Posted by: Leah | March 2, 2007

Si Nanay

Post in Tagalog. English translation is in quotes.
Pitumput dalawang taon na si Nanay. Ipinanganak siya sa Victoria Tarlac, Tarlac noong ikalawang araw ng Marso, 1935. Hindi ko masyadong alam kung ano ang mga pangyayari noong mga taong iyon. Anim na taon pa lang siya ng mag-umpisa ang giyera (WWII). Halos kasing edad nya ang aking anak. Ano kaya ang pakiramdam nya noon? Ano kaya ang ginagawa nya noong bombahin ng mga Hapon ang Maynila. Naku, siguro, napakahirap ng buhay noon.

Hindi ko matandaan na nagtanong kay Nanay kung paano ang buhay noong mga panahong iyon. Ang naaalala ko lang eh ang mga kuwento nya kung paano sila nagkakilala ni Tatay, kung paano ang buhay noong maliliit pa kami. Kung paano nya naranasan ang mga bagyo sa buhay. Mga kuwento tungkol kay lolo at lola. Mga kuwento ng mga kahirapan.

Medyo tahimik akong bata at mahilig lang makinig. Minsan ang mga kuwento niya ay paulit-ulit kaya siguro naaalala ko pa hanggang ngayon.

Ang tawag ko kay Nanay ay “Ma”. Parang maigsing Ima ng mga capampangan.. Ginaya lang namin siguro ang aking pinakamatandang kuya at lahat kami ay ganoon ang tawag sa kanya. Ma. Subalit sa pangalawang persona, siya ay si Nanay. Nariyan ba si Nanay, Nasaan si Nanay. Sabihin mo tawagan ako nin Nanay mamya ha.

Ang tinapos ni Nanay ay Grade 3 Grade 5 pero marami syang mga naituro sa akin. Mga aral na matutunan mo sa buhay. Sampu silang magkakapatid subalit tatlo lamang ang nakatapos sa kolehiyo. Nagtrabaho na siya nung mga panahon na dapat ay nasa paaralan siya, Siya ang pinaka-ate sa kanilang lahat. Takbuhan ng mga kapatid nya. Laging bukas puso naman sa pagtulong.

Sa kaniya ko siguro nakuha ang pagiging negosyante. Ang hilig sa pag-shopping at ang pagiging maalaga sa katawan at sarili. Miski 72 na si Nanay, hindi ganoon ang kanyang itsura kasi alagang Olay ang kutis nya. Ang hindi ko lang natutunan ay ang galing nya sa pagluluto. Napakasarap na sinigang at mga kalamay .Pancit, Puto, Dinuguan, Kutsinta, Espasol, Maja Blanca, Giniling, Adobo, Nilaga at marami pang iba. At syempre ang paborito ng aking anak na Arroz Caldo. Buti na lang hindi na ako nakatira sa kanila, kundi, sira ang diyeta palagi.

Ngayon ay isa na syang pensiyonada. Naku, sana ang tunog nga ng salitang iyan ay kasing yaman din ng kahulugan nya pero hindi naman. Pero kahit papaano meron syang natatanggap sa gobyerno. Kaya ngayon, pa-kasi-casino at patong-it-tong-it na lang siya. Pero syempre nariyan sya palagi para mag-alaga ng mga apo. Buti na lang at di na sila mga sanggol at mas madali na alagaan.

Totoo nga pala, hindi mo gaanong malalaman ang tunay na kahulugan ng isang ina hanggat di ka maging isa rin.

Anim kaming magkakapatid na iniluwal ni Nanay. Pinadede, hinele, pinaliguan, pinamili ng kung ano-ano, pinakain, pinag-aral at pinagdasal.Ngayon, labing-isang apo na ang naibigay namin lahat sa kanila ni Tatay.

Ewan ko kung masasabi ko lahat ng harapan ito kay Nanay, medyo alangan kasi ako sa pagbigay ng sadyang malawak na pag-papahayag ng damdamin. Hindi kasi ako sanay sa ganoon sa aking magulang. Sana maging kasing bukas ako tulad ng pagbigay ng pagmamahal sa akin ng aking anak at ganun rin ako sa kanya. Kaya eto na ang aking pagkakataon.

