[Mother’s Day] Kaye speaks

Kaye Arteche Etong
She was a daughter who spoke to explain her mom's suicide as it was her dad who was being tagged as the main suspect

ALWAYS A FAMILY. Kaye and her younger sister at their mom's resting place last April 16, their mom's 3rd death anniversary. Photo from Kaye Arteche Etong

MANILA, Philippines – On April 16, 2009, Trinidad Arteche Etong, wife of broadcaster Ted Failon, passed away to injuries caused by a suicide attempt. 

It was eldest daughter, Kaye, who spoke up to defend her dad and mom, while protecting her younger sister from the incident and prying media.

Today, Kaye and her family have moved on. But anyone who has lost a parent would know that the pain never really goes away. It always feels like it just happened yesterday.

Anyone who knows Kaye would say that she has “taken over” where Trina left off. A graduate of the International Academy of Film and Television, she is now a writer and producer for TV and a doting mom. She is still a loving and protective daughter to her dad and sister, whom she loves with a depth only people who look into her eyes closely will understand.

For Mother’s Day, Kaye writes this letter to Trina. It’s not about her dad or anyone else; just a daughter who misses her mom to no end.

“Dearest Mama,

It’s been some time since I last wrote to you. The last letter I gave you, I was leaving for Cebu to pursue film studies. I never got the chance to write to you again and express how much I love you.

Until now.

It’s Mother’s Day today. This is the fourth year we’re remembering you on this day specially created for extraordinary beings like you.

But we’re not able to give you flowers anymore. Or cards or gifts. We won’t be able to take you out. Chat with you over lunch or dinner or maybe go on some fun shopping or watch a relaxing movie. No. We won’t be able to do that anymore.

On this day, all we can do is remember you and remember how blessed we are that God gave us a mother like you: selfless, loving … an angel put on Earth. We weren’t fortunate enough to spend some more time with each other but the memories of the time that we did, I shall carry in my heart forever.

Today, two little boys celebrate with me. Yes, I’m a mother now. And you’re a grandmother. Didn’t you always say you’d like baby boys? How I wish that you could have met them. You’d love them to pieces. They are smart, cheerful and sweet. Just like you. I know you’d be so proud of them.

NOW A MOM. Kaye honors her mom by loving her sons the way her mom loved them. Photo from Kaye Arteche Etong

And maybe, proud of me. For learning to stand on my own without you. For becoming a mother without you. For surviving. For moving on. 

Memories of you haunt me in the night and the longing for a mother burns me without mercy.

You don’t know how much I miss you, Mama. No one knows how much I need you.

Motherhood is the best thing that happened to me. It’s a journey that pushes me to become a better version of myself. I’m constantly learning, constantly amazed by my boys’ milestones, always happy because of them.

And even if you didn’t meet them, I share with them the love you had for me. I care for them as you cared for me. You were a wonderful mother, Mama. I was and always will be a mother’s daughter.

I’m not a perfect mother and there’s so much that I still need to learn. But I know you’re always with me to guide me and bless me.

I see you in every sunrise and feel your love in the warm sunshine.

IN THE SUNRISE. Followers of Kaye's Instagram and Twitter accounts would notice she takes photos of the sunrise a lot. Now we know why. Photo from Kaye Arteche Etong

I love you, Mama. Happy Mother’s Day. To you. To us.

Goodbye, Mama. Until then.





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