Skip to main content

Happy Mother's Day Ma

I think I have mentioned elsewhere that when I was much younger, my mother and I had ambivalent feelings toward each other. I found her too domineering, to the point of ignoring any reason from my end. On the other hand, she found me stubborn, too smart for my own comfort. She demanded an unquestioning loyalty from me and the rest of my siblings particularly when she and my father decided to part ways. Through all those years, I harbored ill feelings especially those times when she proved herself unyielding, lacking of grace and understanding.

But all that is changed now.

Looking at her now, I think life's recent blows of up's and downs, have turned her to be more sacrificing and devoted to all her children. I have come to come to terms with who she is, and why she did the things she did. It is very clear to me now that my mother just wanted to be a good person. She, being an orphan at a very young age, and herself lacking parental affection set her mind to bring up her children the best way she knew how. She dreamed of raising intelligent, caring and successful children. That was the most important mission she had to accomplish. I do not want to measure the level of her success. Suffice it to say, she did her best.

I know this now. I too have become a mother.

Thirty two years ago, when I had my first unplanned child, I was disgusted at how my mother showed her displeasure with me and what had happend. Instead of understanding, failing to hide her scorn. Fact is, it took her three days for her to visit me i
n the hospital when I gave birth to my eldest child. It was ill-timed, she expressed and she expected so much from me. But I "turned out to be a total disappointment".

In so many deliberate or perhaps unconscious ways she would always manag
e to remind me that I was a big disappointment. I suffered in silence, true. I convinced myself that she was right. I am what she says I have become. At the expense of my self-worth, I denied wanting to lose the love I have for her. My feelings were anchored on the fact that despite never seeing her cry for me, my interest is always in her heart.

But remembering those now, do not bring back the pain anymore.

Today, more than ever, I realize deep in my heart that my Mom, like the rest of all the moms in the world are there to just to love and suffer if need be, for their children.

What better motivation in life could there be?

Happy, happy MOTHER'S Day to my dearest Mama!






Half an orphan is a fatherless child, a whole orphan the motherless.
- a Finnish proverb -

Popular posts from this blog

The Ibanag Family in Retrospect

The Ibanags just like most Filipino groupings are matriarchal. When my mother was younger she wielded a power over me that forced my tongue in check whenever she gave me a scolding or admonition for a real or imagined “wrongdoing”.

No one ever talks back. Let alone me. I can not recall if there ever was an instance when I mastered enough courage to explain anything even when there was a chance to do so. But it sure did happen one day when I was already 26 years old and had 2 children. Swell. :-)

The elderly are treated with respect in the Ibanag culture. Deference is essential if not required and is lavishly displayed and shown. Proper language and the right tone of voice characterize conversations with the elders. It is not uncommon to take the elder’s hand, bring it to the forehead or kiss the hand to show courtesy and respect.

Women are venerated in the Ibanag family. Most of the time they have the last say in decisions involving family affairs. Although Filipinas are kn…

Ibanag and Filipino Childbirth Rituals

"For parents, birth rituals and ceremonies provide an immediate sense of connection as well as inclusion of the child into the clan, tribe or community. These rituals establish at a very early stage, who they are. The rituals also serve as guideposts as they grow and develop their own sense of identity. Even if they drift away from or reject their heritage, their early experiences give them a place to return to if they so choose".

The Ibanag culture is filled with childbearing rituals and practices which have been handed down from one generation to another. Here are some of them.

1. It is said that if a pregnant woman has a lot of blemishes or pimples on her face, her baby will be a girl.
2. If the mother glows and radiates beauty, the baby will be a boy.
3. If the mother craves for sweets and other carbohydrates, the baby will be a girl.
4. If the mother is craving for oily or fried foods, the baby will be a boy.
5. The mother should not eat 'balut' (a native duck egg d…

Learn the Ibanag dialect?

As I mentioned in one of my prior posts somewhere in one of my blogs, the Ibanag dialect is somewhat difficult to learn because when you speak it you can sound like a chirping bird :-)

I learned the dialect by just hearing it from my Mother who use it everytime her relatives come to our home to visit. And this was not that often. You see, her relatives from Isabela, that's where she was born, come to spend their vacation with us every summer, yes the whole summer months. And yes, EVERY summer of EVERY year. Well, they don't come empty handed. They bring sacks of rice, ample stocks of meat enough to feed all of us for 1 month. They bring live animals too, like chicken, piglets, not to mention baskets of fruits and vegetables, even our neighbors get their share.

Wherever Ibanags are, you know they are around because they are so loud and so noisy. They have this habit of speaking all at the same time :-)Sigh. Now if that is not enough reason for anyone to learn the dialect, I …