Mom just turned 55 last March 20 and we thought we should feature her here in our blog. Not that it would be interesting to anybody (not a lot find this blog interesting) but we rarely get to talk about family members. And if we’d talk about a few, mom has to be on top of the list. Because well, moms.

She knows how to dress up but almost always dresses casually. She goes for comfort over style. She always looks tidy anyway.

Mom is the fourth child of my Lola Nelly and Lolo Eddie a.k.a. Lolo Daddy ’cause we’re “cute” like that. She has four female and three male siblings. Their names start with either a R or an E. Mom however was named Lolita. She said that her parents had to change her name because she was born sickly. Apparently in the olden times, people believed that changing your name can cure you of cancer. It didn’t help. When she started studying, it became a common thing for her to be sent home at the middle of the day because of high fever. This went on until her teens and our lolo and lola decided to make her stop school for a year. It somehow worked.

Mom’s younger days were riddled with hardships. She was in primary school when our lolo lost his job as ship captain and got separated with our lola. Studying became a lot harder. She had to walk miles on unpaved and often muddy roads to school and back and come home to nothing for supper. Lolo was also a tad more grumpier during those times.

Things only got a bit better when her elder sisters started getting jobs after taking short courses sponsored by the good Irish priest Mr. Kelly. Years later, the same man also supported us in our first year of secondary school! Mom never got to attend college though. Lolo wanted her to take nutrition. She disagreed with him. She thought of getting a job to help out on the expenses but was discouraged by our lolo saying that she’d only spend her salary on her medications.

She got married at a young age of twenty and had four children. We’re the youngest.

Now we get to the part that we dreaded to write but read on. We’ll save you from the cheesy cringeworthy bits.

Mom is nearly your quintessential old fashioned mother. Some of her preferences call for a bucket of eyeballs to roll but she wants nothing but what she thinks to be the best for you. As we all know, this character spells trouble for most people. All four us got a good beating as a child. But fortunately when we grew older, mom learned when to rest her case. We’re grownups now. We can already handle our sh*t.

Mom loves getting busy with house work. We can tell. Our bed can tell. Our thinning white undershirts can tell. Our faded denims can tell. We can afford a help at least for a day or two every week to do the cleaning and laundry but she prefers doing things herself. She has high standards when it comes to cleanliness. Every morning, she gets up, walks/jogs a good distance, prepare our breakfast, and then do house chores in between Filipino movies and her favorite TV programs. She also loves music. She used to sing for people as a little girl. She’s a big Streisand and Houston fan.

She enjoys leisurely walks like we do. There’s really nothing to talk about. It can be a hilarious event in the past, the place where we are going to eat next, news about far away relatives, anything. She asks us to take her out to somewhere every once in a while.

One thing that sets our relationship with our mom apart from the others is the way we communicate. We talk to and act around each other like siblings. But in a good way. We never really learned to use the polite Filipino terms “po” and “opo” with our mom. We show respect in a different way. Odd as it may appear to other people, this has helped us to be more open with our mom about everything. We make fun of each other and laugh at our misadventures. She always tells us to fix our stuff and we always tell her how bad she cooks that dialysis can be a family bonding moment. We get by like this even in our most down moments. Why not? We’re Filipinos after all. We’re a family. We’re friends. -aB


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