• Of mothers and their children


    Mother’s Day was three months ago, but I felt it timely to discuss about mothers (and children). As a mother, I think Mother’s Day should be celebrated every day. I can affirm a mother’s job isn’t only for 8 hours, Mondays to Fridays. It is 24 hours, 7 days a week, no days off, no holidays.

    Our eldest son’s first quarter exams ended last week. He has started to review 2 weekends beforehand. He is a diligent student. He is used to doing his homework upon getting home from school, including Fridays in order to keep his weekends free. I thought he had everything down pat until around 6 0’clock, Tuesday evening, when he requested that I teach him again how to solve math word problems.

    We tackled word problem upon word problem. I didn’t want to stop until I was sure he understood. He didn’t complain even when my voice got several pitches higher.

    I could see he was tired and even if I wanted to have another round, I’m also aware sleep is more important in order to have a clear mind to answer the exam questions. It took us three hours.

    I was very worried. More than I had ever been. What if he panics and forgets? What if he becomes careless and uses a different set of assumptions?

    In a few months, our youngest will be taking the entrance exam to the big school. He is younger than most of his classmates and will only be 5 years when he enters Grade 1 next year. His kindergarten teacher said he is attentive in class and assures me he will be ready.

    When the children left for school the morning after, it took me quite some time to get my senses back. I was concerned and anxious of what the future holds for them.

    A few months ago, I was invited to speak at an anti-black mining rally in Lallo, Cagayan. I was surprised to find that most of the rallyists were mothers—like me. They did not mouth the usual slogans commonly heard in rallies. They did not bring effigies with them to burn or carried placards. They simply spoke from the heart and talked of their concern for their communities and fear of what the future holds for their children.

    Black sand mining is a living nightmare to residents living along or near coast lines and river banks. Houses and entire villages are in danger of being washed away. Farm lands will soon no longer be arable and fresh water fish ponds are close to destruction due to increase in salinity. Fish and other sea creatures go farther out into the ocean because of the large vessels equipped with separators disguised as dredgers that scour magnetite or black sand along the shores and large river channels.

    Whoever profits from black sand mining should not only think of the bright future they want to give their children, but of the bleak prospect awaiting the children of the protesting mothers—mothers like them, their wives or their own mothers.

    Janet Lim Napoles is also a mother. She has children who I’m sure she loves very much. In fact, she loved them too much she gave a daughter not one, but two Porsches plus an 80 million-peso apartment in Los Angeles, in addition to shoes, bags, clothes, watches and jewelry I only got to see on Sex and the City and read about in magazines at the hair salon. She denies the allegations against her and her family. However, for every denial she introduces, a new witness against her comes out. For every defense she and her team launches, new evidence comes out.

    Not all mothers are perfect. I admit I’m not. As a general rule, mothers only want what’s best for their children.

    I am not in the position to judge Napoles as a mother. No one is. But when we say we want what’s best for our children, it doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive and luxurious; the most lavish and opulent. In my personal opinion, what’s best is what’s appropriate; what will be beneficial and helpful especially when they pursue their own dreams. What’s best could be a priceless as time spent with them or as valuable as conversations at the dinner table. What’s best need not have a price tag or a brand.

    As a taxpayer, I am aghast at the 10-billion (or more) pork barrel scam. As a public servant, I am disturbed by the total disregard for the law with scandalous overpricing and appalling ghost projects.

    As a mother, I am very much concerned about my children’s future. Nonetheless, I believe they will make it, with a lot of love, tons of words of wisdom and endless prayers from their dad and me. I am a mother. That is why I worry.


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    1 Comment

    1. Alipio Dalmacio on


      I admire you for the clarity, powerful and tenacity in advocating a cause. You described life as you saw it, which demonstrated your courage, intelligence, and sense of justice.I
      am just wondering – how are those who liked what you said are reacting in a positive way?
      I wish you well in lending your gift of writing to clarify issues for the better understanding of your sense for value and truth. Blessings. Aling