Working outside the Philippines has a trade-off and one of those.. is seeing my parents only once a year. This year, I have time to bond with my mom (my dad had a mild stroke and can not travel anymore).
A week before I went back to Jeddah, I asked my mom:
Me: mama would you like to come with me to Manila?
Mama: eh paano ang papa mo, sinung mag -aalaga? (what about your dad? who will take care of him?) her eyes twinkling and there was a faint smile at the corner of her lips, meaning she wanted to come but can’t leave without my dad.
Me and my siblings: don’t worry ma, all your grandchildren can take care of dad .
Mama: what about coming back, I can’t travel alone?
Me: ma, i will let the stewardess take care of you!
her smile widened and wallah! off to Manila.
I was so excited to bond with my mom but let me tell you a secret: I have six brothers and I am the only daughter, I guess you are thinking hmmm spoiled? nope! I am not, was not and will never be! My father is a strict disciplinarian but I am closer to him than my mom.When I was in high school, I was always voted as muse or oftentimes as a beauty contestant. I never heard my mom says: “My daughter is beautiful”. She even said: kuh bakit ba ikaw ang napipili palagi eh marami naman diyan maganda! sabay kurot! (oh! why always you? there’s a lot of beautiful girls around?)and she pinched my side tenderly. When I say, I love you ma, she never reply ” I love you too my only daughter. In short, my mom is minimalist in words of affection.
I was determined to give her the best of times, I made sure the hotel we checked- in was near the shopping mall, who doesn’t love shopping? We all do!! 🙂
Mama: ang ganda naman rito, magkano ba ang one night? (it’s nice here, how much per night?)
Me: enjoy ka lang ma, wag mong isipin kung magkano. (just enjoy ma, don’t think how much)
We had breakfast buffet every morning and my mom said: Ang dami- dami naman pagkain, ang hirap pumili, buti pa sa chowking. ( there’s so much food, difficult to choose, it’s better in chowking!)
Chowking , a Chinese -Filipino fast food restaurant that serves Chicken Lauriat meal (fried chicken,noodles,rice,pork siomai,butchi and chipcharap) in one order and cost less than a hundred pesos (less than USD 2.00). While buffet in hotel cost a thousand pesos per head (22.00USD) and more.
We visited her only brother whom she didn’t see for many years and this was like” mission accomplished” for me, it was like seeing a reality show, the emotions was high and I couldn’t control my tears.
It was holy week and mostly of the shops were closed but we manage to went around and dined with other family members.
TGIF! and again my mom said: buti pa sa Chowking! (it’s better in chowking) hahaha if only Kris Aquino (chowking endorser) can hear this, mom will be the best endorser!
I took her to David’s Salon ( a popular and expensive salon in Mall of Asia). She did her hair and nails. After I paid and she knew how expensive it was, she said, it was better in Virac (our province of Catanduanes) a lot cheaper and they cut hair better than here. 🙂
I gave her money for shopping so she can get what she wants but every time she looks at the tag price, she would abandon it … mom: ang mahal naman! (so expensive!)
It was a long day for both of us, I was tired carrying the shopping bags and I couldn’t get more pictures anymore but..guess what? My mom did not forget to mentioned” let’s eat in chowking!”
So we did! (no photos, tired of going around) 🙂
Mama, I know you enjoyed your trip and chowking 🙂 and even though you don’t say it, I always feel you love me too as much as you love my brothers, Even though we have different taste in clothes, food and lifestyles, I know you had fun bonding with me. I will always look forward to spend time with you and papa.
and yes, I LOVE YOU TOO!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!