If Vice President Leni Robredo would give a piece of advice to women who lost their partners early on in their lives, it is to “hold on” as there is “always light at the end of the tunnel”.
Robredo made the statement in an online interview with singer-actress Sharon Cuneta as she remembered the time she lost her husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to a tragic plane crash in 2012.
In the interview, which was posted on YouTube Friday evening, Dec. 3, Robredo said many unexpected things can happen in one’s life, and these include the death of one’s spouse.
“Maraming nangyayari sa atin na hindi talaga natin hiniling pero parati ko na lang assurance sa sarili ko na may dahilan (There are many things that happen to us that we did not ask for but my only assurance is everything happens for a reason),” she said.
The Vice President said that the bad days in one’s life will not last forever. She likened this belief to a vehicle traversing a dark tunnel.
“Yung bad days hindi naman magtatagal, eh. Ang parating visualization ko niyan parang sasakyan na pumasok sa tunnel na darating din sa point na lalabas ka sa tunnel (Bad days don’t last. My visualization of it is a car going through a tunnel that eventually you’ll get out of),” she said.
“So ang iniisip ko na lang ganoon- na how to survive while nandoon ka sa loob ng tunnel. Yun yung visualization ko na parang alam ko lang na may light at the end of it. Na kumapit kasi matatapos din (I thought of how to survive while in that tunnel. I sort of knew that there will be light at the end of it. I held on because this will end inevitably),” she added.
The Vice President shared with Cuneta how she handled and broke the news about Secretary Robredo’s accident with their children. She said she tried to calm herself down and told her kids that there was nothing else they could do but pray. She also asked her brother-in-law to accompany her two kids Trisha and Aika to go home because they were in Manila at the time.
“Yung pinakamahirap talaga (The hardest part) is breaking the news to the children,” she said as she held back tears from remembering the details of the unfortunate day.
“Tingin ko kasi tayong parents, either siguro father or mother, ang first instinct mo i-protect the children. Yung sa akin, lahat ng calls na ginawa ko after, paghahanda na sa mga bata (I think us parents, our first instinct is to protect the children so every call I made after is to prepare the kids),” she added.
“Parang naka-autopilot ka na, basta protect the children. Yung sa akin basta okay muna ang mga bata (You were suddenly on autopilot to protect the children. For me, I had to make sure that the kids were okay),” she continued.
Needless to say, it was an emotional roller-coaster ride for Robredo, who was widowed at age 47.
“I think pag nanay ka, ganoon talaga eh. Kahit sobrang grief, mas nangingibabaw sa ‘yo yung what will make things lighter for the children (I think that’s just really how it is if you’re a mother. No matter the grief, you will always prioritize making things lighter for the children),” she said.
“Siguro ang good doon, nailalabas mo. Pero siguro ang bad din, pag minsan kasi nag-show ka ng grabeng weakness, baka sa ‘yo maghugot yung mga bata, eh (Perhaps the good thing there was you were able to let it out. But as for the bad part, sometimes when you show too much weakness, the kids will catch that),” she added.
Aside from this, Robredo also shared with Cuneta how she thought Secretary Robredo would react to her presidential bid.
The former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief died on Aug. 18, 2012, when his aircraft crashed off the shore of Masbate due to an engine failure.