Mother’s day: The ’empress’ daughter speaks

By Bernadette Reyes

Every mother is a daughter but not every daughter is a mother, biologically that is.

I am a 40 year old daughter to my 73 year old mother. I love her dearly though there were times I avoided her because I am a rebellious daughter through the years and being the only girl with three male siblings, I get what I wanted but always tightly guarded by the gentlemen before me as ordered by mama.

She assigned my kuyas to watch over me all the time and it annoys me because I can’t date with men I like but whom they don’t.

I do not know or understand why they didn’t my admirers when they haven’t talk to them long enough. The kuyas sound like spies who report to the Empress-my mom-and she orders them even more to watch me.

Maybe, I never got married though when I reached late 30’s , my kuyas started to get worried I’d never end up at the altar, and I never did.

My mom though never cared. She is content with eight grandchildren from the kuyas and not from me. She even said she’s okay with me ending as spinster.

I am okay with it as well. Who needs children of my own with eight “troublemakers” living next door to mine?

Besides, I feel like a real mother as I’m the one who gave them baons and take them to the movies.

My mom made sure they go to church regularly and took them to the palengke, needing an “alalay” to carry her basket. And she gave them money too.

My mom and I led a dynamic life, I would like to believe. Most times we are loving. Me making sure she ate on time, took her medicines.

We shared the love of reading. She’s into romantic novels and I into fantasies and adventures. We don’t share politics and got into argument.

The only thing we shared is our dislike with Digong and his filthy mouth.

Mama kept reminding me to save money from my salary and deposits hers in my bank account. She is concerned I kept traveling on holidays which is a vice, an escape and a form of my relaxation.

I gave up urging her to join me and she count the days I am away and when I should be back. Most of my pasalubongs goes to her and the pamangkins.

She organized a feast when I go home as if I was away for ten years when its only 10 days! Don’t you love her?

On my 40th birthday, she asked me what my birthday wish was and I said to go to France, the country I wish to see.

She nodded her head when I asked her what her birthday wish for me, she looked up the sky and said, “for you to get married.”

We both laughed, perhaps knowing I don’t need it.

The author is a businesswoman who works part-time in the travel and tourism industry in Northern Mindanao and Cebu.

Artwork by Gogoy Candelario

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