TV host Boy Abunda gave a heartfelt speech at the recently held 2018 Best Nanay Awards of the Make Your Nanay Proud Foundation (MYNPF).
Boy put up the foundation together with his close friends.
In his speech, the ABS-CBN mainstay said, "Isang maliit lamang na foundation, pero buo ang paniniwala sa pagmamahal at kapangyarihan sa the power of maternal love."
At the event held on December 20, 2018, at Chardonnay by Astoria in Pasig, Boy opened up about his mother Lesing, who has dementia.
He said it has not been easy, and the whole situation entails a lot of prayers.
"My Nanay is doing well. Si Nanay has age-old dementia. It’s challenging pero hindi namin tinitingnan na challenge, e.
"She turned 90 ngayong January 1, 2019. Nanay's vitals are very strong. She has age-old dementia.
"May mga araw na ang aming dasal na sana ay makapagpahinga at matulog. Pag natutulog naman, dalawa, tatlong araw dire-diretso.
"May mga araw naman na ang aming dasal ay sanay gumising dahil tuluy-tuloy din ang kanyang tulog. May mga araw na tinuturuan na namin ang Nanay kung paano, 'Nanay, open your mouth.'
"Ipinapa-alala na namin sa kanya kung paano mag-chew ng food. May mga araw na very challenging. Na wala na kaming mapuntahan kundi lumuhod na lamang sa paanan ng Diyos at magdasal."
Though faced with everyday challenges, Boy remains a devoted son to Nanay Lesing.
He said, "Pero I have no right to complain. Hindi ako mapapagod nang kakasabi sa buong mundo using my platform that the biggest blessing I have in my life ay binigyan ako ng Panginoong Diyos ng pagkakataon na maging nanay sa aming nanay.
"Because naniniwala ako that no other job, no other profession, no other person in the world is more important than a mother."
Boy added, “Nanay has not forgotten my name. Para sa akin, yun ang pinakamalahaga. I mean, para sa akin walang kapalit yun, e.”
Boy believes that mothers play an important role in enriching one's capabilities, and a mother's love is essential to developing future leaders.
"Naniniwala po ako na transformative leadership is possible using maternal love as a tool.
"So, kahit pagdating sa gobyerno, pagdating sa politika, isa sa mga pamantayan natin ay, kapag nagboto tayo halimbawa nang nagpapakilala ng gustong manilbilhan sa atin, 'Paano ba 'to pinalaki ng kanyang pamilya? Paano ba nito tratuhin ng kanyang ina?'
"Malaking bagay ang mga katanungan na iyan dahil kung mabuti kang anak at mabuti kang pinalaki ng iyong mga magulang, lalo na ng iyong ina, will tell you more than half of your story as a person. Kaya nga we pay tribute to our mothers."
A number of exemplary mothers were honored at the 2018 Best Nanay Awards.
Rhodora "Doray" Morales received the Licerna R. Abunda Special Award.
Ten women were also recognized for being exemplary mothers.
The 2018 Best Nanay Awardees were Leonora Alvarez Gealogo (90 years old from Cavite), Remedios Oronce Agoncillo (80 years old from Antipolo City), Nenita Malig Naniong (78 years old from Galas, Quezon City), Aleja Albesa Docena (60 years old from Taft, Eastern Samar), and Maria Teresa Cuartelon Carolino (52 years old from Brgy. Talipapa, Quezon City).
Also among the awardees: Esperanza Labatos Samaco (80 years old from Maasin City Southern Leyte), Esterina Cuizon Alinsug (71 years old from Tugbongan, Consolacion, Cebu City), Felisa Corpuz Carpiso (60 years old from San Mateo, Isabela), Flocita Tilles Gragas (72 years old from Delpan, Tondo, Manila), and Rhodora Alcantara Bohol (76 years old from Brgy. Paligsahan, Quezon City).
BEING ASHAMED OF ONE'S NAME
After the speech of Nanay Doray Morales, Boy revealed that he was once ashamed of using his mother's name.
Boy explained, "I learned something tonight from Tita Doray. Importante na ipaalala natin sa ating mga sarili ang ating ina. So, from now on, I will also say my mother’s name is Licerna Romerica Abunda. Totoo po iyan."
He continued, "But it was not easy. When I was a child I had difficulty saying the family name of my mother dahil nahihiya ako at natatakot ako lokohin ng aking mga kalaro na, 'Bakit ang apelyido niya Romerica?'
"Lahat ng bata ganoon, e. I wanted to be a Zobel. I wanted to be an Ayala. It took a while for me to realize that I love my mother.
"I took a while for me to appreciate my name, Eugenio.
"Sabi ko, bakit hindi ang pangalan ko ay Andrei?
"Bakit hindi Perla? Hindi, joke. Hahaha!
"But it took a while. I have so many questions. Bakit Abunda ang aking apelyido?
"Ang pinakamayaman noon sa aming bayan ay Campomanes. Meron doon na napakayaman na pamilya, Mcguirre ang kanilang apelyido.
"It takes a while, it takes a family, it takes a journey for us to embrace who we are. It takes a journey to embrace the truth that with maternal love everything is possible."