I have met the three most beautiful women in the world! Two of them are nautical miles away but one of them is with me everyday. They have a special place in my heart and I mean to visit that part every single day of my life.
Mi lola. She was born right before WW2 and has been battling life’s challenges since her childhood. Born in an impoverished area in my country, she has won many wars and in fact, outlived many of her batch mates, even her two husbands. She had lived with a mestizo (half Spanish-half Filipino) and had two children with him but eventually separated from him for reasons I didn’t dare ask.Then she met my grandpa, also a mestizo but more fierce with women! They had three children and my mum was their second child.
My first memory of her was in late mid-80s but actually our first interaction was during my birth- she coached my mother on her prime delivery. Of all the people I have met, she has been the only one who would hug me tight, sob and say how much she misses me, and tell me it might be lour last meeting whenever I see her. And she does this to my kids, her great grandsons. She’s one emotional, hysterical, sentimental and brave woman! She’s a stereotypical in-law, one who does not always have a harmonious relationship with her daughter’s husband. But she showered her grandchildren with love and care. I learned to love folklores, fairy tales & adventures because of her. She would tell me her adventures, the stories she had heard from her great grandparents- all from Spanish occupation, American regime, Japanese invasion to supernatural beings living in the forest and gigantic snakes in the farm. One thing I owe her was passing on me one important gem- my ancestor’s culture.
Mi Mama. She was born in the late 50s and had been a big fan of Afros, discos, and hippie culture in her youth. After finishing two degrees in university, she went to Manila and was tempted to enter the monastery. That’s where she met my dad! Her life had been literally colorful until she got married and had me- her first born child. From the fast beat of Bee Gees she turned to the calmer lullabies and devoted her time for her new family. I grew up a good kid and that must have made her happy. What was most striking about her was that she had sacrificed a lot for the family.
I have learned a lot from her and perhaps the most important lesson she taught me was being selfless. When one becomes a parent, his child becomes the center of his universe. This means one has to sacrifice his personal pleasures if it conflicts with the benefit of his child. This may be too old-fashioned but I have seen greater rewards by practicing this philosophy. Mi mama is so dear to my kids and they always think of her as a warm, protective and caring parent figure.
Mi Novia. Perhaps the combination of my grandma’s toughness and my mum’s selflessness: that is the best description of my best friend. The eldest daughter of a family of business people, she has learned the nuts and bolts of making a sale. I first heard about her when a rival university crowned her as winner of their beauty pageant in the turn of the new millennium. True to the signs, that was the turning point of my life and she has become the Queen of my kingdom ever since.
From the time I met her, I have learned and unlearned a gazillion of things. She has taught me that one needs not be a martyr to be a hero and one needs not be too tough to ace life’s challenges. With such conviction, faith and commitment, I am yet to find a woman comparable to her. Mi novia is probably the feminine version of myself, which is probably why our partnership has been very strong through the years. Sometimes I could say that she knows me more than I do and with that I have grown as a man- I have become the man my grandma, my mum and I want myself to be.
I have met a lot of women and many of them have touched my life. I can not count how much I meant to thank them but at least with this post I can honor the three most important women in my life.
Happy Women’s Month!