Raising a child is no easy feat. 

As a solo parent, doing it alone amplifies the challenges one faces. 

As the Igbo and Yoruba Proverb aptly states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” 

But amidst the struggles are stories of resilience and love, especially during the inaugural celebration of Solo Parent’s Week across the Philippines.

Shirley Delima Mañigo, a dedicated 4Ps Budget Officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office X and solo parent, shares her insights into the journey of single parenthood.

When asked about her challenges in raising her family alone, Shirley spoke of her lingering guilt for not providing her daughter with the traditional family structure. “Guilt feelings for not giving my daughter a complete family like other children have,” she expressed.

However, Shirley didn’t let these challenges define her. She even considers it a blessing. She found solace in honest communication with her daughter. “By talking to my daughter honestly and gradually. I explained to her what had happened and why I was alone raising her without making negative comments about her father. I’m thankful she understood,” Shirley explained.

Shirley D. Mañigo meticulously reviews 4Ps disbursements, ensuring budget utilization.

Drawing from her own experience, Shirley offers sage advice to fellow solo parents, emphasizing the importance of love and making children feel valued. “Love your children. Let them feel the importance of their existence,” she advises.

Republic Act 11861, also known as the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act, makes the celebration of Solo Parents Week particularly significant. This legislation designates the third week and third Saturday of April as Solo Parents Week and National Solo Parents Day, respectively, to honor the invaluable contributions of solo parents throughout the nation.

As the Philippines commemorates its first Solo Parents Week, it is a poignant reminder of the strength and resilience inherent in solo parenthood. It is a celebration of love, sacrifice, and the unwavering commitment of parents like Shirley Mañigo, who navigate the challenges of single parenthood with grace and determination.