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Mothers and nature


On Mother’s Day, to honor the mothers and their unique role in the grand scheme of things, we chose to plant narra, talisay and lomboy (duhat) seedlings. Mothers are, after all, the unnamed heroes in the heart of each child.

Just like nature, mothers selflessly extend their reach to give comfort and shelter to whoever needs them, without waiting for any recognition or compensation. They do what is best and hope and pray that the seeds sown have the essential nourishment for growth and full development.

The trees likewise symbolize our mothers whom we, in the hustle and bustle of the business of living, take for granted, at times. Their constant presence makes us believe that they live forever. But, they do not. They are part of nature’s endless cycle of birth, growth, dying and regeneration.

But can one imagine roaming this world without them? The earthly landscape will be desolate and barren. They enrich us and the world—beyond words.

The greatest legacy of a mother is in molding the character of her descendants. The values instilled impact not just her children, but generation after generation, long after she is gone.

While mothers come in different sizes, shapes and temperaments, they are single-minded in giving a better tomorrow for their brood. The ferocious challenges they encounter toughen and prepare them for more battles that never end. It is a 24/7 vocation whose only reward is seeing children learn life skills and lead meaningful lives.

Motherhood and the responsibilities it entails, compel mothers to stand strong, steadfast and determined amid the onslaught of forces that make the less sturdy disintegrate. I would like to think they are the exception. Depressing stories abound about mothers who are collaborators in the dastardly act of cyber pornography and white slavery, victimizing even their own children.

Yesterday was the first Mother’s Day celebration without the physical presence of our much-loved Mama Coring. Exactly a week ago, she left this temporal world for good, peacefully reunited with her soul mate, our dear Papa Nono.

Losing her was a difficult reality to accept, six days after her joyous 96th birthday, but we have to start getting used to it. Mama Coring was always there for us since forever. Despite the demands of her work, she was visible every step of the way, in her nine children’s individual journeys, sharing with us our moments of joy and success and of weathering the storms that no one is spared from. She was our sunshine who brought us together and inspired us to be better, each day.

Her name, Socorro, fits her—always the succor, the steadying anchor whose strength of character and indomitable will to live an exemplary and purposeful life as a wife, mother, friend and educator will forever be ingrained in our hearts and minds.

Mama was the original recycling queen who would never throw anything to the dumpsites. She was creative in reusing items that others would carelessly toss to the bins. Wrapping papers would cover the worn photo albums or notebooks. We learned the timeless lessons of frugality and living simply from her and Papa’s examples, and from the legend of Felipa Tapa.

Mama also loved trees, plants and flowers. We grew up surrounded by the rich biodiversity that her garden hosted. I can still remember the monitor lizards that emerged from the bamboo trees as well as the grasshoppers and the butterflies that our small hands would try to catch.

She and Papa gave us a happy and secure childhood and made us appreciate nature—a legacy that helped mold us to become who we are now.

While it is most painful to say adieu to Mama, we are comforted by the thought that she is now freed from the challenges that come with living.

The Estenzo clan members are grateful to our relatives and friends, including my CDN family, who chose to be with us, offered solace and words of comfort in our hours of deep sadness and in giving Mama a beautiful send-off for her transition to eternal life. Daghang salamat.

This columnist is thankful also to our young environment leaders who took the cudgels of managing the requirements of the Environmental Law Course last week. Your dedication, selflessness and enthusiasm inspire us no end.

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