I grew up in your care for 12 years. I still remember when my grade six adviser gave us a homework to kiss our mothers and say “I love you”. I didn’t know how to do it because as a family, we were not used to being vocal and expressive. But being a “good student”, I didn’t want to go to school without doing my homework. You were washing the dishes and getting ready for work while I was waiting for the perfect timing.. You were surprised to see me at the living room after you’ve dressed up and got ready to go to work. You even scolded me because I would be late for my classes. With a heavy heart, I went to school without doing my homework.
I cried when you “forced” me to apply for the entrance exam at Philippine Science High School. It was already the deadline for the application and I still haven’t submitted my application forms. I was scared of taking the exam for 2 reasons: one, I might fail and you’d be disappointed. Two, I might pass and I’d have to live far away from you. After your sermon, you went with me to school to ask the school’s basketball team to submit my application to Pisay because they had a game at Davao City during the weekend. My application papers wouldn’t have made it on time without you.
I passed the Philippine Science High School entrance exams and I didn’t really know what to feel. I was proud to be one of the 2 students in our school who passed the 2 entrance exams but I was also very scared. I just turned 13 years old then, and I had to live far away from home. I never understood how you were able to let me go at such a young age. I looked forward to your visits to Davao and even begged you to take me home with you. Since then, I learned to hug, kiss, and say I love you once again.
I may not have known it then, but now, I know, that it must have been hard for you, too. But you had to secure my future and you knew that it was the best school for me. Obviously, you made the right decisions.
If I would have to write about every single thing that you’ve done to keep our family together, I’d probably have to keep on writing for days! You almost single-handedly raised us because Papa is pasaway. Hehe. (But of course, we all still love him). You would wake up so early in the morning to wash our clothes, cook breakfast and go to work. I didn’t notice all those things before, until one day, I woke up and there was no food at the table. You didn’t wake us up to have breakfast. And after knocking on your door for hours and you didn’t respond, Papa had to destroy the lock and we found you on the bed, sleeping like a rock.
I could recall how scared I was back then. I was only (I think), 14 years old. And it shocked and scared me to my core. It took me a few minutes before I realized what you did. There was a pad of empty sleeping pills on the bed. Luckily, Nanay went there and helped us wake you up and vomit all those pills that you took. You were so groggy and almost unable to open your eyes. I was angry for what you did but the fear of losing you was way bigger than my anger. Thankfully, nothing serious happened to you. But I would never forget that incident…
Growing up as teenager, far away from home, you weren’t always by my side.. you weren’t there…when I needed a mom to soothe my troubles and ease my heartaches… but I knew that you are working hard to keep our family together and give my siblings and me a good future. You have always trusted me, supported me, and believed in my capabilities.
Despite all the good things that you’ve done for me and my siblings, you still are not perfect. You made some mistakes too. And because of that, we had one big fight and I saw how much I hurt you. I never imagined that I could hurt you like that. I made you cry and I didn’t speak to you for more than a week. Good thing that we were able to patch things up after you sent me back to Davao to “cool off”. Hehe. Contrary to what you’ve always thought of me, I am not a perfect daughter. I can be a pain in the ass, too. Stubborn and maldita. But I realized how much I love you and I swore to myself that I won’t make you cry again and that you’d be proud of having me as a daughter… so you see Ma, everything happens for a reason. Haha. Because from that day on, I made a vow to help you in putting my brothers and sister through college. And I’ve been faithful to that vow because I love you so much.
Mama, we may not have a perfect mother-and-daughter relationship, we may have been living far from each other for the past 17 years of my life, but rest assured that you are always in my heart everyday. I pray for a time that we would live close to each other again in the future. Thank you for teaching me to fly and be independent at a young age. I will always be grateful for all your sacrifices for us. I pray that you’ll have more years to celebrate Mother’s Day with us. I miss you and love you so much! You are our supermom!