Happy Mothers’ Day

Happy Mothers’ Day

(To All Responsible and Loving Mothers in the World)

According to Wikipedia, Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March, April, or May. Celebrations of mothers and motherhood occur throughout the world; many of these can be traced back to ancient festivals, like the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration. However, the modern holiday is a U.S. modern invention, and it is not related to these celebrations. Despite this, in some countries Mother’s Day has become synonymous with these older traditions.

In the Filipino culture, celebrating Mother’s Day has also become a popular and long-running tradition. Such honoring are done in various ways that include giving gifts, greeting cards, flowers, family dinner get-togethers, and writing poetry.

I am honoring my mother by sharing a poem I wrote for her.

A Poet to His Mother

I may have not been too vocal in the past
Of my respect and love—for they are so vast
An old ballad sings: “Some good things never last”
But in me, O Mother, may you put your trust

My childhood memories with you and Father
Are in my heart well-kept—be lost they’ll never
Our countless strolls in Luneta and Ongpin
Were magical as the lamp of Aladdin

Your well-cried tears and heartily shed laughter
Till my twilight I will always remember

To be happy for and love one another
You taught us how—my lovely sisters and me
Forgiveness in our hearts, you said, should be free
The reason we persevere to be better

The pains and sacrifices that you’ve been through
I shared them all with you; you know it is true
Every ups-and-downs, you’re always there beside
Me—believing, comforting, reassuring

Like a hen, you reared us single-handedly
Like chicks, we followed you affectionately

I might have pecked and scratched you from time to time
Whatever pain I’d caused you…pardon my rhyme
For you, I will always be…hoping…dreaming

I may have not been too vocal in the past
Despite, you knew my love and respect are vast
A few years more must pass—oh Time, such a tease!
Yet from yearning to go home I’ll never cease

With another poem I wrote I’m honoring also Charina Oyong for being so caring and loving and for being a good mother to our children.

A Poet to His Love
{To Charina}

If you met me in my youth
In the days I was wilder and freer
Could you have loved me still?
If you met me in my youth
When my heart was restless and untrue
Could you have persevered and stayed?

The picture of you which I’ve painted in my head
Right after I heard your voice on the telephone—
Soft-haired, simple smile beneath charming eyes
Lovely lips, supple skin…

Would you have loved me then
Like you love me now?

Moments spent yearning for my own lao jia
Could you have been dreaming and hoping
In the same moments for someone like me?
Could I have been the portrait of your newfound love
Even if I had not arrived that fateful night?

As far as I knew
Being with you
Evokes the same comfortable delight
When I first met you

The Last Leaf
I left the Philippines for Canada in 2003. It took me 8 1/2 years before I was able to visit my birthland for the first time. In January 2012, I with my own family—Charina, Marina, Jannica, Gabby, and Evawwen—finally visited the Philippines together for the first time. Seeing my mother once again was one of the highlights of our vacation. With me and Charina in the picture are my parents—Edgar L. Mella and Teresita Vera-Mella, taken on the very night we arrived at the Philippine airport last January.