Photo by Aaron Burden from Pexels
It was a time of disquiet then; the protest movement against the dictatorship intensified in many parts of the country after the death of Ninoy Aquino. I knew during that time that I shall be taking a different path from the ones chosen by many, including my siblings and friends, who graduated from my university. I left the comfort and familiarity of my home and became an organizer in the youth and student movement, preparing myself to work with people in the margins of the countryside. I left home one day in October, leaving a letter of thanks and expressing my gratefulness to my parents for being there for my siblings and me from the very beginning. I know, in my heart, that one day my parents would be able to accept me, their activist daughter.
So many things happened after I left home. I learned the value of hard work, sacrifice, and commitment during those days. I realized how much I missed my family when I watched the stars at night and wondered how they were, praying that they knew that I loved them so much in their hearts.
It was when I saw my mother on the sidewalks of Morayta, right before a protest rally scheduled at Mendiola, that I learned the depth of my mother's love. I learned that she tried to look for me at protest marches, watching from the streets, going to the places I have been to, praying, and hoping we may see each other again.
We both cried after seeing each other.
I am writing this reflection to remember a woman who gave me the love she could provide, who went with me to a protest concert at St. Theresa's College, who decided to look for me one day at Morayta, knowing that she may see me in the protest march. She may not be the perfect mother for me, but it is from her that I get to know what grit and determination mean.
I love you, Nanay, and know that I am sharing the lessons of the memories you left with your grandchildren.
Praying for you on your birthday.