By ELIZABETH LOLARGA
WHEN her first child Ibarra was born 20 years ago, Matec Villanueva, then 32, felt like she was a Ms. Universe contestant onstage answering a crucial question asked, the question being “What is the essence of a woman?” Her quick answer at that point in her life would have been “Motherhood!”
“It was real and spot on, not some lofty, nice-to-hear answer. At that moment, I knew what the essence of a woman meant, and I was feeling it, for real,” she said.
Like many talented women, she had issues with her mother. She said, “I wanted to be a better mother than her.”
But when the child was nearly two, she began to worry. She noticed that Ibarra or Bubba just wanted to play alone. He seemed to act deaf at times when she and her then husband Kiko Gargantiel knew that he wasn’t.