MANILA -- On the occasion of the observance of Mother’s Day, former President Fidel V. Ramos now 90 honored his loving mother, Angela Valdez Ramos, for inculcating the value of education, honesty, hard work, frugality, respecting the elders and those in authority, and most of all, to love God, country, neighbors, and nature.
“Throughout most of my life, I have been trained and schooled to be an officer and a gentleman, who regards and respects women as co-equals of men," says Ramos, popularly known in his initials FVR.
FVR, a soldier by profession who graduated from West Point in the United States in 1950, is a veteran of the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the insurgency war in the Philippines before he was elected as the 12th President of the Philippines in 1992.
In paying tribute to the Filipino mothers, FVR said: “The Philippine is blessed to have a society that puts a premium on the Filipina as a warm, caring, sharing, and respected individual borne out by the strong regard for our mothers who are the main anchors of our homes and families.
“With the first stirrings of nationhood kindled by Filipino propagandists in Madrid, Spain in the last quarter of the 19th century, the concept of Philippines as our motherland became a rallying cry.”
“Motherland was, and still is, the term that nurtures a sense of belonging to a homeland, and identity distinct from others, and a longing for our people to prosper to be free,” he said.
“This clarion call to love our motherland led to the birth of the Philippines as an independent nation. The idea still keeps millions of expatriate Filipinos and overseas workers across the globe attached enduringly, to the land of their birth.
“In a larger context, the globe is more intimately known as Mother Earth. Environmentalists also refer to the earth as Mother Nature, which has deeper meanings that cherish roots, renewal, continuity, sustainability, and survival.
“All these concepts are rooted in the universal meaning of motherhood which intrinsically is our eternal umbilical cord to the future.
“The intuitive respect that Filipinos hold for their mothers and their treatment of women folk as co-equals, augurs well for a nation like the Philippines that continues to search for sources of strength in order to attain a bountiful destiny.
“The role of a mother in the life of every child is essential in the nurturing of one’s basic character and fulfillment. Unfortunately, a mother is almost always taken for granted until she is gone.
“A mother is usually there when she is needed most. She is always ready to make even the supreme sacrifice, and the enduring trait that drives a Filipino mother in today’s modern world to work as a domestic helper, caregiver or entertainer for the sake of her children.
“Mothers go to great lengths to assure their children’s better future through their honest labor and devotion to duty. It is this deep sense of sacrifice and selflessness that many Filipino leaders, in and out of government, seem to have forgotten.
“Libraries have been filled with the heroic feats of great men, and few great women leaders. However, only a few have been written about the often-seen greatness of mothers.”
It was in this aspect that FVR was challenged to the need to pay tribute to mothers, especially his mom, Angela.
He thought of writing a book about his mother.
That was realized in 2004, when the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation (RPDEV) co-published with Media Touchstone Ventures, Inc. a commemorative book on Angela Valdez Ramos titled “In A Class of Her Own," authored by their family biographer Melandrew T. Velasco.
“It is also a modest contribution to a handful of tributes to mothers and the Filipina as a person in her own right as primus interpares among Filipinos,” FVR said.
“Closer to home and family, my sisters, Letty and Glory, and I are supremely grateful to the Almighty for the gift and the advantage of having a mother like Angela Valdez Ramos,” he added.
“Our parents raised, nurtured, and challenged us, their children, to value education, honesty, hard work, and frugality. They also taught us to be respectful to elders and to those in authority, to obey the law, and to love God, country, neighbors, and nature,” FVR proudly stressed.
“In grateful remembrance of our mother, the Angela book was offered as a gift to others. Her roots, her upbringing, her role as wife to a public servant in a changing world, her caring motherhood under sometimes difficult circumstances, her selfless volunteerism as a civic worker in war, and her exemplary life as practicing Christian –- all these are encapsulated in this humble tribute,” he said.
FVR added, “Our loving mother we now know was in a class of her own among peers and contemporaries in her generation.”
“This is also our salute to the timeless caring, sharing, and daring of the Filipino woman on the centennial of the Feminist Movement in the Philippines in 2004, and now in celebration of Mother’s Day.”
“Mabuhay and Mga Kababaihang Filipina! Happy Mother’s Day!” FVR concluded. (PNA)