for her

It felt like The Amazing Race. Only there were no cameras, and the two men in a hurry did not have six-pack abs like Mark and Rovilson. My brother Bong and I slammed the car doors and brisk-walked (we’re both too out of shape for running) across Davao’s Ilustre Street toward Gaisano South Mall. We needed to complete our mission before 6:30PM, and according to my watch we had less than half-an-hour.

“I think it’s not there anymore,” Kuya Bong said, catching his breath. He’s asthmatic, and he was right: the shop we had hoped would be at the mall had been replaced by a bank! “Wait, I think there’s one at Davao Doctors’ Hospital!” I offered. We scurried a block to the hospital and found the shop there all right—unlit and closed! It was a Sunday after all.

Time was running out.

“Why don’t we get something else?” came the bro’s suggestion. I wasn’t ready for Plan B just yet, so I grabbed my phone to call Irene, high school friend and a walking Google for all things Davao.

“Hey, Irene! Where else can we find a flower shop in Davao at this hour?” Without a moment’s pause, she gave us the next best spot to try. We hurried back to the car with renewed hope.

I held my breath as we descended the escalator to the place where the flower shop was supposed to be. And there it was! They had on display and ready to be picked up two bouquets, both beautifully arranged. We chose the bigger and more expensive arrangement–an assortment of red roses, mums, some orchid-looking pink flower. Only the best for the best lady.

We got to church in time for the last few songs before the sermon. Before delivering the message, the pastor, who is my brother Arnel, asked all the mothers to line up in front to be honored and receive a token from the church. Moms of all ages, shapes, and sizes went forward. Taking our cue from the associate pastors who saw us with the bouquet of flowers, Kuya Bong and I marched to the front with the bouquet. My sister Liza looked relieved to see us (her assignment was to make sure Mama didn’t suspect we were out to surprise her.)

Seeing her children approaching with a bouquet, Mama started crying and stomping her feet, her hands over her mouth. In jest I whispered to my brother, “Assuming naman si Mama… malay n’ya sa iba natin ‘to ibigay! Hehe.” But she was right to assume. She sobbed as we gave her the bouquet and hugged her tight. My sister followed suit with the token from the church. “Happy Mothers’ Day, Inay.”

Mama looked radiant in her pink blouse and her bouquet of flowers. After the service we drove to Jack’s Ridge to have dinner overlooking the city lights. Holding her bouquet like a beauty queen, Mama quipped, “Feeling ko naman si Ruffa Gutierrez ako sa The Buzz!” To which Kuya Arnel retorted, “Hindi ah. Ikaw si Annabelle Rama!”


  1. aaayyy… ang sweet naman 🙂

    pero kahit na me tears si mama mo sa episode na ‘to, winner pa din ang hiritan ninyo magkakapatid! hehe.. ganda nito, kuya!:)

    di talaga kami pwede straight drama! dapat may comedy! haha 🙂 felt good to see mama cry… in a good way. hehe. musta mindanao trip mo? 🙂 sillyserious


  2. What a comeback post, worth the wait! Your mother lily stories never fail to warm my heart, as a person. 😉 it must have been quite a celebration for her with all of you, her children, around.

    it was a kodak moment 🙂 we had coffee after dinner, and mama said it was such a delight seeing all of us in front of her all grown-up. of course, jelle was also in front of her — so for a night she had a white boy as her youngest son! hehe… 🙂 sillyserious


  3. kanya-kanyang style lang talaga per family yan no?:D

    i made that comment while in midsayap–was hoping to catch you online para tanungin yung name nung friend mo from the camp 😉 hehe.. the mindanao trip was so fruitful! praise God for the soul harvest 🙂 i had 14 kid students and thanks to my interpreter, i was able to catch up when they get excited with their stories and started talking in Bisaya! pagbalik ko ng manila, medyo nakuha ko na yung accent nila. hehe…

    sounds fun! glad u enjoyed mindanao 😉 sige, ill listen to ur accent next time! haha! sillyserious


  4. “To which Kuya Arnel retorted, “Hindi ah. Ikaw si Annabelle Rama!”” —– hahahaha. Panalo talaga si Ptr. Arnel. hmmmm Richard ikaw ba yan? hahahaha.

    ahem… hehe 😉 sillyserious


  5. I can imagine Mama’s tears with lines like “kayo naman nag-abala pa…pero happy ako” or “charing!”

    Nice to see you again. It’s always a wonderful time whenever I chat with you. thanks for the encouragement to write. muah!!!

    and thank you for the course on amsterdam history! haha! keep writing, keep blogging! 🙂 sillyserious


  6. lex thanks for your ooozing grace ha. Im sure mama was so happy. you and bongbong are the sons of anabel is liza ay si hahahahhah


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