Are you feeling a little bit lonely this Valentine’s season? Well, unearthing screenshots and mementos from previous lovers won’t help. We get it; love is in the air with all these flowers and decorations. But then again, we tend to forget that love isn’t limited to being romantic. As you reach for your second pint of ice cream while having a Bridget Jones’ Diary marathon (for the fourth year in a row), you realize that — as cheesy as it may seem — love is a language that is universally understood. It’s not limited to romantic love; it’s something that can be celebrated by everyone.
Case in point: single moms. Forget what you know about them; this Valentine’s day, they’re spending time with the best dates ever: their babies. They’re already winning with their extra cute dates and adorable plans on the 14th, and, well, the rest of the year. While things can get challenging, they always stay positive for their little ones, and we think that’s the ultimate showcase of love. They’re strong women who power through everyday life while sticking true to who they are.
As a mini-extension of our Girl Gang, Young STAR caught up with four single moms — a student, an author, a lawyer hopeful, and a sports scientist — to find out how they balance their lives, and Valentine’s Day plans. Tbh, they’re pretty great.
MIKLI FERIA JORGE, 26, AUTHOR
Son: K, 5
MIKLI ON KEEPING YOUNG
All that Mikli does now began when K came into her life, “When I started thinking of myself, I’ve also started thinking of him by default,” she adds. Knowing her day job wouldn’t be enough to provide for K financially, she challenged herself. She talks about K and their challenges in her blog and one of her readers pointed that she should write a book. Thus, I love you, I love chicken nuggets, a collection of anecdotes from Mikli and K’s lives, was born. “I had goals before, but right now all my goals have become clearer, and more immediate. Her son is also what keeps her young, “One of the rules I gave myself is that whenever K asks me a question, I’ll answer it honestly – no exceptions. But an offshoot of that is K becomes more inquisitive and so do I.” They become curious; and together they find answers, “I can’t stop with ‘I don’t know;’ it’s always ‘I don’t know, let’s find out together.’”
How are you going to spend Valentine’s day with K?
“No plans yet, everything is up to K.”
KAT DE VERA, 25, SPORTS SCIENTIST
Son: Gabe, 5
KAT ON STAYING STRONG
One of Kat’s biggest hurdles came last year when Kat and her partner split up. What once was a common figure in Gabe’s life disappeared, leaving Kat to pick up the pieces. “I took on the role whole-heartedly. It sucks when you lose your partner, but you have to suck it up,” says Kat, “I can’t just be a ‘normal’ girl who would sulk and cry about losing her boyfriend, I have a son to think about. I prayed a lot, kept my head held high, and my feelings strong.” Gabe relied on his mother, and Kat on him. Whenever she feels discouraged, there’s Gabe to remind her of what she does. “I know that I’m starting from scratch, but when I see him I know all my hard work will be worth it. I can imagine us living in New York, just the two of us. I know that as long as I have him, I’m alright. We’re alright.”
How are you going to spend Valentine’s day with Gabe?
“I want to start a tradition this year until Gabe has a girlfriend or whatever. I don’t know what yet, but I want to spend time with him. I want him to learn that Valentine’s Day isn’t just limited to romantic love but familial love and friendship as well.”
ANNA ESCALONA, 25, LAW STUDENT
Son: Enrique, 5
ANNA ON BALANCING LIFE
Anna isn’t your typical 25-year-old. She balances law school, having a social life (which is already hard in itself) and being a mother to her five-year-old son Enrique. She always knew she wanted to be a lawyer but she never expected that her son would drive her to want it more. “He reminds me that I need to reach my own dreams so I can provide for him,” she shares. But not once did she change who she was for her child. “I party, I head out with friends, and I keep my social life as normal as possible. I just learned how to incorporate who I was before Enrique to who I was after his birth. Honestly, being a mother to him taught me more about myself than all the things I learned in school combined.”
How are you going to spend Valentine’s day with Enrique?
We’ll celebrate it on the weekend, I’ll take him out for a nice movie, and eat out. It will be such a great date.
CELINA CRUZ, 19, STUDENT
SON: Santi, 2
CELINA ON BEING A PROUD MOM
Celina is one proud single mom. If ever you find yourself in the same class as her, she’ll tell you about Santi. “I’m very proud of it. When I tell people about it with confidence, their faces change. I talk about it a lot because I want people to know that being a single mom is okay,” she says. Same goes for social media; Santi is in the spotlight. With such a small age gap, the relationship between the two are like the best of friends — inseparable. “With the birth of Santi came a sense of responsibility. He keeps me motivated. His dad recently passed away and I feel a pressing need to reach the dreams we have for Santi. When I see him, I feel like I can do anything. I can do it because I want to provide the best for him.”
How are you going to spend Valentine’s day with Santi?
“Honestly, I wanted to use it to catch up on some of my favorite K-Dramas — that’s how I de-stress — but then again Santi is in the picture. I wanna take him out. Tagaytay would be ideal.”