Happy birthday, Mommy-A A +A
Questions that Matter
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I WAS working at my office last November 20 and a call from the exit gate guard came in that my brother was looking for me. All the while I thought it was my brother-in-law and later it turned out to be my elder brother. Upon entering my office, he made a sign and I asked him if it has something to do with our mother. He said yes and he was looking for a priest. I saw that the end was coming.
Carmen, our mother was born in La Carlota in 1940 to Carlos and Estelita. Surviving the war with her siblings, they grew in “Balay Daku” at La Carlota. There were six of them in the family. Three became nuns of the Religious of the Assumption, one took care of our grandmother, our mom and Tito Boy pursued the marriage vocation.
Our mom got her education from Catholic Schools. She finished her secondary education from Assumption Iloilo and pursued a degree in Biology at University of Santo Thomas. She taught for a while at La Carlota City College, then at UNO-R where she met Captain Eduardo Legaspi, our father. Later, they shared their vows to be together at the Bishop’s Chapel with then Mons. Antonio Fortich as the officiating prelate of their wedding.
Carlos William “Bill”, myself and Carlos Raul Mario “CREM” were given to mom and dad. However, her dream was to have a daughter. Mom was more of a disciplinarian than our dad. She was so moral that everything that we do should always be in the context of that which is moral and good. She was also very strict and so conscious of our education. But all the strictness and traditional thoughts, she was sweet and kind to us.
I would recall that every Sunday was a family day for us. She would bring us to mass early morning and then have groceries at Lopue’s Mandalagan. She had some sumptuous lunch prepared at home. We either have tinolang manok or baked chicken for lunch with ice cream for dessert.
Mom would always talk to us about manners, similar to what our grandmother in the farm would do when all the apos were around. After lunch, we all go to the masters’ bedroom for more bonding.
Soon, my brother has to leave for Don Bosco – Victorias. I have to assume the position of the eldest at home at that time. After finishing high school, I left home and entered the seminary. Thus, our youngest brother was left at home.
While we were away, constant reminders were given to us by our mother. I remembered that every time I come home, she would ask me to persevere more, for the Church needs priests. But due to her weak heart, she was attacked by cardiac-stroke. Half of her body was paralyzed.
Mom was a devotee of the Blessed Mother that she was an active member of the Legion of Mary, Mother Butler’s Mission Guild and cursillo.
One day, I knew it broke her heart, I told her that I had to leave the seminary and pursue another road in life. Nine years later, I told her that I have decided to pursue the married vocation and her dream of having a daughter finally turned into a reality.
A year later, she was gladder when her first apo arrived. I can see the glow in her eyes upon the fulfillment of her dream of a daughter, for the first apo was a girl. This is one reason that, no matter how hard it is for her to go, she would always attend programs of her first apo.
In 2000, our dad passed away. It was there that I saw how strong Mom is.
It was July of 2008, after her 68th birthday, she complained of a pain in the stomach and her back. She asked me if that was the same feeling when I had a gall stone. I thought that she too had it.
However, one day my brother called me and told me that Mom was to be admitted for she was vomiting at the Doctor’s clinic. So, it was discovered that her kidneys were failing due to diabetes. We talked about remedies but, due to her health condition, we dropped dialysis as remedy. So, mom went home and had things as they were.
Soon, her health deteriorated and she was delirious. For three months, she lay in her bed and saw the people she wanted to see. All were wishing her well but yet her health was fading.
I had the opportunity of talking to her. She told me to take good care of my family and that I and my wife should always teach our daughter the proper and correct ways of living. She also told me to help my brothers and that we should always help one another. This was the last time that we had talked.
The next time I visited her, she was already relating to me her experiences when she was at UST and she talked to me about how tired she was for she went to an excursion. Weeks before she passed away, I no longer heard her voice for she would always sleep when I was around. Anyhow, I guess that she has prepared herself already for the departure and she had already given to me her message.
So, every time, I went out of her room, I would always pray that God would ease her pain and grant her a peaceful passage from this life. God answered my prayer that Thursday at 11 PM. She summoned us all in her room until all of us who were near to her were around and praying. She then closed her eyes and silently left.
As we celebrated her birthday yesterday, July 16, all we could think of were the good things she did for us. We really missed her.
Eternal rest grant unto Mommy, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
Pope John Paul II and St. Ezekiel Moreno, pray for us.
Jimenez: Tourism Stakeholders must do tourism promotion themselves
Toots Jimenez Jr
I HAVE seen over Facebook the Alliance of Tourism Stakeholders and other Negrenses who are just too eager to help in their quest to hype the tourism opportunities for the province. I am one in favor of this and there are just too many destinations in the province today.
In the efforts to undertake all these, there are some senses of promotional efforts that the stakeholders have to do. My observation leads me to conclude that there is a lack of direct promotional endeavors. There is no effort to advertise and promote thru print, radio or TV or even cable TV networks. Just dependent on those zero-peso costs.
Yes Facebook may help but for me I beg to disagree. What percentage of the population depends on FB or other social networks? They do not go to FB for advertisements and gimmicks.
Another important factor is the pricing scheme of the destination. Hotels have never learned to promote their accommodation to the local residents. It seems that they want to be vacant for the night rather than give it for a promotional deal to have more people taste their hospitality.
We could see the efforts of so many talking about tourism promotion in FB. But everything starts from the owners of the hotels, resorts, inns, restaurants, car rentals, and everyone. One must not depend on government since politicos will only act if they see something of indirect or direct benefit to them, advised a former municipal councillor.
Neighboring nations’ tourism campaigns click because they give a good price offer for their amenities. Negrense stakeholders must do something. Have Negros Occidental and Oriental, Panay and Cebu be the first beneficiaries of your attractive freebies. Give an attractive offer. I remember that Negrenses used to drive to Dumaguete City for Holy Week. What is there really to see in Dumaguete that could not be more attractive in our province?
Generally it is the tourism promotional packaging that is the main concern. Owners are afraid to give discounts and that is an observation of many. Owners may plan to grab more, yes, but attain this thru volume and not single patronage which is short term.
The strategy of Cebu Pacific Air to grab the air travelers market was just simple. A simple sacrifice on the rates and until today for more than a decade other airlines followed suit. Duplicate that strategy. If you don’t know how, text this writer.
It’s not the happy people who are happy. It’s the thankful people who are happy. The one who falls is much stronger than the one who never fell
(This writer is a former hotelier and restaurateur and had also been a consultant to some tourism-oriented entities, now a professional event organizer and travel writer observing annually the tourism and promotional strategies of other nations like Singapore, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Siem Reap Cambodia, and locally Davao, Cebu, Clark, Iloilo.)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 17, 2012.