Lessons from Mama

Today should have been your 57th birthday. Nothing has changed. I still miss you everyday. I am still your little girl who looked up to you and dreamed of becoming like you one day. It has been 17 years since you went to a better place, but the void you left in my heart is still there.

I remember when I was around three years old, I wanted a toy but you cannot afford it. I cried so hard and threw tantrums. You grabbed me at my neck and from then on I learned that when you say no, you mean “no”.

At such a young age, you instilled in me that I will manage our family business when I graduate from college. You let us, Sheena and I, ‘work’ during summer vacation in our printing press so that we can appreciate how hard it is to earn money. It was never, “Mama bili mo ako nun or Mama gusto ko yun”. You will always tell us to work for it, save our baon or use the ‘sweldo’ we earned to buy what we want. I remember one time when I was 13, you let me deliver goods to one of the biggest companies in Cavite, being able to talk to VPs and transact in banks. You said that it is good for me since I will be able to develop my communication skills and overcome my shyness.

You taught me to always remain calm and always see the positive side of things even on the darkest situations.

You told me that education is the only treasure that cannot be taken away from me. You never pressured us to be on top of our class and yet celebrate every achievement we had. We had rewards which serve as our motivation to do good in school. I remember you were my source of strength when I was speaking in front of the whole student population when I ran as student council president in highschool. You always push me to do what I want and to give my best in everything.

You showed me that kindness shall always be given even on people who are rude to you and that we should always look back to where we came from.

I’m unlucky that you were not able to witness my life’s greatest milestones — graduating from high school and college, having a job, getting engaged, getting married, having a child, early retirement from work. All my decisions always go back to the lessons I learned from you. I hope I made you proud. ♡

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