My Mother

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis is my mother. She is my favourite mother. I call her ‘mama’ normally, ‘mommy’ when I’m feeling hilas, ‘Maaaa!’ when I’m looking for my socks.

As is evident, she stopped aging some ten years ago. I had classmates in Elementary who had a crush on her. When I was younger they thought she was my older sister. When I was in High School they thought I was her husband.

I don’t write about her much. She is after all like air to me, you need her so much that she becomes part of your reality, and you end up taking how important she is for granted.

But since it’s Mother’s day, I might as well show here how interesting a subject matter she is (I don’t think there’s Air Day, is there?)

Unlike air, my mother is very photogenic. I avoid taking a picture with her because I’d look like a houseboy.

My mother also has a tattoo of a dragonfly on her back

My mother also has a tattoo of a dragonfly on her back, which is to say she is officially badass

Don’t let the looks fool you though, because she’s also the most meticulous housekeeper I know.  Her fastidiousness sometimes borders in OCD. Not content with the output of a washing machine, she does our laundry by hand. When she was pregnant with me she scrubbed the floor with a coconut husk. Not even hotel housekeeping can match our house.

She is also a great cook, heir to many Tagalog recipes which she fuses with local Cebuano, Ilocano, and Ilonggo influences – I can proudly say that I grew up with melting pot cuisine. Her cheesecake was once legendary in Kidapawan. I suspect she would hold both the world record for sourest sinigang and the most number of kalamansi used per serving of noodles.  In any case, she is guilty of overfeeding me.

Because I am overfed, that bag's position is deliberate.

Because I am overfed, that bag’s position is deliberate.

My mother also has a potent wit: I’d call her the Dorothy Parker of Kidapawan, if the people in Kidapawan knew who Dorothy Parker was. If you jokingly call her ‘gaga’ the response you’ll invariably get is ‘since birth.’ What little humour I have I got from her – most of the good things about me, really, are from her.

Along with my bulging stomach, she is also mostly to blame for my bookishness. When I was a little larva, she would pilfer money from my father and save enough to secretly buy me several encyclopedia sets.

She happens to be the most vocal opponent of Davao’s No Smoking ordinances I know. Usually a Duterte sympathizer, she opposes the strict smoking policies on grounds of tourism.

My mother, promoting tourism.

My mother, promoting tourism.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about this woman, and the most important thing she has taught me in life (except for reading and writing of course) is her insistence on trying without regrets and going for what you want. Needless to say, such a life motto will result in a colourful life story, and she certainly has one. But that’s for another writing project!

I told you I'd look like a houseboy

I told you I’d look like a houseboy

This is my mother, and I am objectively lucky to have her.


One Comment on “My Mother”

  1. inday bisaya says:

    kada usa may nanay nga ma’oy pinakassikat na nay sa tanan, lol. di pud nako ibaylo akong nanay sa uban pan admittedly cool sab imong nanay, ganahan ko adtong iyang hulagway nga nanigarilyo, hip dyud:)

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