HALO-HALO-MIX-MIX
Family Portraits by Ryan Arbilo

Vicky Severo and husband Pietro Severo with daughter Nicole
Rome, Italy

In 1984, I got married with my 1st husband at nanirahan kami sa kanyang mga magulang. Ang nagkaroon kami ng 2 anak babae at lalaki. Pero di nagtagal ang aming pagsasama. 1987nagkahiwalay kami matapos ang 3 taon. Bumalik ako sa aking mga magulang kasama ko ang aming 2 anak. Pero nagkahiwalay din ang magkapatid sa dahilang hiniram ng biyenan ko ang anak kong babae at hindi na nila ibinalik pang muli sa akin.
Naging masalimuot ang aking buhay may asawa noon. Kasalukuyang may sakit ang aking ama noon 4 times heart attack. Bed-ridden na siya. Kaya ako ang nag-alaga sa kanya ng bumalik ako sa amin. 2 taon din pinaglingkuran ang aking mahal na Tatay. Ako ang nagpapaligo, nagbabalbas, nag- gugupit ng mga kuko sa paa at kamay niya. Masaya akong nagagampanan ko ang lahat ng ito sa kanya sa loob ng maikling panahon. Dahil alam ko ganun din ang ginawa nilang pag-aaruga sa aming magkakapatid. Alam ko tama lang na pagsilbihan ko sila huling 2 taon na pinagsamahan namin.
Nakita ko rin ang buhay namin noon medyo may kahirapan kami. Kaya nag desisyon akong humingi ng tulong sa aking nakakatandang kapatid na may asawang Italyano. Nalaman nila ang nangyari sa akin kaya di sila nag dalawang isip na mag-asawa para tulungan akong makarating kung saan man ako naruruon ngayon.
Taong 1989 buwan ng 14 Mayo. Napakahirap sa isang magulang na mawalay sa kanyang mga anak lalo pa’t 3 at 5 taon lamang ang mga anak ko nuon. Bago ako umalis pinangako ko sa king Mahal na Ama na magsasama din kami. Tinupad ko ang pangakong iyon sa aking Tatay bago man lang siya bawian ng buhay.
Taon ng 1990 buwan ng November 30 ng iwanan kami ng aming Ama at siya’y namayapang may Tamis na ngiti sa kanyang mukha. Dahilan sa pangako kong binitawan na pinilit kong tuparin sa kanya. Alam ng DIYOS kung gaano ko ginampanan ang pangakong iyong sa kanya.

Sa 4 na taon kong pag susumikap na matapos ang aming tahanan hindi ako gunagastos be isang kusing (sentimos) para lang matapos ang bahay namin. Taon 1992 ipinakilala sa akin ng employer ko ang kanyang CAPO (amo) pangalawang mataas sa Ministry of Labor ng Italia. Ipinakilala niya sa akin sa dahilang napansin ng amo ko na nagkakagusto sa akin ang kanyang bunsong anak na bata sa akin ng 2 taon.

Nag kakilala kami ng CAPO ng amo ko inalam niya kung ano ang gusto ko sa isang lalaki para mapa- mahal ito sa akin? Isa lamang ang isinagot ko sa kanya sa labis niyang ikinagulat. Ang sabi ko:::: Kung sakaling dumating ang panahon na gusto kong kunin ang 2 kong anak na mapunta dito matutulungan niya ba kako ako? Nang sinagot niya na walang magiging problema. Matutulungan niya ako doon na nagka-igihan na kami sa isa’t isa. Nag simula ang aming magandang relasyon. Naging makabuluhan at nagkaroon ng magandang dereksyon ang buhay ko.
1994 ipinanganak ko ang una naming anak na lalaki. Lalong naging masaya ang aming pagsasama. Hindi kami makasal dahil ayaw pirmahan ng ex-husband ko ang legal separation namin. At ganun din ang ex-wife niya. Alam kong meron na rin siyang bagong pamilya. Bago pa ako nagkaroon ng sarili kong pamilya dito. Nung 1998 ng yumao ang una kong asawa.
Ang naging buhay ko dito sa Italia ay Trabaho-Bahay Bahay-Trabaho lamang di ako lumalabas o sumasama kahit saan wala akong gaanong kaibigan. Hindi ako uri ng Happy Go Lucky lang. Nag aasikaso ng aming anak at aming tahanan. 2001 ng muling pinag kalooban kami ng anak na babae at lalong naging masaya ang aming pagsasama kasama ng 2 anak ko sa una. Sa ngayon may kanya kanya ng buhay ang mga anak ko. Masayang-masaya ako dahil napaka swerte ko sa napangasawa ko daig ko pa ang nanalo sa sweepstakes or lotteria. Ang pagsasama namin ay lumawig ng 26 nataon. And at the end of this story we live happily ever after. November 26, 2017 ng makasal kami ng asawa ko.
In 1984, I got married to my first husband and we lived with his parents. We had 2 children together, 1 girl and 1 boy. Our marriage didn’t last long. We separated in 1987 after three years of marriage. I went back to live with my parents and brought my 2 children with me. In the end, my children got separated because mother-in-law asked to borrow my daughter but then never returned her back to me anymore.

My life married life became quite complicated. At the same time my father got sick after suffering four heart attacks. He became bedridden after that. It was I who cared for him when I went back to live with them. For 2 years I served my father whom I loved. I was the one who bathed him, shaved him and cut his nails on both his hands and feet. I was happy to take on that role to look after him in that short period of time. This is because I knew that this is how my parents also cared for me and my siblings. I knew that it was right to care for them in the last 2 years we were together.

I also saw our life back then when we were a bit poor. This is why I decided to ask my older sister and her Italian husband for some help. They found out what happened to me and did not think twice about helping me to get to where I am today.
It was the 14th of May 1989. It’s very hard for a parent to be separated from their children, especially when their ages were 3 and 5. Before I left I promised my father whom I loved very much that my children and I will be together again. I was able to fulfill that promise to my father before he passed away.
It was on November 30, 1990, when my father left us with a sweet smile on his face. This was the reason I needed to fulfill my promise to him. The Lord knows how hard I strived to achieve that promise.
In the four years I persevered to finish our house, I never spent a single centavo. It was in 1992 when my employer introduced me to their boss, he had the second highest position in the Ministry of Labor in Italy. He was introduced to me because my employer realized that their youngest son who was 2 years younger than me was beginning to like me.
As my employers’ boss and I got to know each other, he asked me what I liked in a man for me to fall in love with them. I only gave him one answer which surprised him. I told him, if ever there came a time wherein I wanted to get both my children and bring them here would he be able to help me? When he answered that there would be no problem and that he would be able to help me, that when I decided to be a bit more open to get to know him. That’s when our relationship started. Our relationship became meaningful and it put me in the right direction in my life.

I gave birth to our first son in 1994. Our lives and relationship became happier. We couldn’t get married due to the fact that my ex-husband did not want to sign the papers for our legal separation. It was the same for his ex-wife. I knew that my husband had started a new family even before I started my new family here. My first husband passed away in 1998.
My life here in Italy revolve around my job and my home, I rarely went out and I don’t have a lot of friends. I’m also not the happy-go-lucky type of person. My attention was to my child and our home. In 2001 I gave birth to our second child, a girl. I became even happier when my two children from my first marriage came to join us. I’m really happy because I feel so lucky to have married my husband, it’s like better than someone winning the lotto. We have been together for 26 years. I got married to my husband on November 26, 2017. And the end of this story is we live happily ever afte