The best advice we’ve received from our grandparents
Our Filipino grandparents may be some of the most precious people in our lives. Many of us might have experienced being doted upon by them (as expected from the very people who probably pestered our own parents for an “apo”), and along the way, picked up some nuggets of wisdom from their many, many stories.
Every September, we celebrate Grandparents’ Day, and what better way to honor them than by remembering the best pieces of advice we’ve received from our beloved lolos and lolas.
For Scout associate editor Jelou Galang, her grandfather instilled the importance of also treating yourself well.
“My grandpa (dad’s side) started his life on hard mode. He wasn’t able to finish college and had to beat the odds for a stable life, and for these, he’s one of my icons of success. One of my favorite pieces of advice from him is how we shouldn’t be slaves of money. Growing up, I interpreted it with the cliché message of ‘Don’t make it the root of all evil” but later on I’ve realized that he also meant, ‘Treat yourself from time to time.’ Despite not coming from a well-off place, he always made sure I’d be surrounded with tangible things I loved as a kid, from “Meteor Garden” shirts to study materials. I remember him when I overthink if I deserve a cup of coffee or not after a tiring day.”
“The best piece of advice I’ve received from them is that giving my best doesn’t mean exhausting myself to my breaking point”
For freelance writer Hans Carbonilla, belief in oneself was the greatest lesson he got from both of his grandmothers. “In our household, I’m fortunate to be loved by two supportive and caring lolas. The best piece of advice I’ve received from them is that giving my best doesn’t mean exhausting myself to my breaking point. It’s all about giving my best based on the circumstances I’m in. Since then, both of them believed in me, and so I did. Now that they’re both in heaven, I want to make them even prouder.”
Meanwhile, for Scout content creator Kleo Catienza, the advice is a little more practical (and universal): “My lola has provided me with countless pieces of advice throughout her life. But as someone who always falls sick, “Iinom mo lang ’yan ng tubig” might just be my favorite. While not a standalone cure for all, staying hydrated does play a crucial role in maintaining overall well-being. (And it’s most likely what’s keeping me alive all these years.)”
Inquirer USA and Canada writer Mary Villegas also shared how her grandmother emphasized keeping good hygiene. “My lola would always say: Bawal may kuto kasi ililipad ka sa Mt. Makulot.”
Of course there are a few quirkier (but nonetheless true!) pieces of advice, most of them coming from our grandparents’ own life experiences. For example: One of our teammates shared how her grandfather insisted one should marry who one wants and not who one’s parents want. (Because said grandfather ended up marrying according to his parents’ wishes instead of his own. Aww.)
“One of our teammates shared how her grandfather insisted one should marry who one wants and not who one’s parents want. (Because said grandfather ended up marrying according to his parents’ wishes instead of his own. Aww)”
Another colleague shared: “I remember my grandmother telling me that when she was working for an American boss (I can’t recall if he was a jerk), she never let him make her feel inferior. She would be confident in herself and her abilities and kept her composure and exhibited self-assurance in doing her job. I suppose during those times, the office dynamics were different so it was encouraging to learn that from her.” Definitely an important quality to learn from.
Personally, my own takeaway from my grandmother’s life and influence was more of a habit than a piece of advice. For better or for worse, my grandmother always liked getting dressed and dolled up. For anything. Everything. Even just staying at home. I guess in hindsight, I’ve picked up from her the importance of always being presentable.
Do you have any favorite pieces of advice from your Filipino grandparents?