Being a mother is a 24/7 job. It is a duty where resting is a mere option, and children become your top priority. It is the only occupation in the world where rest days are non-existent, and you must always somehow know or have the answer to every question.
The pandemic hitting the globe made motherhood a daunting task for everyone. Ever since the remote work setup was lifted by some companies, putting food on the table means sacrificing quality time with your loved ones. Alongside this, the everyday commute experience of regular Filipino citizens piles up to the stress of working 8 hours a day with a minimum wage salary.
In a recent tweet, Sara Duterte shared her experience balancing her life as the Vice President of the Philippines and being a mother. Based on the VP’s post, President BBM lent out his 250th PAW, the presidential chopper, during his birthday to fly Sara back to Davao just in time for her children’s bedtime. This post garnered a lot of reactions from Filipino Netizens - some praised her dedication meanwhile many also raised an eyebrow about it. After receiving a backlash from the public, the Vice President’s spokesperson claimed that the post was “fake news.” He also added that Duterte’s family is based now in Manila, and the chopper is exclusive only for work and functions based on their proximity and need for urgency.
As Filipinos struggle to make ends meet, seeing Duterte receive “special treatment” to be at home with her kids is rubbing a grain of salt into the wound. While regular citizens seem to be a contestant in Hunger Games while they try to catch a ride home, the VP can swiftly ask for a chopper to balance her career and life as a mother.
To answer the question, what made Sara Duterte different from other Filipino mothers? She clearly is not a regular citizen like most of us. She does not starve amidst the continuous inflation like most of us. She does not suffer from the oil price hike like most of us. She does not have to sacrifice time with her family like most of us. She does not have to be in the mentally-draining traffic in the metro like most of us. Power holds great strength in a country run by lies and dishonesty. As the whole country continues to starve and suffer from the unbearable prices in the market, they can still carry on with glamorous birthday parties at the Palace. Why? Because they are simply not like most of us.