Virgie Santiago lives with her daughter and son at their humble home in Brgy. 71, Tondo, Manila.
Her daughter, Abigail, travels three to four hours every to work at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa while her son, Marion, has a night-time job at a shopping mall in their area.
In 2014, Virgie suffered a stroke at 72. The situation demanded a lot of adjustments, including acquiring a durable wheelchair.
Virige’s chair was one of those rigid-framed wheelchairs. It was useful during her physical therapy sessions. But in an unfortunate turn of events, it was stolen, leaving her unable to leave the house as often.
Abigail has been teaching at PLMun for almost one decade now. She currently handles General Psychology for freshmen.
Perhaps it is her friendliness and her years of experience as a teacher that she was able to create a strong bond with her students.
They were close enough to know Abi’s long-kept wish; they were close enough that when Wish 107.5, a wish-granting FM station, visited their campus, it was the students who voiced out her desire on her behalf.
Abi and Virgie typically spend Sunday together — Abi does household chores and prepares for tomorrow’s work while Virgie watches either the television or the people passing by their house.
Sundays often idly drift away, but the 19th of June was special.
The two received a visit from Wish 107.5 staff, bringing along with them the foldable wheelchair Abi’s students wished for.
Teary-eyed, Abi recalled how she has long wanted to surprise her mother.
“Naalala ko yung mother ko, di kasi siya makalabas especially kapag wala ako sa bahay, so naisip ko kailangan niya ng wheelchair…Matagal na rin naman niyang gustong lumabas kaya lang minsan nahihiya din siya sa amin lalo na mahirap kasi siyang ibyahe.”
(I remembered my mother — she could not go out especially when I am not around, so I thought she really needed a wheelchair…I know she wants to come out of our house but she is shy to tell us that because it will be difficult for us.)
“Ngayong may wheelchair na, makakagaan na sa amin.”
(Now that the wheelchair is here, it would be easier for us.)
Abi could not believe she’d be chosen for the wish granting. Virgie could not express in words how delighted she is for receiving the special gift.
“Maraming maraming salamat kasi hindi ko naman siya expected,” Abi shared.
(Thank you very much because I wasn’t expecting any of this.)