The influence of 3 mothers, part 1By Randell Tiongson on May 10th, 2010
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It was a time to honor our mothers and a time for us to reflect on how important mothers are in this world. To a great degree, we are who are today because of the influence of our mothers. I am who I am today because of the influence of 3 mothers – not just my character, values and principles; even my being an advocate of life and personal finance. This blog is for me to publicly honor the 3 mothers in my life: my mother Leonila Reyes – Tiongson, my maternal grandmother Paz Garcia – Reyes and my wife, Mia Mapa – Tiongson.
My mother was a caring and nurturing mother like most mothers out there. She was a great mom to all of us and we were a hand full because we are 7 siblings. My mom had to raise 7 distinctly different and difficult kids as we were demanding, self-centered and even rebellious. On top of that, my mom was also a great wife to our father. Mommy understood what self-sacrifice meant when he married my father and gave life to us. She was a blessed child – a society icon of her youth, chauffeured and pampered in every way. At a young age, instead of being self-absorbed, she married my father and lived a life serving her husband and her children.
My mom was a fantastic finance officer – great at cash flow management, allocation of resources, debt management and even investing. Mommy was a super finance officer despite not having any formal training (she is a licensed pharmacist). She took charge of all the finances of my father’s businesses – from jeep manufacturing to fishponds to steel fabrication. Despite limited resources, my mom was able to ensure adequate cash flow, minimizing debt exposure and proper accounting. Mom kept records of everything in a very orderly manner and was a very good steward. She once told me that should my dad ask her where the money goes; she can give an adequate report down to the last centavo (dad never asked her). My mother had tremendous fiscal discipline which we rebelled a little bit against because we didn’t know any better. Mommy made sure that each and every one in the family is properly fed, clothed, schooled while at the same time ensuring the financial viability of the family business. How did she do that? My mom understood one thing that she held steadfast to – spend less than what you earn! My mother made us realize about their priorities and that sacrifices were needed to be made. Despite all these challenges, my mom was timid and quiet but had a strong confidence in her, in a regal manner. Mommy didn’t spend much on clothes, jewelry, bags and make up; hardly ever goes to the salon, never even went to a spa yey until the very last days of her life, she was just as beautiful as she ever was – inside and out.
I lost my mother when I was just 20 years old but the lessons I learned from her, I carry until today. By the way, my mom was my very first fan – I was about 17 or 18 years old when she told me that I was different from all her children and that if I am deliberate and work hard on my goals, I can achieve great things. She was a great motivator and my great encourager; and most of all she was a great wife to my dad and great mother to me and my siblings.
… to be continued