From the 4th of October to the 6th of December, 2020, I ran a 10-week SILKMentoring Empowerment Cycle for the Asia Pacific Region (Australia and Philippines). It was an intensive 25-30 hour program with individual, peer-to-peer and group discussions, activities, consultations and mentorship. Of the dozen participants, I would like to share the work of one in particular.

Jane Viajar Sorianosos Zehtab-Jadid is not just any participant – she is my mentor and role model. She is my mother. Her presence in the program was a gift to me and all the other female participants . We have benefited from her deep wisdom, her kind demeanor, her passion for the principles she believed in, her no-nonsense approach to life through advices that were precise and relevant, her persistence and steadfastness in the promotion of gender equality, her empathy for the pain shared by the other women there, her encouragement when things were challenging, and her uncompromised approach to being a life-long-learner. During the peer-to-peer engagements, I would receive messages from participants to place them with her (big smile). I am truly humbled and honored for this shared space with her.

What she is sharing below is a “witnessing”. She saw us, she felt us, and she understood us. I know that she wrote the poem for herself, as if she was looking into a mirror. I also know that she wrote the poem for each women there. When I received this poem earlier today (15 December 2020), the first thought that entered my mind was : Empowered Women Empower Women.  I can think of many empowered women, but none like her, and none who have influenced me more positively and lovingly.

So here is the poem:


I see you….

– your face torn with grief and sorrow, the drooping corners of your mouth tired of keeping the words in to not burst in wailing and lamenting over the misfortunes of life.

– your face lighting up with joy and happiness, the sparkling eyes, the quivering lip corners ready to burst into laughter, that smile that cannot conceal the over-whelming ecstasy of your heart, euphoric at the wonders that life offers.

I hear you….

– those broken words quiveringly uttered so softly drowned in the sounds of silence, the cry of your aching heart suppressed to not cause a burden, your voice trembling of fear for the unknown yet craving to be heard and understood.

  – the bubbling mirth and laughter, shouts of over-flowing joy over the achievements and success, expressions of gratitude for all that life has offered.

I feel you….

– the inaudible murmurs of your troubled heart, the strangling emotion over-powering your desire to express and overcome the mental paralysis of life’s challenges, the anguish and fear lurking in the inmost recesses of your heart, the shattering pressure and negativity weighing down your tormented soul, your out-stretched hand clutching at mine for the last gasps of breath for your life.

  – your free spirit soaring up high the supernal sky, the over-flowing love and happiness of your heart, the palpitating pulse and warmth of your exuberance, the oozing joy brimming over your receptacle, the emanating glow of the strength of your character, thankful and appreciative of the graces and bounty showered on you by the Almighty.

All this….

I see you….

I hear you….

I feel you… because I AM HERE for You

by: Jane Viajar Sorianosos Zehtab-Jadid (14 December 2020)


📷Christine Palomar