My Badass Nanay
By Mona Lunot-Kuker
Mercedes Ledesma Lunot, my mother was a strong and fierce woman who never bowed to anyone who tried to dominate her. I grew up with unconventional parents, seeing them treat each other with equal rights, while maintaining love and respect as well.
My nanay was what we call now a badass woman, so much ahead of her time. She can beat a violent drunkard without any fear. She loved to plant trees, believing by her own experience that they clean the air and stop floods.
I remembered her fighting with a guy who wanted to cut her huge ilang-ilang tree. When the guy started cutting its branch, she took an ax and started cutting the branch which the guy was standing on. Upon seeing what my mother was doing, he ran away barefoot.
Nanay was a loving daughter, sister and a mother. She taught me to be courageous, hardworking, kind, and generous. She supported my activism and was very proud of me.
Mom and Grandma: Pillars of Strength
By Vanette Colmenares
When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a middle aged woman with traces of wrinkles between the spaces of her eye brows and the hairline. By the looks of my fading black hair gleams some grayish tones indicating that I already need to dye my hair. Years have passed by this once an icon of physical beauty.
As I look closer in the mirror, I see another woman – my own mother, Lolly. I am quite a photocopy of her physical form. As years passed, I came to understand the woman who bore and raised me when I became a mother myself. I shared my mother’s sorrows from unfulfilled dreams and I get overwhelmed with sadness as I reminisce my times with her. Yet a sudden burst of gladness resurfaces as I recall the fulfillment of motherhood as I raised my own brood and recalling everything how my mother raised me.
I now see the heart of my mother, and I also see how her mother have made her strong. I remember my grandmother, Epifania Rodriguez, our matriarch, the writer, who was a pillar of strength during the turbulent days of World War II. Today, I look at my own daughter and my grandchildren, and feel grateful for the generation of strength passed on to us.