There are some Kiwi/non-Filipino things that I don't feel comfortable doing or saying. Like buying and giving greetings cards (I have a suspicion though that card-giving is probably universal); using the words 'mate' (which is similar to like saying 'pare' but 'mate' is applicable to anyone regardless of gender) or 'ta' which is a British-ism for 'thank you'. 

But I like saying 'mum'. We grew up calling our parents mommy and daddy and switched to mother and father when we got older. One would have thought that using 'mom' or 'dad' would have been natural seeing how Americanised Filipino culture is, but I think Kris Aquino put us off using it. It sounded like a pretentious upper middle-class affectation and while it seemed that people thought we were in that social category, the truth was that we never did put ourselves in any. We slummed it out with rest of them and when necessary, played the part better than the best of them. Integrity, and your own self-respect were far more tangibly better things to possess than financial and career success. But mum wouldn't begrudge praise when friends or acquaintances kids achieved either- and would point it out to you. The fact that it didn't take me long to realise that it wasn't meant as a subtle jibe is credit to her perseverance- and commitment to her job as a mother. 

You can only push your child so much but she certainly tries, and still does. And this to me is her most important legacy, something she practices herself to this day even if it sometimes borders on near obsession (like her fervent Catholicism; her championing of her friends; her zealous dieting). 

You have to try, and try, until you literally succeed (a really pointed reminder she dropped on me in middle school when i was flailing with stupid, goddamned mathematics).

And this applies to everything- being a better person; a healthier one; a richer one; a more truthful one; a creative one; a more compassionate one.

Because the day you stop, is the day you fail.

Happy mother's day mum (even if we don't really celebrate it but as Kiwi's are fond of saying, let's give it a go).