ORMOC CITY, Philippines - A mother and her daughter were reunited after 16 years with the help of the Ormoc City government and its website.
The heartwarming story began when an adopted daughter, who is based in America set forth to find her biological mother in Ormoc.
The mother, Luzviminda Garbo, 48, of San Jose here, narrated that she went to Manila after the flashflood to work as a maid in 1992. There, she got pregnant and gave birth to her sixth child, but her lady employer, who is married to an American, took the baby girl as her own.
However, Minda was still able to care for her own daughter as a nanny and even breastfed her for three years. The child was given the name Ayla Camille Motter after her adoptive parents. However, Minda got pregnant again on her seventh child from another man, prompting her to come back to Ormoc and leave Ayla to her employers.
When she returned to Manila, two years had already passed since the Motter family moved to Virginia in the United States with her daughter. Now 19, Ayla grew up to become a fine lady. When she learned about her real identity, she began her search for her real mother.
Her first stop was the Internet where she stumbled upon the Ormoc City website from where she got the City Hall’s phone number. She contacted the Mayor’s office and got hold of Administrative Officer I Juliet Alcala to whom she provided information about her mother.
Ormoc is really a small place because Alcala was able to locate Minda in San Jose, still unmarried. Arrangements were made for mother and daughter to speak on the phone. Ayla was filled with disbelief at first but was convinced when her biological mother mentioned familiar names especially her adoptive parents.
Ayla’s adoptive mother became jealous when she decided to go to Ormoc for the first time. But it is the only way for her to feel complete and so on the last week of May, she and her mother were finally reunited. It was a touching scene as if plucked from a soap opera, as both mother and daughter tearfully found themselves in each other’s arms.
Ayla paid a courtesy call to Mayor Eric Codilla and thanked the City Government’s assistance in finding her mother. Discovering the city’s website made her search easier for which she will always be grateful, Ayla said. (Felix N. Codilla)