Motherhood On Smokey Mountain
Happy Mother’s Day! Today’s post is about an incredible mother named Romela. She lives on Smokey Mountain in Tondo Manila with her two healthy children and supportive partner. Smokey Mountain is a place that often carries an infamous connotation, but today Romela will do what she does best - uplift and teach others around her to better themselves and their community.
Romela moved to Smokey Mountain after the birth of her second child, but she was born and raised in Navotas, Manila where she attended Navotas High School and served as Assistant Student President. She became pregnant at age 19 and, shortly after, the reality of being a single mother was upon her. Romela shares, “I can do it with my mother, because my mother is also my shoulder.” Tita Mercediza was a devoted single mother to two small children as well, selling uling and balut to provide for her family. Romela moved to Smokey Mountain after the birth of her second child, a gigil healthy boy named Jacob. She resides there today and will share a glimpse into the daily life of motherhood on Smokey Mountain.
A Day In The Life With Romela
Jacob, Tita Mercediza and Romela at Jacob’s Christening last March 2018
“Being a mother in Smokey Mountain is hard because of water and electricity. Sometimes we have no water to wash the clothes and to cook our foods but we buy a bentelog .... 20 pesos with rice hotdog and egg.”
Romela has a garden she grows near her home. They harvest and eat the different fruits and vegetables when available. They can grow papaya, okra, malunggay, camote, camote leaves, saging, guava. On pay day they use their extra money to buy chicken and pork.
“In the morning I will be the one who cook foods for my partner because he will go to work. After that while Jacob is still sleeping I wash the plates. When Jacob is awake I will take him a bath and then go outside the house para painitan ung likod niya kasi kapag mataba lapitin ng ubo at hika! In the afternoon while Jacob was sleeping I also take a bath and eat my lunch and after that sleeping with Jacob.”
Romela, Jacob and her partner during Jacob’s Christening last March 2018
“In the evening I'll wait my partner because I will go to market to buy our foods for the next whole day and he will be the one who taking care of Jacob, that was our routine”
“Being a mom its like haggard but when you see your children smiling at you will be inspire to do so for your family and for your children. “
“I want to work for my family, for my mother and also for myself. I want to enhance my ability. I want to be successful. That’s my goal, I want to be successful in life.”
Romela, Jacob (gigil!) and I last December 2018. Romela inspires me and teaches me often. Her care for her children and family, her honesty about motherhood and her friendship are gifts.