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My Mother

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by Mila Fajiculay-Fruelda
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Every year, we celebrate a day in honor of our mothers -- Mother's Day. In my view, this day is only a matter of celebration; for me, everyday is Mother's Day. How can I ever repay my mother for the gift of life and for her genuine love for me for all reasons and seasons? No such way. On this occasion, I am amused and enthused to say something about my mother, this way -- my own way.


My mother received the gift of life and saw the first light of day on January 1, 1921 in Simara Island, Municipality of Corcuera, Province of Romblon, Philippines. Since it is the first day of the year, her parents, the late Julio Faderagao Falceso and Lucia Faminiano Fallar, named her Anioneva -- Spanish-sounding for new year. She is the third child out of a dozen bounty (Armando, Ricarte, Pacifico, Igleceria, Salvador, Condesa, Bienvenida, Rosila, Dominador, Divino, Librado). As a kid my mother exposed to nature's gifts in rural setting because her parents' home is situated at the foot of a hill in Sitio Pedape, Barangay Tacasan -- a site with a scenic view, surrounded by different varieties of trees, fruit-bearing plants, flowers, and a sizeable space for rice farming and other crops. Grasses for cattle and feeds for chickens, pigs, and other animals are in abundance. Birds of different kinds, colors and sizes abound offering beauty and music, among other benefits. Within sight is the blue sea where fishermen enjoy its bounty. Few meters away is a brook with running water all-year-round serving multi-purposes as source of water for household use, animals' drink, farm use, laundry, personal hygiene and recreation, among other many uses.


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My mother received her formal education from the Central Elementary School situated in the Poblacion approximately few hundred meters away from home. She finished Grade VII, always at the top few of her class. Arithmetic is her favorite subject being exposed to counting the hens laying eggs, the eggs in a series of nests, the chicks of each hen roaming minus those eaten by lizards, the piglets, fruits of coconuts and other trees, sacks of palay, species of fish and sea shells, and endless similar actual life situations. Being the eldest daughter, obviously she is expose also to caring for her siblings, and her grandmothers, both father and mother sides. At a young age, my mother is already knowledgeable about the right way of cooking rice in a clay pot, other types of cooking, cleaning the house, doing laundry in the brook, feeding the animals, harvesting, and many more activities that kids her age these days, comparatively speaking, are still anywhere to be found but playing. This environment afforded my mother hands-on training in life thereby growing skillful, religious, and compassionate, besides being naturally charming.


The custom of getting married at an early age in her days contributed not as much as her qualities that made it easy for a handsome young gentleman from Barangay Ilijan by the name of Rufo Famorcan Fallurin to propose marriage. In 1940, her first daughter, Adelaida, was born. Before the outbreak of World War II, her husband enlisted in the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and saw action in Luzon. My mother during this time lived in Quezon City. On April 10, 1942, Jose, her second child was born. The day before was the Fall of Bataan, followed by the infamous Death March in which Corporal Rufo Famorcan Fallurin lost his life. At age 21, my mother experienced the test of life losing a husband -- a hero to our family, defending our country's freedom. Eventually, my mother with her two children returned to Simara and faced the challenges of life without her partner. They lived with her parents for a while. Naturally charming, at age 25, she remarried my late father, Eutildo Fallar Fajiculay, also from Barangay Ilijan. They established a home in Amantao where they ventured in various life-sustaining endeavors: planting different crops and tending animals. In the early fifties, the family moved to the Poblacion. At age 33, my mother with seven children including me, still on the way, lost my father to an illness. Life was challenging for her. Fortunately, Adelaida (Manang Daling) and Jose (Manong Joe) can now give a hand in household chores. My mother is a 'go-getter'. Trials in life for her are treated as challenges to better herself and her family. She doubled her efforts in farming, dressmaking/tailoring, and business undertakings. When I was already at age to go with her, she always brought me along while she tended to her crops and animals in our farm and while transacting business in the barrios, now barangays, where I met my cousins firsthand. She put up a sari-sari store, one of the few pioneering stores in the Poblacion with (transistor) radio that attracted the cash-paying customers to stay awhile, but gave the "debt-listing" ones chance to find the right timing and self-made-style before doing so; she engaged in other business ventures like copra dealing, lending money and goods to businessmen and individuals, and in transportation. With the assistance of Manang Daling's husband, the late Ex-Mayor Josefino Fondevilla Fajilago, she managed a motorized boat named Princess I. In the midst of challenges, my mother kept faith and moved forward with optimism. Her businesses flourished because she treated customers and partners well. She was able to send her children to higher education -- education being dear to her as manifested in being a pioneering Stockholder of our high school -- Corcuera Academy, now Corcuera National High School (CNHS). Not only that her children finished higher education, but also some of them are pioneers in their fields: Adelaida Fallurin-Fajilago is a former teacher and now a retired Clerk of Court in our Municipality; Jose Fallurin is a pioneering Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in our place and came to New York in 1969 as one among Simaranhon pioneers; Carol Fajiculay is a certified mechanic; Ligaya Fajiculay-Fajarillo was a former teacher too; Gilbert is a Mechanical Engineer and Billy is an Electrical Engineer, both are also pioneers in their respective fields in our place; yours truly is also a pioneer in our hometown in the field of Medical Technology.


My mother came to the USA in 1975, petitioned by my brother Joe. The change in environment affected her at first and to offset any negative result, she applied he natural approach -- keeping herself busy. She helped took care of my brother's kids. She loves to be busy, using her time fruitfully. When the right time came, my mother petitioned the rest of her children, five of whom are now here in the USA. My mother loves her family. Her heart and mind remained connected to our family back home sending "balikbayan" boxes whenever there is an opportunity, and money to held for the education of her grandchildren there, until today. She derives deeper meaning, pride and happiness from what she has been doing for the sake of her family. She has every reason to feel so because as of this writing, some of her grandchildren are already college graduates in the fields of Medical Technology, Electronics, Civil, and Computer Engineering and Sciences, and Accounting, while others are still in college taking up Nursing and Computer degrees. Here in the USA, some of her grandchildren are graduates of Computer Science, Fashion; and, the rest are still in school. My mother is living with my brother Billy's family in Rockland County, Spring Valley, New York. She loves soap opera and baseball games of which "All My Children" and the New York Yankees are her favorites, respectively. With her inherent liking to be always busy, at age 84, my mother still goes from home to home of her children and grandchildren for something to do, just to extend a caring self. When Joey's wife, Evaine, (Manong Joe's daughter-in-law) delivered her triplets last March 8, 2005, she was ecstatic for the addition to her family, though not that fit anymore to care for them. She can still cook. When there is a family-home-party, "Mamay's puto", as her grandchildren branded her "special menu", is always a favorite, hence the first one to run out.


For me, I can say genuinely, my mother is extraordinary -- the best!


Truly, it is God's blessing to have a mother like her.


Mom, Happy Mother's Day!


Thank you: for all your caring;


all your giving; and, all your love --


not only today, but everyday all year.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 13:41  

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