Remembering Mama

Evelyn and Ederic Eder

Eleven years ago today, I lost my mother in a sea tragedy. She was one of the passengers of the M/V Viva Antipolo VII, which caught fire and sank when it was only 30 minutes away from the port of Lucena City.

Before the accident happened, Mama and I had been preparing for my first semester in the University of the Philippines. After we had fulfilled the prerequisites for enrollment, she went back to Marinduque to raise money for my tuition. While she was there, she received an invitation for me to apply for a private scholarship grant. She hurriedly accomplished the application forms, secured the required documents, and sailed back to the city aboard the ill-fated ferry.

When rescuers found Mama’s body, she was clutching her bag that had the scholarship application forms and some cash, among other things.

One of the relatives and friends who rushed to the Dalahican port upon hearing about the tragedy was Msgr. Rollie Oliverio, with whom Mama worked for several years as coordinator of the catechists in our parish. He found in Mama’s bag a piece of paper on which an essay about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was written.

I don’t know if it was indeed my mother who wrote the essay. She could have heard it on the radio, from a sermon, or read it somewhere. But it is also very possible that it was her own reflections scribbled down on paper. Being a catechist, she needed to think of stories and anecdotes that would help Catechism students better understand the teachings of the Church. Whichever is the case, this piece was one of the things that helped me move on from the darkest day of my life:

Archdiocese of Manila
BELEN EDER
Parish Catechists’ Coordinator
Holy Cross Parish
Santa Cruz, Marinduque

(Isa sa 39 na nasawi sa pagkasunog at paglubog ng Antipolo VII, May 16,1995, 4:00 A.M.)

Mula sa bag ni Belen na aking nakuha kahapon, May 16, 1995, ilang oras matapos maganap ang trahediya na kinasangkutan ng M/V VIVA ANTIPOLO VII na kanyang kinasasakyan, nakita ko ang isang papel na kanyang sinulatan ng kung ano ang KAHULUGAN NG MULING PAGKABUHAY NI KRISTO. Napaka-Kristyano ng kanyang pag-unawa sa kamatayan at muling pagkabuhay. Narito ang kanyang sinabi:

THE MEANING OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
The basic meaning of the resurrection is the liberation of Jesus Christ from death to life.

1) The teacher put her arm around the boy and took him to a planter’s box by the window. The class had planted the seeds few days before. Using her finger, the teacher scrapped the dirt and found one of the seeds porating to green sprout emerging from the seed. The teacher said: Look, Bobby, the seed is not dying, it is only changing its way of living. God has intended it to become a plant. It is the same way with your sister. She is now changing her way of living. God made her something more than just life to this world. Just as God never intended the seed to remain a seed, so also God never intended our life to remain just a life here on earth. Just as God intended the seed to become a plant, so did he also intend our life to share in His life and glory.

In short, God made all of us for something much more than just life in this world. In truth and in fact, God made us for Himself, to share His life with us. What a wonderful life, indeed (at kanyang inulit sa malalaking titik) GOD MADE ALL OF US FOR SOMETHING MUCH MORE THAN JUST LIFE IN THIS WORLD. IN TRUTH AND IN FACT, GOD MADE US FOR HIMSELF TO SHARE HIS DIVINE LIFE WITH US.

2) However, just as the seed has to change, to die to its being a seed to become a plant, so also we have to change. As long as we live we have to CONTINUALLY DIE TO OURSELF LITTLE BY LITTLE. SMALL STEP BY SMALL STEP, WE DIE TO OUR PRIDE, OUR SELFISHNESS, OUR UNKINDNESS AND WHATEVER THAT KEEPS US FROM BEING LIKE CHRIST AND BEING CHRISTLIKE, SO THAT AT THE END OF OUR LIFE HERE ON EARTH, WE WILL BE BORN INTO ETERNAL LIFE WITH GOD.

This is our only way to God Christ’s own way. His Pasch or Passover, His passion, death and resurrection. Hence we must unite ourselves with Christ’s Passover so that we will be enabled to “pass over” from this life to the Father. It is the Spirit that the resurrection of Christ which is the center and the very heart of the History of Salvation should be the determining principles in living our day to day Christian life. Thus, we must be courageous, READY and WILLING TO DIE DAILY AND SO RISE AGAIN ONE DAY WITH CHRIST WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD.

MSGR. ROLLIE N. OLIVERIO
St. Alphonsus Seminary
Lucena City May 17, 1995

Concordat cum originali

Notarius

20 thoughts on “Remembering Mama”

  1. you must thank God for all of these. Kahit sa panahon ng kamatayan ng nanay mo, ang kinabukasan mo pa rin ang nasa isip niya. Biruin mo, naisip pa rin niyang yakapin at ingatan ang mga bagay na para sa’yo kahit alam niyang mamamatay na siya. Siguro naisip niya, mamatay man ako, sa panahon na matagpuan ng mga tao ang bankay ko, matagpuan din sigurado ang mga mahahalagang dokumentong ito kung ito’y yayakapin ko.

