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An Ode to my Mother on the Day of Mothers

My family isn’t hugely into holidays, so we will do stupid stuff like not give each other presents on important days. In fact, sometimes we forget even the compulsory greeting – not as an intentional slap in Hallmark’s face – we are just forgetful, and pester each other ENOUGH on all other days of the year. That being said, I am eternally grateful to my mother, who has time and time again shown how much she loves her kids unconditionally. Unconditional love is an amazing and very rare thing. Especially when parties have perspectives which sometimes clash and have little overlap.


We come from very different places. My mom grew up in a rural village in the Philippines. Through raw talent and very hard work, she rose to the top of her class in the Philippines, and then eventually came to the United States, where she did her Doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health on a full scholarship. Can you just imagine that transition? She literally tore the doors down and clawed her way into a different world – not just in terms of geographic location and station on the GLOBAL socioeconomic ladder, but also by gaining entry to one of the most prestigious educational institutions on the planet – using her giant brain as the sledgehammer to new opportunities.

She enabled me and my sister to have every opportunity we wanted to be accessible, and I hope to one day also carve out an amazing story about my life’s accomplishments.

Though we have a lot of differences, I know that my mom always wants the best for me, and supports my dreams from the bottom of her heart – even when they don’t make any sense to her.

Even when my idea of success doesn’t involve science, math, or engineering.

Even when I gave up playing the violin because I hated it.

Even when I had to move back home after graduate school because my dream job didn’t come through when I was hoping for it to.

Even when I had to carve out my own career path in an entrepreneurial fashion (entrepreneurship being almost the polar opposite of her logical, scientific definition of work).

My mom is seriously amazing, and there aren’t enough words in any language to express my gratitude.

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