By SOFIE SALVADOR-MORABE July 9, 2015 3:10pm
A mother’s love is powerful, no matter the distance.
Rhaida Suva Galang, 28, decided to work abroad a year after separating from her husband nine years ago to support her two young children. Despite the odds, she bravely pressed on, armed only with her faith and fortitude to secure her children’s future.
“The challenges were varied and unrelenting, and there were times that I felt I wanted to give up. Before, I was sharing responsibilities with a partner, and to suddenly find myself raising my kids alone, it was really a shock. But I was determined to be the best mother to my daughters, and provide for them with the limited resources and capabilities I have. So I took on a number of jobs and sold anything – from street food to motorcycles – just so we could scrape a living. Then I realized I must sacrifice a lot in order to build a life my girls truly deserve. I had no choice but to leave them to become a caregiver abroad,” Rhaida, who is currently based in Riyadh, recalled.
“I am fortunate to have a very supportive mother whom I can rely on to look after my kids while I am away. Her warmth and assuring presence help make up for my physical absence at home,” she expressed.
One of Rhaida’s daughters is 12-year-old Charisse, a promising ballet dancer, who is starting to make a niche in the field.
“She is highly disciplined and motivated,” Rhaida said about her elder daughter who appeared in a recent TV commercial for a milk brand. “She auditioned and qualified for a scholarship at Ballet Manila three years ago. Then there was a second audition which required her to practice ballet everyday.”
From Pasay City, the family transferred to Cavite where Charisse attended school. Because of the distance, she was unable to train everyday and as a result, her level in ballet dropped. This did not dampen her spirit, nor her enthusiasm. Instead, she followed a routine to improve her ballet skills. She went to school in the morning, and earnestly trained at night. For a time, Charisse also trained in gymnastics and clinched the gold medal as overall champion in Cavite.
“At a very young age, Charisse displayed signs of giftedness,” Rhaida said. “I feel that this is something innate in her. Add to that her natural courage and determination. As a mother, I can only be proud of what she has achieved and I support her all the way. Looking back, I can truly say that all my sacrifices are well worth it.”
Three years now into ballet, Rhaida’s daughter has been part of productions like The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Charisse plans to continue her training, achieve significant progress, and someday make a mark. She also aspires to maintain her honor standing in school, with the same discipline since her first grade that elevated her to the honor roll.
A mother’s infinite expression of love and support, backed by a grandmother’s guidance, makes a world of difference for a child to find her special niche in life. While it is always ideal to personally watch over your children’s development, Rhaida has proven that being a single parent is not an obstacle, and no amount of distance can get in the way of raising a gifted child, and helping her succeed.
There are over 1.27 million gifted children in the country, as cited in a 2010 report by the Department of Education. They need to be nurtured in a way that transforms their gifts into talents, leading them to become exceptional in their chosen fields.
Giftedness is a superior natural ability that is evident without systematic learning or teaching, according to Dr. Francoys Gagne, an expert in the field of gifted education. A gifted person is one who possesses a natural aptitude that places him or her among the top 10 percent of his age group.
Talent implies a mastered skill that has been exceptionally developed. To translate gifts into talents, they must be developed through catalysts like environmental and intrapersonal factors.
Indeed, parental nurture and support, as Rhaida has shown, can help children appreciate their parents’ hardships, giving them the wisdom and strength to excel in whatever they set their hearts and minds to.