Mom reunites with daughter after 15 years


A 54-year-old mother was finally reunited with her family in Barangay Poblacion, Lingayen after begging in the streets of Muntinlupa City for 15 years.

Divina “Dina” Estrada went to Metro Manila sometime in 2006 to visit her partner from time to time who was imprisoned in the national penitentiary.

Noong nasa Bureau of Corrections yung partner ko, doon na siya namatay. Hindi na rin ako nakabalik sa Pangasinan pagkatapos niyang mamatay dahil wala naman akong kakilala at wala rin akong cellphone para kontakin yung pamilya ko sa Lingayen,” she said in an interview with the PUNCH last week.

Estrada recalled that while in Metro Manila, she survived the daily challenges and longing for her family by working as a garbage collector and became a beggar after she lost her communication with them back then.

Nagpalaboy-laboy ako sa daan. Namalimos ako para makaraos sa araw-araw sa loob ng 15 years. Hindi naman ako makauwi kasi hindi na nakakakita yung mata ko sa kanan,” she said.

Estrada said she asked help from her neighbors to look for her daughter, Mejica, on Facebook.

Mejica was only 15 years old when her mom left her and her older brother, who had to move in with their grandmother. She now has her own family.

Na-surprise ako at the same time, may excitement dahil last week nung may nag-chat sa akin sa messenger tungkol sa nanay ko. Nag-video call kami at doon nakita ko talaga yung mama ko – siya nga yun dahil 15 years old na rin ako nung umalis siya,” Mejica said.

She said upon receiving the message, they immediately coordinated with Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil to look for her mother.

Bataoil, former chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), contacted police officers in Metro Manila to locate Dina.

Mejica said the Muntinlupa police found Dina begging somewhere in Cavite on Sept. 17.

When Dina arrived in Lingayen on Sept. 18 and had a tearful reunion with Mejica on Sept. 20, after two days observation and isolation in the Lingayen’s quarantine facility.

Mejica said she feels the pain her mother went through, who was forced to beg in the streets by a syndicate.

Sobra akong naaawa sa pinagdaanan ng mama ko. Nakikipag-coordinate din kami sa Muntinlupa police para sa legal action doon sa kumupkop sa kaniya dahil sapilitan siyang pinanlimos at kinukuha ang mga mga nalilimos niya,” Mejica said.

She said Mayor Bataoil was kind to provide assistance for her needed treatment.

Individuals who want to help Dina and her family may send cash through GCash with account number 0948-720-1112. (Jerick Pasiliao)

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