When my story was published, people admired me. But don't you think it wouldn't be unfair if they would just admire me alone? There are people even more admirable than me. People who have influenced me much and who have contributed to my whole being. They are the ones who worked together to raise the little girl from the barrio. It is just proper to give credits to whom it's due.
Top in the list would, of course, my mom - CATALINA DIVINA. She grew up in poverty. She is not just bright. She is intelligent. Well, I got my writing talent from her. She just finished 4th grade but she has written a number of poems. Some were used during Sonny Escudero's campaign when he ran for Assembly in in the 1980's. I was 4 or 5 that time. I would recite poems, sing and dance during campaigns.
Mam may not have achieved her dream of acquiring a degree. That's basically the reason she did everything she could possibly do just to send us to school. She brought us up to be God-fearing children. She instilled in us the meaning of compassion. She made us understand the meaning of life. She showed us that poverty can be alleviated. She taught us to be tough and resilient - that we should not be easily hurt and pinned down during battles. I have seen her sufferings. I have seen her sacrifices. I have felt her pains.
This page is not enough if I would have to tell all about my mom. All the things she has gone through - from childhood to marriage. But despite all these, she still manages to stand with head held high. For she knows that somehow, she has already won the battle after fighting with all her might.
SALVACION D. ESCOLANO
If there would be a person who has my full respect and love aside from my mom, it would be Mrs. Escolano.
She was my teacher in the 6th grade. i used to fear her. She was tagged "terror" in class. She would throw the black board eraser at you if she caught you talking while she would be discussing. She;s good at it. Sharpshooter, I'd say. She could even have a piece of chalk thrown right in a person's mouth (the talkative student could have choked on it). However, I have admired her eversince. She knows her craft. She is an artist in her own right. She draws well, sings well (things i did not learn from her, though). Aside from these, I admire her for her courage, diligence and perseverance.
She went through difficulties but still manged to finish college and become a teacher. Marriage, no even pregnancy, hindered her from pursuing her dreams. She already had four kids when she finished college. Life was not very friendly to them. The whole family was always being put to test. There was Sisang in 1986. Well, Sisang left the whole country devastated. A lot of people died. There was a time that their house got into fire and left them with nothing. Her husband died young. But with her courage and the support of her children, she was able to surpass them all. She raised her children well. Now, they are all professionals. Two of them are following the footsteps of their mom - her eldest Renato and her youngest, Ria.
Now, even though retired, Mrs. Escolano still teaches. She involves herself in ALS. She renders services for free. I guess it is true that once a teacher will always be a teacher.
They are just two of the people who made me what I am now. But they have contributed a lot.