Shalani on growing up as an OFW's child
MANILA, Philippines – Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad on Friday shared how growing up was like for her while her mother worked overseas.
“At first, it was normal,” Soledad said. She and husband Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo were guests on ANC’s Headstart on Friday.
Soledad clarified that she once thought that the set-up was normal for families, with her in the care of relatives while her mother worked abroad.
“Basically, I grew up with my aunt, with my uncle with my lolo and my lola,” she revealed.
“At that time, hiwalay yung mommy and daddy ko so I really grew up with the side of my mom,” she added.
Her mother, Evelyn Soledad spent 20 years working overseas. A report by ABS-CBNnews in 2010 said Soledad’s mother was an OFW based in Kuwait.
“I [would] only get to see her once a year kapag nag-babakasyon siya,” she revealed.
She soon realized that their family set up was not the norm when she went to events like school activities.
“Eventually, during school events, pag parents-teachers day wala kang mommy, wala kang daddy. So little by little, 'Ah di pala ito yung norm'. So little by little you also learn to adjust because that's life,” she said.
She explained that her mother decided to leave for work abroad “to be able to put us to school”.
“So you have to also accept little by little,” Soledad said.
She also honestly admitted that there were times when she had hoped that her mother stayed in the Philippines.
“At the back of your mind, you're also thinking, “Ay, sayang, sana nandito na lang mommy ko,” she said.
Soledad and her husband will be celebrating their first wedding anniversary on January 22.