Lumpia, ube, and pan de sal.

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Lola Mila (far left) and the family. ❤ Circa early 1990s.

Lola Mila’s been there for us since we were almost a year old. She came to the US in 1988. I learned a lot from her. Growing up, I always wanted to be by her side. Whether it was church, walking to the grocery store, or going to the park.

I can remember those school days. She would make us the best breakfast. Pan de sal with butter or cheese made on the stove top, chocolate milk, and sometimes champorado (Filipino chocolate rice porridge). During big family parties or the holidays, she would make her lumpia and ube. She taught me a lot about Filipino culture. Respect is at the top of the list. After school, I recall her always telling us to make sure we changed right away + preparing for school the night before.

I always got sad when she flew back to the Philippines from time to time. I found comfort knowing my maternal grandparents weren’t too far away. I also remember our family trips to Lake Tahoe, Disneyland, visiting relatives in Southern California (Long Beach and San Diego), Portland, and Seattle! Where did the time go? Those were some great times.

I do my very best to spend time with her. She means so much to me and I can say the same for my siblings and cousins. Lola Mila is resilient, patient, and kind. Thank you for being such a loving grandmother. You are always appreciated. Please teach me how to cook! Haha. 😛

Namumutan ta ka, Lola.

Bernadette

I just called to say I love you.

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Me and Lola Santa Clara, circa 2009.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to profile some of the many sheroes in my life. Some may be gone, but never ever forgotten.

Lola Santa Clara is my maternal grandmother. She was a religious, educated, funny, and giving lady. She taught me many things such as reading, writing my name, and to always take a nap. 😛 I recall the countless stories she would share with us. She remembered when the Philippines was invaded by Japan and how she & her family had to hide underground. I was quite terrified, but very proud. I would also have to say she was super resourceful.

She was a simple woman who enjoyed word search puzzles, doodling, birthday parties, attending mass, talking on the phone with her siblings and relatives, and making a great salad. I also remember how much she cherished her keyboard piano with the programmed songs. It was a gift from my Tito (uncle) Steve.

Lastly, she was selfless. She had the chance to move up North, but she remained in the city so she could raise us. She never wanted to be too far away from her grandchildren. I will eternally be grateful to her and our grandfather, Lolo Maning.

Dacal a salamat po.

Kaluguran daka,

Bernadette