In celebration of the Grand Parents Day, I am taking this opportunity to give thanks and pay tribute to the most amazing person I’ve ever met, my lola Francisca “Kikay”. A mother of six beautiful women and a lola to dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Lola Kikay did not come from a rich family, she was not even able to finish school, but she taught us lessons about love, family, and hard work. Widowed by the Japanese war, she became both a father and mother to her daughters. Lola was able to send them to school, and some were able to enter college. I do not know how she did it. but it was inspiring.
When I was still elementary, during vacations I choose to stay at my lola Kikay’s house in Taytay, while my brothers opt to stay at home or at our cousins (from our father’s side) in a subdivision in Marikina. In a shanty house in Taytay, I witness how my lola works hard to help support her three daughters and their children who were left by their fathers. Before eating her share of the pan de sal for breakfast, she sits in front of her rusty, pedalled sewing machine making rags to sell to jeepney drivers, and pillow cases to sell to the local market out of the fabric scraps she gets from factories. For additional income, she harvests kamote top leaves, patola, and eggplant from the backyard to sell. During meryenda, she sells banana cue, kamote cue, and other meryendas she can think of. If she has extra money, she goes to Pateros and buys penoy and balut to sell. She doesn’t go around the streets at night as she was already around sixty years old at that time. She just sits in front of the house with a kerosene lamp for illumination. Sometimes, I volunteer to do the rounds to be able to sell fast and finish early. During the Christmas season, she sells puto bumbong, and puto kawali which sells really fast during that time because there were not much people who sell them in the area.
Most people remember their lolas as the one who spoils them with gifts, but for me she is the gift. At 85 years old, she is still strong and active, because of the hard work she has done, God has given her more time to spent with her love ones. They say that at her age, we should already be prepared to whatever happens to her, but I’m not. I don’t know if I’ll ever be. I love my lola, I love her very much.
As much as possible we visit her as much as we could, because the most we can do for her is to be with her as she writes the final pages of her book. In her tribute I also named my daughter after her, Maria Francesca.
This September 7, make your grandparents feel loved, the way they’ve done for you all life.
SM Supermalls believes in the value of family, so they’ve lined up special treats and activities that you and your grandparents can enjoy, in honor of their special day:
- Bring lolo and lola to mass at an SM mall, there will be a special blessing for grandparents right after the ceremony. For the list of SM Malls that will have a mass for Grand Parents Day, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/SMGrandparentsDay
- Bring lolo and lola to any SM mall from August 25 to September 7, because senior citizens will get special gifts and discounts from certain shops, restaurants and the SM Foodcourt.Specifically on September 7, The SM Store will give senior citizens a 10% discount for a minimum Php 1,000 single-receipt purchase of any regular-priced item, as long as they present their senior citizen card with their SM Advantage Card. There’s a priority checkout lane to make shopping easier for seniors as well!
- From August 25 to September 7, make memories with your grandparents and preserve them through a picture and message on the dedication and photo walls located in SM malls. Pose the grooviest photo of you and your grandparents on Instagram, use the hashtag #YOLOLO #YOLOLA and get the chance to win P5,000 worth of GCs!