#MamaKo: Children Pay Tribute to Their Moms via Pre-motherhood photos
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, May 01, 2020 9:54am
Art by Dani Elevazo
If someone asks us who could love us unconditionally, mothers will be the first persons on our minds. How could we not? These people are those who carried another person in their wombs for nine months and put their lives at stake while giving birth. After that, they will dedicate their lives taking care of their children.
Before they became mothers, these women had completely different lives. These people recall the lives of their moms before they had a family of their own.
Si Mommy ito nung 18 years old siya. Maagang nagbuntis si Mommy. Dapat pupunta siya ng Japan kaso naging Gapan kasi nandito na ako *laughs*. Si Mommy parang ako eh, mahina siya sa emotions pero ako pinapalakas ko yung emotions ko. Si Mommy kahit bungangera siya, kahit palagi kaming nag aaway, nandyan pa rin siya para sa akin. She's the BEST mom. Kahit madalas kami mag-asaran tapos pikon siya, mahal ko ‘yan. Hindi man ako showy, but God knows how much I love you. Thank you dahil binuhay mo ako. Thank you dahil mas inuna mo ako kaysa sa pangarap mo.
- Trichelle to her mother, Michelle
"This picture was taken in 1994 during my mother’s graduation. This is my mother at the age of 24. She took up a Bachelor of Science in Commerce in Meycauayan College. This picture represents the years of hardwork in studying to pursue her dream. I would like to thank my mother for all the sacrifices and hardships that she did for us to live a comfortable life. We are not rich but my mother would do anything just to give what we want. Soon, when I'm at the right age I would give back all the care, love, support and sacrifices to my mother. I will always be thankful for her."
- Rownald to his mother, Rowena
Siguro mga 1950s kuha ‘to. Soprano si nanay (middle) ng pastoral chorale sa Sigma, Capiz noong kabataan niya. Kaya tingin ko, inclined ‘yung family namin sa arts, sa iba-ibang aspects nga lang napunta ‘yung iba. Gusto kong mag-thank you sa kanya dahil naipasa niya ‘yung legacy *laughs*. Dahil sa kanya kaya ko rin na-prove na totoo ‘yung kasabihang “Mother knows best.”
- Marcy to her mother, Milagros
This is the photo of my mom back when she was a working young adult, just like me now. I remember how my father said she attended classes for stenography. It's kind of sad I won't be able to ask more of what she did during those years. But this photo is a consolation for me, I get to see her in an age where she’s like me, somehow it connects me to her. I miss her everyday. Especially the memories we get to experience if she's here.
I want to see her reaction to our college graduation, our first day in our first jobs, our relationships. How would she take care of my father in his dialysis sessions? What about Christmas, New Year celebrations? I also want to see her reaction to social media, creating her Facebook account and taking her profile photo would be a moment too, I know it! Wherever she is now, I know she's alright. When the time comes she'll be there patiently waiting, welcoming us home.
- Sherry to her late mother, Irene
Ever since, Mama is a little “extra”. She’s “maarte” in a sense that she exaggerates her reactions—kind of like performing on stage. She told me she was an active performer of school programs. This photo was taken during a speech choir event during her elementary days. It’s a shame I can’t find the photo in which she portrayed Gabriela Silang. Truth be told, my mom’s just like her: a warrior. She always says she’s the daughter of an Amazon. For me, she’s not just a warrior; she’s also my hero.
- Ayel to her mother, Marcelina
So eto grad pic ni mommy. Pa-fresh lang ang nanay ko with violet eyeshadow and pink lipstick. Sobrang thankful ako sa ina na binigay sakin ni Lord dahil sobrang strong and napakabuti ng puso niya. Inspired ako sa kaniya dahil napalaki niya kami ni Kuya nang walang pagkukulang dahil halos ng lahat ng kaya niyang ibigay, ibibigay niya talaga. You're the best!
- Aira to her mother, Stephanie
Kasal ‘to ni Nanay saka Tatay siguro mga 1960s. Naririnig ko lang ‘yung mga kwento tungkol sa kanya, kinukwento lang ng mga tiyuhin ko. Hindi ko nakilala si Nanay kasi namatay siya pagkapanganak sa akin. Pero ang sabi nila, mabait daw si Nanay.
- Mariano to his late mother, Adelina
A single photo can contain untold stories—of grief, nostalgia, and at times, sacrifice. They have lives and plans of their own but when they had kids, they gladly put those aside and just focus on giving their children a better future. A salute to every mom and hands down to every sacrifice they've made.
Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.