A Parent’s Love and Pain

Posted by Javan Poblador | Posted on January 24, 2020

A Parent’s Love and Pain
by Maria Juana Valenzuela
January 23, 2020
Quezon City, NCR, Philippines

 

Last Sunday, January 19, Humanist Alliance Philippines International in partnership with Rotary Club of Roosevelt and Project Red Ribbon brings you Duyan: A Love Without Borders that aims to eradicate stigma on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and for the benefits of children living with HIV.

We let the parents and children experience Laughter Yoga for the first part of the program to let them relax and feel at ease which I can guarantee you they love and enjoyed it. We also provided them snacks after the Yoga and separate the children from their parents so we can have this heart to heart talk with them while the children do the art workshop with the help of HAPI Members/Volunteers.

From Left to Right: Parent Project Coordinator for Duyan Pamela Magdaluyo, HAPI Planning and Logistics Steven Cross, HAPI Executive Secretary Claris Quezon and HAPI CFO Dwengster Bulaclac listening to the parents’ stories.

 

In a separate room, HAPI’s Executive Secretary Claris Quezon, Chief Finance Officer Dwengster Bulaclac, Planning, Logistics Officer Steven Cross, and Parent Project Coordinator Pamela Magdaluyo conduct an Empowerment Session with the parents during the event. This time, they shared their personal stories: how they felt after knowing their son/daughter was tested positive for HIV, how they cope with day-to-day medications and hospitalizations, and how important their peer group is in terms of financial and emotional support.

One parent shared her story after finding out the baby she adopted test positive for HIV. Her world started collapsing since then.

“Hindi ko po matanggap” she says in the middle of breaking down and I have to fight it.

“Hindi ko po matanggap!” (I can’t accept it!) said the parent while crying. The baby was only given to her to care for. At first, she has her doubts about taking in the baby but the moment she saw him, she fell in love with him right away.

She may be at a loss and could not accept the situation they were in now but one thing is for sure. She is trying her best to stay strong for the little boy whom she has just adopted. She gave unconditional love to her kid and I admire her for that.

Mona Schmidt a German, working for Comundo an NGO from Switzerland can’t help but have some teary eyes as she listened to their stories.

I understand how they feel and I know exactly how hard it is to say or let other people know what you are going through as you are afraid to be judged. But like what Claris said, the very first step is to accept what disease you have, name it (as some of them can’t even say the word HIV).

HAPI Executive Secretary Claris Quezon explaining to the parents in order to end, eradicate and educate people about HIV they should first learn how to accept it to themselves.

His wife and two children tested positive for HIV, however, to their surprise he is negative. I don’t know if I should say that he is lucky to have been spared from this because when you heard him squeak you could still feel his pain. He said, “Bakit sila lang ang meron? Baket ako wala?” “ Kahit anong oras pwede silang mawala sa akin.” “Mas gugustuhin ko pang ako na lang ang meron huwag na sila,” he continued. All of us felt that.

This father loves his wife so much that even when he learned she has HIV he chose to stay by her side.

If only I have the power to take away their pain. I swear I have done it right there and then. But the only thing that I can do is to educate people about what is HIV/AIDS to spread the word that they exist and need our help.

Thank you to all who helped and supported the goal of our organization to eradicate stigma and remove the irrational fears of people about HIV/AIDS.

Aside from this, we will continue to support Project Red Ribbon most especially their umbrella program DUYAN: Kids Living With HIV. 

The children need help in terms of funding for daily medicines and daily dietary requirements to keep them healthy. This is a given. But our aim in establishing this advocacy is to also help the parents and guardians, make them realize their strengths and weaknesses, address their individual mental health issues, and empower them to have a more active participation in abolishing the internalized stigma they have been carrying inside them so that they would better help themselves and the children they love and cherish.

 

 

Other good reads...

Takeaways from the 2018 HAPI General Assembly

Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) is still on cloud nine since the success of its 2018 General Assembly in Bacolod, Negros Occidental. From the heart-warming interpretation by student-beneficiaries of Secular Humanist Advocacy Development and Education (SHADE) program and the colorful performance by Masskara Festival dancers to the benefit art exhibition by RebelBlood painters, there are […]

HAPI Enters a New Decade

  As a new decade is about to unfold, let me give you a quick tour through 2019, and look at what we have accomplished as an organization and what new things to look forward to this coming 2020. NEW THINGS Let’s start with 2019, onset of the year if you have noticed our new […]

Members’ Feedback About The HAPI Book: “From Superstition to Reason”

Humanist Alliance of the Philippines, International has published the first-ever HAPI book titled: From Superstition to Reason. The HAPI book contains trials and challenges of people in their journey to Humanism. The book also showcases different types of Humanism and Atheism. Take a look at the various feedback below. HAPI Book Review from Rafael Azanza Rafael […]

HAPI-Cebu Annual Tree-Planting 2017

HAPI-Cebu Annual Tree-Planting 2017 November 3, 2017 11:14PM (+8 GMT) Cebu City, Philippines On September 24, 2017, HAPI had its annual tree planting activity nationwide. Despite a recent change in leadership and fewer members than last year, the Cebu chapter of HAPI joined in on the event as well. The Cebu chapter decided to collaborate […]

Juniors’ Masskara Celebration

In the midst of our semestral break, a student may take the opportunity to rest and enjoy the days, but a passionate youth with advocacy will do something to be productive for the community. It’s the celebration of the City of Smiles from October 26-28, highlight dates of Bacolod’s Masskara Festival, when few volunteers from […]

HAPI Women and their Children Empowerment Talk

Jahziel training the volunteers We had three events happening simultaneously last March 13, 2016. The first one was a seminar about women’s and children’s rights, which was headed by Jamie Martinez, our project implementer. This was followed by our monthly nutrition campaign. The second day of training of the volunteers for the HAPI Literacy happened after […]

Staying Sane in 2020

    Staying Sane in 2020 Michael Sherman Dade City, Florida As the New Year approaches, I always reflect on the past year, the good, the bad and the ugly and the possibilities for the New Year. This year is no different . . . but then again, maybe it is.  One thing that stands […]

Posted in
Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Mutya Valenzuela

Head Operations of HAPI Secretariat
Assistant Lead Convenor for Central Luzon
Photographer
HAPI Resident Chef
Foodie mother of one. Anime lover. Deadpool fan. Traveller. Part time mermaid.
Scroll to Top