Gifts they want to give their moms–which money can buy, and which money can’t buy | Inquirer Lifestyle

Gifts they want to give their moms–which money can buy, and which money can’t buy

LISA Macuja Elizalde

WE ASKED friends very simple yet telling questions for Mother’s Day: 1) What do you like to gift your mom—which money can buy? 2) What do you like to gift your mom—which money can’t buy?

The answers are interesting, regaling and touching.

1. She loves lilies.

2. Tenderness, care and devotion. I go to Cavite frequently to look after her, and I check on her while I’m in Manila.

—Impy Pilapil, sculptor

1. A big picture of her two grandchildren

2. Time, love and affection

—Kristine Dee, jeweler

1. The biggest box of chocolates I can find because that’s about the only thing she ever asks me for.

2. My time and attention because she has always been there for me.

—Joseph Calata, chair and CEO of Calata Corp.

1. Flowers because my money can buy it.

2. A Bencab painting. Because my money can’t buy it!

—Marco Pascual, Bruno’s Barbers

1. Cooking and serving her breakfast in bed with the best ingredients you can find, because to her, eating breakfast, her first thing in the morning, is  important.

2. Finding an old photo of mom with all the kids, Photoshop to make it more vibrant. Find an old frame and hang it by her office table because nothing shows appreciation like preserving a memorable experience with mother and children.

Scott Tan, owner of Bon Chon Philippines

1. I’m giving my mom a bouquet of fresh flowers. I normally don’t give material gifts because she has everything, and it’s only on this occasion that she receives a bouquet.

2. Quality time. I plan to take her to the mall and have a massage. It’s a day we can really spend quality time together since both of us are very busy.

—Tanya Tan, The Spa

What would I like to gift mom that money can buy?

MARITONI Tordesillas

I would like to be able to make her live in comfort, which she so deserves. A massive stroke left her in partial paralysis, her speech impaired. If I could, I would buy her a nice house, make her travel with my dad, watch her favorite Broadway plays again, and have a chance to visit my eldest brother Jeff, who now resides in San Luis Obispo, California. Perhaps we could find more advanced forms of therapy to help her.

What would I like to gift mom that money can’t buy?

I would like very much to continue her legacy so that she may be proud of me. She is a woman with a great sense of style and a solid set of values. She devoted her life to a foundation she set up, Foundation for Adolescent Development (FAD), which centers around educating teens on reproductive health issues. I wish to continue her advocacy.

—Rina Go, businesswoman

For my mom, a gift that money can buy, I would give her a first-class ticket to London so she can go visit my sister Gia and her two grandchildren who live there.

An even longer, healthier active life. Both my parents are in their early 70s, and my mom, thankfully, shows no signs of waning!

—Lisa Macuja Elizalde, artistic director, Ballet Manila

I would gift my mom very good health that money cannot buy. And a big diamond.

—David Charlton, businessman-triathlete

Flowers and chocolates always light up my mom’s heart. A kiss and a hug would be just as nice.

—Maritoni Tordesillas, yoga instructor-ballerina


1. My mother was strict with me when I was growing up, and I flourished underneath her watchful eye. She taught me obedience, courage, strength and hard work. Because of her life lessons, and since she has always worked so hard to provide me the best, I dream of buying her a week of ultimate pampering. I wish she could stay at the Burj al Arab, the seven-star hotel in Dubai, where she would be driven around by a chauffeur, brought to the best shopping places, and be pampered non-stop in one of Dubai’s best spas. I think she deserves to be treated like a queen for all she did for us growing up.

2. Because my mother worked so hard, and most of all because she loved us intensely as any dedicated mother would, I would love to give her a full day of nothing but  peace and quiet. I would love for her to feel, even for just one day, the magnitude of my gratitude for everything she did for me growing up, even to this day. Happy Mothers’ Day, I love you!

—Rubby Sy, CEO, Flawless Face and Body Inc.

1. I’d give her a new kitchen and the whole set with the best cutting knives and other cool accessories. She’s the best cook, and I’d like her to have the best tools.

2. I’d give her two weeks with the whole family and we’d travel to a country of our choice like when we were kids. We’ve been spread out over two continents, so spending time together is what she cherishes most.

—Olivia D’Aboville, tapestry designer and experimental artist

Good health. Although money can buy good health to a certain extent, what would happen when the health issue turns out to be something that not even money can buy? That’s been a sincere wish  I’ve had for my mom  the past 10 years.

