12:39 AM

She never graduated for higher education but is more educated than some of those people. She never took any management courses but her management abilities are superb. She never took economics but her financial and business acumen is at par with successful businessmen.

She always prepares a sumptuous food whenever her sons or daughters paid her a visit. Her smile and infectious laugh is like a sprinkle of rain that drenches you in one cool afternoon.

Sometimes her Visayan accent transports you to her childhood where the idyllic farm and nipa hut is a panorama that expands and throbs like gold in the heat of the sun.

Even when she unconsciously sings around her family, as she does household chores, instantly the room is transformed to a sepia picture, and you find your whole being massaged by a jazzy siren. It is this moments that you close your eyes and stretch your hands to feel the cool wind that caresses your skin. It is this encounters that convince you that simple moments are treasures that are to be cherished.

Once there was a boy who was so blessed in having to witness how she showered these simple moments. The boy drunk all these moments like a cold Coke, bottoms-up, he drunk it all, like a thirsty traveller after journeying for days in the desert has seen an oasis.

But the boy knew that sometimes she is like a volcano. She can spew fire and burn you. There was one recurring scene where she will always break a stem of the gumamela plant in front of her house, run after the boy and other siblings every one ‘o clock in the afternoon outside the house, drove them inside the house, give them some lashing, and put them to sleep.

Although the boy knows that the lashing is about them being undisciplined and failing to sleep during siesta in the afternoon. He still gets the shiver seeing her eyes like rolling lava ready to melt him.

Time flies so fast.

Even if the boy wanted to stop the ticking of the clock he cannot do anything because the clock is like a ship that once the anchor is removed and placed inside the ship, it sails in the vast ocean.

He now reflects on the vast ocean with its undulating waves of memories. He now tries to run back the hands of time and be the boy he once knew – thin, army cut hair that makes him look like having a spoon that hangs in his forehead, two protruding front teeth earning him the monicker Tasyo. He tries to bring back the boy who runs; like there was no tomorrow, after seeing his mother from afar and embrace her tightly because he was so afraid she will be taken by ugly monsters, and be gone forever.

She showed that boy who is now a grown-up how love breathes and throbs. For that, the boy will honour her forever.

Happy Birthday Mama!

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