My funky mom, observing a butterfly at the Butterfly House in Davao City
I was named after my mom, who was named after a saint. And so, as far as having to live up to a name, I have it tough. My mom is a hard act to follow. She raised us the best way she knew how — which was with lots of laughter and hugs and love. Times were tough after my dad died and it couldn’t have been easy to raise four kids on her own, but she managed.
My dad used to tease me that “mana ka sa mommy mo!” (“You take after your mom!”). I was daddy’s girl, and would frown when he said that because I wanted to be like him. But now, I realize I AM my mom’s daughter, and that’s the way I like it! From her, I learned that things can always get better when you laugh about it. My mom’s a great one for seeing the funny side of things. To her, it’s better to just laugh than to cry and despair about it. Doesn’t mean she takes things lightly, but that she believes problems are easier to deal with if one can laugh about it. From her, I got the willingness to help and be involved. It’s not enough that you take care of your own, but you have to take care of others too — help out when you can, take a stand if possible, and be involved if necessary. There’s more to the world than your own little corner of it. Friends and neighbors who have problems know to run to her for practical advice or even just to pour their hearts out to. Heck, all us kids are grown, but we still run to her if there are problems! From her, I got the art of knowing when to speak up and when to shut up. She’s a great one for speaking her mind. She doesn’t suffer fools and doesn’t care who knows it. She knows how to tell it like it is, without offending or hurting the one she’s talking to. I would like to think I got that from her. She taught us to stand on our own, but not to be too proud to ask for help, if necessary.
From her, we got our sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. She loves exploring and going out, and we all got our itchy traveler’s feet from her. Before ukay-ukay (vintage and pre-owned) was a trend, she was already exploring thrift shops looking for vintage finds. From her, we learned to be generous and share what one has. From her, we learned that doing our best is its own reward, that faith gets rewarded and that there isn’t anything we can do if we set our minds to it. That’s my mom.