Running into Mom's friend
Alas, Mom didn't get to find out what a selfie was.
In Tacloban, of all places, I ran into my late mother’s dear friend, former ABS-CBN anchor Kata Inocencio. She is now with the 700 Club network.
I remember that as a teenager I placed Mom’s calls for “Tita Kata” at the neighbor’s landline. They would talk at great length. And then, cancer struck and Mom was taken away from all of us.
Tita Kata was in Ocho restaurant with her TV crew waiting for the mayor’s presentation on the city’s rehabilitation plan. I, on assignment for my newspaper, was waiting for the same. I approached her and said, tentatively, “Miss Kata?”
“Yes?” she said, and I think I noticed an eyebrow shoot up. Why would a total stranger come up to her and address her as though they were familiar to each other, she perhaps wondered.
“My mom was your friend.”
“And who’s your mom?”
I went to her side of the table. “My name is Adelle. My mom is Liza Chua.”
She looked stunned -- and then hugged me for what seemed like five full minutes.
Actually I was really becoming conscious of people looking at us and wondering what we were hugging each other that long for.
During our hug I felt her sigh several times over. And then she told me she never had closure to her friendship with Mom. They were just really beginning what would have been a long and lasting friendship, I imagined, when Mom was seized by illness, and then death.
“I felt I should have done more for her, but...”
I assured her it was all right.
I was really just happy to see her. She was surprised my kids were all grown. Happy that I pursued the profession. Intrigued that I was, after marrying very young, now single.
I always like meeeting people who knew my Mom. I feel more connected to her, like seeing a side of her I never knew, and never will.