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Clarita Millan

Panching Eugenio Millan

May 7, 1934 - August 30, 2021

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Tribute To My Mother
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Stories about Panching

Tribute To My Mother

A week ago today my mother, Clarita Eugenio Millan, peacefully passed away at the age of 87. She was born during an entirely different time and era before the Second World War in a bucolic town called Bertese, Quezon in Nueva Ecija, the second oldest sibling among six.

She grew up in Bertese but moved to Olongapo in the late 1940s to study in Olongapo High School along with her oldest sister, Auntie Loly. They lived with their maternal uncle, Lolo Amado.

It was in high school where she met my dad, Lamberto Riego Millan, two years her senior, and by their fourth year in school they became sweethearts. When she graduated she went to study in Manila with her older sister but my dad was left behind, unable to continue his schooling, and went to work to support his brothers and sisters. They never saw each other again for many years.

Mom went on to study Home Economics but only finished second year before she discontinued and went back to the province. According to her, she has had many suitors, even well to do, but she never married until she had a chance encounter with my dad again. By then, they were in their 30s.

To make the story short, my mom and dad got married and that union bore three sons of which I am the eldest. We grew up in a typical family and I would say, an idyllic one full of loving memories. Our mom was an overprotective woman who made sure we were raised in a home surrounded by love and even though we didn’t have all the luxuries of life, she and my dad provided all of our needs.

My mother was a devoted wife to my dad and took care of the house. She cooked our meals and basically did everything in raising us. She was there during our school days and was a constant fixture in our everyday lives as far as we can remember. We sometimes took for granted her presence but in every milestone, she was always present. One could say that she was the glue that held all of us together.

Her love is beyond reason. Like a hen who would not be still if her chicks aren’t there beside her, she was a constant thorn nagging us asking where we are and would be uneasy until we get home. Her love overflows not just for us but for her siblings and their families. She was a second mother to her nieces and nephews that they fondly call her Nanay.

I have seen with my own eyes how this affection and regard for her is true while she was in her last days in the hospital and in the hospice. Loved ones and relatives poured in droves coming to see and visit her. Even if she wasn’t able to talk to them anymore, they came to show my mom how much she meant to them. How their lives had been influenced by her love and presence. So many tears were shed when she left.

But through it all, like my dad, my mother chose the end of her destiny her own way. Her only wish is that she would not unbearably suffer in pain and end will be swift. She got her wish and went through it all with the dignity that only she deserves.

I learned many things from my mother. She taught me first and foremost, love. The kind of love that I now am able to pass on to my own son. And her kind of love is stubborn. One that will never let you go once you got inside it. That’s the kind of woman my mother is. That’s why so many people who got to know her will never forget her name, Nanay or Lola Panching.

There are too many things to mention but for me its just her love that encapsulates everything to describe my mom and what she meant to me.

Mama, thank you for your love for us. Thank you for taking good care of us. We hope we were able to do the same for you just like what we promised to dad before he died, that we will never abandon you. I hope you and dad are finally together and happy now looking over all of us.

We will move on with our individual lives but we will never forget your name, Panching. It will be forever etched in our hearts. Until we all see each other again.

   Honoring the memory of Panching Eugenio Millan