IMAGE (from left) screencap from BBC World News, Hanna Diaz, Jhunnel Sarajan/Facebook
The past year has given us stories that taught us remarkable lessons — unconditional love, both from parents and their children, sacrifice, faith, and hope. We've rounded up seven that inspired you the most. (Think we missed some? Tell us your favorite story in the comments below.)
1. When a daughter posted a heartbreaking story about her hardworking taxi driver dad.
Taxi drivers have garnered a bad rep as of late, but this viral Facebook post last January reminded us that every person has his story, and many of our public utility vehicle drivers are parents who work hard for their families to have better lives.
Glaidale Hibaya, a University of the Philippines Los Baños graduate, trended on Facebook when she shared a heartbreaking story about her dad, who works as a taxi driver. In the post, she narrated how her father lost Php400 income for the day because one passenger did not have the money to pay for the fare. She says that she wouldn’t have posted the story on her personal account but her father triggered something in her when he said, “Ganun talaga e, mababa kasi tingin nila [mga pasahero] samin [mga driver].”
Glaidale was so hurt for her father that she decided to share the story on Facebook, urging Filipinos to be responsible commuters. She says in her post, “Kung walang pambayad ng pamasahe, hindi option ang mag-123. Hindi lang basta nagmamaneho at nag-aaksaya ng gasolina ‘yang mga tsuper na ‘yan. May mga pamilya ‘yang binubuhay. May kinabukasan ‘yang pilit na itinataguyod. Always bear that in mind.” Let’s all bear this in mind for the New Year! (Look back on this story here.)
2. When this dad’s live TV interview was hilariously interrupted by his kids.
Who can forget BBC dad? Robert Kelly set the bar for best videobomb ever when his kids barged into his room while he was doing an interview for BBC World News.
Looking back at that epic clip, we still don’t know what’s funnier: His daughter, Marion, dancing her way into the room, the younger son following her in his walker, the mom struggling to get the kids out and stumbling to shut the door, or Kelly, who struggled to keep a serious face as all these was taking place. Best family memory, for sure!
After the video went viral, the kids became so popular they even got their own Youtube show! According to The New York Times, Kelly has since then learned to lock his door when doing interviews. Unfortunately, his daughter has now resorted to banging on the locked door to get his attention. Haha! (To look back on BBC dad’s story, click here.)
3. When this family took co-sleeping to the next level.
Filipino families are notorious for our co-sleeping habits, but this Irish family trumped us all with their sleeping arrangement. That’s because parents Kim and RyanConstable sleep on an 18-foot bed with their 4 kids!
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“As more children came along, they wanted to sleep with us, too. When the older ones moved out and a younger one moved in, they would come back and say that’s not fair—we want to be in the big bed with you all, too,” says Kim. Their solution? Joining two king-sized beds and a single one to make the whole family fit inside the room!
After the photo went viral, Kim explained that her older kids are also slowly getting used to the idea of sleeping on their own bed in another room. “It’s a process,” Kim says, and every co-sleeping momma will surely agree. (Read more of their story here.)
4. When the Internet cried with this single dad as he watched while his daughters ate at a fastfood chain.
Pictures speak a thousand words, and this photo posted by Jhunnel Sarajan last March definitely struck a chord with all parents and children who saw it. It was a stolen shot of a father looking at his two daughters while they happily ate inside a fast food chain.
It turns out Ryan Arebuabo, the father,treated his kids that day in celebration of his eldest daughter’s upcoming graduation. “Hindi na po ako kumain. Makita ko lang na busog sila, okay na ako,” Tatay Ryan told Jhunnel in a conversation when the latter went back to the restaurant to buy the family some more meals. The reason for this was that Tatay Ryan had survived a mild stroke and has been unable to work because half of his body was paralyzed.
Thankfully, this father’s love did not go unnoticed as the government has reached out to Tatay Ryan to provide assistance. He now mans a stall cart-turned-sari-sari store given by the Oplan Balik Bahay Sagip Buhay program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, according to ABS-CBN News. He is also a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Program, a government initiative that provides conditional cash grants to the “poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children.” A testament that good things happen to good people! (To read more about his inspiring story, click here.)
5. When one mom taught us not to be too quick to judge
Because of social media, it has become so easy to judge other people through uploaded photos and videos, without stopping to think about the reasons behind it or even finding out if what was shown in the posts are true or not.
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In 2016, a photo of a mom at a Colorado airport went viral for the reason that her baby was lying down on a small blanket on the floor while she was sitting on a bench and looking at her phone. This year, the mom, Molly Lensing, from Illinois in the United States finally aired her side of the story.
In an interview with Today Parents, Molly shared that on that day, she and her 2-month-old youngest daughter, Anastasia, had been stuck in the airport for more than 20 hours because of flight delays and failed rebookings. “Anastasia had been held or in her carrier for many hours. My arms were tired. She needed to stretch,” Molly says, adding that she was on her phone because she needed to tell her worried family where they were.
To this day, Molly's photo serves as a divisive issue. One one hand, you have parents who understand where she is coming from, but on the other, parents insist it is never a good idea to put your baby on the floor. The lesson here? Let's just always think before we click. Moms get exhausted, and they deserve understanding, not bashing. (To read all about Molly’s story, click here.)
6. When this mom was told by doctors that she was never going to have a baby but then proved them wrong.
We’ve written about incredible stories of parents who would do anything for their children, but Nicole Guidotti’s journey to getting pregnant was definitely one of our best this year. Here was a mom who did not give up trying to have a baby despite a number of experts telling her that it wasn’t possible because her body wasn’t wired to produce any offsprings.
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She and her husband underwent a barrage of procedures even if the experience drained them physically, emotionally, and financially. It may have taken them nine long years, but in the end, they were blessed with a miracle—Nicole got pregnant with a baby girl through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and then a baby boy through natural means three years later!
Nicole’s story resonated with a lot of our readers, especially those who were experiencing the same frustrations because of infertility. This mom taught them to never lose hope—everything happens for a reason and everything happens at the right time. To read more about Nicole’s pregnancy story, click here.
7. When this baby who was given an hour to live beat the odds and grew up to be a happy, blessed child.
Hanna Diaz’s daughter, Zoey, was born at 24 weeks. She weighed one pound and measured 12 inches. Doctors told Hanna that she might not last an hour.
But Zoey defied that diagnosis and was still alive three days later. Hanna, who had almost given up fighting, was filled with hope. She told Smart Parenting, “Sabi ko, [to her partner] ’Yung baby natin lumalaban, bakit tayo hindi?"
The days were long at the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), but Zoey’s parents fought to keep their daughter alive. They practiced Kangaroo Care and gave her breast milk and finally, after months and months of waiting, their baby was cleared for discharge. Today, Zoey is 5 years old—a happy, healthy little girl who loves ballet. Click here to look back on her amazing journey.
This is easily one of our favorite stories for this year because it’s a testament of a parent’s love, faith, and hope for their child. As 2017 ends, we hope that the next year brings us more incredible parenting moments that we can all share and revel in.