Stephen V Tabal

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CONVERSATIONS WITH KAYE

By Stephen V Tabal

One Sunday in April 2001, I encountered Kaye (not her real name). To my surprise, I realized we’d already met during a youth camp conducted by Youth for Christ. YFC is a group of young Christians who aim to be role models for their peers. At first I had negative vibrations about Kaye because she was so restless and full of bad words every time she spoke. But I was struck by the mystery that lay beneath her eyes.

First impressions don’t last

Months later our paths crossed again in a fellowship in the YFC and we had a chance to chat and share part of our lives. That simple chat was just the beginning of deeper conversations each time we met. One time as we shared, I touched on the topic of family; Kaye suddenly went completely silent and then the tears came. I couldn’t believe that this friend of mine was from a broken family.

Her own story

At a young age she was brought by her mom from one relative to another. Her mom didn’t want to take care of her daughter and finally left Kaye with a close relative in Lanao del Norte. Kaye learned her ABC’s and grew up, not in her mother’s arms, but in those of her tito and tita. The shocking thing is that until now, 19 long years, she hasn’t seen her father. But the good news is that her mother is just 60 kilometers away. However, when they first met again a few years ago, Kaye was just a high school student and not yet ready to face her mom. So it resulted in a telenovela-like scene, her mom calling her ‘anak’ and Kaye denying the existence of her long lost mom.