‘Mothers pass their children on to whoever will take care of them best’ | Inquirer Lifestyle
Cathy Huang and mom Nedy Tantoco

‘Mothers pass their children on to whoever will take care of them best’

Cathy Huang and mom Nedy Tantoco


Nedy Tantoco on daughter Catherine Huang

Catherine is my only daughter and youngest child. There is nothing I want more than to see her succeed. And to make sure that she is okay—confident, secure with herself, and knowing deep in her heart what makes her happy.

Giving away an only daughter in marriage isn’t easy, but I am happy with her choice of husband, Dr. David Endriga. (They are set to wed this month.) I am comforted with the thought that when he marries Catherine, I am in fact gaining a son.

I trust my daughter and I trust her decision to spend the rest of her life with him.

Jingjing V. Romero with her children (clockwise from left) Dino, Oliver, Omar and Bambi


Jingjing Villanueva-Romero on children Bambi, Oliver, Omar and Dino

I have four beautiful children. I lovingly released three of them to embark on the greatest journeys of their lives when the time came.

The three older kids decided to get married in their late-20s and mid-30s, so there was no hesitation nor sadness on my part when they asked permission to marry.

God gifted them with wonderful spouses whom I met early on in their budding relationships. I was just too happy to give my blessings to all three of them as I was a witness to their unfolding love stories. The kids allowed me to see their spouses up close and personal and I liked what I saw through the years.

Of course, I still got sentimental and cried in church, as I recalled, like a movie in my mind, their growing up years and the joy I had raising them. We had much fun together!

To this day, all three couples continue to involve me in their lives. They have gifted me with six adorable grandkids who color my world like a rainbow.

Now there is just my Bunsoy to “send off,” but it seems he is still enjoying his single blessedness. So I just wait on the sidelines.


Chiqui Escareal-Go and daughter Tricia Gosingtian-Gabunada


Chiqui Escareal-Go on daughter Tricia Gosingtian-Gabunada

Some things you never give away—like puppies or heirlooms. You pass them on to whoever you know will take care of them best.

When Tricia got married two years ago, I knew her dad Josiah would be the more emotional one, or who would feel he is competing with another man in his daughter’s life. I guess fathers are that way with their daughters.

Mothers will always have a different kind of bond with daughters—always connected by the cycle of life. When I threw a bridal shower with my family and close friends (with the theme “Tita Tips for Tricia”), I shared the little notes in my diary I wrote as Tricia was growing up, which were a sign of things to come (her being in fashion), and the many travels Tricia and I spent together (our love for autumn and its colors that matched our clothes or hair).

These times meant there were many conversations, many experiences, many shared learnings on life and love in between waiting at airports, getting our caffeine fix in holes-in-the-wall, or taking a break from shopping with some dessert which we split between us.

Mothers never lose (or give away) their daughters. We just pass them on to whoever will take care of them best. They don’t always come back home, but whatever the relationship is, they know Mom will always be there, as long as we are here. That’s the cycle of life.


Cristalle Belo-Pitt and mom Dr. Vicki Belo


Dr. Vicki Belo on daughter Cristalle Pitt

When Cristalle got married, it was heartbreaking for me. I was very happy for her, but I also felt sad for myself, very melancholy. She’s been my roommate since she was six years old, when I split up with her dad Atom (Henares).

She got married at 34, so we were roommates for 27 or 28 years. I felt like I was going to lose my best friend, my confidante. I knew it wouldn’t be the same because I wouldn’t see her everyday anymore.

Cristalle and I would put our feet up on the wall and “talk” to the ceiling. We’d talk about work. We called them our bedroom meetings (as opposed to boardroom meetings).

I’m so used to asking her opinion because she understands me well. I don’t have to give a history of what I’m thinking; she’s very level-headed and diplomatic. She keeps me out of trouble, tempers me because sometimes I can be brutally honest. If I want to say something, she’ll help me phrase it in a nicer way, even if it’s the same message.

We would work out and dance together. She’s a very good dancer. We would also bake. Actually, I used to do everything with Cristalle. I miss her hugging me. We’re very demonstrative.

This year is special for Cristalle because it’s her first Mother’s Day as mom to Hunter. I’m so proud of the mother that she is.

She and her husband Justin (Pitt) got a sleep trainer for Hunter. I’m so amazed that Hunter can sleep alone at six months old.

Cristalle is very involved in Justin’s interests. She’s learning to cook. I like the way they are together.


Joy Buensalido (center) and her family


Joy Buensalido on sons Jondi and Jason

When my first son Dr. Jondi Buensalido got married to Dr. Jocel Soria in 2007, I cried, not because we were sad, but because I thought our close and special family time would never be the same again, since he would have to start his own new family.

In the beginning, they lived with us so we did not feel any real sense of separation. In fact, we were overjoyed and embraced their presence at home until our first two grandchildren were born. Imagine having them all in the same house and seeing them every day! That was pure bliss. Our family was growing and we still had my middle son and youngest daughter in the same home, too.

But when Jason got married to Nikki Boncan in 2011, and Jondi and family finally moved out to their newly constructed home, my husband and I finally felt how it was to have an empty nest. Thank God we still have our youngest daughter, who continues to be with us.

As a mom, I feel fortunate that none of our three children has opted to move or live abroad, so we’re still able to see one another regularly and interact with one another. I think that is what has kept us close to one another. Marriage of children does not necessarily mean you are “ giving them away” or losing them. To me, it only means we are happily expanding this basic family God has assigned to us, so we should continue to love them and care for them as long as we can. It’s a wonderful way of thanking God for the gift of family.

Bella Yuchengco on daughter, chef Sunshine Puey

The first time I heard my daughter call her mother-in-law Mom, I wanted to cry. It felt so unreal. I was stunned at first, and it took a while. I had to process and think how my balae must have felt when she heard her son call me Mom, and that was how I slowly learned to accept it.


Aga Muhlach and Janice de Belen with son Luigi Muhlach (center)


Janice de Belen on son, chef Luigi Muhlach

There is always that worry that, maybe, they are not ready yet, but the greater part is the feeling of separation from your child. I’ve experienced that once pa lang—four more to go.

I just want them all to be ready should they decide. I think, as a parent, you worry about what will happen to them, especially because their parents are separated.


Cindy Guerrero with son Miguel


Cindy Guerrero on son Miguel Guerrero

I was overwhelmed with joy knowing that my son Miguel was about to experience the happiest moment of his life. Flashes of his childhood came to mind, and I realized how he had grown up fast. When he kissed me at the end of the aisle, I knew I was letting go and allowing him to build a family of his own.