Greatest lessons from moms

The influence of our parents is so great that whether we admit it or not, we see traces of them in ourselves, if not exact “mini-me’s,” as we grow older. The examples and lessons our parents taught us molded us to what we are today – in our decision makings, business practices and how we rear our children.
For Mother’s Day, let’s hear what our Tulay readers have to share about the lessons their moms imparted to them.

My mom finished only high school third year. Thus, education was very important to her. Our family had enough money but was not wealthy. My mom always said her legacy to us would be our education.
My mom married at 17 and despite the lack of formal education, my mom is the most focused, determined, strong and hard working person I know. Her love for the family – and especially her children – took precedence over anything and everything else. She cooked our meals, walked us to and from school, tutored us despite not knowing the lessons so much. She may have spoken in broken English but she made sure we did our lessons.
The sacrifices she made are too many to describe. Suffice it to say she showed me what motherly love truly is. My mom is not perfect. But it is easy to forget her imperfections in the face of the love and sacrifices she endured for us. — Vivian Lee-Tiu, banker
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One of the greatest lessons my mother has taught me is to be understanding of others. Mom and her siblings run the family business, which employs 12 staff. She would tell us stories about the staff, involving different situations and different people, but each story would have a common denominator: understanding their situations.
If a staff was absent for two days without giving any reason, Mom would say, “Yung anak niya baby pa. Baka kailangan niyang alagaan.” If one who regularly comes in on time is suddenly late, she would never pass judgment. Rather, she would say, “Ah, malayo kasi bahay niya.” If the staff had a long day of deliveries, she would give them extra money, saying, “Malayo pupuntahan ng mga ‘yan. Mapapagod at magugutom sila sa biyahe. At least, dapat may pangkain o pang-merienda sila.”
She always tried to understand, and this is a value she wanted to pass to me. Learning to be understanding has made me a more patient person. Patience has not only helped me build better relations with people, but it also helped me build a better version of myself – by acting not out of judgment but out of love and understanding. — Isabella Gonzales, fresh graduate
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The greatest lessons from my mom is the importance of family and how sacrifices are needed to make relationships work.
Growing up, I’ve seen how my mom has sacrificed her time for us. A lot of my friends have moms who left them under the care of yayas. I didn’t really grow up with a yaya. I had one when I was a baby, but my mom took over once I got a bit older. It was my mom who dropped me off to school and fetched me after school every day. I didn’t have a tutor; my mom was the one who helped me develop good study habits.
Because of what I learned from my mom, I have a very close relationship with my family and I always consult with them before making decisions. — Charlene Pe, Tulay writer
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I learned from my mom to always save for rainy days. In the office, we hardly need to buy office supplies. Old fax papers, old school test papers, old notebooks from my son, ball pens and pencils from hotels in our travels are all maximized and put to good use. Nothing is discarded so long as it can still serve a purpose. For us, it is 惜福 (cherish our blessing).
She also taught us to be compassionate, understand and appreciate whatever we have. Share your blessings. Understand people’s situations before judging. She would say, “If you love your family, take good care of yourself. Do not give them the burden of worrying about your health.” — Johanna Chua, businesswoman
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One of the greatest lessons I learned from my mom is giving others a chance to contribute to a conversation. It also means listening to and respecting others’ opinion which I have greatly shared with and inculcated in my kids’ minds. I also remember my mom always telling me how important cleanliness and sanitation are to a workplace. These give you breathing space and presence of mind. These now are my best practices. — Lani Manlapig, call center supervisor
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My mom was an orphan at four so she was only allowed by her stepmother to study until Grade 2. She was always defensive about her lack of education, versus my dad who studied in 上海復旦大學. She always said: “態度決定高度,不是程度 (Attitude determines altitude, not aptitude).” — Alex Si, businessman
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I always thank God for my mother who imparted to me Mandarin-speaking skills. My mom is such a good speaker many people thought she is a native born speaker.
From grade school to high school, she was my home tutor in Chinese subjects. There were many times I tested my mother’s patience because I could not get the pronunciation right or I was unable to construct a proper sentence.
She, on the other hand, would already be tired from working the whole day managing not only the house but also the factory. But still she had to find the energy to coach me in speaking Mandarin properly.
There were many times we had to stay awake past 10 p.m. to review for an exam the following day. It was no surprise that our tutoring sessions were at times a major struggle. But still, my mom would not give up and made sure that I graduated high school with a passing grade in Chinese.
The crowning glory of my mom’s effort was the one time we went to Xiamen. I needed to have a pair of pants laundered, so I called up housekeeping and conducted the whole conversation in Mandarin. My mom stood in front of me with a strange look. When I hung up, she said, “I will give you 100 points.”