—Bambi Mañosa, interior designer

DAVID Charlton

A trip with all her children—daughters and sons-in-law—and her six grandchildren to her favorite places, such as New York or other European cities like Paris, Rome, London or even Subic, but at her pace and in her unique style. I have seen her happiest and most content on those cherished family trips together. Seeing her enjoying her grandchildren most especially is priceless.

—Margarita Forés, culinary expert and style maven

For things that money can buy, I’d like to give my mom the gift of health and travel. I hope that this year, she can finally undergo surgery to correct her heel, which causes her to limp and use a cane to walk. With proper therapy, she and my dad can travel more, courtesy of my brother Bennie, a PAL pilot.

Now for the things money cannot buy—I wish my mom the gift of time. It’s actually more for us, her children. Even in the autumn of her life, she continues to be our rock. In our youth, we rebelled against our mom’s strict ways. Now that we all lead our respective lives, we realize her maternal wisdom and appreciate the sacrifices she continues to make for us. We will actually be at a loss without her.  —Eric Pineda, costume and fashion designer

I’d like to give her a trip to the Holy Land or Europe with the whole family. As for a gift that money can’t buy, I wish her to continue to have good health. On my part, I would strive more to be a dutiful son and spend more time with her.

—Joey Samson, fashion designer

If I had the means I want to give my mom a well-appointed, spacious condo unit. I find her house really too big for her, and I want everything to be within her reach, or, actually, her maids’ reach! Plus a huge garage for her cars. Hahaha! And for something I cannot buy, I definitely want her to find peace and happiness. —Ruby Gan, entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast

EUGENE Domingo

Off the top of my head is to take her to Lourdes in France. She’s a Marian devotee. What I want to give her that money can’t buy is quality time with the family. —Jude Mancuyas, restaurateur and creative director, The Frazzled Cook

1. A trip to the Holy Land. She (Germelina V. Batoon) has been talking about doing this for almost two years now. I can see the excitement in her eyes when she talks about it. Next is a day of pampering and pleasure at a spa. At 72, she’s still very much in charge of our household, so one whole day at the parlor and the spa is perfect.

2. I will give her time. I will stay with her the whole day. I will give her my full attention. (I have been bringing home work the past few months, so I still do work on weekends). I also don’t say thank you to my Momsie that often, when I really want to thank her every day. —Gemma Batoon, group director of marketing communications, Discovery Suites, Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay and Discovery Shores Boracay

1. I’d like to gift my mom (Cristina Chi Ai Koa) with a new home, especially now that her needs have gradually changed through time. She’s now a great grandmom and deserves the pampering of new amenities to serve her needs, like a lift and a compact kitchen where she can still cook her favorite dishes.

2. I’d like to have at least one meal with her every day so that we can spend more time to talk about friends, family and business interests. —Johnlu Koa, founder of French Baker and master Philippine franchisee of Chatime.

1. I will gift my mom (Annie Guerrero) with a trip to Palawan to see the Underground River, and an eco-tour.

2. Mother’s Day is an opportunity to spend time with my mom, and to show my love and appreciation for all the things she has done for us and the environment. Since she is an eco-warrior, I will emulate her passion and advocacy. —Badjie Guerrero-Trinidad, CEO of Cravings Group of Companies

1. Her own Muji Store! My mom (Susan de Belen) loves organizing stuff.

2. Love, love and more love —Janice de Belen, actress and cooking show host

I’d like to be able to take my mom (Deedee Siytangco) on yearly mom-and-daughter trips. I’d like to be able to pamper her like my dad used to. I would like to continue sharing my family with her, spending time with her and being there for her—just like she’s always been there for me. After all, what else can I really give my idol? — Sandee Siytangco-Masigan, owner of X/O 46 Bistro Filipino

A fully furnished bakery to cater to all her baking needs.

My unconditional love and understanding 24/7.

—Miguel Vazquez, mobility representative, IBM

A month-long trip to Europe and a vacation house where she can get some much-needed R&R, watch her favorite shows and cook to her heart’s content.

Good health, immense happiness, my undivided attention, and time to cater to all her whims.

—Carmencita S. Sioson, associate fashion editor, Look magazine

An iPad, so she’ll get addicted to Angry Birds or any iPad game like a techie lola.

I want to have a weekend vacation out of town in a beach house with my family. My parents are separated and they’re both single, so I’m hoping they’ll be like a couple, and we’ll be a happy and peaceful family even for a few days.

—Mayesa de los Santos, makeup artist

An all-expense-paid head-to-toe makeover.

I’ll be a mom for a day and do all the things she has to do.

—Genstein Yuzon, hairstylist

A backpacking tour of Europe.

