Sunday, June 24, 2007

Unlike Mother, Very Unlike Daughter

Mother's Day passed and I missed to write a post about my dearest Nanay. It's because when I started this blog last May 14, 2007, it was already a day after Mother's Day. And during that time, my mind was preoccupied with my 50th birthday fantasy of running the 5k marathon (I just hope this fantasy will someday be a reality).

Anyway, my mother is so easy to describe--she is simply sooooh unlike me. Let me just give you a random list of traits that she possess which until now, blows my mind away:

1. Patience: There is no other person on planet Earth who is as patient as my mother. To cite one example, she was able to bear her driver's shortcomings and idiosyncrasies for 28 years now. Every morning, she would stand outside the garage waiting for her driver instead of him waiting for her. After a conference and it's time to go home, her driver is nowhere to be found. He's out there malling or whatever. She'll wait for him for ages before he finally shows up and fetch her. Had I been his employer, he wouldn't have lasted a week!

2. Positive Attitude: Nanay would often tell me--"When you look at a person, focus on his positive traits rather than the negative." She is the only person I know who could still find a positive comment on an obviously negative situation. When Mt. Pinatubo erupted and destroyed some towns in Pampanga and Zambales, that was the time when Nanay's Agency became the Top Provincial Agency of Philamlife. Nanay wasn't discouraged but instead led her agency to becoming no. 1. If there would be a Norman Vincent Peale Award, my mother will definitely be the recipient.

3. Perseverance: "Kulitan, anak, ang buhay"--she always tell me. Nanay will not stop until she motivates her agents to attain their maximum productivity. If her initial plan fails, she moves to Plan B, and so on and so forth. She constantly thinks, reads, and implement new ways and means to improve the agency's performance. I have tried to apply her principles when I was still in the garments business but because we're so different from each other, it took a lot of brainwashing on my part to adapt and finally change.

4. Temperance: My mother believes that anything in excess is bad for the body. Take everything in moderation. Among her favorite motto is "I don't eat when I'm not hungry". She often tells me "you live in order to eat. I eat in order to live." When it comes to food, I can't believe I have a mother like her--exactly my opposite. She is the only person I know who loses appetite when she sees a buffet table. She still craves for saluyot or alogbati in front of kare-kare, crispy pata,etc. Unlike me whose belly has an unlimited capacity for expansion, my mother maintains her normal intake of food at all times. She only eats to fulfill her subsistence level, no more no less.

5. Readiness: Year after year, I vow to enroll in ballroom dancing so I could enjoy the Fellowship Night prior to the Annual Recognition Program of Philamlife. And year after year, I point at my mother whenever the DI approach me and ask me to dance. Then people would tell me "Daig ka pa ng Nanay mo. Game na game." I dunno how she does it but she can dance with the DI any dance step under the sun. She never had any formal training and yet she dances like a PRO. She'll tell me "Susundan mo lang naman ang DI, anak. Mahirap talagang makasunod ang matigas ang ulong katulad mo. Tingnan mo ako, palibhasa masunurin kaya madali lang para sa akin." In any affair or occasion, if somebody asks her to talk, act, dance or sing, she doesn't hesitate to comply. She's the epitome of a true Girl Scout: Always Ready.

6. Kindness: Nanay can reprimand anybody without hurting the person's feelings. She does it with gentleness and compassion. One doesn't even notice that he's being reprimanded but in the end, he will realize his mistake and follow my mother's advice. Her principle "Pwede mo namang pagalitan ang isang tao na hindi sinisigawan" is exactly the opposite of what my father is. My father is used to shouting at people even though he's not actually angry. Ganon lang daw talaga ang mga Kabitenyo. And I, being their offspring, like to think that I'm somewhere in the middle.

7. Talkativeness: I have never met a man or woman who can talk straight non stop without interruption for 24 hours like my mother. One time, we went to a wake in Pampanga. We arrived there before lunch. Nanay started talking to the people there. Night time came and she's still talking. I slept on her lap but every now and then, I can hear her talking to someone. Finally, I rose at the sound of the cock, suggesting it was already morning. Nanay was still talking. Then it was time for the last rites intended for the dead. That's the time Nanay stopped talking. I even teased her "buti hindi bumangon ang patay at sinabing tumahimik na kayo para makatulog siya!"

