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  • Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan On Growing Up With A Single Mom And How It Isn't Any Different

    Eden celebrates all motherhood journeys with its bold Mother’s Day campaign #EdenSpeaksPH and a film directed by Antoinette Jadaone.
Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan On Growing Up With A Single Mom And How It Isn't Any Different
  • Single motherhood may be a different journey, but it does not mean that the love and care of a single mother are any less than the norm. Just as how all mothers are the light of the homes, single moms need added support to feel empowered to care for their family and build stronger connections.

    As a brand that advocates for the universal love and acceptance of mothers, Eden took to heart one of the many silent realities that challenge the role of Filipino moms for its 2021 Mother’s Day campaign. It partnered with individuals to shed light on the many facets and roles single moms play.

    Here, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, who was raised by a single mom — celebrated actress Imelda Ilanan — shares her story.

    One of the many preconceived notions surrounding single parenting is, more often than not, moms do it alone. While it does happen quite often, some are blessed with soldiers and angels to help them rise above the waters.

    In Maricel’s experience, she grew up surrounded by her mom’s parents and siblings. Not having a “complete” family and loneliness were never a problem.

    “Each of them made our household safe, fun, and a productive refuge. Though life was tough as my mom had me when she was 21, she embraced her new responsibilities and carried on with a hopeful spirit,” Maricel shared.

    Raising a child no matter the woman’s age will pose different challenges. In Maricel’s experience, her mom had to spend long nights away from her children, without tucking them into bed, because she was at tapings and shoots. Her mom needed to work multiple jobs to keep Maricel and her siblings afloat.

    The absence of a father figure seemed a little less desolate for Maricel, and she was confidently able to get her footing around building a fulfilled life, career, and family of her own.

    “I guess the toughest for me was just the fact that I couldn’t have a normal family with a mom and dad, but the rest of my mom’s family compensated for that longing,” said Maricel.

    Discrimination is an invariable presence in life – motherhood journeys included. When asked if Maricel ever felt like she was discriminated against, she said: “I didn’t feel discriminated because I was confident in my value even while I grew up in an untraditional home.”

    “You only feel the discrimination if you are bothered by it or have to be defensive about your situation. In my case, I have accepted it as a fact, and then lived with it,” she added. This affirmation also stemmed from the fact that Maricel still had a relationship with her father growing up.

    Motherhood journeys are all unique, and Eden recognizes and celebrates them all — no matter the beginning.

    When asked what advice she can give to single moms, or Filipino mothers in general, who may feel unprepared to face what motherhood brings forth, Maricel advised them to read up, do their research, and to never be scared to ask for help because they will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of help they will receive.

    “Acceptance is a good start. Celebrate all of life’s milestones, whether big or small. Leverage on the strengths of the people who love you and are willing and able to help,” she said. “More than anything, enjoy life and pour love and happiness into your children so that they can be a better version of you. Life is only beginning when you become a mother.”

    Maricel is now blessed with a loving home despite growing up with a not-so-ordinary family. What she is grateful for about being raised by a single mom was how she was loved fiercely and unconditionally while growing up. But, most of all, Maricel is very grateful that her mom instilled in her a strong faith in God to not only survive but to thrive in life as well.

    Values and support are some of the many aspects of her childhood Maricel, now a mother of five, wishes to pass down to her children.

    “When one door closes, a window opens” is an adage familiar to many. To her growing brood and to all Filipino mothers, Maricel had this to say: Never lose hope.

    “We are capable of making the future better when we are purposeful with our daily choices. We need to make ourselves available for others to be instrumental blessings, even when we are needy ourselves,” she said.

    Eden has been celebrating motherhood from all walks of life for the past 36 years, and together with Maricel, is committed to uniting and supporting all moms to create many savor-worthy ways to nurture family connections.

    Eden’s Mother’s Day campaign commenced with the Eden Speaks Mother’s Day Forum launched on Eden’s Facebook page last May 8, which was graced by special guest speakers such as Bettinna Carlos-Eduardo, a mompreneur, content creator, and author; Techie Dy, a consultant of RMT-Cefam, Ateneo, and a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of the Philippines; and Kristine Enriquez, Eden Cheese marketing manager.

    The event culminated with an exclusive preview of the Eden Mother’s Day film by multi-award-winning director Antoinette Jadaone. The film sheds light on the challenges single moms face when it comes to acceptance and the need for support.

    For the past four decades, Eden has been a trusted ally of moms for providing delicious meals for them and their families, and it is committed to continuing to support moms throughout their motherhood journey.

    Watch the #EdenSpeaksPH event here and watch the Mother’s Day film titled “Unconditional” on YouTube.

This article is sponsored by EDEN.