I know this is a day late, but this post is dedicated to the different women in my life. If you’ve been a reader of my blog since day one, you would know that I grew up without my mother. Thus I was passed (for a lack of a better term) under the guidance of numerous women, relatives and non-relatives alike. I was never really vocal about my feelings when it comes to family and such, and this post is my way of somehow giving these women, who in one time or another became my mother, the commendation they deserve.
First off, meet my Yaya Nena. She took care of me (and my brother Kevin) before my step-mother came in the picture. Yaya Nena has always been good to me. She treated me like her own daughter, giving me baths, dressing me up, and my most favorite of all, providing me with an unlimited list of hairstyles that she skillfully combs, braids and twists my hair into. Some years ago, she came to our house out of the blue. I am guilty of not being able to recognize her (I was five when she left!) but all the years dissolved when she started talking about how I always used to cross the street to go to their house or about the time I stapled my finger and did not cry. We still keep in touch (I gave her my number the day she visited our house) She is still there for me, and I know she always will be.
Summer breaks back in grade school for me meant spending a few weeks with the sisters of my Lola. My fondest memory of DengDeng would be the food she serves from her carinderia. I used to tag along when Mama (my step-mother) goes to the market and she would leave me in DengDeng’s place where I would be given free halo-halo and palabok. I still eat her palabok until now, and I still think it’s the best tasting palabok I’ve ever had. Dada, on the other hand, is my number one fan (in her age group, at least) She has always been supportive of me, especially when it comes to stuff related to school. She’s also the first person to volunteer to prepare giveaways during ALL my birthdays (not kidding), up until my 18th. Other people my age would find grandmas annoying, but I love them to bits.
Now let’s talk about my aunts. Tita Ellen has always been a character to me. She has this really strong personality that puts (and maybe even scares) people off, but once you get to know her, you’ll understand that the strong demeanor she projects is just superficial. I can’t say we’re close because she has been living in another country ever since I could remember and I’ve only seen her twice during my whole lifetime, but that aside, I can say that blood is thicker than water, and that no matter how many times I’ve disappointed her, deep down I know she still supports me, and most importantly, my education (She’s a nurse!) Tita Rose (I’m sorry for using this photo! I just love it so much! It’s so retro!) on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She’s warm, friendly and fluffy! She (and my Tito June) are my number one fans abroad. SERIOUSLY. They read my blog on their flat screen, during half times and commercials. Tita Rose has always been my idol when it comes to quality education (she’s a teacher) I vividly remember browsing through one of her notebooks back when I was six or seven, and I indulged myself in the words I’ve read (plus her ultra pretty penmanship) Good education has always been important to these two, and in more ways than one, they made me believe in it too.
Mama Li, another one of my aunts, is like a go to mother whenever my Mama isn’t around. She is the literal exemplification to the phrase “just call my name, and I’ll be there” My cousin Khendie, on the other hand, is a soon to be Mommy. She is what a cousin is expected to be. The occasional enemy and the occasional best friend. She has always been there for me especially when it comes to make up related stuff (which I know very little about) and even though we have our disagreements and quite a few dramas here and there, I will never lose faith that there will come a time when people will change. Another role in your life is coming, and I hope this baby will finally be the fuel towards your road to maturity. These two may not be at their best state all the time, but family is still family. It’s one of those things that one simply cannot take away.
If there’s one word I would describe this woman, it would be super. We are not related in any way, but more so than not, I feel that we are. Ditche Lanie is a whole array of things all rolled into one happy sushi. She works as a top notch something in a respected company, a haven’t been discovered yet comedienne, the number one stalker of all my online accounts, the ultimate hashtag queen and most importantly, the mother of my ultra smart and most favorite godson of all, Daniel. She wouldn’t know until she reads this (Hi Ditche Lanie! Hahaha!) but I look up to her so much. She may be the most manipulative and opinionated person I know, but that’s okay because I know she just wants what’s best for me. #thank #you #teh #for #everything
Have you ever experienced only truly seeing someone just before they pass away? That’s exactly what happened one night between me and my Lola. I’ve said earlier in this entry on how I was never vocal about my feelings when it comes to the members of my family, and I’m actually pretty ashamed of it. The level of sadness I get whenever I realize that I know my friends more than my own Lola is something even numbers cannot equate to. My Lola, and I cannot stress this enough, is one of those few people who has accepted me for who I am. With her age, she was ready to do everything for me, from mending my broken slippers to deflecting a blow that was meant for me. I am not proud of the times I failed her, and I truly regret waiting until her last few days to really get to know her, her hobbies, her family, her life story. I guess sometimes you just don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. I love you, Lola. Thank you for everything.
