A Letter to my Mamas

“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters” – Mother Teresa

Indeed, what Mother Teresa said is exactly the best way to describe our mothers. Being a mother isn’t easy, it’s the hardest job in the world that comes with no instructions or manual on how to be a good mother, there is only unconditional love and “motherly instinct” as many mothers call it.

On Mother’s Day, I take this opportunity to thank the “three great moms” in my life.


Dearest Mamâ Pedeng,

Hello there in Heaven!

You’re the most incredible person when you were here on earth. Ever. I will never be able to fully put into words how much you mean to me, but I can go on for the rest of my life trying.

You have been one of the few people that have been there for me, morning to night, every day of my life growing up. From preparing breakfast to waiting while I am busy preparing my assignments and studying for my exams. (Kase ayaw kita patulugin dahil takot ako mag-isa).

Thank you for your unconditional love. With you, I have never had to live up to an expectation. You fawn over my slightest of accomplishments and make me feel like a superhero, even on my worst days. You have been a no judgment zone. My safe haven. I never have to be anything, but myself with you. I should always tell the truth – that’s what you have instilled in me. Even if I made mistake, I should always tell you. I remember when you asked me to write a letter to my teacher because I was so scared that I broke the newly cemented statue in our school. And to my surprise, she didn’t get angry when she knew about it but appreciated my honesty instead. (Buti na lang sinunod kita)

I know for a fact that I can tell you absolutely anything, and you will be there for me. And I still talk to you sometimes – because I know you can still hear me. I am very sure you are happy for me. This is what you have wished and prayed for, remember? Your love is so pure Mâ, with no reservations. (Sana nasabi ko lahat ‘to nung nabubuhay ka pa)

Thank you for spoiling me in every single way. You have showered me in everything I could have ever wanted or needed. This includes not only material things, but the most important thing in the world that really count…strong FAITH in God. More so, you’ve spoiled me with your wisdom, which is the best thing I could have ever received. You are the most quotable person I know. You know what, I frequently tell Ed about you, “Well my grandma has always told me…” I think you’re smiling there every time I tell stories about you. Thank you for all the memories and teachings:

That love of a family is more important than money.

That God loves me and created me to live forever with Him in heaven.

That it’s good to lend a hand to a completely stranger.

That I should take care of my body – that it’s okay to sleep with dirty feet.

That today is not forever — babies grow up and mommies do, too.

That there’s nothing in the world can perfectly copy your homemade ice candy.

That prayer isn’t only for Sundays and bedtimes, but for every minute of every day.

That no matter where in the world I go, no matter what mistakes I make, no matter what rejections or failures I might endure, there is someone who loves me exactly as I am. Completely and unconditionally.

I owe my life to you, Mâ. You’ve saved me. You’ve helped make me into the person that I am today and the person who has yet to grow. I genuinely have no idea where I would be without you. Everything we’ve shared together is forever filed in a special part of my brain. A place for only you and me. It is somewhere I can go whenever I’m missing you. It is a place I can go for advice, a good laugh, and a mood enhancer. All I have to do is think of your smile and my day is automatically so much better. You have provided me with so much that I will never be able to pay you back for, but I am going to continue to try every day. I am so unbelievably lucky! I had the best grandma in my life and you will always live in my heart.

I miss you so much, Mamâ. I miss you every day, but especially on Mother’s Day. But you have earned Heaven, Mâ. And this Mother’s Day, I hope that you will be able to hear the words I long to tell you. ❤️

Good Friday 2010, our last photo together before she joined the Lord in Heaven

Dearest Mama Lets,

You’re the strongest yet coolest person I know. Each and every single day, I realize how much of an impact and inspiration you have been (and always will be) on my life. Sa dami ng pinagdaanan mong hirap, di kita nakitaan ng panghihina. You’re the most cheerful person I know. Di kita nakita umiyak (siguro patago) except on that fateful and most unforgettable day long time ago. But let’s just leave the past in the past. What matters most is – today. This is the  promise of the Lord for you and for us. The light at the end of the tunnel. Salamat Ma –  sa tiyaga at sikap, naitaguyod mo kami ng mag-isa ka. Nabigyan mo kami ng magandang buhay sa kabila ng mga sakripisyo mo. Mahirap gampanan ang pagiging ama sa  kabila ng pagiging ina.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of hard work. You have always pushed me to be the very best version of myself and to work for the things I want, rather than to expect them. You always told me that the ability to be financially and emotionally stable on my own was imperative, I see now that you couldn’t have been more correct. Thank you for passing down some of your best qualities. Sa’yo ko pala nakuha ang hilig sa pag benta-benta. haha!

With everything you have faced in your life, and the strength you have developed, proves to me that when life is tough I can be tougher. Sometimes in life, being tough is not the only option. It is nice to know that in those breaking moments, I have a mother like you to lean on. It doesn’t matter if we are crying together, or only one of us is breaking, it is good to know our bond is strong enough to keep us going.

I think about how different things would be if you weren’t the forgiving, gracious and hard-working mother until now.  You are the strongest woman I have ever met in this world. You have sacrificed your life and your happiness to make sure the lives of your children were better. You are so full of the most pure form of love towards your children and it is the biggest blessing to be loved by you.

Certainly I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for you. So, thank you – for absolutely everything. You’re my hero. I love you, Ma. Happy Mother’s Day!


Dearest Mama Au,

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom-in-Law.

I’m truly blessed – I have your son and I have you in my life. I honor you for what all have you done to raise your son, Ed. He is a wonderful husband – it’s all because of you.

I’m grateful I was welcomed by a new family as though I’d always been a member. But most importantly, I’m grateful for you, one of the kindest, most loving, and supportive individuals I’ve been lucky enough to call “my family.”  It isn’t often one feels completely confident about the relationship with their mother-in-law, and I’m proud to be one of those fortunate individuals with two moms who love me unconditionally.

You hold a special place in my life, Ma. I love you.

Lots of Love ❤️

s h a y

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