unfortunately, i didnt sign up. sorry, theorgy. but id like to contribute anyway. so here goes...
happy nanay day!
i'm probably one of the world's luckiest sons. and i say that with all objectivity. i have a nanay who's so Gloria Romero (def: barkada term for consenting mother, taken from the 80's sitcom Palibhasa Lalaki where Gloria played a drunken consenting motherhen). though she wasn't always as 'agreeable' to my life choices.
she has always been a housewife to my father, raising a brood of six kids as my dad visited his clinics. she honestly had to learn motherhood the hard way, having married at 22yo, and 4 brothers as siblings. and a polio victim at that.
but raised us she did! and we learned how to be OC-OC from her (def: obsessive compulsive disorder). she wanted order and cleanliness.
i guess she must have suspected of my PLU ways when i was more interested in my sister's Barbie dolls than in the toy machine gun tatay got for me. hihihi. (this period i outgrew my affection for girls and my yaya's boobs. hahaha) and in high school when my friends were all badings, she did say something like "hijo, yung mga barkada mo, para silang bakla. baka mahawa ka. ibahin mo na lang." i staunchly defended my barkada, for i loved them so. and she never mentioned them again. so coming out to her was really no big surprise.
but i assumed she went through denial. but there was no denying it anymore when my sister brought to her attention a letter i wrote to one of my friends. this was when i was in 1st year college. and the barkada had broken up (almost all of us went to different schools). so we would write letters to each other. and i stupidly left on the typewriter (!?!) my ultra, mega-bading letter to her, with all the gayspeak! yes. no more denying. she held a family caucus while i was going to mass. they confronted my blossoming sexual orientation. and agreed to support me but only after nanay and tatay had discussed this with me.
i noticed that week that something was amiss. i was being quietly avoided. which was fine with me. but come saturday afternoon, my mom asked to talk to me.
nanay on the kitchen table, 'nagpipili ng bigas' (def: the rice grains bought from the market didnt used to be as cleanly milled. one had to use flat shallow basket (bilao) to lay the grains out and pick the unmilled grains or the deformed ones for disposal). maintaining her composure, though i know she had been crying previously.
'anak, yung mga barkada mo... sila ba ay...' i finished the sentence for her... no, i cut her with an immediate reply: 'opo.. lahat kami bading.' 'aaah' she calmly responded.
'gusto mo ba ng tulong? baka gusto mo ng psychiatrist?'
'di po. natanggap ko na eto. kung dati, siguro, makakatulong yun. pero ngayon, acceptance na lang ang hihingiin ko.'
'eh pano yan, di ba kasalanan sa Diyos yan?'
'bahala na po ang Diyos sa akin. gusto ko lang na alam niyo na at di ko na kailangan i-lihim pa.'
'okay. sige hijo. tatapusin ko pa 'to.' i stood up and left.
that was the start of her acceptance of who i was, her first-born son, the son who carried both grandfathers' names in his own name, a true 'the Third'.
her life journey also took her to Opus Dei where she became an incorporator. OD calmed her down, gave her resilience and a barkada of her own, until now. and though i thought OD would turn her into a preachy minister, giving me sermons on the 'gay path to hell', she never did.
she did tell me that she struggled reconciling her new-found fervor with the Catholic Church and her acceptance of my sexuality early on. but she remembered having a dream where she looked inside my bag and saw a Crucifix. she interpreted that dream to be a message telling her I was okay.
ill never forget how comforting that story was. and how that shaped my own belief in a Benevolent Jesus who loves me and accepts me.
so ive always been soooo close to her. ive taken it upon myself to take care of her, of them. and i love making her laugh, making her happy. i make it a point to have dinner with them as often as i could. and they know all my exes, and those that matter. they give me their own assessments which i value. (even as i write this post intentionally talking about just nanay, i couldnt. because nanay and tatay, they really are one now.)
nanay, thank you for being the best ever mom a gay man could ever have. i know im the envy of almost everybody, with the kind of relationship we have, with the kind of nanay i have. thank you for the genes of beauty and brains i got from your side of the family. =) thank you for accepting me, warts and all. thank you for your tears, worrying about me all this time. thank you for your smile, that i love seeing. thank you for the faith you have instilled in me. thank you for the education that has brought me here. and thank you for showing me what unconditional love REALLY means. i love you, nanay.
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