Today's tears-in-my-eyes moment was brought to me by my Lola. I only knew one grandmother, my dad's mom, since my mother's mother already passed away long before I was born. When Wawa was alive, I was able to express my appreciation to her countless times -- for giving birth to my father, raising him well and teaching him to raise me well, too. A lot of the things that shaped who I am now was influenced by Wawa and Wowo. Unlike some children who've had broken families, absentee or overprotective parents, my cousins and I were never out of love. We were taught that family was indispensable. It's the only thing constant in the world. This is why I could never understand family feuds, siblings who fight with each other much less kill each other or parents who create factions among their children. What the fuck are they talking about? We were taught that whatever happens, wrong or right, our family will always be behind us.
On the occasion of Wawa's birthday (Jan. 14), one of our aunts posted her speech during her 85th birthday in 2005. I remember that this was the first big event that I hosted. I was 22 years old. Reading the speech, you will see how Wawa was very much the head of the family that she was. Our guiding strength. I love and I miss you so terribly! :(
Remarks by Ofelia C. Mirasol, January 14, 2005
Good evening to all of you!
They say that life begins at 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80 but to me life begins at 85. They say that if you have long ears, you will live a long life. They say that the bad grass never die...When I look at the mirror and see my ears, "Oh my God! Will I live long and am I as bad as I am supposed to be?"
But the Lord is in charge because my life was chartered before I was born. Thy will be done Lord! If I still have a mission, I'll take it willingly as I have done your command -- "Go forth and multiply." Thanks to Adam and Eve. When Joe and I started, we had nothing on but ourselves and now we have 7 children, 21 apos and apos sa tuhod and still counting.
Growing older is a beautiful experience. I began to appreciate the value of life, the joy of living. I won't stay long for I am not strong as in my youth, having fun, playing tennis and pelota, bowling, swimming and jogging three kilometers a day. My eyes are getting dimmer, my knees getting weaker. Names and places I can't even remember. It is but natural and rational that everyone must go home soon like a sailor coming home from his journey.
My job is done! These years are bonus years for me. Thank you, Lord, for guiding and protecting me. Healing Marilyn, one of my dauthers from the big C and guiding my grandson Dino.
Great is your mercy, your blessing plenty. I give my thanks to all of you, relatives and friends especially to a very, very good friend so caring and true. To Msgr. Jose for our friendship all these years, a good chaplain to our CFM group and was the moving spirit in the construction of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Mandaluyong.
Papa, I know you are with us tonight, against all odds we were able to raise our children well to be the persons they are now, gave them the best education we could have afforded.
To my children who made this affair possible, to my daughters-in-law Jane and Matett, sons-in-law Jun, Willie, Tek and Aaron, I love you all. You have been very good to me. You are my precious possessions... A family that finds its glory not in its perfection but in its ability to weather the storms of life. A family that does not give up on each other because love reigns among us.
Thank you to the singers. They got their talents from their genes. Maybe 10% of it from my father and mother because during their youth, they were very much involved in the zarzuelas. All of these children are members of the choir in the parish of Mandaluyong and in their respective parishes now. Maki took lessons from the Pop Center of the Philippines and Dida from the Yamaha Music School.
Good night everybody, thank you for coming.