Engkwentro: The prodigal son

By Nathalie Blanco, Multimedia Producer, Engkwentro

Posted at Feb 12 2013 04:00 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2013 12:00 AM

When the influence of drugs overweighs a son’s love for his own mother, lives are put into danger. What pushed Severino into trying to murder his own mother, Viviana? With her child gone mad, who will be left to protect her?

Reenactment: Severino Frias

Severino Frias and Rochelle Aragon were brother-and-sister-in-law. They were not bonded by blood but became family because of one woman—Viviana.

Viviana, 71 years old, was Severino’s mother. Lamentably, because of his addiction to illegal drugs, he seemed to have forgotten his love for her. He was only ‘reminded’ of her during times of need, when he ran out food or money.

Even at 32 years old, Severino still required his mother’s financial support--he never earned a decent living himself.

Viviana could have chosen to stay with her other children and led a comfortable life away from the hustle and bustle of Vitas, Tondo. But because her children would not let her bring Severino with her, she did not leave her son.

Despite the hardships Viviana experienced while living with a son who refused to change his ways, she chose to stay by his side. She felt the need to take care of her bunso who still could not stand on his own.

Money matters

Viviana received P600 per month from her late husband’s pension. Her two other children also gave her money when they had any to spare.

Viviana diligently set aside this money so that she could buy her medicine or pay for bills. But whenever Severino found out that his mother had any cash in her pocket, he demanded for it.

Reenactment: Severino demands money from his mother Viviana

Viviana knew that Severino would waste the money on drugs but she could not stop him. If she tried to tell him off, he quickly became irate towards her. He would also make her feel guilty, prompting her to just give in to the pressure.

Unlike Severino, Rochelle loved Viviana sincerely and wordlessly took over his duty in caring for the elderly woman. But Severino only saw this gesture as Rochelle’s way to gain access to his mother’s money.

The influence of drugs

Viviana’s motherly love was not enough for her son to change for the better. Being under the influence of drugs, Severino could neither control his actions nor see what was right and wrong, to the point where he attempted to kill his own mother twice.

On his first attempt, he tried to suffocate his sleeping mother with a pillow. The second time, he almost fatally hit her with a chair. Luckily, Rochelle stormed into the scene armed with a steel pipe in hand, ready and willing to protect Viviana to her grave.

Rochelle files a complaint against Severino

Rochelle decided to finally file a complaint before barangay officials against Severino due to his refusal to show remorse for disrespecting his mother and attempting to kill her.

With the help of their local officials, Severino was taken and detained in their barangay. However, when he was questioned, Severino denied all accusations held against him by Rochelle. He tried to defend himself by passing the blame on his sister-in-law but because there were witnesses, he was put into jail.

A sign of relief

Once Severino was taken away, Rochelle and Viviana were relieved that he could no longer harm them. But as a mother, Viviana is ultimately hurt and is grieving for what her son became.

Aired on December 11, 2012