Lessons of a Mom and Survival

Article excerpt

Byline: CANDY S. MANALOTO

Its been 20 long years since Insp. Catherine Borda was widowed. Her husband, ILt. Guillermo Borda, was gunned down (but without giving up a good fight) during a fierce encounter with NPAs in Kalayaan, Laguna in 1985.

She was only 32 then, barely seven years married to a man who had given her five boys, the security of a family and a home where she was a wife and mother when she was not with her colleagues wearing her blue uniform.

Insp. Borda knew that a scenario like this would happen sooner or later. Unfortunately, death came to his husband sooner than she had expected.

"I met my husband through mutual friends. He was originally from Roxas City but his line of work would bring him to different provinces until he was assigned in Quezon City where I was also stationed at that time," recalled the 52yearold Insp. Borda.

"When my brotherinlaw who told me that my husband was killed, I was shocked. For the first few minutes, I did not cry. Its only when I saw my five children, the eldest being only six and the youngest at 10 months, that I broke down. I told myself, pano ko papalakihin ang mga anak ko na magisa," continued Insp. Borda, her eyes now misty with tears.

Still, the rigid training she got in the police academy and a married life that worked inbetween long distance telephone calls had made Insp. Borda a tough cookie.

In no time at all, she was giving orders to her inlaws and siblings mapping out plans for the funeral of her husband while struggling to come to terms with the fact that she was now a widow and a single parent to five boys.

However, nothing prepared her for the difficult life ahead. Like any mourning wife, Insp. Borda had her share of depression and denial.

The first five months were the most painful. Nonetheless, Insp. Borda would wake up early in the morning, bring the children to her mom in Montalban, Rizal, and return at night when the kids are already sound asleep.

"I was like that for five months. I just wanted to leave the house, hoping that I would forget about my husbands death when I returned home. Sometimes, Id go to Baguio, then return in the afternoon. When I see happy families in the bus, Id go down because it was just too painful to watch them," shared the police inspector with a rueful smile. …