International Women's Day, In and Out Of Vegas

As I write this, I cannot help but reflect on all of the amazing achievements of women in history. They serve as an inspiration to many women today for fighting for gender equality, being visionaries, and creating paths where there were none. For me, however, there is no greater inspiration than my mom who has made an indelible mark on my life.

I have been blessed with a mother who is strong, intelligent, courageous, generous, brave, and sacrificial. There is no mincing of words in that statement. I didn’t always know that when I was growing up; I know this for a fact today.

International Women's Day, 2018 International Women's Day, In and Out of Vegas,, gender equality
My Ma and Da

My mom was not raised to speak her mind or encouraged to pursue her dreams. In our Filipino
culture, and certainly in her generation, children were taught to not talk back to their parents, never ask questions, and do whatever they were told. My grandparents had nine children; my mom was the eldest. The expectation was for my mom to help care for her brothers and sisters. There was no time for my grandparents to devote any attention to her. Who she ultimately became as a woman, was innate to her being, and to give equal credit to where it is due, she had my father by her side, and still does, to support all of her decisions.

My parents were both doctors in the Philippines, but not yet licensed in the United States. Decades ago, they came to the United States when there was a wave of professionals coming to America. Living as immigrants was not easy. They did not know anyone when they arrived which made life even more difficult. When I was eventually born, my parents also had to worry about two young children who needed to be cared for, work so we could eat, and study for the board exams so they could practice their profession in America.

International Women's Day, 2018 International Women's Day, In and Out of Vegas,, gender equality
My sister Tonette and I. I am in red 🙂

My sister and I spent a lot of time with babysitters when we were very young and as we grew older, we were pretty much like every other kid with working parents. We had a necklace around our neck with the house key on it. We would come home to an empty house, make our own snack, change into our play clothes, and play with the other kids on our street. Not every kid I knew, however, had both parents working. One or two of them had the quintessential stay-at-home mom who had freshly baked cookies ready for them when they came home from school. I remember being jealous of that. I wanted to come home to cookies and my mom, but that was not my life.

My mom was not the type of woman who baked cookies. She healed the sick. She served the country as a United States Coast Guard. She became the acting general of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps  and appeared in Who’s Who of American Women, a dictionary of notable biographies of American women who stand preeminent in their country. She plays the piano by ear and is the world’s best cook. Were their sacrifices to be made? Absolutely.International Women's Day, 2018 International Women's Day, In and Out of Vegas,, gender equality

Looking back, I am thankful for that life because what I learned from my mom surpasses freshly baked cookies any day. She taught me, and showed me through her example, that boundless determination and perseverance, prevails. She taught me that you can change your circumstances with hard work and the grace of God. I am most proud of her for being a woman of God. With this comes her compassionate nature to help those who are less fortunate.

Because of her, I always do my best. She once told me that there was no sense being in this world if I was not here to add value. I learned to not give up when the going gets tough. I learned to find solutions rather than succumb to the problems. Because of her, I came to understand that as a woman, one should be able to have a career and be a mother, without guilt or shame. One’s goals and dreams should not be hindered because she holds the title of mother.

International Women's Day, 2018 International Women's Day, In and Out of Vegas,, gender equality
My Beautiful Ma.

I don’t believe that behind every great woman is a man supporting her. She is fortunate if this is the case. I believe that behind every great woman is the summation of her experiences, the risks she took, the failures she emerged from, and the fears she conquered.

On International Women’s Day, and every day, I honor my mother. She is second to none.

39 Replies to “In Honor of My Mom on International Women’s Day”

  1. Happy international women’s day! Rather than commemorating ladies on this day, I thought there are many ladies out there who deserve mention every single day! Our mums are just one great example!

  2. What a lovely post! I regret not writing one about my own mum, I feel like I’ve done her a disservice now (must call on today’s lunch break..!)

    But honestly, what a woman – she has done a great job raising you both and serving your country!

  3. Happy International Women’s Day to all the mother here. This is such a great honor to your mom. You really did a great job.

  4. Aww, this is such a beautiful post. Your mother sounds like such a strong woman 🙂 My sister-in-law in from the Philippines and this post reminds me of her family. Polly 🙂

  5. This is a lovely tribute to your mother for this International Womens Day, she sounds like an incredible lady who did a brilliant job throughout her life and continues to do so.

  6. Happy International Women’s Day! This is so inspirational and motivating…your mother not only raised two beautiful daughters but also, fulfilled her life dreams and goals. Great tribute to your mother! 🙂

  7. Second to none indeed. For daughters. we will all be on the same path as our mothers, the important thing is to pass down all those trinkets of love and memories to the next generation.

  8. That is such a great way to honor your mother. Happy International Women’s Day to her. You are so lucky to have her as a mother and you too as well!!

  9. Reading your post made me think of similarities our parents had as even in Asian culture children were brought up very strictly and espevially girls were expected to help in the home. Your mother sounds like a wonderful inspiring woman and you should rightly be proud of her.

    1. Thank you so much. Cultures often demand things which aren’t necessarily fair.Happy International Women’s Day to you! .❤️

  10. It makes me so sad because I know my parents are getting older, and that they’re not going to be around forever. I moved back to live near my mom because she’s such an inspiration to me. This hits close to home…

    1. I’m with you there. My parents are getting older and it’s tough to think they can’t stay with us a lifetime. There’s nothing like the love of a mother. ..glad you moved closer to her. Happy International Women’s Day to your mom and all the women you cherish! .❤️ 💋 💪

  11. Wow, what a beautiful letter to your mom, she indeed is a great lady no matter she couldn’t bake fresh cookies for you rather opted to serve the country!

  12. This is such a beautiful tribute to your mother. I think the relationship between a mother and daughter is so unique and it is wonderful that you have such close memories with yours to share. Cherish those moments!

  13. What a beautiful summary of someone obviously worthy of such an honor. I love what you said about behind every woman is the summation of her experiences. Often times the most amazing women I know have had the biggest challenges and most soul stretching life experiences. Great tribute to your mother.

    1. Agreed. It is from those challenges that we learn to rise to the occasion to face and knock down obstacles. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  14. Your mother is a great example of what international women’s day is about. I am so proud of her and her family sacrifices, I bet it wasn’t easy for her to leave young kids behind in the empty house to cure people.

  15. Such a beautiful dedication to an amazing and inspiring woman. It’s not about enjoying baked cookies or any other comfort dish during your childhood, it’s about what lessons you learned from your parents. I think she did an amazing job of raising you and your sister. She’s an icon and someone to look up to!

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