Thursday, October 24, 2013


She wasn't perfect, like many of us. She'd harrass and terrorize the househelp, hardly giving them time to rest. 

She was so frugal she bought herself only one (1) new dress and only one (1) new pair of shoes every year.  She hardly threw anything away and collected used plastic bags, bottles, and gift wraps and ribbons. She even kept little jars of used cooking oil which she got rid of only after they reached a dark brown color. "Never use oil from cooking fish for frying meat," she'd often say.

But she stashed money away in various places only she knew about and then promptly forgot she hid them. When her children needed money and didn't have the temerity to ask and go through her inquisition-like interrogations, all they needed to do was silently scavenge around her house and thank her later.

She liked to haul goodies. She'd go on vacations to the country and return to her house in the city bringing sacks of rice, fruits, vegetables, fish and even several live chicken, with their feet all tied together so they wouldn't get away.  Her children were always in fear that one day she'd come back from the country and enter her house with a whole live cow in tow.

She loved gaiety. It didn't take much to get her to dance, sometimes just by herself. She'd cook for days, invite kin and friends to party and then complain of being tired and vow not to do it again, which of course she did. And repeatedly.  It was a never ending cycle of cooking, partying and then complaining. Sigh!

She had an extra pair  of antennae.  She'd tell stories of having been visited by her long-gone father or her favorite aunt.  Some mornings, she'd get out of her bedroom and announce that  she had smelt candle smoke and that so-and-so  had passed away. Somehow she knew when a friend or relative died even before she received news of the death.

Hers was somewhat an arranged marriage. Her husband's mother courted her mother. The two were classmates in cooking school.

Apparently, she had learned to love her husband. She was always at his side and nursed him through a stroke he suffered. Later, her husband did the same for her. They both passed away in the same year, as if they could not bear to be without each other. He died in March and she in August of 2004. 

She was a stern disciplinarian.  Nobody was allowed to leave the dining table unless his/her plate was clean of food. Spare time was to be used darning frayed clothes, wiping dust off furniture or watering the plants in the yard. She set curfews for her children, even if most of them managed to violate them and still get away unscathed except for a tweak on the ear.

Yet when one of her children had an untimely pregnancy, she gave only love and comfort  instead of condemnation and reprimand.

Her name was Rosie.  She was my mother. And today is her birthday.

 Rosie during her graduation from college with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy

Rosie's wedding to Tony, my father (deceased).

Rosie and Tony on their 25th wedding anniversary

Tony and Rosie in New York, USA, December 1990

Posted in memoriam


  1. Wonderful and unique memory's,
    Lovingly told, very touching....

    1. It is a form of prayer, a song, flower, candle. Thank you +v.fisher. Aloha!

  2. Just yesterday I stepped into my den so that I might say "hello" to my grandparents. Happy birthday to your mother. A nice tribute to her here.

  3. What a loving meditation on one of the most important people in your world!! Beautiful

    1. I wonder what happens to the spirit of anyone who has passed on whenever she is remembered. Thanks for your comment Paul!

  4. Beautiful remembrance & photos - Shows me where your charm, beauty & intelligence comes from :-) Mahalo nui loa!

    1. You're very kind Sir Peter! Thank you!

  5. Very nice remembrance Ariel, very well written. Rosie and Tony did a great job in raising you. Their legacy lives on, as do her antenna.

  6. Prayers for Tia Rosie on her birthday. Prayers for Tio Tony too. My memories of Tia Rosie is when I accompanied Tio Dasoy about a year before Tio Tony's demise --- to visit Tio Tony and Tia Rosie at Frisco. Yes, she was very entertaining and was a good hostess but it was always Tio Tony who talked and laughed louder. Tia Rosie was always in her supportive role in making our visit very pleasant. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIA ROSIE!