There comes a time when you meet someone who’ll challenge the way you see and understand the world. Like motherhood for example, a concept which to most of us involves sacrificing everything for your own flesh and blood -- or in Mommy Beth's case, those abandoned or left behind by others.
Mommy Beth like most mothers has sacrificed a lot (including her own happiness) for her children but unlike most moms she didn’t carry her kids in her womb. Some were orphaned at a young age, others were given up by their parents. There are also those who were rescued from problematic homes (read:deemed unsafe)—all of them are not related to her by blood.
Yet she wakes up each day, plans her life around the children she cares for, in an effort to give them a place to call home.
“I can relate to them. I know what they are going through, I understand them because I was once an SOS child too, “ she reveals. Her mother a street vendor, gave her up when she was only 7 months old. She grew up with an SOS mom and her SOS siblings in a house in SOS Village Tacloban.
“I really thought my SOS mom was my real mom,” she recalls.
After a few years her biological mother came back to see her. “I was 12 years old that time, I didn’t know her so I kept hiding from her. I didn’t want to see her,”she shares. “Umiiyak sya kasi hindi ko sya kilala (She was crying becuase I didn’t know her),” she adds.
Eventually after a couple of visits she got to know her biological mother, but deep in her heart her real mom was the one who raised her, took care of her, and gave her a home in SOS Village.
After graduating college she worked a few jobs until she realized she wanted to go back to her home. She started out as an SOS aunt. “At first I just wanted to see if I’ll like it. As an aunt, I was assisting other moms in the village in taking care of the children”.
She felt a connection with the kids there and eventually realized she had found her true calling, so she agreed to go through the SOS Mom training until she was assigned a house in SOS Village Manila.
In 2005, she became a full-fledged SOS mom and was assigned 12 children. One of which was a months old baby whom she is still caring for to this day. “Sa akin na sya lumaki (He grew up mine), he’s 9 years old now” she proudly declares.
These days, she’s busy caring for her kids, waking up early to prepare breakfast and prep them for school. “We send them to private schools in nearby Las Piñas,” she says.
The house is run just like any other home. Mama Beth assigns chores for her kids. “If they don’t finish their chores, I don’t let them go out and join activities with the other kids,” she answers when asked about her discipline style. “I remember my SOS mother, she was very strict! …I think I’m different, I’m not strict. I just talk to them when they misbehave.”
She gets a food budget every month and goes grocery shopping with her small kids. “Sometimes, I’d have to shell out money from my own pocket especially when my anaks request for food that’s not within our budget. Like sometimes they want to have chicken nuggets or pork chop. They go ‘mama can we have pork chop?’,” she chuckles.
Read more about this amazing supermom on the next page.