A Mom’s Unsung Lullaby

A true story.

From time to time, Myra, an executive in a public relations firm, would light a candle and say a prayer for the baby she had killed, the one who will never hear the lullaby because she aborted the child.

“Pinalaki ako ng nanay at mga kamag-anak ko na may takot sa Diyos. Pero kapag dumating pala ang pagkakataon na kailangan mong mamili between your virtue and your happiness, hindi mo masasabing malinis ka o magiging malinis ka all your life,” Myra said as she bared a painful facet of her life.

The thought of aborting the throbbing life inside her womb was far from Myra’s mind until her boyfriend threatened to end the blossoming relationship between them if she persisted on keeping her baby.

It was 1991, and Myra was 21 then and new in the PR firm after graduating from a journalism course. It was fear that made her take what she describes as the turning point in her life.

Still, it took a month for her to decide whether to keep or abort the two-month-old life she was carrying.

“Hindi ako makakain, nahihirapan akong makatulog, halos hindi na nga ako makapagtrabaho, ang tagal kong pinag-isipan kung susundin ko ang boyfriend ko,” she recounted.

She was too afraid to be dumped by the man — she only identified him as “Mario” — whom she thought would marry her someday, and of the responsibility that goes with raising a child alone.

“Wala akong option noon eh,” she said, “natatakot akong iwanan ng boyfriend ko. I was just starting with my career in public relations, hindi ko ma-forsee ang sarili ko na maging single parent kagaya ng nanay ko.”

Myra was trembling when she and Mario arrived at the abortionist’s house-cum-clinic somewhere in Tondo, Manila, one morning sometime in November 1991.

(omitted a graphic description here)

After about an hour, Myra said, she emerged from the small room and felt as if nothing had happened.

“Pinipilit ko na paniwalain ang sarili ko na okay na ang lahat. Tapos na wala na kaming problema ni Mario. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, bata pa naman ako at puwede pa kaming magka-baby kapag pareho na kaming handa,” she said.

Although tormented by guilt and misgivings, Myra decided to live with Mario without the sacrament of marriage for four years. But she promised herself not to have another abortion.

Myra admitted doing her tamer version of abortion for three or four times within the course of her relationship with Mario. But she had lost her peace of mind. Her conscience bothered her when she was alone. She felt so depressed that almost always broke down.

Her emotional upheaval slowly took its toll on the relationship she had once valued over the life of her first child.

“Indirectly, nagkaroon ng effect sa akin ang pagpapa-abort ko. Kapag nag-aaway kami, naiisip ko na he’s not worth my sacrifices. Lalo akong nade-depress,” said Myra, who finally found the will to severe her relationship with Mario.

After that harrowing experience, Myra is now a picture of a contented and happy woman. She is thankful that she did not end up marrying her former boyfriend.

“Mabuti na nga na hindi kami nagkatuluyan, baka hanggang ngayon wala pa akong anak, hindi pa ako kasal at miserable pa rin ang buhay ko sa piling niya,” she said.

A year after she broke up with Mario, she met the man who would marry her and give her two beautiful daughters. But the physical and emotional scars from the abortion will always remain to remind her of her indiscretion.

“Kung itinuloy ko ‘yung bata, 10 years old na ngayon ‘yun. Ipinagdarasal ko na lang ang kaluluwa niya, at ibinubuhos ko ang pagmamahal na ipinagkait ko sa kanya sa mga anak ko ngayon,” Myra said.

Written by yours truly for People’s Tonight (Feb. 20, 2002)

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