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The best advice my mother gave me

By Marian C. Martin
Inquirer
First Posted 07:54:00 05/13/2007

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Leisure, Family

MANILA, Philippines - Mothers are ever-ready to hand out advice to their children who often turn a deaf ear-until they actually need it. Years after, some people still recall those nuggets of wisdom that have served them well in life. Here are a few of the best ones:

"Probably the most valuable lesson I learned from my mother is to have a great passion for whatever it is that one chooses to do. She and my father were perfect examples of this. Their dedication to the theater made them overlook sleepless nights of rehearsals, myriad production problems, and being over-budget and out-of-pocket quite often! My mother's mantra is DISCIPLINE and my brothers and I saw it in action in her numerous roles as wife, mother, teacher, actor, writer and director. Total commitment, focus and refusal to settle for slipshod work have always been her work ethic. I am proud to say that this is why she is a professional. Ivi Avellana-Cosio, painter, daughter of National Artist for Theater Daisy Avellana

"Strangely enough, I don't remember my mother giving me any advice at all. Not as such, anyway. Maybe it was because both my parents had brought me up to have a mind of my own. My mother and I were really more like friends. Now I realize that she never imposed herself on me, and yet she continues to live on in my person, to be an important presence in my life. Oh yes, there was something she said that I remember to this day. She said, 'You want to know what the other driver intends to do, look at the front wheels of his vehicle.'" Writer and teacher Bobbie Malay, daughter of the late writer and activist Paula Carolina (Ayi) Malay

"My Mom is a very devout Catholic. I think the best advice she ever gave me was when she said, 'Don't worry Lisa, IN HIS TIME, all things will happen. You?ll see, it will all fall into place, just trust in Him.' You have to know that this came at the time when I was living in Communist Russia and my own faith was being tested by an injury that prevented me from doing what I love and what I had gone to Russia for, to dance. I couldn't dance, and it was really getting to me. I was depressed. I was questioning whether or not I was really cut out to become a ballerina.

S"o, by giving me this advice, my Mom comforted me in the way that I really needed comforting. She reassured me that my dreams were reachable. She didn?t tell me to go home and escape. She gave me the strength to keep going.

"Until today, when I feel discouraged or things don?t go the way I planned, I recall my Mom's words and take heart. I have learned to be patient and to trust in God-because it?s true, in His time, all things will fall into place. You just have to have faith.? Lisa Macuja, artistic director, Ballet Manila, daughter of Susan Macuja

?My mother belongs to that old fashioned era that believed in and practiced the tradition that a woman should stay home and be a housewife, and not much more. She is the quiet type and you would never hear her complain of anything. However. when I was about to enter college, the only thing that I heard her say was ?It?s better if the wife works too to help the family, instead of being a simple housewife.? These words I kept to heart and cherished, and they made me strive hard to finish my college degree, pursue my profession and eventually led me to my present position in government.? Leonor T. Rosero, Chair, Professional Regulation Commission, daughter of Gloria Manese Tripon

?My mother?s best advice to me was ?Always do your best.? Not even God can ask you to do anything more than that. She told me that ?Even if you fail, at least you know that you did your very best.? Ernest Reynoso-Gala, chef-instructor, food columnist, son of Chef Sylvia Reynoso-Gala

"To know myself and to live authentically, to constantly try to learn about myself and the world, and to know that these two are connected and that this is the path to wholeness and happiness." Akbayan Party List Rep. Risa Hontiveros Baraquel, daughter of Teresita (Chit) Navarro Hontiveros, fulltime homemaker, painter, interior designer.

"Mom always said, 'Do what you do best. If you are good at it, people will always be eager to help you." Karla Magbanua, owner of Claycakes, daughter of Millie Lacson-Lapira

"To make sure that I earn my own money. A woman should have her own source of income so she doesn't have to depend on anybody to raise her children, no matter what circumstances she finds herself in." Kala Constantino, mother of two, NGO worker, 2nd nominee of Abanse, Pinay! Party List; daughter of Alice Pulido, board member, 1st district of Pangasinan

"My mother was a born storyteller with a great sense of humor. Even in her sunset years, Nanay's palate never missed. A good cook, she would always say, 'Matuto kayong magluto, mamahay. Paano kung mag-abroad kayo?' (You should learn how to cook, to do housekeeping. How will you manage if you live abroad?) Her awesome faith, sense of humor, culinary know-how and many words of wisdom, one can only learn them from a mother who truly loved and gave her all." Linda de Leon, editor in chief, Celebrity Recipes plus Home & Gardens Magazine, daughter of Nena Martin-De Leon

"Come to think of it, I can?t recall my mom ever dishing out advice like most parents. But it's very clear in my mind that she was the best role model of how to be a good mom. As I go about my daily life raising my kids, I often think of her and what she would do under similar circumstances. Because at the end of the day, if my kids feel the same love, guidance and support that I felt from my mom, then they will have the best childhood, just like I had." Sen. Pia Cayetano, daughter of Sandra Schramm Cayetano

"My mother, Felicitas Correa Diaz, will soon turn 82, and to this day she always gives me good advice. Her best lesson is her life's example. She was a teenager during the Second World War. Then she became a working student while aspiring to be a nun! She was not admitted for health reasons, so she decided to become a lawyer instead. Eight years later, she married her classmate Conrado, with whom she raised seven children, all of whom she breastfed and tutored in church and in school. Simultaneously, she worked at the Philippine National Bank where she eventually became the bank's first woman vice president. Now retired and having recently celebrated her 54th wedding anniversary, Lola Fely continues to 'mother' 13 grandchildren aged 6 to 28. She tells all of us, 'work and pray.' My mother's best advice is actually summed up in the Jesuit lifestyle: Pray as if everything depended on you (Faith), and work as if everything depended on God (Providence). Marilou Diaz-Abaya, film director

"To be true to everybody, especially to myself. To always pray and be mabait and humble. Because my mother was a sampaguita vendor and she never forgot how it felt to be poor. To have a family for keeps because I came from a broken home. To be with someone I love unconditionally." Rufa Mae Quinto, TV- movie personality, daughter of entrepreneur Carol Quinto and surrogate daughter of her granny, Mommy Lucing Quinto, "who are the real Booba in my life, and my inspiration."

"When I entered media, I wanted to please everybody: my bosses, my family, my friends, and I always got frustrated. My mom told me that I can't always please everyone, so I should identify the people whose opinions really matter to me, and listen only to them. I also remember how, even when we were growing up, she'd always allow us to make our own decisions. She always said we can do what we want but we have to be responsible for our actions. Dapat kaya naming panindigan. She'd give us our weekly allowance and we could spend it all in one day, but then that's it, we're on our own the rest of the week. Being held accountable for my actions helped me become independent at an early age. Even when I got pregnant and became a single mother, it was my decision and she respected that. She'd help me out when I needed money but it would strictly be a loan, not a handout. So now I have my own house and my car, thanks to a loan from my mom, which I am religiously paying back. I feel very proud about it." Kara David, broadcast journalist for GMA-7, single mother, daughter of Civil Service Commission chair Karina David



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