Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mom is My Banteay

Banteay is Sanskrit for citadel or fortress. 

Indeed she is the strongest, most formidable member of my family

Just recently, I went on a six-day trip with my mom to Vietnam and Cambodia. We attended a seminar-convention with colleagues in the psycho-spiritual and emotional healing world. Although there were heavy sessions tackling mostly on issues of transnational families, most of the days were spent on group tours in the different spots amidst the sweltering heat of the sun.

My mom was just as energetic and enthusiastic as ever.

After the Vietnam seminar and tours, we went to Cambodia for a quick trip to Siem Reap for a temple tour. Months before the trip, I already gave her an itinerary and a list of what to expect for the trip. Most especially, i wanted to psych her up that there was gonna be a 13-hour bus ride from Vietnam crossing the border towards Cambodia. And oh, it even included a short ferry ride crossing the huge river of Mekong. But well uh, she didn't read the papers I gave her, and she totally shrugged off the idea of the long trip.

On the bus, I immediately went to sleep as we were picked up at 6am at the hotel that morning. My mom however was laughing out loud and enjoying the movie shown on the bus which was the God's Must Be Crazy. Imagine if they showed all the installments, eh?! She enjoyed it a lot, and although it annoyed me sometimes, I couldn't help but just adore her more.

We arrived past 9pm that evening after that long sleepy ride. And the following morning, we had to be up and about for the sunrise temple tour. And mom was as quick and agile as ever. 

There in the cool Khmer skies, we waited with bated breath, along with hordes of other tourists for the sun to come out. It was just a serene feeling being there with my mom as we stared in awe and wonder at the sight before us.

And we trudged on because it was still going to be a long, long day with temples we would have to discover and explore and take photos in. And guess what, we we able to explore much of the 7-8 (i lost count!) temples the tuktuk driver brought us to. And boy, was i beat! But mom walked on relentlessly resting only every once in a while to drink some water and wipe out the sweat. The sun was fierce but my mom made sure she won't be defeated. She even climbed up some stairs and went uphill towards the temple-mountain where we waited for the sun to set.

I couldn't help but be in awe as to how my mom was able to do that, I was even close to fainting. And she's already 69!

I looked back and remember that hey, this is the same woman who reared us all when my dad got sick for 8 years. This is the same mom who sent us all to school while she continued with her teaching job, came home and took care of our ailing father, and fed us all.

She won't possibly just surrender with such intense physical activity. Most especially when she's  feeding her wanderlust soul as well.

Yeah, Siem Reap, the Angkor Wat, the rest of the temples were awesome, but my mom is more awesome than all of them temples and citadels put together.

I love you, Mama. And I will always be proud of you.

And Happy Mother's Day, mao ra ni akoang gift nimo kay wala man ko wawarts. Didto na lang ka mangayo sa imohang anak nga taga New York  ug katong naa sa TRANSCO. :P