Growing up, I was familiar with the ’80s hit song “Special Memory” because everyone knew my mom, Iwi Laurel, for it. And I would constantly run into people who would ask me, “So, you are Iwi’s daughter? Can you sing her song?”
I grew up around that beautiful melody, but it was only as I got older that I realized how much more “Special Memory” meant to me than just a song my mother once sang.
It was the last song she recorded before completely changing her life to raise me. I saw how tough things were for mom when I was growing up, how she worked tirelessly making ends meet, how she made countless sacrifices to ensure I had a better life.
I relished every home-cooked meal and home-baked cake. I saw the tears and I saw the happiness, and I am forever grateful.
It was Mom who encouraged me to be independent and move out when I turned 21.
I found that, like me, she also had aspirations to be a lawyer. Like her, I grew up doing a couple of plays with Repertory Philippines, and spent my college days doing bar gigs at night and even working part-time in a restaurant, just like she did. We never talked about it, but it seems that so much of her was ingrained in me, it was undeniable.
Years later, after Dad passed away, it was just the two of us left, and it really made me look back on the years she raised me. I just felt an overwhelming desire to thank her somehow.
As a special treat to all mothers, I’m releasing a new recording of “Sweet Memory” (today, May 9 on Spotify; May 14 music video launch on Facebook Live).
Written by the legendary Cecile Azarcon, together with musical director Homer Flores, this classic masterpiece spans generations, and forges an unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter, who, through their unique voices, sing together, creating wonderful moments to cherish. A duet. A legacy.
Everything my mother did through the years is God’s ultimate blessing to me, and not a day goes by that I don’t try to give thanks for it. I wish there was more I could do to thank her, but for now, I hope this simple celebration of love will do.