Para sa iyo Ma. Napaka-suwerte ko at narito pa rin kayo sa piling namin. Makikita ka pa rin ng aking anak hanggang sa kanyang paglaki. Mayayakap ka pa rin namin. Nawa ay narito ka pa rin hanggang sa makapagtapos ang iyong mga apo sa pag-aaral. Nawa ay makita mo pa ang iyong mga apo sa tuhod.

Maraming salamat sa iyong pag-aruga sa amin. Sa akin. Sa iyong walang sawang pag-ala-ala sa mga bagay na nagyayari sa buhay ko. Sa iyong pag-alaga sa aking anak. Sa iyong mga tawag. Sa iyong mga halik at yakap. Salamat at ikaw ang aking naging ina. Mula po sa kaibuturan ng aking puso, Maligayang kaarawan. At Mahal na mahal po namin kayo. Mahal na mahal kita.

Mother is Seventy Two. She was born in Tarlac, Tarlac (Philippines) on the second day of March 1935. I dont know much on what happened on that year. She was 6 years old when the second World War started, just about the same age as my daughter now. I wonder how she felt then? What was she doing when Japan bombed Manila. Oh my, I’m sure life was so difficult then.

I cannot remember ever asking Mother how life was during those times. What I remember well are her stories of how she met my father. And of how life was when we were smaller. And how she experienced so many storms in her life. Stories as well of my grandma and grandpa. And stories of hardships.

I was a pretty quiet child and would simply listen in. Sometimes her stories are repeated and I guess that’s how I remember them until now.

I call Mother “Ma”. Capampangan (one of the many dialects in the Philippines), say Ima (say Eee-ma) for mother. I guess Ma is a shortened version. We probably copied it from the way my eldest brother called her and so that is how we call her Ma. But in the second person, we say “Nanay”. Is “Nanay” there? Where is “Nanay”? Tell “Nanay” to call me later.

Nanay was able to reach Grade 5 but despite that she was able to teach me a lot of things. Lessons that you learn from life. There are 10 of them in the family. Only 3 were able to complete college education. Nanay stated working when she should have been going to school. She is the eldest girl in the family. Her sibllings go to her in time of need and she is always there with an open heart and an open hand for them.

I guess I got my interest in business from her. As well as fondness of shopping and of taking care of myself well. Even though she is 72, her looks doesnt show that. Her skin is well maintained.

The one thing I did not learn from her is the art of cooking. She makes the most delicious dishes. Filipino dishes and desserts, and my daughter’s favourite , chicken arroz caldo. Its a good thing I dont live with her anymore, otherwise my diet will always be jeopardized.

Now she receives a meager pension from the government. So she likes to spend some time in the casino or play cards with her friends. But ofcourse, she is always there to take care of her grand kids. Its a good thing they’re not babies anymore and are easier to take care of.

It is true indeed, you never know what it truly means to be a mother until you become one yourself.

There are 6 of us she gave birth to. She fed us, lulled as to sleep, bathe us, bought us whatever we need, sent us to school and prayed for us. Now, there are eleven grandchildren in all that we were able to give back to her and my father..

I’m not sure if I can say all these face to face to my mother. I am a bit hesitant to show affection. I am not at ease so much in expressing my feelings toward my parents. It has never been an easy thing to do for me. I wish I can be like my daughter, how she shows her love to me in action and in words, and me to her. So now is my chance.

For you Ma. I am so lucky that you are still here with us. That you can still see my daughter grow up. We are still able to hug you. May you witness the time that your grand children may finish their studies. Or the time that they will have their own kids.

Thank you for nurturing us. For nurturing me. And for your unending cares in all aspects of my life. Thank you for taking care of my child. For your calls. For your hugs and kisses. Thank you for being my mother, From the bottom of my heart, Happy Birthday. We love you very much. I love you very much.

