She was born in 1933. Her mother is a Filipino and her father with Spanish blood – Regis.
In her teenage years, World War II has broken. Like majority of her age group, education during World War II is scarce. She wasn’t able to finish her primary school. She was the eldest daughter in her family; she looked after her younger siblings while helping her parents the best she can. Nearing her 20th age, she fell in love. But her parents favors someone whom they know can provide her a better life. She stand on her decision to follow her heart; instead, she married the man she loves.
Her marriage gave her 9 children; one of them died. Stricken with poverty, the family was able to breakthrough. Like many of my countrymen, working overseas is one of the best way alleviate poverty. And so does our family. She did the best she can and be the best mother to us. She lived the life of a homemaker, so she can take care of her kids. And when we were sick, she always have the best medicine – Royal True Orange with egg yolk to drink and there’s always Skyflakes to eat. Life is simple back then.
I was sickly among her kids. Since the day I was born, my first month is celebrated in Cebu hospital. During the time of sickness, I remember her carrying me until the age of 10 so I can go to the toilet and move around our home. All the things a mother would do for her children. Even though she didn’t finish school, she did all she can to help our father. I remember helping her to make ‘Ice Candy’ and ‘Yelo’ (home made Ice) and we sell it to kids and neighbors during late 1980s.
She have undergone the hurdles of married life. At one point, I recall when I was 12 years old that she wanted to break the marriage, that she couldn’t take it anymore; but then, she decided to stay. I overheard her conversation with her friend, she stayed as she doesn’t want me to grow up from a broken home. And she loved our father so much to break the marriage.
So even when our father passed away, remarrying never crossed her mind. She rather spent her time with her children, her grand children, and great grand kids.
She embraced getting old with her own style of feminine grace. Always well groomed with her classy outlook and nature. Even when she stayed in the hospital, doctors and nurses can’t help but to praise her fashion sense and her tidiness.
However, all good things has to come to an end. Our physical body degenerates and accept that one day, our once strong and healthy physique will shake hands with frailty and deterioration. Until the time our body will cease to perform and embrace death.
Life is real! Life is earnest!And the grave is not its goal;Dust thou art, to dust returnest,Was not spoken of the soul.~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
She left us last January 2014 at the age of 80. It was only few weeks before her 81st birthday and we’re praying that we would still celebrate with us.
Sadly, she rejoined God.
Her last request was that she and our father will be buried together. She carried her love to our father until the grave.
It is then I realized how the vow of marriage is fulfilled – Til death do us part.
Few weeks ago, on March 5th, the family celebrated her 40th day of passing. It is our customary belief that on the 40th day, the soul of our departed loved ones would crossover and rejoin God.
She will always be in our hearts. She was a daughter to her parents, a sister to her siblings, a mother to us. Amazing woman who undergone the challenges of life – her own personal self, her married life, her family.
To a great woman. Our mother. Not only that we owe you our lives but our entire being.This is in memoriam of Jovita Regis Ipanag. We will always missed you Nanay Bita.
This is the song she used to hymn with us.
P.S. This article is the toughest one I’ve written in my life.
Til next time. Au revoir.