Dos de Mayo

by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – In almost every day of the calendar year, a historical event happens, be it tragic, heroic, disastrous or momentous. The days , February 22 to 25, are very important for the modern day Filipinos. These days in 1986 brought together a throng of people that led to the overthrow of a dictator. Independence days are national holidays for any sovereign nation. Whatever the case may be, any day is always to be nostalgic about.

In 1808, a civil uprising against the French occupation of Spain especially in Madrid occurred on May 2. The uprising of the common people, who later have been hailed as heroes by the Spanish people, royalty and government, was bloody but it eventually led to the downfall of French troops.

An 1814 Goya masterpiece depicting the rise against the French occupation in Madrid.

After 130 years of this revolt, in 1938 to be exact, a hero was born in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. My mother was borne to a poor tailor-seamstress couple. As their first born, she was trained to take care of her younger siblings. Humility also made this woman stronger. Her marriage to my father, a famous basketball player in our city then, gave her five children and two miscarriages. Nanay (Mother) was not a good cook but she made sure that we were never hungry. There was always food ready and waiting for us anytime of the day. When we were growing up, she instilled in us the value of respect, discipline and education. One of those things that she was proud of was that we all finished our university studies. We all became professionals. The same values that her parents have instilled in her when she was growing up. We were showered with her motherly love even we were already grown-ups.

Mamang says Nanay was a dancer before she could walk. (Nanay, left)

Nanay with her younger brother, George. She has always been a good sister to her siblings, her sister once told me.

She was also a very good friend to others.

During their courting stage. Nanay and Tatay (left) holding hands with their friends on an excursion trip. Lady in the middle is the mother of one of my university best friends.

Nanay is two months pregnant in March 1968. Seven months later, she gave birth to me.

Nanay's (right most, standing) with her four boys. That's me on the right sitting.