MANILA, Philippines - Still reeling from the untimely death of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo last August, members of the Robredo family said it is hard to celebrate Christmas without him.
|Robredo's kids cope with life without dad
While most families are preparing to gather together for the noche buena or Christmas Eve dinner on December 24, Leni and her daughters Aika, Tricia and Gillian would rather not think too much about the upcoming holiday.
"Oo [mahirap], parang 'yung buffer na lang namin hindi namin iniisip 'yung Christmas. Parang we prepare ourselves sa susunod na raw. Kami parating one at a time lang," Leni said in an interview on the ABS-CBN morning talk show "Kris TV", where she made a guest appearance with her daughters.
Leni said she initially thought of spending Christmas in a distant place to forget the pain of losing her husband. But in the end, they decided to stay home.
"Parang 'yung una, gusto naming takasan. Noong ano, parang iniisip namin, 'ano kaya we go somewhere during Christmas para hindi namin masyadong maalala?' But then again, I think it will be more painful for us kasi kung pupunta kami sa malayo, siguro lahat wini-wish namin na nandiyan 'yung asawa ko.
"Kaya sa amin, we think it would be better to spend Christmas with family para we will console each other. Gawin na lang 'yung dati," Leni said.
Aika, Robredo's eldest daughter, remembered how her father celebrated Christmas last year with Missionaries of the Poor, a religious institute of brothers.
"Last Christmas, December 25, nag-attend kami ng Christmas party ng Missionaries of the Poor, sa isang malayong barangay from the city of Naga. Ever since, ganoon siya. Usually 'yung Christmas namin with the family, with mom's side, with dad's side," she said.
In a recent interview, Leni said she has fully accepted what happened to her husband, adding that she will not blame anyone for his death.
She is running for congresswoman in Camarines Sur's third district.