At read-along session, love for moms emerges
MARIA Victoria Reroma-Cacao and her husband, Marciano, have long accepted the reality of being childless.
“I have no regrets. I am still able to spend time with my nieces and nephews and with the children I meet in my volunteer work,” said Cacao, a 55-year-old Filipino nurse based in New Jersey who has been helping a nursing care and rehabilitation center for 25 years.
Cacao arrived in her hometown in Minglanilla, 15 kilometers south of Cebu City, for a six-month vacation. She, however, decided to use the break to do volunteer work at the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Barangay Ward 3 in Minglanilla.
She took care of children who joined the Flores de Mayo (Mayflower) procession and had been active, too, in the ward’s feeding programs and summer activities that included a read-along session with the Inquirer’s Visayas Bureau on Mother’s Day.
Thirty-five children, aged 4 to 13, joined the session inside the barangay hall on May 10.
Cacao read “Inay, Inaaay Ko!” written by Segundo Matias Jr., a story about a boy named Joseph who never understood why his playmates would often call on their mothers for help until he was swept by floodwaters and ended up in a hospital where his mother took care of him.
After telling the story, Cacao asked the children how well they remembered their own mothers.
Mary Grace Genzon, 11, said her mother, Isabel, took care of her every need. She later made a card with a drawing of a heart and flowers, and the message: “Thank you mama. I love you.”
“I want to express my appreciation to my mother because she takes care of me and never gets tired of attending to my needs,” said Genzon while showing off her card which she planned to give to Isabel when she got home.
Cacao said she enjoyed reading to the children—an encounter she would not forget and bring with her when she returns to New Jersey in June.
She is a doctor specializing in internal medicine but never got to practice her profession, while her husband is a quality inspector for a peanut factory in Chicago City.
She left for New Jersey in 1989 to accompany a sick family friend and was later employed as a nurse in a nursing care and rehabilitation center.
Cacao said she would work on her retirement papers as soon as she arrived in the United States. She planned to come home to Minglanilla to continue her volunteer work.
“I’m already tired of working abroad. I’ve been wanting to come home to Cebu for good,” she said.
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