06 October 2008

Pearls and 3 Babies

pearl of society or mother of pearl?

Hi Brian,

I don’t want to be cliché but I have to admit that I have been reading your entries since March.
It is interesting to note that your blog has turned to a crusade not only against that scheming Montano, but also against injustices not just here in the Philippines but also around the world. And we have you to thank for that.

The general theme of your blog is interesting. Not often do we come across a blog which has sustained honest and straight-forward entries from the start. I admire your courage; after all, exposing one’s self to everyone is not an easy thing to do.

I will not say that I understand where you are coming from nor will I say that I share the same sentiments that you have on some issues that you wrote in your blog. In fact, I disagree on some points. But one thing I can assure you is that we share the same thoughts of having world that is kinder and a better place for everyone, regardless of individual preferences.

I would like to tell you a story about a socialite which I hope would also let other readers know the other side of elites.

This woman is probably one of the biggest socialites during her time in Manila. She came from a rich family down south. She had her debut back in 1958 with the cream of the elite society (including 2 former Presidents and the incumbent President of the Philippines) in one of the best hotels here in Manila. While she has everything in life, she luckily realized that a glitzy lifestyle is not the kind of family life she would like to have. She eventually married a simple barrio doctor, had 3 nice kids and lived happily ever after.

One of her son would buy society magazines for the woman so she would know what has happened to her peers. She would sometimes browse thru the pages with the look of longing, and the son thought that that woman wanted her old life back. The son would sometimes think that the woman is thinking if she would be in the same magazine had she not deserted her old life, wearing the same expensive pearls and dresses. Whatever the son thought, the woman knew in her heart that she made the right choice.

The woman in the story is my mother. And the son, as you’ve all guessed by now, is me. My parents are all proud of being able to raise 3 beautiful kids. They demanded nothing from us other than to be good. While this is not a Cinderella story that we know, it just proves that the theme of these fantasies can also be a glitzy to not-so-glitzy story.

My mother’s story doesn’t have any interesting conflict. But to think that she learned the ropes of farming and the native language just to fit in is a testament that not all elites are greedy. Loving something entails losing something in return. Reminds me of that Elizabeth Bishop poem (One Art). 

I am now married with kids. While my wife and I have more than enough to give our kids, we chose to be just like my Mom. She earned our respect, she did not buy it. She is a hands-on mother; she did not pass on the responsibility to anyone to take care of us.
I hope that my mother’s story will add to your growing list of good stories.

Take care,

Dear Luke,

Thank you so much for this most beautiful story about your family and the journey you all had together. I found it so touching that you would write about your mother in such a glowing tender fashion. I also love and adore my mother who also made tremendous sacrifices for her three babies. Not the same ones your mother made, but important/crucial ones all the same.
Your mother obviously did a remarkable job raising her children. I know and feel you are doing the same with your own. Great decisions all around I'd say.
And I also appreciate your honesty with regards to your feelings about some of the things I've written on the blog. We don't have to agree on everything Luke, and don't forget that I'm always learning too! And the influence of my readership definitely has a certain pull on me. They may even be 'softening' me up a bit.

Take Care mate and give your mother a Massive hug from me.

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