Celebrity mom Saab Magalona has recently opened up about the challenges she faces as a parent of a child with cerebral palsy.
Saab reveals that her son, four-year-old Pancho, has been subjected to "not-so-pleasant comments," as she and her family interact with more people now that the world is opening up amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
She shares her thoughts about the unwanted remarks in her post of an Instagram photo of her son flashing a big smile last Friday, October 7, 2022, a day after World Cerebral Palsy day.
In the caption, she writes: "The world is opening up again.
"As much as we’re enjoying finally giving our children more opportunities to experience the world, unfortunately we have also been subjected to some not-so-pleasant comments.
"Believe it or not, in just the past few weeks, we’ve been told 'sayang naman' 'gwapo pa naman' or 'awang awa kami sa anak niyo.'"
Saab admits that she thought she was ready to deal with these comments, but the reality is that she was driven to silence.
Continuing, she says: "We thought we were prepared for this. That we would take it as a chance to educate people to choose a better way of saying things.
"But in reality, it’s way too shocking to actually respond in the moment, so we just clam up."
The singer-content creator reiterated that her children with Jim Bacarro, regardless of their disabilities, will always be their greatest source of joy.
She writes: "Here’s the thing: Pancho is our pride and joy. He’s our source of happiness.
"He may be dependent on us but we are also dependent on him. He makes life easier. Pure joy is no longer sought, instead it’s something we experience on a daily basis.
"Being parents of a special-needs child can be challenging, but it’s also a privilege and honor, with rewards beyond our wildest dreams."
Saab reminds everyone that parents with children with disabilities need respect, not pity.
She also makes a distinction between feeling pity and having compassion, saying the two are not the same.
"Since it was #worldcerebralpalsyday yesterday (exactly when one of these instances happened)," Saab writes, "we’d like to remind everyone that families with special needs members do not need your pity.
"And if you ever encounter a family with special needs, give them kind words and support instead [emoji]
"Love to all Cerebral Palsy warriors and their armies [emoji] Fight lang tayo [emoji]
Aside from Pancho, Saab and her husband Jim Bacarro have a two-year-old son named Vito.
The couple have been married for seven years.