A photo is the only remembrance that a Kuwaiti woman has of her Filipina mother whom she had not seen for 16 years.
Even as the photo fades, "Fatima's" longing to hopefully locate and reunite with her Pinay mother, Evangeline D. Reginaldo, does not disappear.
"My name is Fatima. I am 21 years old, Kuwaiti citizen. I'm married to a Kuwaiti citizen. I already have one son. He is two years old. I am here to look for my Filipina mother," said Fatima.
Fatima could not hold back her tears as she shared her story. She said she was born in the Philippines on August 25, 1993. She and her mother returned to Kuwait but her father divorced her mother when she was just five years old.
Her mother was then sent home, leaving her behind in Kuwait.
Fatima said for several years, her father made her believe that her mother had died. Her father only revealed the truth to her when she was 17. When her father passed away in 2011, Fatima decided to search for her mother.
"Now I have a son, so I am feeling like if I lose my son, I will be crazy. So how about the feeling of my mother? I am thinking about her--me, as a mother. She is searching for me. She is missing me plus I am missing her. I miss her from the beginning. All my friends they have mothers. I didn’t see her, I didn’t feel the love of a mother," Fatima said.
Aside from her mother's photo, she also kept a picture of her when she was just eight months old.
"Nanay Evangeline, I need to see you again. I will do anything to come to you and see you. Explain to me what happened and why all that time, you’re far from me. I miss you a lot. I need you in my life again," said Fatima.
Fatima said she will immediately fly to Manila once her mother is located, and if she wants her back in her life too.
"I don’t know what to tell her. But you know, my whole life I didn’t have a mother so I think I will hug her only. I will not say anything. Only, I will start to kiss her and hug her. That's all. I don’t know what to say. I am missing her," she said.
Fatima sought assistance from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait and from ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau, in the hopes that friends or relatives of her mother who watch Balitang Global will help her in her search for her.
"She shall have our support in terms of looking for her mother, para makita niya ang mommy niya. We will search for her mother all over the Philippines using our offices in the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs). It’s a very heartwarming story. We are so inspired to see someone who sees the Philippines as her home and that makes us proud of our country," said Charge d'Affaires Atty. Raul Dado.