(my Mama, Mrs. Milagros R. Cajote)
I was walking towards MRT Pasay Station this morning when my thoughts turned to the word "sacrifice". It must have been something I saw or something I remembered that made me think that.
We all make a lot of sacrifices in our lives. I, for one, sacrifice another hour of extra sleep in favor the terrible 2-to-3-hour commute just to get to work. My husband sacrificed his career a few years back just so he could always be with us, his family.
There are some whose sacrifices are trivial to us. They are as mundane as not spending a few pesos just to save for a cellphone in the future or not eating rice for a smaller waistline.
Some really make sacrifices for very special reasons like not speaking up to a boss even if one is right just to save one's job or not eating rice anymore for health reasons.
And I thought of my Mama, who has made a lot of sacrifices in her life just to raise three (3) beautiful children in this world.
My Mama is a loving and caring mother. There is no other one like her. My siblings and I already have our own families but she still dotes on us whenever she can.
She sacrificed her career just to be with us and care for us. A very good mother, she gives everything she can if and when needed.
Her molo soup, sinigang, beef steak and crispy pata are the best in the world!
When one of her apo's is sick, she herself, would also worry to death about it. She could not even sleep well if a kid is sick.
Her back is rigid from carrying her "apo's". If that's not sacrifice to her health, then I don't know what else is.
Mama must have been an engineer in her past life. She knows about construction work and even tries her hand at it like painting our house. I know it's taxing, but she does it because likes it and also to save a few pesos.
I can't imagine how many tears and sweat she had shed just for us and her family. She and my Papa will be celebrating their 39th anniversary on Saturday. Their life is full of ups and downs and somewhere-in-betweens.
<--------------- Mama and Papa
It seemed not so long ago when, I was still in my elementary days and she brought me to Divisoria at my insistence. As expected, there were throngs of people in the area, I got squished and I did not enjoy the experience. That did not stop from going back there though.
It also seemed a few years ago when she accompanied me to audition in the defunct tv program, Bagong Kampeon. I remember, the set was located somewhere in Quezon City. My first audition was a disaster and she told me that we would not tell my siblings that I didn't pass the audition. I was truly grateful for that. And she accompanied me to my first voice lessons sometime later. It was something that I bugged my parents about, you know.
She accompanied me the second time I auditioned for Bagong Kampeon where I finally passed it. Whenever we would go the set of the show, we would eat at Joe Kwan afterwards (we always ordered their lechon paksiw). She would accompany me to weird locations where I would perform. Not all of my performances were worth standing ovations. I have had my moments where I wanted to crawl inside a shell for a long. long time and never come out. And even if my voice croaked and all the applause I got were because the audience pitied me, she was always there, supporting me and making me feel that I am her favorite singer in the world. She's my number one fan!
I am reminded of our the different food we share during our bonding moments. Mama dutifully brought me and my brother to our swimming classes when we were little. Our merienda after every class is "nilagang mais." Before we permanently resided in Cavite, Mama and I would visit our house there via mini buses parked in Baclaran. I would always ask her to buy me 2 pcs. choco honey dipped donuts and 10 pesos worth of itlog ng pugo. In our trips to Divisoria, we used to eat at this small carinderia along Ylaya St. or Juan Luna. The food is good but because we always have a tummy ache after eating there, our loyalties transferred to Jollibee Juan Luna or Divisoria Mall. Nowadays, when we shop at Divi, we just look longingly at the food in that carinderia and then head off to Jollibee. We'd rather drool than suffer the "explosive" consequences.
Oh, we used to like Chowing's chicken noodles. Used to. Well, that's because there was something in the soup, something that's not supposed to be there. I think until now, Mama is still wary of eating there.
She has always been very supportive of my weird activities - singing, a little acting, beading, selling, and even just being plain lazy (if that is even called an activity): name it, I do it and she knows it and supports it.
When I took the Bar Exams, she and my ninang went to the Bar site one Sunday and cheered me.
So in short, she has been there every special moment of my life- my oath taking, my wedding, when I gave birth to my son, etc. I am sure, I would not have been me if not for her (and my Papa too).
We may have our misunderstandings but her words of wisdom will always be remembered. I think it's human nature not to easily accept mistakes and advice from people. I am like that. But it doesn't mean I don't appreciate what my Mama taught me and continues to teach me.
And I thought back of the word "sacrifice". I don't think I can ever equal the sacrifices a mother makes for her children.
I can never equal my Mama's sacrifices for us.