A tribute to all Mothers

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It is not yet late to give honor and tribute to a woman of our lives. In fact timing is not an issue because any time you can do it. It is not even anti-climactic simply because their special day was supposed to be last Sunday. It is my firm belief that the special day for them should be daily provided they are alive. Daily as they live for them to hear and feel the warmth of our love and affection that is just being returned. For when do you think should be the best time to do it? When they are gone forever? Yes, if you have not yet honoured your mother, this is the best time. Pronto!

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My mother of good order, as she is always be (good order in a sense that she wants all she does in the house to be orderly), has not changed in her style ever since I had the sense to observe what she does best in our home when I was still a kid. You see I am the youngest of ten siblings. For so many years until I was born she does the household chores, cooking, going to the market, fixing the house, washing the clothes, and ensuring that all our needs specially the needs of my late father who painstakingly till the land the entire day until sundown. I did not mention sun up because my father goes to the farm in the wee hours of the morning and not during sun up only. And so my mother has to prepare quick rice coffee and something to eat like ‘kinirog nga kilabban’ and what have you. My mother does not allow my father to leave the house without taking in something first. In doing so, she has to rise earlier than my father to prepare. I pity her because among us in the previous night she has to fix everything before going to bed and she hits the bed last and then rise first the following day. Whew!

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Why do I know this? It happened one early morning when I suddenly woke up to urinate. I usually do that while in bed sleeping. You know, part of growing up, right! Naangseg aya! I saw that somebody is already up and doing something in our cramped and small kitchen. My mother is cooking something. While cooking she fixes other things that was not fixed the day before. She also sweeps the floor and drying up some utensils. She does it without any sound created. She does it so gently and slowly so that no sound can be produced. She wants that we will not be awakened in our sleeps. I realized that the thing ‘multi-skill’ work had been practiced by my mother many years before and I just learned that when I was employed in our company. By the time we are awake where the sun is already up and shining, our rice coffee and simple breakfast is ready. Oh, I love that egg omelette very thinly cooked in that black frying pan like the size of a large pizza. And that is only one or two eggs from our native chickens. My mother has to economize and cook the egg spread very thinly so that we have a bigger pie size to share. The bigger the size, the bigger the share! Nag-imas topay! Today, we are not contented with just two or three eggs to be consumed by just only one person! Rimmawet tayo kadi?

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On the other hand, when I started to hit the school, you know my school is just a stone-throw away from our house just across the national highway. I can hear the sound of the bell to signal the flag ceremony. I recall that before the bell is sounded, my mother and I were sitting on an old but sturdy bamboo bench while looking at the pupils rushing to school. There my mother teaches me to read my Mona and Tiririt books. For those who cannot remember this story, Mona is that little cow and Tiririt is that young bird. And I just love them that I can still remember their names up to this time. I am longing though to see an old textbook of Mona and Tiririt. Yes, my mother wants me to read the story very loud that we can hear it both clearly. That was the start of my training in reading.

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As we become bigger in the family, I mean we grow very fast, of course we need so much to spend for our schooling and household needs. The farm output was not that enticing and not enough to sustain us. My father and mother decided to venture into a small income generating activity – buying and selling coconut products. This is ready available because our area was lined up with so many coconut trees. This time, not a single tree is there. They succumbed to the great and destructive ‘barrairong.’ All the coconut trees in our place were helpless to kind of pest/insect. My mother is always on the go looking for sources of coconut products. We usually sell young coconut fruits which we usually eat fresh, as well as old ones that is usually used to cooked delicacies and source of oil. We also sell stick broom and cocnut husks for floor scrubbing. As a you boy, I tag along with my mother when we go to Bauang, La Union to sell our stuff. When we go home, we have already our groceries. My mother will buy one fourth kilo of pure meat and one fourth kilo of bones and then she will ask for a free blood for dinuguan fiesta in our house. My other siblings would then be ready of any extender to our dinuguan (dinardaraan), either cassava (kamoteng kahoy) or upo since we always have those in our little farm. And life was just so simple and happy then. All made possible by my hardworking mother!

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Last weekend, my siblings and I together with our own families had the chance to troop back to our place and see our mother Ettang. She was just delighted and happy to see us with mothers of our own families. We are so glad that the timing was perfect for us to see her still alive and strong. Hopefully we shall have her for a longer time so that we can express to her how we love her so dearly.

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And to the mothers of our own respective families, my wife Dolly, thank you for coming to my life and be the mother of our two kids, together as one we carry this family towards tomorrow believing that the Lord shall always bless us in any way according to His will and plan. I salute you all mothers for your love, affection, hardship, sacrifice, and dedication for us. Mabuhay kayong lahat!

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