It’s Mother’s Day. Today is very special. Even in the midst of this horrible pandemic, I dare wish all moms, myself included, a happy day.
I wonder how moms are spending their day, considering the times. I know I will stay home. But why not celebrate, regardless of the situation? There are many new and creative ways to gather at a distance and spread cheer even in a lockdown.
I don’t need any new devices or apps to greet the wonderful woman who was my mother. For the past 58 years, I have only to look up to heaven, find the brightest star and blow her a kiss. The void she left in my heart the day she went home to Jesus is still a gaping hole all these many years later.
Lulu Corrales Razón. My beautiful Mamá, how you are missed!
I think about her and wonder how she would handle living in this horrendous time. My mother was a happy person with a great sense of humor. But she worried a lot. My dad teased her about it. She was consumed with apprehensions about health.
In those days we didn’t have the newfangled medications of today. We were more into natural stuff. But for just about every ailment, Mamá trusted Vicks Vaporub as if angels had brought it down.
And she relied on and passionately recommended her tried and true pick-me-upper, Ceregumil, a syrupy sweet Spanish concoction, which, wonder of wonders, is still available through Amazon. I discovered this two Atlanta trips ago, when on a fluke we researched, found and ordered some for my sister who had lost her appetite. And yes, it still works.
Because my mother was a singer, she was fastidious about taking care of her throat. Her favorite gargle was warm water with salt or a few drops of Glyco Thymoline. Her lozenge of choice was Ludens. For singing engagements she loaded up on salabat and downed two whole raw eggs minutes before going on stage.
She was busy during the war. She cooked, kept house and sang at the Times Theater between movie showings. She gave voice lessons at home and starred in a couple of operas and Spanish zarzuelas at the Metropolitan Theater.
But when the air raids started again shortly before the Americans returned, Mama was frightened. I remember how even on quiet nights, she would sneak away to the shelter with me and her pillows in tow, just in case there was an attack. I think this marked her for the rest of her life.
How would she be with today’s new coronavirus disease (COVID-19)? Perhaps like me she would be tempted to listen 24/7 to the news about the disease, yet be afraid of knowing too much. She would be very upset that there is no place, no air raid shelter, to hide from this invisible deadly enemy.
I am sure she would worry and imagine that she had all the symptoms of COVID-19, like I do on many sleepless nights. Then again, maybe not. They say that this type of paranoia attacks only the elderly. And my mother never reached this ripe old age. She died at 54.
Who knows? If she were here today, like her twin grandchildren, she would probably be singing every night to make people happy, making sure they stayed safe at home. She would love that.
I saw the new PLDT commercial. The blurb that explains it, says: “This Mother’s Day let’s celebrate the first person who taught us how to love.” The title is “Ako Naman, Ma.” It is tender, touching and it brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. Watch out for it.
On May 15 our enhanced community quarantine may be lifted, or most likely eased a bit. I hear friends making plans to drive to the beach. Will it be too soon? All I can think of is a meal with my whole family. Is that too much to ask?
Tuesday was a bad day for me. And for millions of Filipinos, here and abroad. When I heard about a cease-and-desist order against ABS-CBN, I was in shock. I told my friend, “No, it can’t happen. Not again. And not in the middle of this pandemic.”
But it did.
That night, we witnessed our Kapamilya media giant signing off. The lights went out. The screen was black. My heart broke.
It was a sad exit. But classy. No histrionics. I saw the pain in CEO Carlo Katigbak’s face. It took huge courage for him to stand before the cameras and speak those words.
I am stunned by the insensitivity and deplorable timing of the orders, in light of our present circumstances. With the Philippines reeling from the worst crisis in its history, someone with half a brain saw it fit to close down our most efficient source of news, information and entertainment. I understand about the franchise. I also know how Congress sat on its hands and did nothing about its renewal.
But why now, in the middle of a pandemic, with the number of deaths soaring and the contagion unabated? With thousands of jobless oversease Filipino workers being repatriated, we have added 11,000 more to the millions of unemployed Filipinos. What were they thinking?
Some are asking: Was this the plan all along? Or do you think that maybe someone just shot himself in the foot? Or higher?