Dear Nanay (An Open Letter to Mrs. Carina Bunyi Villanueva)

Dear Nanay,

Remember when I was younger, I love singing to Jose Mari Chan‘s music and you bought me a pirated cassette tape? I never told you how much I hated that it was fake but I kept it because you were the first to buy me something I like.We were not that rich during those times but you still made an effort and because of that you also thought me (without saying it) that it’s always the thought that matters especially from someone you love.

When I become a rebel child (or a black sheep to the family) because of Tatay during my high school years, I moved out of our house but eventually returned home after hearing the news that you were worried sick while I was gone. I came back because it wasn’t my intention to hurt you. And then, I promised myself I will never leave you again.

Every time we have this argument and gave you this cold treatment, you cook my favorite nilaga or bulalo dish. You know exactly that I can’t resist that. You always find a way to keep me calm with your cooking. And you know very well how much I love to eat.

Nanay Enna

Nanay Enna


I love it every time we prepare dishes during fiesta, Christmas and New Year. I was your assistant cook then. You always include the food I prefer and even save some more so I can eat it again the following day. And whenever we dine outside, we experiment on the food we liked and try to replicate it at home. Remember our version of chapchae? I think that’s one of my favorite among our food experiment.

Why am I telling this to you now? Well, because I miss you so much. After that heated argument we had because of Tatay, I became aloof and avoided you for weeks now. I did that because I was also hurt. And I didn’t realized I was hurting more every time I remember our bonding together. I miss our hotel staycations. Those moments I made you overwhelmed because it was your first time to try this and that. I miss our food trips and every time we debate on what to buy in the supermarket.

And as a present, I am giving you this portable induction cooktop from Electrolux because this is the one thing you always wanted. I hope after you read this and received my “I am sorry” gift, we will cook again together.

I know life is too short to waste all the chances I have to make you feel how special you are for me. I was never ashamed to have you as my date, my plus one, and my travel buddy. I only hope and pray to God that He will allow you and each and everyone from our family to live longer and stay healthy because I know I still have so much to offer.

I love making you happy and and whenever I made you proud. This coming Mother’s Day, I promise to make up with you in all my shortcomings. I want to make you happy again. And to enjoy the good life. I love you Nanay. You are my inspiration.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! We will always be grateful for the life and love you’ve given us.

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