As we celebrate Mother’s Day during this month of May, I remember the two most important women in my life, and to them I want to dedicate this issue. One of them brought life to my four children while the other was the key to my many successes during my younger years — my own mother.
She was a public school teacher Cavite City Elementary School and being that, received a modest salary. But small as it was, her salary paid for my education at Ateneo de Manila — grade school, high school and university.
She wanted only the best for me, her first-born child. (Graduate studies were later financed by my former employer.) Without her entire paycheck, I never would have acquired an education from the most prestigious and exclusive all-male school in the Philippines.
During my college years, it was still her salary that paid for my stay at Cervini Hall, an in-campus residential building for students who hailed from the provinces. For that, I am most grateful because it allowed me to concentrate more on my studies.
She was a diminutive woman who merely stood 5’2. But I remember her saying that she felt like the tallest woman in the world when asked to walk up the stage to pin academic honours during my college graduation.
I had only two siblings — a brother and a sister. It was my mother who insisted that my brother acquire an education at Collegio San Juan de Letran and my sister at the College of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know how she managed it but it was her meagre savings that paid for their education. It was my father’s income from Pan American World Airways that took care of all other household expenses.
Later in life, she had the misfortune of being afflicted with Alzheimer’s — a dreaded form of dementia characterised by rapid deterioration of brain cells. She probably inherited the ailment from her own father who passed away at age 80.
Nursing homes for the aged were still not very popular at that time in the Philippines. We therefore had her confined in a hospital where she finally expired at a relatively young age of 70.
The editorial staff of Philippine Sentinel join me in honouring all mothers in Australia and in the Philippines. Happy Mother’s Day to all ! Dino Crescini