WATCH: Beauty Queen Mariel De Leon Gets Teary-Eyed Talking About Her Mom, Sandy Andolong
Oftentimes, our moms are the most underappreciated superheroes in our lives. They are always there to help us when we slip and fall, they’re always there to support us, and they’re always there to keep the family together, especially during the roughest of times.
Mariel de Leon is all of us, as she talks about how strong her mother stayed during one of the toughest moments in their family’s life. During a special #NationalSuperMomsDay2018 digital conference with Mariel, her mom Sandy Andolong, and other supermoms Princess Velasco and Chynna Ortaleza-Cipriano, Mariel emotionally looks back at the most #Supermom moment of Sandy.
Watch the live broadcast of the conference on Facebook below and skip to 5:59 for Mariel’s part.
A few years back in 2014, Miguel, the second son of Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong, was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Since he had free medical services in America, Miguel underwent treatment for his condition there. On top of the family having to go through seeing their son in pain and in treatment, it’s become even more complicated since Sandy and Christopher are based in Manila for work.
When I saw you my beloved son, via Skype today, how my heart yearned & ached for you! How I wish I could be by your side right now. I'm comforted by the fact that your tatay has been with you since way before your surgery & never leaves your side. I know how much strength you draw from your tatay.You have always had this very special bond with each other since the day you were born. Today, as always, I pray this for you?? Dear Lord, I ask You to turn Miguel's weakness into strength, his suffering into compassion, sorrow into joy, and pain into comfort for others. May Your son Miguel trust in Your goodness and hope in Your faithfulness, even in the midst of his suffering. Let him be filled with patience and joy in Your presence as he waits for Your healing touch. Please restore Your servant to full health, dear Father. Heal & take away his pneumonia right away. Remove all fear and doubt from his heart by the power of Your Holy Spirit, and may You, Lord, be glorified through his life. As you heal and renew your servant, Lord, may he bless and praise You. All of this I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen????
Mariel recalls, “She had to fly there to America, ’cause he was living there at that time. She had to fly back and forth, Philippines to America.”
“She showed us how to be strong for our family, for our brother,” Mariel continues, her voice breaking as she tries her best to not get emotional in front of the crowd. Wiping tears from her eyes, she adds, “And not only that—during that time, she was also dealing with her kidney transplant. She showed us how strong she is, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. And what motivates her I think is her love for us kids.”
In a separate interview, Mariel reveals that during Miguel’s treatment and recovery, Sandy also had to go through health problems related to her kidney. “It was really hard to find out that my brother had cancer, ’cause you hear people talk about it but you never expect it to happen to you, especially with someone as young as my brother.”
Mariel shares that it was especially tough for her mother to travel because of her condition at that time, and she is still in awe that, like all moms, their own welfare takes a backseat when it comes to their kids. “Both my parents had to fly there considering she also had health problems. It was a hard time for the family, but it really showed me how strong our parents are. She didn’t want us kids to see her, but, of course, I had to visit her. It was really hard to see your mother like that. As a daughter, all I could do really was to be there for her, and to let her know that I love her very much.”
“All moms are the glues of the family, that’s really the perfect description not only for my mom but all the moms out there—that they really work hard to keep everyone together, to keep everyone safe. And the thing with moms is they always put us first before themselves. That’s the superhero aspect of being a mom,” Mariel continues.
Mariel and Sandy both say that they are now closer than ever, especially after her journey with Bb. Pilipinas. “I’m a daddy’s girl but I kwento more to my mom. Now, I have a more like friendship relationship with my mom. Since I’ve grown up, I could really relate to her in a different way and really see how she struggled throughout the years,” Mariel says.
Sandy recalls fondly how quickly time has gone by, from when she was still following a special Chinese calendar so she and Christopher can finally have a daughter, to teaching Mariel about her first period and about boys, to supporting her through Bb. Pilipinas.
“Before she even had her first menstruation, I explained to her already what was going to happen,” Sandy shares candidly. “I tell her, ‘Don’t freak out, don’t panic.’ And I taught her how to do it because my mom did not!”
“When she became an adult, after college, especially when she joined Binibini, she became more open to me,” Sandy adds. “I tell her everything, also. I talk to my children, tell them about my plans.”
Mariel and the whole family had a lot of things to go through, especially in the recent years, but the beauty queen says that their mom has always been there to keep them intact and strong.
This Mother’s Day, her special message to her mom is, “Thank you for always being here with me, especially through the hard times. Even through Bb. Pilipinas, that was really hard; thankfully, she was strong enough not just for herself but for me, and also for my dad. I love her very much. I think I’m strong and opinionated because of her, because she always told me to stay true to myself and really go for what I want to do.”