[Family] My exact opposite, my hero

Criselda Aquino

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We may be our mother's exact opposite, but this doesn't make us any less her child.

CHRISTMAS IN CHINATOWN, SINGAPORE. We stayed there until New Year and the Chinese New Year. Three birds shot in one trip! Photo from Criselda Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – My mother and I are not compatible.

She is meek. I am aggressive.

She is simple. I am complicated.

She has a big heart. I have a big mind.

But we’re partners in so many ways. Since my father passed away 10 years ago, Nanay (Mother) and I have been supporting each other.

When she needed financial support during my senior year in college, aside from seeking help from my father’s mother, I did my part by working as a correspondent in a community newspaper to augment my allowance and help her.

When I had love issues, she was there to listen and give valuable insights. That helped me decide. And that decision has led to the happy marriage that I have now.

When we had a pressing family issue just as when my father passed away, we worked hand-in-hand, strengthened each other and struggled together until everything was settled. 

Despite our differences, I always look up to my mother as my hero. Though I felt like I was the main driver of our lives, my partnership with her has taught me a lot of things in marriage: complementing each other, communicating to get over problems and consulting with one another to make important decisions that affect the family.

HELLO, MERLION! At Merlion Park, Singapore. Photo from Criselda Aquino

She is not the ideal, the best provider, the smartest mother in the world. Her personality lacks all the superlatives; but with her big heart, she unknowingly touched, moved and shaped the strong-willed, ambitious and happy me.

Cheers to my mom whose character never fails to inspire me. Happy mother’s day month, Nanay! I love you! –


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