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Responses

  1. Awww. Makabagbag =P damdamin naman itong blog mo. Na-miss ko tuloy ang Mama ko. Ang layo ng Pilipinas kung gusto kong maglambing.
    Happy Birthday sa Nanay mo. Nawa’y maraming-marami pa siyang maging kaarawan. God bless your mom & all the moms in the world!

  2. Oo nga.. makabagbag damdamin talaga 🙂
    Nanay ko rin ganyan: laging may Oil of Olay ang balikbayan box ko, hehe..
    Maligayang Kaarawan po 🙂

  3. Pareho pala silang march ni mama, sa 28 naman siya. Napakasuwerte talaga natin sa mga magulang natin, lahat silang magkakapatid eh talagang puro mabubuting ina sa kanilang mga anak, sa atin magpipinsan.

    Happy Birthday Aunty!!(pakisabi ‘te!) at nawa ay makasama ulit ako sa pag-cacasino mo pag napunta kami diyan! hehehe!

  4. What a BEAUTIFUL tribute. Happy Birthday, Leah’s mom!

  5. Maligayang bati sa iyong ina. Mukhang she’ll live to be a hundred ah!

  6. ang gnda ng pagkasulat. galing talaga sa puso. iyakap mo kami sa iyng nanay…iba talaga ang mga ina. sila ang mga anghel dito sa lupa.

  7. Leah, what a beautiful tribbute! I felt the sincerity through each of your words. I do hope your mother gets to read this. If it touched my heart, it will surely touch hers and delight her immensely.

  8. Sana mabasa at maramdaman ng nanay mo yung lahat ng love mo sa kanya.

    Mabuhay ang mga nanay na walang sawang nag-aalaga sa mga anak w/o expecting anything in return.

  9. Katulad ng sinabi ni kuya Ronald, maswerte and blessed tayo sa ating mga magulang… Nakita ko reaction ni aunty nung binasa ni uncle yung blog mo, sobrang saya ng mukha nya and your dad as well.

    Happy birthday Aunty!

  10. Just like you,I’m also hesistant to show my affections toward my parents. Not that I don’t love them, I do in fact and i’m sure they know it. It’s just that, I don’t feel comfortable doing it.

    Must be an Asian thing I guess…

  11. That is a beautiful ode to your Nanay Leah. Wow ha… she looks like a fashionista in that picture. She definitely doesn’t look like she’s 72.

    Hey, I’m really touched that you were able to tell your Nanay that you love her.

  12. ang sweet naman, tulad mo, di rin ako open sa pagpapahayag ng damdamin, pero i know na alam ng bawat ina kung gaano sila kamahal ng kanilang mga anak. basta, feel ko lang.

  13. Gina, Salamat sa pagbati. Binagabag ko ba ang iyong damdamin?

    Hi Pining, pareho pala tayo ng Nanay na mahilig sa Olay. Ganda pa rin siguro ni nanay mo ano?

    Oo nga Ronald, suwerte tayo. Sabi ni Nanay, oo raw, call sya.

    Thanks a lot Cee Cee

    Sana ay magdilang-anghel ka nga Ferdz . Thanks.

    Hi Junnie.
    Salamat Junnie. Nung sinusulat ko nga ito eh naiiyak-iyak rin ako. Miski na mahirap pala magsulat ng straight Tagalog. Angels from up above talaga.

    Oh thanks Toni
    I gave the printed form (in bigger fonts) of this post to her yesterday and she was truly delighted. She corrected a few things but I sensed that she really liked it, And yes, I gave her a big kiss too.

    Hi Ann ,
    Pinabasa ko nga sa kanya at binasa rin nila ni Tatay itong blog ko.
    Mabuhay ang mga ina!

    Dear M I C H E L L E
    Salamat sa pagsabi tungkol sa reaction nila. Nakakataba ng puso.
    Napakasuwerte nga talaga nating magpipinsan ano?

    Hi snglguy,
    I guess it also has to do with the upbringing. If we werent showy during our growing years about our feelings, we tend to be shy about being open with our emotions as we mature. I am actually very different with my daughter, we hug and kiss and say I love you all the time. And I’m glad about that.

