‘Relax ka lang mama,’ soldier tells mom before dying in Marawi

‘Relax ka lang mama,’ soldier tells mom before dying in Marawi

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata, Philippine News Agency

- in Feature, Life
Lolita, grieving mother of a soldier killed in the battle of MarawiLolita, grieving mother of a soldier killed in the battle of Marawi

Ronald Bisupnad Jr. wanted to be a soldier. But his mom, Lolita, was against the idea.

Despite that, he decided to pursue his dream. He has been a soldier for six years, even if Lolita was consistent in showing her objection.

On July 8, Ronald was killed in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur. He was among those who had been fighting since the crisis began on May 23 when the Maute Group attacked.

In an exclusive interview with the Philippine News Agency, Lolita, 57, said she never expected that to happen.

It’s because Ronald had always told her, “Relax ka lang Mama.” She was always given the assurance that everything was fine, and that there was nothing to worry about.

“I also didn’t know that he was in Marawi,” Lolita said in Tagalog. It was only when she received the news about her son’s death when she learned that Ronald was in Marawi City.

More tears began falling from the grieving mom’s eyes as I continued asking questions. I felt like I was adding the more burden to what she feels. This made me feel guilty, and I apologized that I had to continue the interview.

It has only been a few days since Ronald’s interment last July 20.

Last words

Hours before Ronald passed away, he gave Lolita a phone call.

It was very vivid in Lolita’s memory that she received a call from her son in the morning of July 8.

“Ma, kunin mo yung pera, PHP4,000 lang yun, Ma,” Ronald told her as he sent money through a money transfer service.

Lolita asked Ronald what would she do with that money, and Ronald responded, “Sa iyo yan, Ma. Yung mga anak ko wag mong pababayaan.”

That was their last conversation. The mom of four got the news the morning after Ronald’s death.

The last time Ronald and Lolita had been together was in November 2016, during his regular vacation.

The 29-year-old soldier was survived by his two sons aged 9 and 5. According to Lolita, Ronald and his wife were already separated.

“Wala pa silang alam kasi mga bata pa. Umiiyak lang,” Lolita said. Ronald’s eldest, however, knew what happened to his dad, she added.

The good son

Lolita described Ronald as “makulit pero di pasaway” when he was a child.

He has become a good and loving son and brother, Lolita noted.

“He actually wanted to have their house fixed,” she said about Ronald’s plan when he was still alive.

As of now, the mother from Tuguegarao City said she doesn’t know what to do, now that Ronald is gone.

A mother’s grief is unfathomable. I’ve seen Lolita in pain, lost for words as she still can’t believe what happened to her son.

“Relax ka lang Mama” might never sound the same again for Lolita. (PNA)

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