Tuesday, July 3, 2018


1990 column picture
It is done.

Some four months after we buried our mother, I have finished scanning all of her clippings of the “Light Sunday” column that she kept from 1990 to 2017.

I learned many things. One, that my mother would have made a very poor librarian. So many of her clippings lacked dates. I guessed at some of the dates based on the order in which the clipping was glued to the page of a large notebook, one of many which featured the faces of long-gone Tagalog celebrities on its covers.  

She was not much for presentation either. I cringed at how unevenly she cut out the columns and felt a faint sense of vertigo over how they tilted left or right on the pages. And she lacked several. My mother wrote for Sun.Star Daily every Sunday from November 25, 1990 to August 6, 2017. I counted 1,340 Sunday columns in her possession, but figured that she lacked about 41 more.

1998 column picture
Two, she wrote about us. Many times I stumbled on a half-forgotten memory retrieved from the yellowed edges of her clipping. There we were growing up, getting jobs, leaving home, getting married, having children, getting sick…named or unnamed, we peppered her columns for some 27 years.

And she wrote about her concerns, things that were real to her. Most importantly, she spoke with hope and total belief in the Lord even if she highlighted issues and challenges that seem insurmountable.

My young immature self then had wondered if my teacher of a mother, whose strong religious beliefs and love of God always managed to work itself into every piece she wrote – masked or unmasked – would register with a newspaper-reading public (Internet access was not widespread then) that seemed to feed on current and more worldly, trendy and cosmopolitan topics.

This column pic lasted just months in 2004.
I should have known better than to doubt her. I have friends who tell me that their mothers would look for and read my mom’s column every Sunday. We would get positive feedback via mail and in person. 

My mother wrote as she lived. With a love for God and family, and a genuine concern for mankind even if that concern was often shortchanged. Sure, she was also critical and sometimes got burned for her opinions, but this never stopped her from expressing what she felt was right. 

Finally, color in 2007.
As I scan page after page and read through years of her writing, I relive having a wonderful, caring, imperfect, stubborn, strong-willed, God-loving and -fearing mother, and I miss her even more. So do my sisters.

We laugh at the memories her writing evokes, wince at the times we unknowingly caused her pain because we had grown up and away from her, share her frustration over how problems remain unsolved because of lack of leadership or will, and admire her tenacity of faith and unfailing belief in the power of prayer.

She got a new column picture in  2017,
the last year she wrote for Sun.Star Daily.
My sister says it best:  "Most people will say that their mothers are special. But Mommy Really. Was. Special."

I have four sisters, a lifetime of memories and 1,340 pages of mostly undated, unevenly-cut and discolored clippings to back me up.