    Thanks Toe
    Like mother , like daughter (lol). Naku kailangan basahin ni Nanay etong mga comments para lalo syang matuwa.

    Hi Analyse,
    Totoo yan, malakas ang pakiramdam ng mga ina. At alam ko na alam na alam nya ang lubos naming pagmamahal sa kanya. Salamat.

  14. Happy birthday to your loving Ima. 🙂

  15. Ang ganda ng iyong alay sa iyong ina. What a touching tribute. Na isinalin pa sa Ingles. Kung tinuturing mong masuerte ka sa pagkakaruon ng ulirang ina, masasabi kong napakamapalad din ni Ima na merong isang Leah — tunay na mapagmahal na anak.

  16. happy birthday kay “ima”. “inda”, “ma” (we come from the same town, we should have come from the same school, CHS, tho i am 12 years older than you are).

    that’s a moving tribute to your mom (i had one, too, posted yesterday). how we should treasure them. as to the public show of affection, maybe it was really the “times”. during their time, there seemed to be some distance (what they call respect) between parent and child, unlike nowadays, when parent-child relationship could also be a friendly relationship. 🙂

  17. this is so heartfelt leah! you are very lucky to have a mother like yours. it’s nice to see that she has imparted good morals to you.

    and i pray for the same thing: that my mother grows old to see her grandchildren graduate from college.

  18. Thanks Abaniko

    Hello annamanila
    Salamat sa iyong magagandang salita. Mahirap pala magsulat ng tuloy-tuloy na Tagalog. Pero siyempre kailangan, maintindihan ni Nanay di ba? Ang English translation eh para sa mga English readers na di nakakintindi ng Tagalog.

    Hi sexy mom
    Your tribute to your mother is quite moving as well.. Cabalen pala tayo. Pero laking Baguio naman kaming magkakapatid dahil nalipat ang Tatay ko ng trabaho dun nung maliliit pa kami.

    Its a good thing our moms are so sweet and affectionate with their grand children. It is the Times as you said.

    Hi gracita
    Thanks. It is so nice to imagine the future with our parents still in tow and able to witness the milestones in our lifetime.

  19. That is a lovely tribute to your mother. I love that Ima means mother, for my kids also call me Ima, pronounced the same way, which also means mother in Hebrew.

    Here from Michele

  20. Wow, touch naman ako. Gusto ko na rin magsulat para sa Mama ko. Seguro, this coming Mother’s Day pa.

    By the way, you can use my “Window” photo in my blog. I didn’t know if you have read my reply about it.

  21. Our mothers are the living proof that there’s no age limit when it comes to being the woman of the world. Cheers to our beloved nanays!

  22. Beautiful tribute to your Mom!

  23. kakatouch naman… kaya mo yan! try mong sabihin… kung hidni tlaga kaya, you can show it through your actions…

  24. Hi Leah. It’s a beautiful and touching post. A wonderful tribute to your loving mother.

    Happy Birthday to your mom. I wish her the best of health and more great years ahead of her.

  25. Happy Birthday to your Nanay! Wishing her many, many more to come. What loving tribute to your mom Leah. My mom was also the eldest of big family. I have yet to write about my own mom, I miss her.

  26. Hi Margalit, that’s good to know that Ima is also mother in Hebrew. Thanks for dropping by.

    Dodong, good to hear from you. Looking forward to mother’s Day then. And thanks, I’ll use the photo soon.

    Hi Nao! So true, so true!

    Thanks Tim

    Hi Paul, I gave this post to her as a letter and a gift for her birthday. And gave her a big kiss and hug. Thanks.

    Thanks Rachel and KK

  27. Hey Leah.
    Great tribute to your Mom.

    Nick

  28. happy birthday kay nanay mo 🙂
    pareho pala sila ng birthday month ng nanay ko 🙂

    ang lola ko naman noon ang may mga kwento tungkol sa WWII 🙂

  29. kahapon nagkita kami ng lolo na halos malapit sa edad ng iyong Mom, bago ko nabasa itong post mo, nagkukuwento siya ng buhay niya noong panahon ng mga hapon pati kung papaano nasabugan ng bomba ang kanyang nobya. nakaka bless na nakasurve ang iyong Mom at Lolo ko sa panahon ng kahirapan.

