Anabel was pregnant with her first child when the Taal volcano erupted in January 2020. The sudden turn of events left her and her husband in panic and confusion. "We couldn't think straight," she said. "Being pregnant made it more difficult. Traveling was hard."
Anabel and her husband moved from one relative's place to another to escape the effects of the eruption. They were only able to return home in February.
Then, COVID-19 came. Anabel was already on maternity leave, and tried to earn extra from selling snacks like fishballs, French fries, and halu-halo. "Everything suddenly got more strict—It got harder to go out," she said. "We were forced to make do with just what we have. Sometimes we borrowed money just to get by."
Despite the travel restrictions, Anabel still got her regular maternity check-ups. She gave birth to Tala in June at a hospital. So far, Tala has been healthy, and was able to receive vaccinations on the day Save the Children spoke with Anabel.
As Anabel waits to return to her job—where she installs electrical wiring onto vehicles—this month, she is focused on taking care of baby Tala. She received a newborn kit from Save the Children shortly after she gave birth. "I'm thankful because this helped my baby and we were able to make use of its contents," she said. The newborn kit contains essentials for an expecting mother or one who just gave birth, such as reusable diapers, baby clothes, baby soap, and baby blankets.
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, all Anabel wants for Tala is to remain healthy and keep away from sickness. "Whenever my housemates come back from the outside, I make sure they wash their hands with alcohol because they interact with other people," she said. "I'm very careful. She's very young. We don't know where disease can come from."