her siblings.

“I am the eldest in the family, and I have been my mother’s right hand in taking care of my three younger siblings,” she said.

When it comes to motherhood, Joanne took inspiration from her mom, Cleofe.

“I know it sounds like it would be difficult to make time for your children but that was never the case. Our Mama Cleofe always found ways to fit in time with her kids,” she said.

As a child, Joanne and her siblings grew up spending a lot of time with their mother Cleofe. From hitting the beaches of Liloan or the mountains in Busay, Cebu City in the weekends to late-nights in the office as their mother worked overtime for the family.

“She took care of all four of us, by herself, while her hair was still perfectly styled. I don’t know how she did it,” she added.

Growing up

Joanne Albiso and daughter, Eirinn.

Meanwhile, Eirinn now goes to school, and Joanne made the decision to go back to on-site, office work. While both daughter and mother started to spend time outside home, Joanne continues to make time to bond with Eirinn – just like what her mother Cleofe did.

“During weekends, we make pancakes or bake cookies and brownies together. In between those days, we have our spontaneous musical numbers ranging from a full performance of the complete Frozen 1 and 2 soundtracks to a one-hour loop of New Jean’s Super Shy and BINI’s Pantropiko,” she said.

For Joanne, motherhood should be considered an ‘Olympic sport.’

Mothers have to find the perfect balance when splitting their time and energy between work, taking care of the children, and looking out for themselves, she says.

But like most moms, seeing her Eirinn grow up with love and happiness helps Joanne get back up and do everything she can for her daughter.

“I finally get where my mom got her finesse while juggling four kids – it’s pure love. You will do whatever it takes to provide for and protect your children, and you make it look easy, so you don’t make them worry,” she said.

And here’s what Joanne has to say to moms-to-be and mothers like herself:

“Surround yourself and your child with people who genuinely love and care about you. Be prepared for your child’s future. It’s going to be challenging – especially in this economy – but you will feel very rewarded with every “I love you’s” and “thank you’s” that you hear, and every hug and kiss that you receive. You can do this. You are doing well, momma, I’m already proud of you. 🫶🏻

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