Why Iâm very proud to be my motherâs daughter
The author with her mom Jullie Yap-Daza and siblings Pete, Paul and Penny during a trip to Fukuoka in 2019.

Why I’m very proud to be my mother’s daughter

RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza (The Philippine Star) - May 10, 2021 - 12:00am

It’s the day after Mother’s Day and it’s not too late to pay homage to my mom, Jullie Yap-Daza, who is undeniably the best mother to me and my siblings Pete, Paul and Penny.

Let me start with a side story about how my siblings and I were so creatively named. As we were growing up, people wondered why our names began with the letter “P,” even though my mom is “Jullie” and my late dad was “Tito.” Why the fascination with the letter ‘P’? As a gifted writer and avid reader who was immersed in letters, words and sentences, Mom says she always found the letter P cute, and so decided that her children’s names would start with “P.” Initially, she wanted to name me Victoria until she realized that my initials would be VD, short for venereal disease (oh my). It also helped that I was born on June 29, the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. That’s why my complete name is Patricia Pauline, nickname Pat-P, with Pat for Patricia and P for Pauline. Even the spelling of my nickname is unique since it has a hyphen to separate the letters. My mom proudly says that I’m the only one in the world with that nickname.

Coming after me is Peter Michael, nicknamed Pete. We called him “Pete-Pete” (another hyphenated nickname) when we were kids, but as soon as he became a teen, he preferred to be called just Pete.

Next in line is Paul, whose unique nickname is “Piggle.” His complete name is Paul Gregory and only mom knows where his nickname came from. Paul has never been fat, and so when people hear us call him, they expect to see a chubby boy, not a lean guy.

Penny, our youngest sibling, got her name from the Wacky Races, a favorite cartoon series from the ‘70s. If we had our way, her complete name would have been “Penelope Pitstop,” after the show’s very pretty and sexy racer. My mom agreed to keep Penelope (to continue the P tradition), but she replaced “Pitstop” with “Katherine.”

My mom has never been the domestic type, having worked all her life. She constantly reminds us that she began working for a newspaper when she was only 16 years old. The best and most important thing mom taught us by example was to have a strong work ethic. If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time; don’t do it haphazardly or you’ll end up doing it again. I witnessed how hard my mom worked. I’d wake up to the sound of her typing on her manual typewriter in the dining table as she listened to classical music. Weekdays, she would leave the house before 11 a.m. to attend a press luncheon, then go to the office where she was an editor. There, she’d stay until 7 p.m. before going to a dinner engagement. She’d be home around 9:30 p.m., and before bedtime would be typing another column. After that, she would read a book before going to sleep past midnight. When I asked her many years ago why she had to attend so many parties, dinners and socials instead of going home right after work, she replied that it was still part of her work, if she didn’t attend these affairs, she wouldn’t have stories to write about. For over 16 years on Thursday nights, she hosted Tell the People on RPN-9 and then Jullie on ABS-CBN. On those nights, she’d be home from her day job at around 7 p.m., have dinner, then get ready to be in the studio by 9 p.m. before going on air at 10:30 p.m. After the show ended at 11:30 p.m., she would then meet with her staff and executive producer to talk about next week’s episode.

But mom enjoyed her work. She loved writing and hosting. I truly believe that if you enjoy what you’re doing, you never have to work a day in your life. She also taught me to never feel guilty about being a working mom. It puts food on the table and empowers a woman to be financially independent, not to mention increases her sense of self-worth. Mom also made sure that she never did anything that might tarnish her name, reputation, credibility and integrity. Because of this, doors were opened to me and before I knew it, I was following in her footsteps.

I am very proud to be my mother’s daughter and even prouder that I listened to her and heeded her advice. After all, mother knows best. We love you mom from your four adorable and lovable children, and Happy Mother’s Day to you and to all the other selfless, hardworking mothers out there!

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