9 years apart: Tears flow as broken family reunites for first Christmas together through ABS-CBN special

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2021 06:35 PM

ReiNanay Janet reacts to the surprise appearance of her mother, Teresita, whom she hadn’t seen for nine years, in the December 18 Christmas special of ABS-CBN. ABS-CBN
ReiNanay Janet reacts to the surprise appearance of her mother, Teresita, whom she hadn’t seen for nine years, in the December 18 Christmas special of ABS-CBN. ABS-CBN

MANILA — A broken family whose members had not seen each other for nine years, and never once got to spend Christmas together, finally had a tearful reunion over the weekend, through the “Andito Tayo Para Sa Isa’t Isa” special of ABS-CBN.

The emotional moment happened during the special’s portion featuring the “It’s Showtime” mainstays, led by comedy superstar Vice Ganda.

The hosts were joined by ReiNanay Janet, a former contestant of the noontime show’s segment that pays tribute to mothers.

Janet shared that she has been longing for the company of her mother, Teresita, whom she hasn’t seen for nearly a decade, as well as her four siblings.

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“Sa totoo, wala kaming Paskong magkasama, kasi broken family kami. Ako napunta kay lola, si kuya napunta kay tita… Nahiwahiwalay kami, kasi lima kaming magkakapatid. Wala pa akong natatandaan na magkasama kami,” she explained.

“Simula noong maliliit kami na nagkahiwalay kaming magkakapatid, hanggang sa nagkaroon kami ng kani-kaniyang pamilya, hanggang ngayon na meron nang mga apo si mama, wala pang nangyaring Pasko na magkakasama kami.”

Janet was instantly in tears when she was surprised with the appearance of three of her four siblings — Albert, Eduardo, and Joselito — who joined the “It’s Showtime” cast on stage.

The surprise didn’t stop there. While the siblings were serenaded by the hosts with “Sana Ngayong Pasko,” a montage, not visible to them, was shown, chronicling Teresita’s flight from Masbate to Manila.

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Midway through the song, Teresita approached the stage from the side, to the shock of her children. Janet broke down in tears as she and her brothers gathered in a tight embrace with their mother.

The number ended with the reunited family still hugging — a moment they had all longed for for years.

One of the siblings expressed gratitude to “It’s Showtime” for making their reunion possible, saying, “Walang katumbas na halaga ‘yung natanggap namin ngayon, na napagsama-sama niyo kaming magkakapatid at magulang namin.

“Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat, sa ‘Showtime,’ at matagal na talaga naming hinahangad na magkasama-sama kaming magkakapatid.”

In sobs, another sibling said, “Sobrang saya ko, ngayon ko na lang ulit nayakap ang nanay ko sa matagal na panahon.”

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Janet admitted feeling guilt for not being able to communicate more frequently with her mother, explaining that she would often be short on cash to buy call credits.

“Hindi ko ‘to natatawagan dahil ‘yung ipang-lo-load ko ibibili ko na lang ng pagkain sa bahay, kaya nagi-guilty ako ‘pag hindi ko siya nakakausap,” she said.

Teresita described the reunion as her “happiest Christmas,” saying she was overjoyed to finally get to spend the holiday with her children.

“Ito na po ang pinakamasayang Pasko, na binigay niyo sa akin,” a crying Teresita said. “Nagpapasalamat lang ako sa kanila na ako’y naalala nila. Itong Pasko na ‘to, magkakasama ulit kami. Ito na, masayang-masaya ang Pasko ko.”