After losing one of her twins, a baby girl Luna Isabel, in 2017, Saab Magalona admitted the experience helped inspire her and husband Jim Bacarro to start a foundation for other families with premature babies. “It’s our way of honoring our late baby girl. It’s called the Luna Memorial foundation and right now it’s being used mainly to fund the Luna Isabel playroom in Quirino Memorial Medical Center. We chose that place because it’s a hospital that works closely with Kythe, an organization that we really believe in. The Luna Isabel playroom is a place where kids who are sick are given a chance to play because I think it’s very important also with their healing, that they are able to have fun and still enjoy. And if they can’t go to the playroom mismo, the facilitators go to the bedside to have activities with the kids. We’ve also done some efforts also to help the East Avenue Medical Center because I learned that there are really lot of premature births there so the NICU really needs help with funding,” she told PUSH during the Tang Real Moms Get it Done campaign launch held last March 27 in Makati City.
As one of the chosen mommy ambassadors, Saab said she wants to inspire many women. “Of course I felt flattered kasi they see me as a mom who is real and not projecting any fake image or as what some moms are prone to do because there are a lot of pressure on us to look perfect, to be perfect. So I jumped on the chance to be part of this campaign because I really feel like it’s important to know that we shouldn’t give in to the pressure,” she explained.
Saab said motherhood was an easy transition for her ever since bringing home baby Pancho from the hospital. “I think parang I’m not sure if I’ve always had it in me to be a mom. I know as a young girl, when I was asked what I want to be when I grow up, I would say, ‘a mommy.’ All my siblings said they want to be a firefighter or doctor, and ako mommy. Pero siyempre when I was in college that was far from my mind. Parang party party and being in a band where my husband and I traveled a lot. It was a nice surprise to find out that I was pregnant and still I think it was always in me talaga because everything felt natural and Jim says even the way I held Pancho was so natural. It helped that I had two very young siblings growing up so I helped my mom change their diapers and parang it’s like riding a bike I think. Parang nag-stick with me yung mga natutunan ko nun,” she explained.
After the unexpected loss of one of her twins, Saab said that she is using her experience to help others. “I guess growing up, you just always think that it’s not going to happen to you. So you try to just put it out of your mind na there’s a possibility or that it is a big issue and from what I learned, there are a lot of families who give birth prematurely and it’s a sensitive issue. And all these families really need a lot of support and I can’t thank the people enough for helping me and my husband through our tough time in the NICU and I would really hope that sharing our journey with Pancho is really helping them out as well and giving them hope,” she said.
For those who want to help families with premature babies, Saab hopes they can get in touch with the Luna foundation and support their projects. “I’m part of this Facebook group called NICU Families and Preemies Support group and they’re really active in helping out the preemie community. So right now, we’re doing Parents of Preemies day on May 5 in East Avenue Medical Center. For sponsorships, just email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to give donations,” she added