Socorro "Corit" Alejandro
January 12, 1934 - February 15, 2014
My Mother is an exceptional woman and her example greatly influenced who I am today. In the career I chose, my hobbies, in parenting, in being thrifty, in having faith in God and in many more ways.
She finished B.S. Architecture, and I decided to become an architect. She loved making all kinds of crafts, and I do too. When we were young, I remember how she cut and glued felt into shapes of fried eggs and pancit (noodles) so that we could play make believe kitchen or dining. We did not have a lot of store bought toys but with her example, we made our own. She showed us how to make paper dolls and playing with paper dolls and making them kept us busy for a long time. Given an old box and a Sears Roebuck catalog that Daddy would pass on to us, we would cut out pictures of clocks and curtains and glue them to the box to make our own dollhouse. We would make all sorts of projects together with Mommy. And so when my daughter, Elyse was a child, I would sometimes have our neighbor's daughters come over and we would also do arts and crafts like potato printing, crayon resist and drawing. This way of creating things, of teaching others to also make things became the seeds of the work I do now in our family business.
Mommy taught us to be thrifty and even when income was not that big, she really tried to save money, putting aside a certain percentage as savings and spending the remaining balance; a really good example of knowing how to live simply and spend on what is important. She was not one to go for beauty parlor visits (well, she was already beautiful) or shopping for herself. In the early years, she sewed our clothes. I remember she sewed our school uniforms. To be thrifty, they needed to be "one size fits all" and we would wear them as hand me downs. And to be thrifty, the blouse was kinda short (less cloth). But then, when I would raise my hand, I also needed to hold my blouse down, LOL!
Even when she could already afford to buy clothes from the mall,she still preferred to sew. She loved altering clothes to make them fit her and while she was altering them, she would often change the design as well. With that example, when I have the time, I also alter clothes that don't fit (but I don't change the design).
One of her favorite stories about me as a baby was about how I could sleep through the night even in a soaked diaper. To be thrifty with laundry soap and water, during the day, if a diaper was only very slightly wet, she would just let it dry and at night she would make a super diaper for me made of clean diapers sandwiching these reused diapers. It made her so happy that I slept thru the night, the first time I did something to make her happy. She really could find ways to be thrifty.
Mommy was also very generous. When the business grew and we had some employees already, it was her dream to provide housing for them. My dad's sister told my parents about a property in Bulacan with an area we could use for a factory and some apartment units beside it. They bought that property and her dream came true. When her church group, Women for Christ, honored her, they shared even more of how generous she was with helping many of their members. She was generous with her treasure because she was generous with her love.
|Mommy, Me, Elyse and Pepito (her "baby" egg)|
She wanted to provide for us in the best way she could. She and Daddy bought lots near to them and we were able to build our houses in these lots. She wanted to save for us and she wanted to have enough so that she would not burden us financially in her old age.
She wanted to protect us and was quite strict with her rules. No dates without a chaperone, no boyfriend until you are seriously considering marriage. I was already a widow and I still needed a chaperone. Good thing our kids were our ready made chaperones. When my daughter rolls her eyes at those rules, I tell her, but look how we ended up with excellent husbands. The guys knew we were precious to our parents and they would only persevere in courting us if they really valued us also.
But more than all these admirable qualities, more than anything, Mommy is a woman of faith and she passed on her faith to us. I am blessed to have been brought up by God fearing parents who taught me the values of loving God, of honesty and of knowing right from wrong and choosing to do right.
In the late 70s, Mommy started going to prayer meetings and eventually, I was curious enough to go with her. Going to these prayer meetings led me to attend the Life in the Spirit Seminar, and have a personal relationship with God. It was in one of these prayer meetings that I first saw my future husband and it is thru him that I became a member of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon. The legacy of faith that my parents passed on to me is the most precious inheritance I can ever receive and this is the same legacy I strive to pass on to my children.
No goodbyes, because the faith that she passed on to me, makes me certain that she lives on. I know she will be praying for us and we will see each other again. I know that she continues to love me even now. 'Til we meet again, I love you, Mommy!