My Mother… My First Mentor

It’s May 3, 2011 – a day that has always been very special to me.

In the small town of Sta. Elena, Marikina City in the Philippines where I grew up, this day is significant as this is when we celebrate our town’s “Fiesta”.  A Sta. Elena fiesta is like “Halloween” where you can basically go from house to house and you will be served yummy home cooked meals and delicacies.

I remember growing up, having May 3 as one of my most favorite and much awaited day, just like Christmas and my birthday.  Why?

It’s because May 3 is also my Mom Elena Yambao’s birthday!

My Mom was a renegade.  As the youngest of 8 children whose parents were fatally injured with an accidental American bomb during World War 2, she was lovingly raised by her sister Emilia Santos de Guzman.  She was only 12 years old when their parents passed away and essentially grew up with no parents.

She was a very talented and smart young lady and beautiful too! I heard she received love letters from a few admirers and some of them used to serenade her with romantic ballads.

Though very shy and refined, she went through college and even finished 2 degrees… one in Accounting and one in Education.  She worked at a very young age and had the passion for things that are beautiful, especially jewelry, coins and music. She loves to play the piano and is quite good! She was happy being single and she thought she was never going to get married until she met my Dad.

Interestingly enough, when they say “The fruit never falls far from the tree…” it’s absolutely true!

Of their 4 children, family friends say I am the one that looks just like her.  In fact, I catch myself sounding like her most of the time.

My Mom is my very first Mentor as I believe that most Moms are,  The lessons she has taught me now enables me to help others and truthfully has become the basis of what I teach as The Relational Marketer.

So, here are the Top 10 Lessons I Have Learned From My Mother… My First Mentor:

1) Read Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends and Influence People” – this should be your guidebook in life as first impression is the last thing!
2) Remember people’s names and say it to them… you’ll be more appreciated.
3) Read… read… read!
4) Be happy just by being with yourself – find joy in the quietness of just spending time with you.
5) Be thoughtful and remember people’s birthdays and those who matter to them – even the birthdays of their cats and dogs! (My sister Ellen still does this masterfully 😉
6) Trust people first… find good in those you meet until they prove you wrong.
7) Work is good but family comes first.
8) Strengthen your FAITH in God.
9) Learn Crossword Puzzles and you’ll always have a healthy brain.
10) Appreciate beauty in art, music and finer things in life.

So, for her birthday, I want to thank her for everything she has done for us and for what she continues to do for us.  Amazingly at 79 years old, she discovered Facebook and is constantly engaging using her iPod Touch… I am so proud of her! Now she’s out there encouraging family and friends and educating the youth of her beloved city on its rich heritage.

She doesn’t know I am writing this blog for her but soon enough, she’ll find out as my posts reflect on her Feed so go to her Facebook Page and greet her a “Happy Birthday”!  Click on – tell her you’re my friend and she’ll friend you too!

To honor her, if there is anything I have inspired you with or help you move forward with, please let her know that too, so she’ll realize that her teachings have been paid forward and are making a difference in other people’s lives.

How about you? Who is your first Mentor and what memorable things have you learned from them?

On this note, I also want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day, if you’re a Mom and I encourage you to celebrate and plan something nice this Mother’s Day Weekend to commemorate the special Moms in your life!

Oh and BTW, we have some amazing connections happening on our The Relational Marketers Group on Facebook… Come join us!

Until Next Time…

I Am Cheering You On To Your Success!

Emma 😉

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4 thoughts on “My Mother… My First Mentor

  1. What a beautiful and touching tribute to your mother, Emma. Thank you for sharing her with us. Her beauty and strength shines through the photo you shared of the two of you. =)

    This post makes me think about my own mother and how she has inspired me. I don’t appreciate her enough and thank you for indirectly reminding me to! =)

    I’ll have to ask if my mom received haranas when she was younger as well. =)

  2. Hi Emma,

    What a great tribute to your Mom you have written! She sounds like one amazing lady!

    If every child was mentored with the 10 lessons she taught you, we would have a far better planet Earth on which to live. My favorite is #6 – Trust people first. I find that, in today’s society it has become the norm to distrust rather than trust. This is sad.

    I am a firm believer in trusting people until they give you a reason not to. And even then, I usually give second and even third chances, because people can change.

    Thanks so much for writing this post. My mother passed away 7 years ago, but she was also one of my early role models. And like you, people often comment on how much I’m like her.

    Take care,


  3. Hello Samantha!
    Thanks for the kind comments.. yes, we don’t normally remember how our Mothers have impacted our lives – the good, the bad and in between… They are our heroes and our role models so it’s always a great idea to let them know they’re appreciated! Yes, let me know if your Mom received haranas… probably not old enough for haranas 😉 Ha, ha! Emma 😉

  4. Wow! Thank you Dr. Bob! Yes, she’s an amazing lady indeed! Thank you for your kind comment… it made my post so worthwhile to hear that you resonated with #6. She truly helped me find the good in others and not walk around in fear that people around me are out to violate or take advantage of me! Yes, there are hard lessons learned along the way but nothing compared to the pain of missed opportunities due to wrong assumptions and a mindset of fear. I am so, sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing so soon…. I look forward to a Blog Post about your Mom especially Mother’s Day is around the corner… 😉 Cheering You On! Emma