By JOAHNA GOYAGOY
“God helps those who help themselves.”
While some mothers lose hope when they are not able to put their children to school, or when unable to provide them with enough food and material things. While on the other hand, many children hate their parents for not having granted them the “vices” of life. Reflecting on this mom‘s life example shows life is not always unfair, for as is said, God helps those who help themselves.
In the face of life’s uncertainties, the many constraints and challenges of having to raise 13 children all on her own she succeeded to send all her 13 children to school and now, they are all professionals in the career they chose.
Mrs. Caroline Cariño Castañeda, 74 years old, single mom, was awarded the Model mother (Huwarang Ina) during the Lang-ay Festival 2009 for her excellent services and exemplary behavior. Widowed too early, on her meager salary, she sent her 13 children (11 boys and 2 girls) to school. All of them obtained a degree and are now professionals, in top management as CPA, district engineer, and priests, to name a few.
Early in her married life, her officemates used to tease her since she kept on bearing a child every year. But with all those critiques, she proved the world that she was able to bring her children to school and now, they are all professionals.
When her other children were still young, she had a hard time looking for baby sitters to look after them. Therefore, with a 15-minute spare time she had during office works, she had to run and check out on her children and run back again to her office.
Though faced with financial constraints, she sent all her children to Saint Vincent School. Even it is a private institution and the tuition fees are high, she still insisted because, as she said, no money can equate the spiritual growth in one’s life.
Having 13 children, Mrs. Caroline had to try every loan she could get since she is a government employee. She even kept on borrowing money from “five percenters” to pay her children’s school fees. But luckily, some of them were scholars which made the burden lighter for her.
In addition, some of the other siblings had to stop schooling for a year and give chance to their other younger siblings. They have tried every possibility to survive and finish their education. Since three of them have already graduated and earning when their father died, they helped in giving financial support. And when they were in college, they had to work and look for sidelines to suffice their board and lodging and allowances.
Even her children were lacked with material things, she filled it with her guidance and inspiration, thus, as her children said, her love to her children are more than enough for them to surpass difficulties in their life.
Charles, third child, said that with their great number, managing their family is more difficult than financial constraints. However, despite all the hardships, Mrs. Castañeda has inculcated the value of sharing and supporting each other, which molded her children to become better persons and more matured children in facing life’s challenges.
“More than anything else, her love transformed us to become more persevering and more patient which enabled us to keep gripping on our dreams and hopes,” says one of her children. “Her love to us was our very motivation and guidance,” added Ferdinand, her 8th child.
Now, Mrs. Castañeda is also the President of Bontoc’s Women Brigade which spearheaded the affectivity of the curfew for minors and liquor ban which eventually is contributing to the peace and order of Bontoc. The Brigade was also awarded for its excellent accomplishments during the Lang-ay Fest 2009.
“Let us all be mothers not only in physical beauty but more in beauty which human eyes cannot see. Motherhood is not the ability to project one’s command over the family. It is the practice of accountability and responsibility. It always make sense to say that a family that prays together, stay together. Let us love our children by teaching them and bringing them close to God.” Mrs. Castañeda said during her acceptance speech of being the Model mother of Lang-ay Festival 2009. # nordis.net