A policewoman in Cebu City is celebrating Mother's Day on Sunday without the physical company of her 4-year-old son as she goes on duty, including being a frontliner in the COVID-19 crisis.
Seeing her child, Dylan, dance in a video call is enough to complete her day, Police Corporal Faith Ernestine Tan, 29, said.
Tan, who is assigned at the Cebu City Waterfront Police Station, admits it is a daily struggle for her to live away from her son, who is under her parents' care, especially since March 28 when the city was placed under enhanced community quarantine.
"Mag-ampo sa kanunay nga unta, hatagan ko sa Ginoo og maayong panglawas para magpabilin ug magpakalig-on para makaserbisyo sa katawhan ug sa akong pamilya," Tan, a single mother, said.
(I pray that God will bless me with good health and strength so I can can continue serving the community and my family.)
Since the implementation of the ECQ, Tan rarely goes home to take care of her child. She has been assigned to strictly implement ECQ rules, especially in barangays with positive COVID-19 cases.
To keep her family safe from the virus, she rented a place where she is temporarily staying.
When she gets the chance to visit her son, which happens twice or thrice a week, Dylan's excitement cannot be contained.
As he runs fast to the gate to welcome and give her a hug, Tan said she promptly reminds him she needs to take a bath first and disinfect.
And when she's done, their bonding begins. She said she plays with him, joins him in watching his favorite TV shows, prepares his milk, and puts him off to sleep.
Leaving home again for work is always very painful for her, she said. Hearing her son cry and yell, "Di ko love Mama (Mama doesn't love me) breaks her heart.
Tan said she feels guilty being away from her son, especially when he is sick.
She is grateful for her parents who look after her son, and makes sure she calls him every day to check on him.
Tan said she draws strength from prayers.
She said that while she may not be home this day, her best gift for Mother's Day is the safety of her son and her family.
Cebu City has logged 1,469 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Saturday afternoon, including 11 deaths.
-- Report from RC Dalaguit-de Vela, ABS-CBN News