    Makikibati ako ng maligayang kaarawan sa iyong mother.

  30. hindi nga sya mukhang 72!

    a Mother’s love is the true reflection of God’s love – unconditional and not limiting!

  31. wow, happy birthday to your ma, leah. 🙂 katulad mo, hindi ako ganun ka-showy sa mga magulang ko, pero nabanggit nila sa amin minsan na ngiti lang at konting akbay, naiintindihan na nila yun. 🙂

  32. Hi Leah 🙂

    Naiyak naman ako. I suggest you print this and you let your Nanay read it or better yet…let one apo read it in front of his or her Lola 🙂

  33. Wow! What a nice tribute to your Nanay. Palagay ko ay matagal nyo pa siyang makakasama dahil ma-alaga naman pala siya sa sarili.

    Totoo nga na hindi mo lubos na maiintindihan kung paano maging ina hangga’t hindi mo ito naranasan.

    Nice post, Leah. 🙂

  34. Happy Birthday to your mom, Leah!

    So nice and sweet of you to make this tribute to her. You are lucky to have a mom like her, and she is lucky to have a daughter like you! 🙂

  35. Happy happy birthday to your Mom

  36. Kudos to you, Leah, for expressing your true self. As they say in our community of Couples for Christ, and even if one is not a member of CFC, we have to express how we love and appreciate our parents through deeds, actions, words and prayers while they are still alive. We owe them so much…

    I envy all of you because your biological parent(s) no matter how imperfect they may be are still with you and you enjoy their physical presence; however, Nanay and Tatay are considered my second parents and I am truly privileged.

    More to blog!

    God bless and love you all,
    Kuya Nan and Ate Mariel

  37. Hi Nick . Thanks!

    Hello Melai. Sna nga nakakuwentuhan ko rin si Lola nun tungkol sa WW2 pero wala pa sa isip ko itanong yun noon. Magandang memories ang pag-usapan ang nakalipas miski pa malungkot ang kuwento di ba?

    Hi Iskoo . Sabi ko nga kay Melai sa itaas, magandang memories ang mga kuwento nila, kaya huwag mo kalilimutan para maikuwento mo rin sa mga magiging anak mo. Salamat sa pagbati.

  38. Hi Zelle ,oh my, she’ll be delighted to hear that. Thanks

    Hi Zherwin , totoo nga, isang akbay at halik, alam na nila yun. Salamat.

    Thanks Niceheart. I hope that she will indeed live upto a hundred or more.

    Hi Rhodora . Thanks for your greetings.

    thanks hipncoolmomma

    Hi ate Mariel, aka Ferdinand . thanks for your heartwarming comments and for dropping by.

  39. Hi Verns , naku na-skip kita. But thanks for your greetings. I was able to let my nanay read this post. A printed version. Natuwa naman siya. Having one of the apo read it is a great idea. Maybe pag mas marunong ng magbasa anak ko. I will make another tribute then.

  40. Napakagandang tribute sa Nanay mo. You are so blessed to have a mom like her. I wish her a happy birthday and many many more to come 🙂

  41. Salamat BW

  42. What a heartwarming tribute to your mother. Belated happy birthday to her 🙂

  43. Thanks jmom

  44. better be late than never ik nga ! Belated Happy Birthday to your wonderful Mom Leah ! You are both lucky to have each other! Cheers to good health, happy and healthier life !

  45. Thanks Haze

  46. […] today March 2nd, my dearest Nanay celebrates her birthday. Its been a week now since she had a ovariectomy, both of her ovaries were […]

  47. […] put in my entry , a letter to Nanay. It is actually an excerpt of the post I made for Nanay on her birthday last year. However with so many people who joined in, they had to choose the top 10 and make a draw. I did […]


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