If there’s one thing good that came out of her being in detention, it’s the appreciation of things and those who have always surrounded and supported her, Sen. Leila de Lima on Sunday said.
“I realized that the things I ignored and taken for granted are important for the nourishment of my soul and well-being. I learned to appreciate life more this year, realizing that one can truly find joy in little things like the rain, plants and food,” she said.
De Lima, who has been detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame since February, said she now appreciated the sight of rain falling from the sky and enjoys taking care of plants and stray cats that regularly flock at her quarters.
Also, the senator said her detention made her more conscious about the food she eats especially as it was very limited under her situation.
The senator, a known workaholic, likewise realized that “family matters.”
“I tend to take my family for granted before I never slowed down when it comes to working. My attitude then was ‘andyan naman sila palagi, maiintindihan naman nila ako,” she said.
Her family have been regularly visiting her and has been spending every Sunday for the past 10 months hearing the Holy Mass with her inside her detention facility.
But what keeps her unbowed despite efforts by the present administration to taint her reputation, De Lima said it was the kind of training and nurturing her departed father—the late Commission on Elections Commissioner Vicente de Lima—has given her from childhood to adulthood.
“We call it the Spartan training. Ito ‘yung hindi ka dapat maarte. You need to learn to survive and accept whatever is there and to live within your means. So in the future, you can survive whatever circumstances will come your way, like being stranded in an island or being shipwrecked—In my case, being detained on obviously fake charges,” she shared.
De Lima said her deepened faith in God also helps her stay strong and standing amid challenges.
“I know He’s there. I know He has plans for me. Part of my prayer is to make me discern what is His will and to be granted the grace to fulfill that will,” she said.