8. Sense of Humor: Nanay doesn't ran out of funny thing to say even in desperate situations. When she asked the father of my children to sign the Deed of Sale of the Revo so that the ownership of the car will be transferred to her, he told her "Ang hirap talaga ng mahirap" while moving his head from left to right. Nanay answered him: "Kaya nga mahirap ang tawag sa mahirap, kasi mahirap--hindi madali o maalwan."

9. Generosity: In Philamlife, my mother is known as "Ina ng Awa" or "Mother of Perpetual Help" because of her unselfish love for her flock. I may be the only biological daughter that she has, but she's got lots and lots of "children" in the Agency whom she assists, nurtures, and inspires. And her generosity is not only confined within her Agency. Anywhere she goes, she extends her help to anyone in need.

10. Health Consciousness: At her age of 73, Nanay has managed to maintain her 112 lb. weight and 36-28-36 figure (unlike mine which goes up and down like the Stock Market). She walks and/or does aerobic exercise everyday to keep fit. She used to play and win tournament games in golf, tennis, and bowling. She also played volleyball in her younger days. When I look at her medical exam results, I tease her "Wala namang kabuhay-buhay tong test results mo. Normal lahat!" Her only problem is vertigo which she experience not so very often. When colleagues ask her what her secret is, she would tell them "mahirap kasing imaintain ang production, kaya figure ko na lang ang minemaintain ko. At least, meron akong namaintain kaysa wala!" But her favorite saying is: People lose their health while acquiring wealth. And when they are old and rich, they lose their wealth to regain their health.

11. Financial Expertise: My mother rose from a rural health midwife of Marbel, South Cotabato to the "Most Financially Solvent Manager" of Philamlife. When somebody ask for monetary help she would say "mas mabuti na anak ang inuutangan kaysa tayo ang mangungutang. Sa dami ng tinulungan ko, hindi naman tayo naghirap. Bagkus, lalo pang lumaki ang blessings ni Lord." And I can only agree with her. I believe the Holy Spirit helps her manage her finances because she has the heart of gold. Whenever she talks about financial management, she would ask the audience who among them could do what she did to her only daughter: Since high school, my money for the whole semester is already deposited in my bank account. I would just withdraw money every week for my obligations and expenses. Everybody in the audience won't do that to their children becoz they're sure that the money will be spent right away. Then I will tell my dear mother: "Magaling kasing magbudget ang anak nyo, kaya nagawa nyo yon." She'll have her ready answer: "Magaling kang magbudget kasi magaling ang nag train sa yo (that's her of course!)"

12. Let me just give you a list of some other things which clearly shows how different my mother is to me:

a) When it comes to love, I am the hopeful and hopeless romantic: She's certainly not. She doesn't even consent to going on a date with your boyfriend.

b) I enjoy shopping: she doesn't. When she goes with me, she'll just sit on one spot and wait for me till I finish shopping.

c) I'm a movie addict: She couldn't care less even if she doesn't enter the theatre for 20 years!

d) She doesn't want to learn how to use the computer. So I guess she won't be able to read my blog unless I print this and show it to her.

e) She's very athletic: I wasn't before, but I'm now trying very hard to be one.

f) She doesn't have favorites: I've got lots and lots!

g) Unlike me, she doesn't indulge in simple pleasures like soaking in a bath tub, watching the sunset, strolling in the mall, chatting with an online friend, drinking Coke while munching a green mango with sweet & spicy bagoong. She'd rather read a book or watch EWTN.

h) I am the fashion designer but I don't dress up. I don't sacrifice comfort for fashion. Year after year, fellow Philamlifers await in anticipation what could be my mother's attire in the National Recognition Program. People would approach me and tell me "Buti pumapayag ang nanay mo na magsuot ng ganyan." I would answer them: Masunuring ina po ang nanay ko. Lately however, she already got tired of being unique and the center of attraction. She specifically asked for a simpler gown.

i) My mother is blessed with a green thumb, so unlike me. In our small lot in Pampanga, she was able to grow fruit bearing avocado, langka and hybrid guavas at the back of the house.

j) Nanay is the all-time holder of the "Early Bird" award. If the seminar/convention starts at 8AM, you can bet that she'll be there at 7AM, even earlier than the organizers of the affair.

Before I end, allow me to just rattle off our few similarities so one might not think that I am but an adopted child: We both have a personal relationship with the Lord; we are both fearless and strong in character; we are both so easy to please; we both have happy dispositions in life; and we do love each other very very much.