Truths my mother told me

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Truths my mother told me
Toddler Grace Poe with mom Susan Roces.
STAR/ File

My mother Sonia, at 85, is an effortless crowd drawer because she bounces off positivity on the people in her orbit. The minute she sees you, she draws you in with a smile and a welcome look from the depths of her eyes. People naturally gravitate toward her. She is also a proud person, and her pride pulls her chin up in tough times. Even in the worst of times — or shall I say, especially in the worst of times — she will put on bright lipstick, go to the salon and invest in skin care. When my father Frank Mayor was succumbing to cancer, Mom never broke down or gave up hope. “As long as I have life, I hope,” she would say. At first, we thought she was in denial about the inevitable. It turns out, she’s like a boat. She hopes we see in her what is afloat, even if she is maneuvering her feelings below deck.

So this is what I learned from my Momma: Positivity, Pride and  the power of Prayer.

I asked some mothers what they learned from their mother that they are passing on to their daughters:

Sen. Grace Poe

Though Susan Roces will always be remembered as a popular movie actor, she was also an inspiring daughter, mother, wife, and woman. She was my hero, and through her example, I learned many valuable lessons which have guided me through life:

As a daughter, she taught me the joy of selfless love. I witnessed how my mother loved her own mother and cared for her, not because she was obliged to, but out of pure devotion.

As a mother, she taught me the importance of listening to your children. My mom was a great listener. No matter how trivial my stories were, she always found the time to listen and comment. I was a little child, but her attentiveness made me feel like the most important person in the world.

As a wife, she taught me how to be a true partner. She was loyal and committed to my dad and he respected and cared for her. It was a celebrated romance, but also a real-life partnership that endured and surpassed many challenges. They loved each other, stood by each other, and were together until my father passed away.

As a woman, she believed in financial independence and supported women in achieving their economic empowerment. She advised me to have a career and to take care of it by being a professional at work, showing up on time (I’m trying to be better at this), coming prepared, and treating others with courtesy. And when times got tough, she taught me to believe in the power of prayer. Last but not least, I learned from my mother the importance of having a purpose higher than oneself.

Tootsy Echauz Angara

My mom (the late Baboo Mondoñedo) used to say she writes personal history for those that come after her, especially her grandchildren, so that they know how rich this mortal life can be, how missteps can help them become better persons. “I feel they must know their origins and history the way I’ve been studying it,” she wrote in her book.
“Clarity of mind is needed; only by looking back can I come up with a vision for the future. What is important is the present , it’s the stepping stone to the future “

Chaye Cabal Revilla and mother Hindang Mayor Betty Cabal and daughter Chayli.

Chaye Cabal-Revilla, CFO and chief sustainability officer, Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

My mom (Hindang Mayor Betty Cabal) taught me to be strong in my faith in God through prayers and obedience, to always have a happy heart and to be kind to everyone. Very basic, but has shaped me to be who and what I am today.

Carissa Cruz Evangelista and ‘Manay’ Gina de Venecia.

Carissa Cruz Evangelista, designer

Mom (former Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia) always told me and my daughters that it’s important to be independent and work and be self-sufficient. From Mom, I learned how important it is to have faith and faith is the foundation of our resilience. Happy memories of family growing up are most important.

They’re something we can all look back to and cherish. Quality time is so precious. She also taught me to help others with what you have. We have the power to help in our personal capacity — with our time, with our words, with our physical work. It’s not all money.

Kara Magsanoc Alikpala, writer, producer and founder, ICanServe Foundation

Easy-peasy. Make prayer the first option, not the last resort. My mom (the late Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc) was a walking prayer.

Dr. Aivee Aguilar Teo and Las Piñas Mayor Imelda ‘Mama Mel’ Aguilar.

Dr. Aivee Aguilar Teo, founder Aivee Clinic

One of the best pieces of advice that I got from my mom (Las Piñas Mayor Mel Aguilar) is to treat everyone with kindness and respect. She always has something good to say about others and will always point out the positive in people. This Is one of the lessons I try to pass down to my daughter Keli.

Another invaluable advice I got from my Mama Mel that I am also teaching Keli is resilience. In this world we live in, it’s important to have the ability to adapt and bounce back from challenges, setbacks, and adversity. It’s a valuable trait that will help Keli navigate the ups and downs of life with grace and determination.

I have encouraged Keli to persevere when the going gets tough, reminding her that setbacks are a part of life and that she has the strength to overcome them. I constantly remind her to always maintain a positive outlook and to focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

Rina Go, restaurateur and entrepreneur

It was always mind-boggling to me as to how my mom (the late Aurora Silayan-Go), who was a working mother in the ‘60s, managed to keep her home stylish, with a well-run kitchen, with open doors to friends of all her children.  And to this she always said:  “It is not enough that your partner is a good provider.  A woman has to put something substantial on the table.”  And so my daughters hopefully are not just pretty faces.  They must know the value of work but at the same time, know how to clean, wash, cook and do the laundry. Performing arts were big to my mother and so we were dragged to as many Broadway plays as she could take us.  I must have naturally done the same.  Believe it or not, all her grandchildren play classical piano — as at some point my mother was a concert pianist. Did they have a choice? Not really.

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