Sa unang tingin pa lang, alam mo na. She has that look of a typical Filipina mother—the caring, loving, yet strong-willed, gutsy woman in spite her short and petite physique.

Dahil din sa mahilig siyang pumostura kahit saan pumunta o anuman ang okasyon, laging naka makeup at hindi nakakaalis ng bahay nang hindi nagwiwisik ng pabango, along with her fearless commentaries and sometimes, unthought and impulsive statements, kaya siya laging namimisunderstood. But nevertheless, she always has good intentions.

But every single year, tuwing Mother’s Day at kapag Birthday niya, eto ang lagi kong sinasabi at ipinagdarasal kong hindi niya makalimutan:

“You Are Loved And Appreciated. Thank You, Mama!”

It’s quite a shame for me to admit na kahit sa edad kong ‘to na 26, ang Mama pa rin ang mas nag-aasikaso sa’kin and not the other way around. Kahit minsan, gusto kong hilingin sa kanya na medyo bawas-bawasan yung pag-aasikaso sa akin para naman mas masanay ako na ako ang nag-aasikaso sa sarili ko at para hindi naman na siya mapagod masyado. Pero wala eh. Gano’n talaga siguro ang mga nanay. Para bang mas ikapanghihina pa nila kapag hindi ka nila inasikaso kapag nandyan ka.

In our case, sa tatlong anak ni Mama, ako lang kasi ang kasama niya dito sa US. Kaya yung pag-aalagang gusto niya sanang ibuhos sa dalawa ko pang Kuya, sa akin niya lahat binibigay. I cannot seem to stop her from doing so. Kaya ang magagawa ko na lang is to make her feel that she is loved and appreciated, kahit minsan parang nakakalimutan ko yatang iparamdam ‘yon.

“You Are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made, Mama.”

Lagi ko talagang ipinagdarasal na sana malaman at maintindihan ni Mama ang katotohanang hindi niya kailangang patunayan ang sarili niya sa kahit kanino, sa kahit anong bagay.

People will always have different ideas and assumptions about who you are as a person, as a woman, and as a mother. But only God—your Creator and your Heavenly Father—completely knows your true identity and worth, regardless of how others see you, treat you, and value you.

I want her to know that the opinions of others could never define her. Some of them have no idea how amazing her heart is. Only the Lord can tell how beautiful her soul really is.

“You Have the Most Genuine Spirit.”

She may not be so good at finding the most appropriate words to express exactly what she wants to say, but she definitely has the guts to say whatever she is thinking. Her confidence in talking to people and her ability to relate to almost anyone around her is something that is admirable. Hindi lahat kayang gawin ‘yon. Sana all!

She is usually unafraid to say what’s on her mind. Some people may not always understand her the way she meant to be understood, but to those who truly love her, there is no more explaining to be done. Everyone around her can see how generous and authentic her heart is for the people she takes care of.

“You Have Nothing to Worry About. The Lord Is With Us.”

Whenever I tell her to not be worried about me and my bothers, she always tells me that it is a mother’s nature to worry about her children from time to time, lalo na raw kapag may isa sa’min na hindi pa nakakauwi, etc. etc. I may never fully understand that because I am not (yet) a mother myself, hindi ko na siguro ‘yon maiaalis sa kanya but I always tell her to pray whenever she worries about anything. And she does.

Mama, I always write this on the dedication cards that I give you twice a year, but please engrave this in your heart: The Lord is with us. He will always provide, protect, correct, nourish, and guide lovingly and faithfully. Alam kong alam na naman niya ‘yang mga ‘yan, kailangan lang ipaalala sa kanya minsan.

“Thank You For All of Your Sacrifices.”

Sa pagsalo sa lahat ng kahihiyan kapag nagtatantrums ako in public noong bata pa ako, pasensiya na at maraming salamat.

Sa pagtitiis just for me and my brothers to have whatever is bigger and better sa lahat ng bagay when you choose to have the least. Thank you, Mama!

Sa pagtitiyaga at paghihintay kapag sinasamahan mo ako sa kahit saan ko man gusto o kailangang pumunta, Mula sa parlor o sa palengke, hanggang sa pagfafangirling noon kay Karylle, thank you sa pagsuporta mo sa mga trip ko. Hahaha.. I love you!

For being the proudest and the happiest for our achievements and accomplishments, thank you so much!

Para sa lahat ng hindi ko pa nababanggit o naiisip, alam na ni Lord ‘yon, maraming salamat!

“WE LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.”

She is far from being perfect, but she has a teachable heart like that of a child, for the most part.

I pray for her to continuously grow gracefully into the person the Lord created her to be—wise and compassionate, firm yet gentle.

Mama, you may not have the most expensive purses and perfumes in the world, you are still the dearest and the most precious in the eyes of those who truly love you not for what you have or what you may give, but for the amazing, honest, trustworthy, and dependable person that you are and have always been.

We honor you and we lift you up to the Lord for the rest of your days. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!

And to borrow these words from a song (Because You Loved Me): “You were my strength when I was weak. You were my voice when I couldn’t speak. You were my eyes when I couldn’t see. You saw the best there was in me. Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach. You gave me faith ‘cause you believed. I’m everything I am because you loved me.”

Yiiiiih! Ang corny! But thank you Mama for being strong whenever I am being weak; for speaking up for me when I can’t speak for myself; for being my eyes kasi nga malabo ang mata ko; tsaka naniniwala kang kaya ko kapag iniisip kong hindi ko kaya. Ikaw ang umaabot kapag may hindi ako makayang abutin; at ikaw naman ang talagang nag udyok sa’king lumapit kay Lord mula noon pa.

And whenever people compliment me for the kind of person that I am right now, they always say with certainty that I’ve been raised by an amazing woman.

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

(Proverbs 31: 28-29)

Photos Source: Unsplash.com

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