A typical story: Mother leaves children to Father. Father gets depressed. Father raises kids, hires people to help raise the kids. Father finds someone new. Children gets angry. Children start bullying new mother. New mother cries. Children grow up. Children learn to appreciate. Children learns to forgive Mother. Children accepts new Mother. Family lives happily ever after. Cliche, but that’s my family story in a nutshell. My step mother came into our lives when I was about five or six. I was never the violent type, but I am telling you, that age was the worst I have ever been, behavior wise. when Mama came into our lives, I did all I can to make her miserable. I drew on walls using her lipsticks, I punctured holes and cut away at her clothes and I threw tantrums for no apparent reason. Why I did these things I do not know, but now that I am older, I see it as a threat to my security. I didn’t want another change. It doesn’t matter how little I was when my mother left (I was just a little over a year old) Her leaving affected me in such a way that made me believe that I have detachment issues. I didn’t want my yaya to leave. I did not want anyone who is currently in my life to leave, but that was then. At present, all those issues I blame to my immaturity. My Mama and I are in pretty good terms right now. We fight occasionally, but only on petty things like when I come home later than usual or when my room looks like a signal number four typhoon passed through it. I’m one of the lucky ones to actually been blessed with a kind step mother. Mama has always been good to me, from always waking up early to wake me up early back when I still didn’t know how to wake up to an alarm, to preparing my breakfast whenever I have AM duty, to always cooking up kick ass meals (a bunch of which ended up being my favorites), to being the one to talk to me about stuff my Papa refuses to speak to me about and basically everything else a Mother does for a daughter. I know that there are times when you feel that you are not an effective mother to me, and for that I apologize. Thank you for always being there for me no matter what, for loving me like I was one of your own. Thank you for everything.
I find it really hard to believe people who keep telling you how much you look like a person you have never seen personally yet. I’ve had this experience many times, where I am mostly told I looked like Sarah Geronimo, Maja Salvador or Shay Mitchelle, among others. Everytime this comes up, I always immediately go to Google to search for their photos, but I never see the resemblance. Only one person broke that rule, however. When people tell me I look like my Mother, I see it, and I believe it. I still do not know why my Mother left us, but I believe that everyone has a reason and someday I’ll get the chance to know hers, but for the meantime, I am content that even if I have never laid eyes upon my Mother in the twenty years I’ve been living in this world, at least I get to talk to her every now and then (thank you, technology) and know that I am in her heart the same way she is in mine. I really do not have a lot to say about her, but I hope to fill this entry up when I finally get to meet her someday. To the person who brought me into this world, thank you so much for everything.
We are influenced by the people who come in our lives the same way we are shaped by experience. These women, in one way or another, helped form the different parts of me and made me who I am today. This post cannot cover everything you have done for me, but I hope it gave you a glimpse of how thankful I am that you came into my life. To the women in my life, thank you so much for everything. Happy Mother’s Day! :)
I blog the same reason why I like documenting my firsts. Partly because it gives me something to do, another is that it gives me something to look back to when I’m older but mostly, I keep track of my firsts because I am generally a very sentimental person. The past weekend has been full of firsts for me. I saw the moon rise for the first time, I dipped my feet into a river with icy, running water, I held on to the trunks of mahogany trees when I climbed a mountain like my life depended on it (in reality, it kind of did) and I got dumped (for lack of a better term) by the same person for the third time.
I guess it takes a certain kind of maturity for two people to agree that something is good, but that it just isn’t right, for the time being, at least. They always say that if love is true, and that if two people are meant to be together, they will always find their way back to each other, no matter what. Everyone says that if you want it, you fight for it, but I believe that is not always the case. Because sometimes, letting go of one person to save them from hurting is better than clinging on and watch them start withering. If something is bound to happen, it will happen. In the right time, with the right person and for the best reason.
Here is an open letter, from me, to you. Good luck with all your endeavors. :)
Photos by: Chelsea Ajose and I