Thursday, May 16, 2013

All firstborns ...

Young Blood

All firstborns


When I’m asked how many siblings I have, I normally respond like this: “I have two—my sister and my brother. We’re all firstborns.”

That last part catches people off-guard, and I brace for follow-up questions such as, awkwardly: You all have different fathers? I understand that this comes from the impression that women like my mother are either unfortunate or “hostesses,” thanks (but no thanks) to films like “Tanging Ina.”

There are many times when I want to tell my friends the truth about my bizarre family story. But something holds me back, being in a country that hangs on to strong family ties and values.

I believe I have the most courageous and dignified mother of all. She is 51 and a single parent. I am her only child with my father; my sister and brother are her only children with their fathers.

I consider her the greatest actress of all time because she can play different roles at the same time.

She is our father who works hard day and night to support us financially. Like a protective dad, she fights like a lion and defends us whenever she feels we are being belittled or oppressed. She is our  ate  (elder sister) with whom we can chat and exchange silly jokes. Sometimes we can’t tell her everything under the sun, but she tries to be a good listener when we need one.

She is our kuya  (elder brother) who guards us from danger. She taught me to be street-smart—a great help when I have to go home late. She is our  yaya  (nanny) who always does things for us, including doing our laundry and folding our clothes neatly in the cabinet.

Finally, she is our mother who gave birth to us and continues to provide us shelter and love.

When I was very young, I could not understand why my playmates were always asking me about my father. Even harder to accept was the fact that the person I call “Papa” is my grandfather. I still can’t figure out how my mother survived all the rumors and speculations about our fathers.

I believe my immature outlook prevents me from understanding many things. I still cannot completely understand why my mother does not hate her kids’ fathers, and why she never told us anything negative about them. Because of her, I never hated my dad even if my friends told me not to forgive him.

I guess being our mother is a different story. It’s a full-time, all-out profession—the most complex, delicate, challenging and demanding job in the world, requiring equal doses of being overprotective and being lax, immunity from stress, abundant understanding, and unconditional love.

Being her second child has made me feel inferior to my sister. I used to think I was a mistake, because I came next to a love child. I used to think my existence ruined my sister’s own complete family. But not Mama, who told me that of all the wrong things she’d done, I am the best thing that happened to her.

I’ve been a daughter who has constantly failed to appreciate my mother’s efforts and sacrifices to help me build my life the right way. She introduced me to freedom at a very early stage in my life. She considers it her only legacy and lesson. With freedom comes our greatest responsibility as human beings.

But although I’ve been flying on my own, each time I look down I see her there on solid ground, assuring me that no matter what, she will catch me if I fall. She is proudest during my moments of achievement, and I know she is more pained than I am whenever I fail.

Sometimes I take her for granted and it hurts her big-time. But she never gives up on me, and never lets me give up on myself either.

My mother and I do not always agree on everything all the time, but one thing is for certain: We will love each other forever. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!

Valerie Ann P. Lambo, 20, is a mass communication graduate of Notre Dame University.

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I'm a very big fan of the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Young Blood. I always check for new entries and it's also my dream to write something sensible to be published here. Of all the posts I've read, this entry caught my attention. I have the same situation with the writer. We are four in the family. We have different fathers. None of our fathers stood by my mothers. She is a single parent but she's totally different the way the writer described her mother.

One day, when I finally get the courage to be perfectly honest about myself and my mother, I will also write an article about her. For now, I still don't have the guts to share everything to everyone and I'm not yet ready for criticism from people who will disagree with my different points of view about my family, myself and my mother.

For all the firstborns out there! We're not alone :)


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  8. HI! ako nga pala yung writer ng article na to. maraming salamat sa pagre-post. salamat din at naka-relate ka. hello sa nanay mo at tulad mo andaming issues akong dinaanan bago ko naisipan na magsulat ng ganito. minsan kailangan nating itayo ang bandera ng mga firstborns, e sino pa ba ang gagawa nun, kundi tayo lang diba. hindi man tayo madaling ma-gets ng iba, dapat pa rin nating panindigan ang prinsipyo natin. magsulat ka and stand for your mom. salamat uli.

    1. OMG! This is amazing! I wasn't expecting to read a message from you :) Thank you so much for taking your time and I'm very sorry if I didn't ask for your permission first before reposting it here ^^ Sana nga makapagsulat din ako ng something related sa aming magnanay.. SOMEDAY .. di ko pa kaya ngayon eh ibang-iba kc tlaga ang mama ko sa lahat ^^ pero drating din yung time na magkakalakas ako ng loob . Thank you tlaga :) and congratulations for making it to the Young Blood :)


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