“For what?”
“For speaking in fluent Mandarin.”
Hallelujah! I am certain she felt vindicated at that moment for all her hard work. — Anson Yu, Tulay writer
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The greatest lesson my mom taught me is to learn how to give thanks in all circumstances. It helped me not to compare myself to other people and appreciate the blessings God has given me. — Joanna Marice Lee, billing and collection officer
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My dad calls my mom the “imperial taster.” When we eat out as a family, she’d always be the first to notice when a certain ingredient was not fresh or when the meat was overcooked. Before my brothers and I even notice anything, the replacement dish would already be on its way.
Mom is gentle in character but very protective of the people she cares about. Since we were kids, mom has been teaching us that trust is earned and not given. The greatest lesson I learned from her is to be as alert and discerning as an “imperial taster” in every situation I face. — Scott Li, HSBC-Shanghai digital marketing manager
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My mom taught me to love the Philippines because it is our home, where we have our family and friends. The Philippines gave us our source of livelihood. — Lorenzo Gonzales, businessman
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I often heard my mom say “Iloy baga ako” (in Visayan dialect, it means I am a mother). In a joyous or challenging situation, mother always wanted the best for her child. One thing I am sure of and will cherish the most about my mom is her firmness in every decision she makes, if only to bring out the best in every one of us. An ultimate sacrifice of a mom will pierce one’s heart. — Eugene Deocareza, insurance agent
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My mom was a big influence in my life. She taught me many good things by example. She was a gentle disciplinarian, never nagged and hardly raised her voice in anger or desperation. She expressed her love by putting her whole trust in me and keeping our communication lines open by always listening and trying her best to understand me. I had absolutely no reason to rebel or hide things from her.
When I was in my teens, she wanted me to enjoy my youth so she didn’t impose many restrictions on me. In return, I never abused her full trust in me. My mom and I were not just mother and daughter; we were close friends as well, and this she told other people herself. In raising my children, I followed my mom’s method and style and got the same positive results.
My mom was a stickler for orderliness. Before I left my hometown for college in Manila, she passed on to me her practice of maintaining a journal of daily activities and a list of daily expenses for budget purposes. Doing that helped me become systematic.
During my childhood, my mom got our family to work together on simple projects like stamp collecting, paper bead-making and rug-making. Much later, I realized how wise and innovative my mom was in fostering family fun, productivity and togetherness, all rolled into one. For these and much more, my mom will live in my heart forever. — Leila Pañares, retired banker
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Lessons mom would give us is always save for rainy days. It leads us to work, earn and save as much as we can while we are young and healthy. No matter how little we save each day, it adds up to a great amount for the future.—William Chua, Tulay reader from Sidney
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The greatest lesson from my mom is the importance of hard work, perseverance and being responsible. It has made us give our best in everything we do. — Monte Y, operations manager
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Greatest lessons learned from my mom are to be thrifty, trustworthy, sincere, it’s better to give than receive, be God fearing, polite, hardworking and to be a fighter. These traits influence my life so much that I am now teaching my kids the same.
My mom used the little budget my father gave her every week to prepare the daily needs for our seven siblings. I remember my mom used to cook beef soup then use the beef meat to cook again with garlic and a special sauce for our second dish. I also remember she would compile our unused notebook pages to make a new notebook for us. And the school bag for my sister, naka-ilang tahi na.
She taught us to be honest. She said if we earn the trust of every person we meet, then doing business will be a lot easier.—Willy Chiam, businessman
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Greatest lessons from mom: resilence to challenges in life and to be generous to help those in need. I remember how brokenhearted she was while at the same time she had to be strong when I was diagnosed with epilepsy and we did not have money to buy medicine because dad’s business went bankrupt. She found ways to keep our family together and have faith in God. — Baldwin Kho, artist
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My mom taught us never to push a person to the wall, always give them a step backwards no matter what. I apply this specially in the corporate world where you come face to face with situations that need this trait. — Natalie Ng, banker
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As kids, my mom always tells us “一粒米,三桶水 (one grain of rice is equivalent to three pails of water)” and this does not include the buckets of sweat from the farmers. Thus, my siblings and I grew up finishing every single grain of rice on our plates. No wonder most of us are known among our friends as 飯桶 (rice pail, meaning heavy rice eaters). To this day, we take out any leftover rice when we dine out. — Ang Chak Chi, Tulay managing editor

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