Thoughts & Memories:

Remembering mothers and women

The celebration of Mother’s Day and Women’s Day brings back memories of my mother’s love and sacrifices. These memories were triggered by what I saw on the plane on my way home to Buyo, Virac, Catanduanes, the place of my birth.

Inside the plane, we were seated peacefully with dear wife at seat numbers 07A and 07B. Opposite our seats, separated by aisle, sat a mother cuddling a son and occupying two seats. The son must have been older than one year and cared for affectionately by the mother who covered him with a blanket to protect him from the cold.

I suspected the son was born with cerebral palsy as I had seen some of his kind in hospitals and homes of close friends. His good-looking, round eyes were unsteady, roaming the roof of the plane, his facial expression seemingly devoid of thoughts of the things he saw. The hands moved with absence of complete self-control. Sometimes, his mouth opened slightly but if there were sounds emanating from it, it was unheard. I prayed to God that my assumption was wrong, that one day we will be in another flight joking and laughing to our heart’s content. INSHALLAH.

On the ground after leaving the plane, I saw the beautiful mother on a wheelchair with her son. Her right hand shielding the son’s unknowing eyes from the glare of morning sun.

Suddenly, the “Pieta,” the magnum opus of Michelangelo Buonarroti, appeared in my imagination in Technicolor, transforming the picture of mother and son into the image of the holy Mother and Son.

The sculpture portrays Mother Mary grieving for her loss while cuddling the body of Lord Jesus Christ, after he endured punishment on His way to Golgotha and the agony and death on the cross.

I cannot imagine the extent of sorrows Mother Mary had felt and suffered, looking at her beloved Son that way.

How about this human mother whose life’s struggle are defined by her act of love and sacrifice since her son’s birth, up to the last time I saw them outside the plane.

I am thinking of the mother’s sum total of physical sacrifices for years to come, with the burden increasing as the son grows older in that challenging physical condition. It is next to impossible for any man to do these unique responsibilities for a son for a long period of time.

Now I know women are stronger and more masculine than men, in more areas of human endeavors.

That’s why the pains and functions of motherhood – pregnancy, birth, care and molding of children’s minds – were given to women. We cannot argue with God on this, or would you rather see men getting pregnant.  Laugh not at this idea of men getting pregnant nor question God of its impossibility, for everything is possible to Him.

We must pay due respect and be thankful to our mothers and the female population that we are men.

Am I being inspired to write this topic because Holy Week is fast approaching? Who could he/she be in the silence of the night and the clock nearing the hour of midnight?


Every first mass we attended upon arrival from Makati, is always memorable.

We entered Buyo Church on the dot before Fr. Joey Tendenilla started the celebration. I made the Sign of the Cross and I looked at Father Joey then to the altar. I felt peace and belongingness to our church. Previously, I wrote as if I have a second body, herein now, my inner self took over. More behaved, singing with great gusto, eyes focused on the altar and then to Fr. Joey. You cannot miss seeing the saints on the altar for its near-perfect arrangement done by Ruel Angulo and Purisima Velarde, maintainers and all-around helping hands of Buyo Church.

The holiness of the place is palpable at 6am. At this hour we feel the solemnity of the mass by the absence of extraneous noise plus the early synergy brought about by the awakening of members of the animal and plant kingdoms.

I am amazed at the dedication of Fr Joey Tendenilla in all his liturgical and Eucharistic rites. The number of parishioners attending the mass is never the denominator of his composure and finesse in celebrating the mass. It’s his built-in habit to do his best even if only five or six are in attendance.

Fr. Joey is responding to his responsibility as true follower of Melchizedek.

I want it known to the public that I, Armando Vargas Zafe, expresses my utmost ‘Thanks and Mabalos’ to Jimlet Agunday of McDo at Virac Town Center for returning the P500.00 to me. At the counter, I erroneously gave the extra amount on my next order while dear wife, who arrived late, was conveying an order to me from our table at about 10 A.M. of March 17, 2021.

Once again thanks, Jimlet Agunday, and to your parents for making you such a fine lady. Kudos to the entire staff of McDonald’s Virac and the manager for recruiting honest employees.

Deeds mirror our character.

Other fast food restaurants and eateries, like Yayan restaurant near Center Mall where I had eaten five times already since arriving from Manila, are also on equal footing for good food and customers relations. Catanduanes is known for delicious cuisine.

See you guys on the next issue of Catanduanes Tribune.

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