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  • Bettinna Carlos on Forgiving Her Daughter's Father: 'It's So Liberating'

    The mom of one reveals she was finally able to forgive her daughter's father.
    by Kitty Elicay .
  • PHOTO BY Lai de Guzman

    Finding the strength to forgive your former partner is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges that single parents face. For Bettinna Carlos, it took a little more than five years before she was finally ready to meet her daughter’s father again.

    “Nag-initiate siya, but I’m not ready. Akala ko after five years of not talking, ready na ako,” she shares in an interview with PEP.ph during the launch of her first book, Heartbreaks & Breakthroughs: Making Sense of God’s Purpose for Pain at the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) 2019.

    The celebrity mom adds, “Kasi, kapag hindi mo nakikita, akala mo okay ka na, na-forgive mo na. But at the sign na nagparamdam, nabato ko ang cell phone ko, e! Nag-text lang. So ako, hindi pa pala ‘ko nakapag-forgive.”

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    In an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph on April 2018, Bettinna revealed that she had gotten pregnant unexpectedly with a man who was not her boyfriend a year after graduating from college. They eventually got together for the sake of their daughter, Amanda Lucia, nicknamed Gummy, but when her daughter was 4 months old, the relationship went through some struggles.


    “We would fight. We would fight in front of our baby. And something in my heart did not feel right,” she tells Smart Parenting. “I was thinking, I’m not exactly a good person, so what good can I teach my child? Pasaway nga ako e, so anong ituturo ko sa anak ko? That’s when I started seeking. And God is very good with timing. He sent one good friend from college, and she and I talked about faith.”

    While people around her suggested that she and Gummy’s father get married, Bettinna thought otherwise. She knew marriage wasn’t something you took lightly, and it was not something you choose just because you have a child together.

    “I didn’t want to give in to the idea that I have to marry you just because we have a child. I felt that I had the power to choose to be single, to be a solo parent. So I went to church, and the first message I heard was about heart parenting. I felt that it was God telling me, ‘Okay, you got your answer!’”

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    Eventually, she and her partner parted ways. “I realized that the relationship I was in was wrong. And if our relationship is not conducive to the growth of my child, I don’t need to stay with you. So I chose to let go of that relationship,” Bettina shares.

    She gives more details in her first book, published under OMFLit. At the book launch, she says she wrote about a specific period in her life where she faced so many challenges — “sunud-sunod na pagsubok that made me question, ‘Lord, bakit ‘to nangyayari sa akin?”

    “Kaya ang title niya, Breakthroughs, kasi after those heartbreaks, may breakthroughs from God,” Bettina told PEP.ph. “Sabi nga nila, it’s a journey, ‘di ba. Paglalakbay siya. Sometimes you reach a point na, ‘Akala ko ganito na ako ka-strong dapat, pero bakit dumadaan pa rin ako sa pagsubok?’ Yun ang ways talaga ni God, grace ni God ‘yun to draw you closer to Him.”

    Bettinna shares that she started writing the book in July 2019, and chose to write about the time when she got a cancer scare back in 2017. “If you remember, nagka-cancer cell ako,” she tells PEP.ph. “I thought it’s cancer, basta something serious. But in God’s sovereignty, love, and grace, that’s what He used to call my attention.”

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    At that time, Bettinna was caught up in work because she wanted to prove that she could be a successful single parent. “Feeling ko, kailangan kong gawin lahat, pero hindi ko namamalayan na na-sa-sacrifice ko ang sarili ko,” she shares. “And it’s because I want to provide for my child but, deep in my heart, may pride. Kasi gusto kong patunayan sa mga nanakit sa akin na kaya ko kahit wala ka, ganun.”

    She adds that in the book, “You would see, you would hear my bitter heart transform. That’s how the Lord softens me and how I am a different parent, single mom because of this.”

    Now, Bettina shares she was finally able to forgive Gummy’s dad. Two years ago, they met again. “I knew I had to deal with it. Part ‘yun ng journey,” she says. “And it’s so liberating.”

    She hopes and prays that fellow single moms would also be more forgiving of their former partners. “It’s not for yourself, it’s for your child,” she says.

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