Agoo, La Union (1982)

As I get older, my birthday becomes less about me and more about celebrating my mom and commemorating the day that I changed her life forever. So before this day ends, allow me to renew my commitment to honour her the best way I can: by living my life with integrity, kindness, and generosity. If I am seen by others as a strong and level-headed woman, then that is a testament to how I have been raised by Mama. By her example, I have learned how to be self-reliant and never to wallow in self-pity.

One might think that I had been sheltered all my life since I was the unica hija. While it might even be easier to shield me from heartaches and sorrow, she let me experience the pain of heartbreak and the disappointment of failures. Though she might have wanted to hold on to me, she let me spread my wings and see the world. She gave me the skills to navigate through the ups and downs of life and I was well equipped to face the world confidently. Once I made a comment that while I was her only child, it seemed to me that she worried and looked after everyone else but me! Again, that is a credit to her excellent parenting. 

It is no mean feat to raise a child as a single mom and yet she made it seem easy. I grew up knowing I was loved and wanted and that has made all the difference. I am and always will be your Little Miss Sunshine, Mama. I love you and thank you for bringing me into the world.