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How Candy, Assunta, and Risa survived the hardships of motherhood

This May, let these celebrity moms inspire you to be tender, devoted, and morally strong amid hardships.

“A society without mothers would be an inhuman society,” said Pope Francis in his general audience on January 7, 2015. “Mothers always know how to show tenderness, devotion, and moral strength, even in the moments of greatest difficulty.” 

This May, we bring you three celebrity moms who exemplify just that. May they inspire you to tap into your own reservoir of tenderness, devotion, and moral strength. 

Also Read: How prayers led Saint Anne to a special kind of motherhood

Candy Pangilinan: “Happiness is a choice.”

Photos from Viva Books and Candy Pangilinan Instagram

Following difficult events involving her husband and son, actress Candy Pangilinan admittedly went through depression, anger, and blame, but after that, she faced her reality and discovered what she was truly capable of.

According to a story, Candy launched an events company to augment her income, learned to perform certain therapy that she could apply to her now teenage son at home, and wrote Mommy Dear: Our Special Love, a book detailing her journey as a mother of a special needs child. 

She also continued to act, and bagged the best actress award at the CineFilipino 2016 and Los Angeles International Film Festival for her role in Star na si Van Damme Stallone, a film about a boy with Down syndrome. 

“Life goes on,” the actress said. “You don’t need another party for closure. You have to decide. Totoo rin ‘yung happiness is a choice. So you have to really choose to be happy. And in choosing to be happy you have to trust your choice. You have to have faith in it and you have to believe in it. It will happen. And it will be given.” 

Also Read: Four times Pope Francis revealed a soft spot for mothers

Assunta de Rossi: “Never stop believing.”

Photos from and Assunta De Rossi Instagram

All good things come to those who wait. On May 5, the actress announced on Instagram that she was 14 weeks pregnant with her first child. Talk about a #miraclebaby!

Assunta and her husband, politician Jules Ledesma, have been trying to conceive since they tied the knot in 2002. Pre-existing health conditions made getting pregnant even more challenging.

“Getting pregnant the natural way with myoma and endometriosis (which I both have) is extremely difficult,” she said on her post. “Only medical intervention or a miracle can make it happen. This was a miracle!”

Also Read: Four Women Who Give Love and Guidance Like Real Mothers Do

Risa Hontiveros: “You are not alone.”

Photo from Risa Hontiveros Twitter page

When her husband, Philippine Constabulary Capt. Frank Baraquel, passed away in 2005 from a heart attack due to severe asthma, Risa, then Akbayan party-list representative, had to pick up the pieces fast for the sake of their family. 

“No one tells you either what it’s like to be both breadwinner and homemaker, and to have to master both because it is often a matter of life or death,” she wrote in an essay for “No one tells you what it’s like to be left alone with four children, including a son on the cusp of adolescence and a 3-year-old toddler.”  

Efficiency and organization, she said, helped her deal with the demands of motherhood and public service. But so did family and friends. Her older children looked after their younger siblings whenever she was away at work. Her Akbayan colleagues worked around her schedule so she could be with her kids. And her children’s godparents shouldered their inaanak’s tuition expenses, some refusing to be paid back. “I was not alone after all,” said the senator, whose kids are now grown and working; her youngest, 18, is about to enter college. 

The senator makes sure others don’t feel alone too. Chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, she recently filed a bill seeking to expand the benefits and privileges for solo parents and their children. 

“As my anxieties have melted with the years, I share this hope with other solo parents—that they do not have to grieve in their solitude, but instead find strength and solace in the law,” she said.

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