    Hindi natin isisi sa trahedya ang pagkamatay niya, pagkat lahat ng tao ay may kanyakanyang hangganan. Nagkataon lamang na doon siya inabutan sa trahedyang iyon.

  2. hey ederic…

    hope you’re doing ok.

    myla’s right you know. you’ve done your mom proud.

    i know we don’t get to talk much, but i’m hoping you’ll always know that i’m just here if you need a friend

  3. there’s no bigger love than the love of the mother for her child…kahit sa oras ng trahedya yung future mo pa rin ang inisip nya.and its her unselfish love to you that matters most.but everything in this world has its purpose why such things happen to anybody.only GOD knows why…as they say only change is constant in this world.

  4. Myla, thanks. I know she would have been really glad to know you. And yes, I’m sure she’s proud of me for having you in my life.

    Gari, SELaplana, Lordan, and Sidney, thanks a lot for the visit and the comments.

    John Ray, thanks. Am happy to hear those words from one of my favorite persons. Painom ka minsan, hehe.

    Ma’am JJ, thanks po. Gaya ng maraming kuwento, ang buhay ko’y pinaghalong trahedya at tagumpay.

    Throkek, that’s true. That’s why I love Harry Potter’s story. I could relate to the boy who was saved many times by his mother’s love.

  5. I remember the day, it was a sad day for the whole Sta. Cruz…

    Kilala ko Mama mo, si “Ka Belen”. Madalas syang bumibisita sa bahay ng Tita na isa ding Katekista.

    Nawa’y parating mag-umapaw ang inyong magagandang ala-ala.

  6. hi. naiyak naman ako sa story mo…
    ganun yata tlaga ang buhay.
    i belong to the kapuso network too, (RGMA – naga, provincial operation dito sa bicol.
    ingat lagi.

  7. HI, kht d po kita kilala personally, masasabi q lang po ur a great son… tulad po sb ng mga friends mo proud mama mo sau… nung tym n un po umalis dn mama q, pero thnk God kc s Sto.domingo sya sumakay, sbrng ngwory dn po kami sa knya…
    kung nasan man po mama mo, happy sya kc ngkaanak sya ng tulad mo…
    God bless po…

  8. GOD has plan, happy na si ka belen sa kung nasan man sya ngayun at nakikita ka nyang matagumpay sa iyong ginagawa.

    gusto ko lang i share:

    muntik na din ako mapasama sa OZONE tragedy.

    gabi non, kakatapos ng klase namin sa STI sa tapat ng aberdeen hotel sa que ave. kakapasa lang namin ng project namin, so nagkaayaan lumabas. sabi ko di ako pwede kasi may pasok ako (nurse ako noon sa orthopedic hospital sa banawe, nagaaral sa hapon, trabaho sa gabi). hindi ako pwedeng mag absent dahil walang papalit sa akin. kasamahan ko noon si patrick manigque, pinsang buo ni chiz escudero. sakanya ako sumasakay at sabay kami pumapasok sa sti.

    sa madaling salita pumasok at at hindi na kami natuloy lumabas. hindi na din lumabas ang grupo dahil sa hindi naman din daw ako kasama (ako kasi ang clown ng grupo).

    mag mamadaling araw, mga nasa pagitan ng alas 12 at ala una ng madaling araw ng may makita akong makapal na usok sa may gawi ng timog sa kyusi (sa 4th floor ako naka assign noon), narinig ko sa radyo na nasusunog ang OZONE. nangilabot ako at nagtayuan nag mga balahibo sa katawan sabay napausal ng SALAMAT PO DYOS KO.

  9. Ive been following you on twitter because I always get news and information about the current events, but you never seem to notice cause I have a private profile (@jeninamaree). Ive always known you came from a great family. Im sure your momma’s proud of you! Keep it up, God bless and please continue to provide your followers relevant news….and sometimes, entertainment! šŸ™‚ Haha Godbless! :*

  10. I know ur mom, sya ung isa sa masasabi kung napakabait na taong nakilala ko..naalala ko noong high school pa ako sa ipil high school…way back 1983 to 1985, napaka dedicated nya sa pagiging katekista..she’s a good mom to you, i know she loved you so much at kung paano ka nya inaalagan..to ka Evelyn..HAPPY MOTHERS DAY…

  11. I was very young that time and I can still remember when my mom and I went to your house in Sta. Cruz to visit her remains. I know she is at peace with our creator now and very much proud of you.

    1. isa din ako sa nkaligtas dyn tatlo kming mgkakasama tatay ko at pinsan ko ako lng ang nbuhay samin tatlo kya hnding hndi ko mkakalimutan yan habng buhay…

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