Dear Nanay… letters from Tamara Michelle Posa Dominado

Just after our return from the Philippines in April 2007 Marie Boti and I heard that our friend Maria Luisa Posa-Dominado, Luing for short, had been abducted on her way back from an election meeting of the progressive party, Bayan Muna. Her name and that of traveling companion Nilo Arado were thus added to the growing list of hundreds of Filipinos who have been killed and abducted since the present government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came to power in 2001. Marie and I are working on a film inspired in large part by Luing’s life and disappearance… and we have had the privilege of getting to know her amazing daughters, May Wan and Tamara. The following letters from Tamara were just published in the national newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which introduced her this way:

Tamara Michelle Posa Dominado, 16, is a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry freshman at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas Miag-ao Campus. Her mother Maria Luisa Posa-Dominado, a Bayan Muna leader, was abducted by armed men on April 12, 2007 in Oton, Iloilo, together with Nilo Arado. Both are still missing to this day.

-- Malcolm Guy


"What’s there to fear?"

By Tamara Michelle Posa Dominado
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:38:00 12/11/2008

Dear Nanay,

Today you turn 53. I really wish you were here to celebrate it. I’ve missed you so much, every day and always. And I guess everyone else has, too.

It has been hard not having you around.

I have been living in a dorm for the past two months now. It has been stressful and depressing living there. Some of my high school classmates are staying there, too. I get homesick every now and then because I don’t like the place. I don’t know why.

There was this one time when I really got sick because I cried for almost the whole night. Crying makes me weak. That night, my classmate got homesick and she cried because she missed her mom. That’s what triggered my fit of crying. You see, I won’t easily admit it and I sometimes forget it, but deep down inside, I miss you so much. I’ve missed you since the day you did not come back. I try my best not to talk about you because just a mere memory brings me to the verge of tears. Sometimes I wonder if the pain will ever go away."

Read more: What’s there to fear?

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