What do girls do who haven't any mothers to help them through their troubles?
- Louisa May Alcott
No, Nanay is not perfect.
She's never attended any of my school activities like competitions and commencement exercises.
She wasn't the most active parent in the Parents-Teachers Association.
She was very clear about having the 'No-Boyfriends rule' when I was still in school.
She wanted me to be a nurse even though I hated the thought of working in a hospital.
She always (well, most of the time) blinks whenever her picture is taken.
She didn't spend money for weekly manicures and pedicures and perms.
She didn't go up the corporate ladder and became a powerful female executive.
She never failed to make me believe that I can do anything if I put in enough hard work.
She insists that she need not be a school sycophant for us to succeed academically.
She was right. Boyfriends come and go. Learning, education and opportunities won't.
She only wanted me to able to earn enough and live any way I wanted.
She made family photos a laugh trip every time.
She'd rather spend the cash for food on the table than get beautified.
She chose to raise nine children, which is more difficult work than managing a company.
She never quit nor resigned on what is the most difficult job in the world.
Just like any mother-daughter relationship, we've had our ups and downs. Our cold wars and our misunderstandings.
But at the end of the day, Nanay would cook the best home-cooked meal in the world, wash my dirtied climb clothes, talk my ears off with the news of everyone I know (or don't even know), teach me to use things and value people, not the other way around, fly all the way from Iloilo to nurse a daughter's broken heart, proudly retell my paltry achievements to anyone who'd bother to listen and would gladly carry me in her womb for nine months again if she had to.
For me, that's what makes Nanay perfect.