I am immensely blessed to have someone whose life gave me a strong foundation that helped me navigate this complicated world. She is the epitome of Proverbs 31 woman. She is a formidable prayer warrior. She is my mother!
It is always comforting to know that there is someone who will always unconditionally love you no matter what. I have witnessed her grace and inner strength in all of life's challenges in her own story. Our family went through so many ups and downs, twists and turns, battles to fight, dreams to follow and through it all Nanay stayed firm and collected, joyful and grateful, with complete trust in God and unwavering faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Just a few hours ago, I was on the phone talking to her. We are halfway around the world apart from each other. The recent government controversy involving my sibling was another prayer item in her list. She shared with me how she felt watching one senator questioning her child's credibility and integrity in the Senate hearing. It was a painful scene seeing your son being discredited and deserted. As a mother myself, I could feel that pain, putting myself in her shoes. She told me it reminded her of the time when my father's business got bankrupt and almost all "friends" were never friendly all of a sudden. I thought this was not unfamiliar. Even Jesus was deserted by everybody when He was arrested and eventually led to be crucified. Leaving the Senate building that day, Nanay had only one thing in her heart and mind, our One and True Judge will make the truth come out. And indeed God answered in a mighty way. She never wavered. She prayed unceasingly, as expected of her. This is just one of the many difficult circumstances Nanay went through. I have so many memories of how she handled her trials with confidence and with a humble and loving heart. Her inner strength showed especially when our father passed away three years ago after his battle against cancer. The ordeal itself of seeing your husband in pain is unthinkable to me. But Nanay was a rock for all of us because she clung to a much bigger Rock and fortress, our Great God. Her strong unselfish commitment and love for her family kept us all grounded and bonded with the same love and commitment to one another especially now that Tatay is gone.
I am specially close to Nanay. People say that I look a lot like her. When I was little, I would always tag along with her when she would go to town for some errands. She's a very friendly person, very entrepreneural and my father would tell her she had a strong PR (public relations). Once she was voted the "Mother of the Year" in the Grade School we went to. She's always moving, never lazy. She had flower and vegetable gardens, put up a small piggery, had a store, my father's secretary in his own business, etc. But the one thing that I always love is that when I feel alone and lonely, I have my mother to go to. Even when I was already living on my own after college, I would always go back home on the weekends to be with my father and mother. When I had problems with my own relationships, it was always comforting to know that I have my mother and father to talk to and vent out my wounded heart or share my joy. For me, our home was a place of rest and a harbor in time of storm. And now that I am a mother myself, I always call her to get inspiration and encouragement and prayers for my own marriage and motherhood journey. She raised all eight of us and she was immovable. I am raising just one and I get overwhelmed. When I am going crazy and dazed, I just think of how Nanay handles her days. Now at 74, she actively leads a Bible study group, a very brave evangelist (she always has her way of sharing the Gospel to every soul she encounters) and enjoys all her grandchildren.
We celebrate you, Nanay! We honor you and love you so much! Happy birthday and more blessings from our Lord Jesus in all areas of you life!