Test of Time of Inday Lessa By: C.C. Granado & A.A. Susvilla “No material things can create happiness and joy that motherhood brings”. The greatest days of Annallessa Villamor Magdadaro’s life were the days she gave birth to her five children. The first time she held them, she felt a sense of hope in their situation. Annallessa or popularly known by her friends as “ Inday Lessa” was amazed that the first few seconds of her life completely changed her perception to the material world when she became a mother. October 28, 1972: A woman was born whose heart and beauty was stunning as her lifestyle for being a spoiled daddy’s girl named Annalessa Villamor Magdadaro also known as “Inday Lessa”. She grew as an ego-centered lady who had no motivation to succeed and as a matter of fact, she cut classes during her college days and wasn’t able to finish a single semester. She was a college dropped out, shifting from one course to another. She wasted every single penny her parents sent for her future. Until she met, the love of her life Arturo Magdadaro and everything had changed. At first, she thought that their love story will not be tested through time but she was completely wrong. As fate subjugated, their love story is no ordinary. Arturo was 10 years her senior. Perseverance and determination were keys to make their relationship work. Their number one fan was her mother who served as their bridge to make their relationship worked out regardless of their distance to one another; Arturo hail from Bogo City while Inday Lessa is from Surigao del Sur. Truly, true love knows no distance. 1998: When they lived together as a couple. However, it took them one year and six months before they decided to bring their relationship to the next level. 1999: When they tied the knot as well as had their firstborn child “Ariane” baptized in which all expenses were paid by Inday Lessa’s father. Their first year together was never been easy, it was on the rocks. Inday Lessa was unemployed while Arturo used to be a tricycle driver. Despite the couple’s impoverished situation, they remained sweet and in loved with each other. They lived in a “Scanty house” with no electricity together with Arturo’s relatives. It was never been easy for Inday Lessa since she has to learn the hard way especially in dealing with her mother -in-law. Inday Lessa experienced emotional abuses from her mother-in-law such that even a single centavo and a grain of rice were not given to her family despite the scarcity of resources they were having. She then decided to try her luck as a baby sitter in the City to support her five children and left them in her husband’s care. Nonetheless, she stopped after a month of working when she visited her family witnessing that her children were not taken cared of well by her husband. 2000: Worse comes to worst when she learned the condition of her third born son,“ Dave Argie”. He was diagnosed with “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD) with speech impediment issues. It became Inday Lessa’s turning point, and was indeed very hard for her, as a mother to recognize and acknowledge that her child is different from the other children. But “ Inday Lessa” radiated so much hope from that adverse situation. But it was different on his husband’s side. Arturo became an alcoholic and spent almost all of his time to his friends. He forgot his promises to Inday Lessa and to his children as well. After what “Inday Lessa” experienced with Dave’s condition as well as Arturo’s behavior, she decided to be a breadwinner by letting Arturo stayed at home so that he can kept track of their son’s day to day activities. 2006: Impecuniousness continued that she fed her children with chaff “tahop” just to pass a meal while her in-laws hired hands abundantly fed their respective families share of crops. They ate with all tears on their eyes. (You could only imagine the heart of a mother slowly turning into pieces seeing her children eating animal “feeds” just to pass a meal.) Oh! It was not really her lucky year when she learned the succeeding deaths of her closed family members in her hometown. First it was her sister, second was her grandmother and lastly, was her mother. The passing of the three persons dear to her was the test of Inday Lessa’s sanity. It was this time when she almost loses herself because of too much depression and downfall, blaming herself for not attending the burial of her loved ones. Due to financial difficulty, Lessa was so frustrated to the point that she sought financial assistance to some of her relatives but to no avail, she again failed. 2009: Life is sometimes unfair. This was of a truth when his first son was hospitalized for three months due to “Nephrotic Syndrome”. They spent their holidays at the Vicente Sotto Hospital, kept praying to God that his son’s health be back to normal state. Alas! God is so good that Lessa was able to secure financial assistance to the Provincial Government and closest relatives for their hospital bills and medicine expenses. 2010: Lessa started to sell foods to nearby houses to sustain their family needs and her son’s medicines. Due to her perseverance, hardworking and great love for her family together with her husband, they were somehow able to sustain their needs. 2013: As her nightmare continued, it was year 2013 when Typhoon Yolanda hit the Northern part of Cebu, leaving thousands of homeless families, one of which were Inday Lessa’s house. As people mourned for the loss of their homes, Inday Lessa took these as an inspiration to endure and move forward. 2014: Her 4th child “Ara was diagnosed of cardiovascular disease. There were times that she will borrow money to some lending institution just to support the education of her children particularly her first child “Ariane” who happened to be enrolled in college and enjoying a scholarship grant, though it was not enough to cover the tuition fees of the said institution. Inday Lessa and Arturo remain true to their promises especially at tough times. It was during this time when Arturo started working as a laborer to nearby houses. Inday Lessa on the other hand continued to support her family on her canteen business and intensified her passion to help in school and in her community. In effect, they were able to establish their new home with an electrical connection. Gone were the days when they will use candles to lighten up their table during dinner time. 2015: Lessa started building her legacy as PTA Officer (Board Member, Secretary and President). Her passion and desire to help in her community was very evident since she was able to lead many accomplishments in schools particularly in physical aspects. To name a few were the following; the construction of covered pathway, rehabilitation of activity center and establishment of waiting shed in Cayang National High School. Her works and accomplishments as PTA Officer were becoming popular in her community and in the City as well. 2017: Inday Lessa never put on airs of any kind, her happiness lay in seeing her five children grow up attaining good education, good health and she was very eager to do anything to achieve that goal. Her children’s joys were her top priority, she will always take time to celebrate her children’s special day, despite how meager the food served in the table, it was happily shared by them. As a matter of fact during the 18th birthday of her second child “ Abegayle” she surprised her with a debut party that made her daughter cried for joy. She emphasized that her children’s birthdays were special, it reminded her that very day made her the happiest woman on earth. 2018 up to present: Because of Inday Lessa’s persistent nature and her positive outlook in life, her son “Arianne” graduated with flying colors and later on employed as a “Call Center Agent” which helped in elevating their financial status. Her canteen business also was doing well and continued to thrive. Inday Lessa’s behavior shows resilience and dedication to her family as proven through test of time. No matter what kind of battles she faces or she was placed in, she was one of those individuals that were meant to succeed. Life will always be meaningful when we know that we were able to overcome each trials with joy and gladness in heart as we recognize that there is always someone who gives us strength and grace to continue. Believing that Inday Lessa has overcome life’s adversity because there’s a God that never left her in her difficult times. Inday Lessa remain tough, Godfearing and goal-driven despite the “Test of Time”.