June 12 --- Independence Day
As expected, the 'formal' celebration of the country's independence was once again move a day before for practical purposes. Practical in the sense that vacation will be lengthened from the weekends up to yesterday. Its not new for the current president moving holidays since it is not the first time she have done this. Well, I think it runs in the blood. The former president Diosdado Macapagal, the current president's father, also have done this in the past. Moving the celebration of Independence day from July 4 to June 12. On the grounds that the country's first independence happened when the first Philippine Republic and president were formed and elected.
Nonetheless, that would not be my primary theme of my day's entry. Although somehow related. Today, someone who is dear to me and I really owe big time, is celebrating her birthday. A person who I often took for granted despite everything she have done not only for me but my entire family---my mother.
I really don't want to dwell too much on the "chummy"-ness part because I think everything that I would say has already been canned among birthday and mother's day cards. So I would try to write it down on things that we wouldn't normally say among each other in the family. Its obvious we are not the verbal type. We grew and reared up not too emotional and expressive type, so to speak. It would be something really really odd saying "I love you" to one another in the family except if there is a special occasion and this would happen to be a good excuse.
My mother would probably be not the mother everybody would chose if given an option at birth. She came from not a well off family and wanted to finish college with a diploma in Economics. Unfortunately, because of financial reasons she opted out to a course that was in demand during that time being a secretary. My mom worked for my dad's aunt and there they have met. When they have decided to settle down, my mother give up her profession to focus herself in taking care of us.
Honestly speaking, aside from TV shows I always watch, the rest of my childhood memories were not that good to reminisce. I know I may not be the only battered child who pictures himself in the "Eye-to-Eye: Nawawalang Bata portion" of the late Inday Badiday or on the verge of calling Bantay Bata 163, but I believe it is always a case-to-case scenario.
My childhood were full of stories of spanking, hitting, intolerable scolding or in other words abuse. Most of the times we were locked inside our home with our yaya and forbidden to play outside. It is not because we were rich and snobbish nor we are living along a street of squatting residences, it is just one of my mother's disciplining tactics. I could still picture myself looking at our veranda, envying other kids of my age happily playing outside.
For some, these forms of disciplining children would be inappropriate. But I could say that my mother nonetheless, did what she only knew was appropriate and was able to deliver to us the message she wanted as to know without verbally and emotionally expressing it.
We learned a lot from those things and experiences. We learn how to be strong and tough in times of difficulties. We were able to recognize pain that is inevitable in life. We knew how to live without totally depending unto them or to others. And when the time arrived that we needed to live our own lives and go to another place to pursue college, they have told us no restrictions nor what to do. They have allowed us whatever we want to do because they knew we totally knew what are limitations would be. We don't talk about our college life whenever we go back home. College life would include issues about school, peers or friends, activities, love life, sex life, vices and everything you could think of regarding college life. Considering the fact that I am living like 20 hours bus trip away from them. She literally taught us the definition of independence by showing first the strict essence of dependence to the family.
On the other hand, we tend not to do anything that we know would cross over our set limitations. I somehow prioritize studies despite my demanding extra curricular activities. I rejected learning how to use drugs even though my friends do. Simply because it would be a big burden for me to destroy or disrupt this such trust given to us.
Lately, I just discovered on one of the rarest occasion in which we have the time to talk about things we unusually discussed: about her dream to pursue Economics and to have a profession in relation with this. Me and my sister would try to push her to fulfill it since we have already finished our studies and have our own profession. But my mother would actually just give us one of her rarest smile as well and tell us that her dream may be one of the things she wanted to do and be but keeping our family intact and whole is something beyond her dreams. For her, seeing our family happy and whole is already a realization of her life's fulfillment. On that moment, we couldn't just stop our hearts from melting.
At the end of the day, I just realized that I may not have the best mother in the world, as eveyone normally would say. But I am proud to say that my mother would be the best mother I could ever have. And I am saying this not because it is her birthday but because this is something she deserves and I have failed to inform her.
Again, Happy Birthday, Ma and I would keep on reiterating that for me, you are the best mother I could ever have.