Good health, long life and all the happiness in the world.

—Danica Magpantay, model

Treat her to a spa day.

Cook for her

—Pauline Prieto, model

If I could afford it, I’d like to take my mother on a trip around the world with the whole family, grandchildren and all. She is happiest when we are together.

As for what money can’t buy, more happy and healthy years of life.

—Rem Zamora, theater actor

1.  I’d like my mother to travel to countries with beautiful gardens. She loves those.

2.  A bit morbid, but I would like to bring back my mom’s mom just for one day. She was unable to say goodbye to her in person, because my mother was in the airport on her way to the province where my Lola was when she passed away. —Tuxqs Rutaquio, theater actor-director, Virgin Labfest festival director-dramaturg

Caribbean cruise. She’s been wanting to go on a cruise but never had the time.

For what money can’t buy—peace of mind.

—Karla Gutierrez, artistic director, Philippine Opera Company

Peace of mind on both counts. For my mom, there are many aspects that contribute to giving her total and complete peace of mind—some solved financially, some not.

—Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, associate artistic director, Repertory Philippines

Time. —Veejay Floresca, fashion designer

Money can buy us a trip to NYC together. To always be a proud mom, that’s priceless. —Chris Martinez, screenwriter-director-producer

If I can afford it now, I would buy my mom 3,000 pairs of shoes. I remember when I was a kid, she used to wear the same shoes until I was in high school. And the gift I want to give her that money can’t buy would be love forever and obedience because we have to remember that our parents, especially our mothers, want only what’s best for their children. —Puey Quiñones, fashion designer-chef

“My mom passed away when I was 17. So sad dahil every Mother’s Day naaalala ko siya. Sana sa lahat ng paghihirap niya sa amin, ngayon na okay na ang buhay ko, lahat nang dapat ibigay ibibigay ko dahil isa siya sa mga dahilan kung bakit naging mabuti akong tao at may takot sa Diyos. I think the best gift na mabibigay ko is to travel with my mom sa Holy Land and a diamond rosary.” —Avel Bacudio, fashion designer

Prayers for health and safety. I’d like to bring her to a spa town for a year! — Eugene Domingo, actress

“A mother-daughter trip to Europe. And peace of mind.” —Sonja Ocampo, owner, Cupcakes by Sonja

1) What gift would you like to give your mom that money can buy?

A house with a biiiiiig garden where we can adopt all the pets mom wants, all the plants she wants to plant, and all the space for her to walk on and relax. A house big enough for my family, where my sister, my husband and I can happily take care of my mom for the rest of her life.

2) What gift would you like to give her that money CAN’T buy?

My time—and the ability to turn back the hands of time, just to help ease the difficulties she went through in her trying moments as a hardworking single mother, in any way I can.

Shakira Villa-Symes, lighting designer

My mother liked Oil of Olay at her age, and cocho (slippers). I would drive her around the University of the Philippines Campus in Los Baños, nature tripping kami. We would eat grilled fish by the sea. Mahal ko nanay ko, she was the only other woman at home, all my siblings were males. The best priceless gift I can give her is to be a good photographer. When she would see my covers for Panorama and Sunday Inquirer, proud na proud siya. —Mandy Navasero, photographer

If mama were still alive, I would love to give her:

1) A trip to Las Vegas. Gambling was her favorite pastime, so an unlimited number of slot machine tokens would make her very happy.

2) Another pet lizard, crow and kalaw which she was able to tame before. I think we were the only family that had pets like these.

—Eddie Boy Escudero, photographer

I would like to gift her with a Mexican cruise (and matching attire). I would gift her with time to spend with her and treat her like a queen. — Robin Tomas, fashion designer

1. A gift that money can buy—

I got my mom a charm bracelet. She wants to start a new collection of silver charms. So we went to the store and picked out charms together. My daughters were with us, too. We didn’t want to surprise her, because the fun part is choosing and collecting charms together. My parents live in Toronto. They’re retired. They just happen to be here on vacation. Spending Mothers’ Day together is such a rare gift.

2. Gift that money can’t buy—

Two things. Time—she and my dad go back to Toronto at the end of May. We will miss them. It hurts just thinking of it. And, a painting of flowers by me. I used to be an artist. I even took some fine art studio courses in university, going as far as oil painting. She used to ask me to paint her something with flowers. Instead, I painted landscapes and nudes (from studio class). Then one day I just dropped painting completely. I never got to paint her flowers. Now I think I’m ready to go back to painting.

—Daphne Oseña Paez, TV host-entrepreneur (