a time to remember where you came from

“The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come.”

Although true, it never said how often we should look back. No matter how much we can deny it, where we are right now is partly because of the people that helped us get there. We didn’t do it alone. And we’re not meant to. So let’s not forget about those who helped us get this far. We are in the company of angels – how blessed are we!

“No man is an island.”

One angel in particular is that special lady in our lives that we tend to overlook. The one who gave us life. The one who helped us take our first breath of air. The one who fed us with fruit from their very own body. The one who tirelessly made sure we had clothes on our backs (and that those clothes were washed and ironed). The one who taught us countless life lessons. The one who reassures us of their unconditional love despite our own shortcomings. The one we call our mother.

And if you weren’t fortunate enough to experience this maternal love, I’m sorry. I’m praying for you. And so is one of the greatest mother of them all, our most devoted prayer warrior – Mama Mary.

IMG_0279
“Mama Mary, please intercede for all of our mothers. Ask your Divine Son to give them the grace of surrendered love so that they could join with you in giving their own “fiat.” May they find daily strength to say yes to the call to the sacrificial love – the very heart of the vocation of motherhood. May their love and witness be a source of great inspiration for all of us called to follow your Son. “

I’m one of five children, the middle one. Kudos to my parents, especially my mum, for raising a crazy bunch. My mum has given me a lot in my very comfortable life – a house to live in, the best chicken adobo I have ever tasted, a multitude of second chances and not to mention, ridiculously good looks. And even to this day, at a ripe age of 30, she still shows me some love. She even wakes me up in the morning to say goodbye before she leaves for work. But out of all the gifts she’s given me, there’s one thing that isn’t comparable to the rest of them.

When I was young and we were still living in the Philippines, my mum and I used to do “Visita Iglesia”, which is a Catholic Lenten tradition that involves visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday (or was it Good Friday?). This was probably my earliest pilgrim memory. Visiting seven churches might not sound like much here in Australia but it’s a whole other experience in the Philippines. I remember it being a difficult, yearly journey of commuting through Manila using tricycles and jeepneys, weaving through crowded streets who were also embarking on the same pilgrimage and it usually started in the early hours of the day until late at night. But every year, I went with my mum without hesitation. I’m not sure why she only took me out of her five kids, and I’ve never asked. But I’ll be forever grateful for it because she introduced me to what came to be the core and foundation of my very being – my Catholic faith.

Shout out to you, my Mama. I’m not sure if you’ll ever read this. But know that I love you, even when I fail to show you. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us.

So if you’re lucky enough, show your mum some love this mother’s day, with a present, a coffee, a meal, some flowers or even just a genuine hug. Trust me, she’ll love it! And she deserves it, because she’s been there since day one. #mainchick #dayones

“It is they, mothers, who often give the first roots of the faith, the ones that permeate deepest; without them not only would the faithful be lost, but also a good part of the deepest fire of our faith,” Pope Francis

Mama’s girl, – M.