Our mother was one of the unheralded women in the world.
She sired ten children. All of them became professionals. Everything out of the sweat of her brows.
There was a time when Mama went out of the house early in the morning for her first job at Botica Ivory, along Manalili St., Cebu City.
From there, she went directly to her full time teaching job at the University of the Visayas. In between, she earned a master’s degree in business.
Mama’s academic career was capped by her appointment as Dean of the College of Commerce.
Of course, she would not have been able to make it without the love and support of our father.
Despite meager means, Mama wanted only the best for her children. Five of us were sent to schools in Manila. The others were schooled in the prime educational institutions in Cebu.
I guess there was no other way for Mama, when it comes to education.
She was an excellent student all her life. She never finished lower than at the top of her class, since the elementary grades. For this, she was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Sotero B. Cabahug Medal, the highest award that a Mandauehanon can aspire for.
If not for my mother, I probably would not have become a lawyer. After two semesters at UP, I wanted to quit and transfer to a local school. Like most probinsyanos who left home for the first time, I was just overwhelmed by the distance, high standards and all other things which a young student from a small town must face in the megapolis.
When I informed Mama about my decision, I found out that I was not only studying for my future. I was also living a dream that she had which was never fulfilled.
During her high school days, she only had one intention, to study at the State University. If she had, Mama, with her intelligence, could have become one of the top finance persons in the country.
But it was not meant to be.
The war came. Her father died during the conflict, and she, and her five other siblings were left under the care of a sickly mother. For lack of resources, they were constrained to study in local universities.
My mother’s exact words to me were, “I begged and cried just so I could go to UP but it was not just possible. Now that the opportunity is given to you, are you going to miss the chance.”
At that instant, I changed my mind and had a new resolve to finish my education at UP.
My mother, Lilia Socorro Sanchez-Pascual, went up to the Lord last December 20, 2013, a few days after her 90th birthday. She was married to Cornelio Emilio Pascual of Bakilid, Mandaue City.
All their ten children are still alive and enjoyed the love and affection their parents could give.
A few years ago, I asked Mama if there was still anything that she wished for.
Her answer was that her life was fully accomplished when her youngest child finished her medical technology course in 1987. Mama left this world without any regret, because the treasure that she earned were in the ten children that she and my father sired, nurtured and helped succeed in their lives.
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