Saturday, July 9, 2011


Of Mothers and Out-of-town Trips and the need for a blog entry.
I really worked hard to shorten this entry but I can’t – so sorry, ang haba!

Chapter 1: …OF MOTHERS

Before I even begin, let me make clear and firmly establish one fact: I love my mother. If one wants to become a witness of true and unconditional love, please do this frenzied world a favor and recognize the love of a mother and that is the kind of love my mother so unconditionally and willingly gives.

I love my mother. Unquestioned. No doubt. Signed. Sealed. And notarized.

But I woke up one morning harboring thoughts of frustration because of her (and I feel extremely guilty for saying this and if I could apologize over and over, I’d do it). I just arrived from a three-day Ilocos trip, still high from the excitement of having spent wonderful time with friends and new found friends, the skin at my back still aching from sunburn (I sun-bathed recklessly, the beautiful beach made me believe na mestiza ako, shet!), my muscles still strained from the long trip but I felt peaceful and I wanted to bring this feeling with me in my sleep. And I did. Only to be awaken by a series of texts from my mother.

"Why I did not ask permission for this trip?" To which I wanted to reply: I did! Weeks ago - when you came over in the city for a visit!

"Why I seem to no longer recognize their authority (hers and my father’s) over me as parents? That though I am old enough to make decisions on my own, I have to realize that I still need my parents."

"What have they done to cause my indifference?"

At first I wanted to laugh at the silliness of her thoughts. My siblings and I used to tease that our mother is experiencing midlife crisis and separation anxiety from her older children. My eldest brother is in Dubai. Three of us now live in Metro Manila. One brother is in the seminary. She has been used to a noisy and disorderly household that with our absence, our house is empty. Our home is empty. Had she known twitter, her tweets would have been about the joys and pains of having grown-up children. She sends us text messages everyday about what she has been doing, what she’s currently feeling:

She slept late last night crying and missing us.
She is eating breakfast alone and yes, she misses us so.
She is on the way to visit my brother the seminarian and again, she misses us.

Up to now, I have not accepted her request in facebook – just because.
Maybe I fear of what other personal thoughts she might still share.
I fear of her knowing my other personal thoughts because all the time that we were growing up, we were never really encouraged to share what we think and feel.
We address family issues with avoidance and just shrugging things off and JUST anchoring in the steadfast love we have for one another.

At the same time I feel a little irritated and yes, frustrated at her regarding my frequent out-of-town trips as deliberate “shrugging off” of their parental authority and utter disregard of their importance in my life. Because NOT ONCE did I ever feel and think that way. Not once.

Sometimes, I wish that I never grew up in the province. I wish that my parents had the feel of and experience of having to work for somebody else. Theirs have been a life of simplicity, a life fashioned to build and just BE with family. My parents’ lives have been all about us, their children, their farming enterprise, and some other responsibilities in the community. Their friends are their own cousins and siblings, my aunts and uncles. They have not known other world than Cagayan Valley. I wish they did. So they’d understand my lifestyle better. So they’d understand me better.


And now I review my actions to what have led her to such feelings.

I do not reply to text messages. That’s my nature.

Got a job. Resigned. Got another job. Resigned again. Got another job. Have yet to resign. Not once were they consulted because they have never really meddled with my career and academic decisions.

Then there’s Sagada, Baler, Bataan, Pampanga, La Union and Baguio last year. Then This year, Mount Pulag, Boracay, Calaguas, Quezon, Ilocos and then more to come. I am even shy to call these travels because technically, travelling means more than packing your clothes, getting on a bus, spending a few days somewhere else other than home the going back home. These are mere out-of-town trips I take to refresh and rejuvenate my stressed and tired soul punished by the demands of a corporate life (ang arte! Haha!). These trips are not availed of out of luxury but out of necessity so I can shake myself to that beautiful reminder that there is a life beyond the office, there are interesting places to see and wonderful people to spend your time with other than those whom you interact with five days a week. My mother sees this at times as extravagance and rebellious actions (because a proper lady needs to stay at home almost always!!). I see this as a gift to myself. In fact, these trips have done her a favor and made her daughter (ME!) a good girl.

Chapter 3: …OF TRIPS

Every place I’ve been to merits a story. But since it is a Saturday, and I do not want to spend the entire day typing, let me limit my discussion on the places I’ve been to this year and focus on the angle on how they made me a good girl – because this entry is FOR my mother. I would love for her to know.

Mount Pulag made me a good girl (January 2011).

That mountain erased any doubt lingering in my heart that a God exists.

Serious, noh? But really, what I felt when I reached the summit, after laboring hours of trek and a sleepless night shivering in the cold as rain seeped through our tent, it is beyond words. I sat on the ground of Luzon’s highest peak for a while in deep thought and realization that:

*Dear Lord, I’m at the highest I can possibly be!
*Oh God, You are the most magnificent artist there is for having made the beauty that is before me.
*OMG, ang ganda ng Mount Pulag, kasing ganda ko!!!
*Dear Heavens, ang ginaw, ang putik, wag po sana akong gumapang pababa, sana mainit pa yung breakfast na aabutan namin mamaya, etc…

Beyond words, baby.

Boracay made me a good girl (April 2011).

Yes, there was alcohol, and dancing, and the all-gorgeous me in two-piece (haha!) but my first time in Boracay spent with my college friends made me value all the more the wonderful blessing and gift of friendship. The Boracay sands, sea and the moonlight were all witnesses to our stories, our laughter, and our dreams. My mother has yet to meet my friends but she’ll be proud that I am in a company of wholesome (very!), successful and wonderful thoroughbreds! =)

Calaguas made me a good girl (April 2011).

I am ever so blessed to set foot on this wonderful beach and it taught me even more the value of gratitude. I slept on the beach, the sand as my mattress, the stars as my guards, my friends as my pillows, The Bar as my sleeping pill (like I needed a sleeping pill!) and the waves gently rocking on the shore my music.

Quezon made me a good girl (May 2011).
Attending Pahiyas Festival made me fall in love with the Philippines even more. We have the most colorful of all cultures, the friendliest of all people, the tastiest of all food there is. I officially bid my mestiza dreams goodbye.=)

Ilocos made me a good girl (June 2011).
The trip made me believe in love. =) Enough said.


…Or maybe I am making all these reasons up to justify my wanderlust because I needed an excuse to write another blog entry about the places I’ve been to…
…Or maybe I did not have to go to these places because I can learn these values in other ways and I just needed that you be convinced that there is something good I am getting out of these trips…

…Because, dear nanay, I have always been a good girl. (naks!! Pero totoo!!=p)

I don’t do drugs, and I never will.
I don’t smoke, and I never will.
I may have gotten drunk in some occasions, but I’ve never gotten drunk enough to prance around naked and engage in any form of mischief.
I may sometimes forget to pray but I will always keep my faith.

It may be too late to foster a relationship for both of us built around friendship because we were raised to believe that parents are supposed to be respected not befriended, and though I lament at the thought that I will never feel comfortable sharing with you my feelings, my dreams, that one person whom I may fall in love with (even if I really want to), please believe me when I say that, if I die and be born again, I will request God to make you still my mother because I cannot imagine otherwise. And if God insists that I be born to another mother, I will choose to be a cockroach instead. Or butterfly pala, para maganda naman.=)

You are not perfect as I am not perfect but it just feels so right to be your daughter.

I love you.

P.S. I plan to go to Bohol, Batanes, Palawan, Korea, Siquijor, Baler, Donsol, Tibet, Singapore and many other places. Come with me in one of those? Pero KKB muna, hehe.=)

The best mother in the world with her brats.

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