If you don’t know yet, my mom (she prefers to be called Nanay, Tagalog term for mother) is a Public Health Nurse. She’s been serving our public health office for over 25 years now. And I am so proud to say that her dedication to her work has inspired me a lot, which I believe is the reason why I’m as hardworking as I am.
I owe my Nanay A LOT. And I meant A LOT. My whole life, she worked hard to support our family. Before I started working, she was the ONLY breadwinner of our family.
Whenever my brother and I look back now, we can’t believe how she managed to send us to high quality schools from kindergarten up to college with her measly salary back in those years. She ventured into different kinds of businesses to support our schooling and even our wants. We’ve had a carinderia, a parlor, a bakery, a sari-sari store, billiards and entertainment hall, etc. I guess that’s where my brother and I also learned about how to handle a business.
I am proud to say that I have inherited a lot of her traits. I’m a hardworker. I’m a very determined person. When I want something, I do my best to achieve it.
I also learned COMPASSION towards others. How? As a health worker (nurse), it’s a must that you have compassion since you’re dealing with patients directly. And since she’s in the public health office, my Nanay deals with patients who come from some really poor communities in our area. Even when she leaves our home all made up and come home a bit haggard or dirty from handling patients and different cases, she doesn’t mind. She loves her work so much because of all the help and education she can give to others.
I remember, my Nanay and some of her friends even put up a mini-hospital / lying-in clinic before where they treat patients for FREE. Yes, for FREE. She convinced a lot of her friends to donate their time and money for medical supplies like hospital beds, spirometer, medicines, etc., for their free clinic. Due to unfortunate events, though, they had to close it down. But, my Nanay continued to provide free services. Last year, she offered free circumcision services here at our new home.
I also learned LOVE, UNDERSTANDING and ACCEPTANCE from her. My brother is gay, and I’m in a same sex relationship for the past 5 years. Our Nanay accepted our choices, no matter how hard it was for her. It was all because of her love for us.
My Nanay’s really not perfect. She used to be a really strict mother figure in my life. But, after a momentous event, she changed her attitude towards me and my brother. She became a FRIEND. A confidante. This change in her drew us so close together that it really hurt me to live away from her when my partner and I decided in 2008 to live in Cebu permanently. I’m just glad we’re now back here in Manila.
I have a lot of things planned for us. I want to give back everything my Nanay has done for me and our family. I hope I’ll be able to fulfill all of my dreams for us and make her happy.
I love you, Nanay. I’m so proud of you.
No matter what, I will always be here to support you,
to fight for you, to listen to your woes,
to cheer you up, and to try to be the best daughter for YOU.