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Mothers Know Best: 5 Young Women Share Lessons From Their Moms That Shaped Their Lives

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From pursuing dreams to creating identity, these loving daughters talk about how their respective mother’s wisdom greatly influenced them.

Beyond the love, warmth, and care that mothers embrace their children with, they share many lessons and advice that still resonate until adulthood. This Mother’s Day, Mica Lagman, Alessandra Lopez, Gilly Rustia, Sam Sadhwani, and Alex Roque share insights the most important woman in their lives taught them. From the importance of gratitude to pursuing excellence, these values helped these young women persist through challenges and embrace who they are today.

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Mica Lagman with her mom, Charmaine. (Photo by Francis Perez)

Mica Lagman

“My mom would always tell me, “Do your best and God will do the rest,” Lagman says, recalling how this piece of advice shaped her outlook in life. She learned to work hard in everything she does the same way her mom Charmaine did, especially now as she pursues her undergraduate studies at New York University.

At first, Lagman was hesitant to study abroad. After all, navigating an unfamiliar city and forging new relationships can take time and personal adjustments. “But I took a leap of faith,” she says. “Since then, I’ve never regretted this decision; rather it helped me grow and mature into the person I am today.”

While treading on a new path can be intimidating, Lagman’s mom assures her “God always has a plan for us.” No matter what she finds herself facing in this course of life, she has to give it her all and “keep an open mind to where the future takes me.”

Alessandra Lopez and her mom, Sarah.

Alessandra Lopez

Gratitude changes an attitude, and Alessandra Lopez describes how this lesson her mom had imparted changed her. “When you’re grateful, you give back to others what you were so fortunate to receive.” Her mom’s compassion inspired her to give back, and one way is to advocate for humanitarian and developmental aid. She worked as an intern at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Armed with her knowledge of International Security Policy in East Asia, she continues to help improve educational standards abroad.

Blessed with a mother who emphasized counting one’s blessings, Lopez says this helped develop her passion for lending a hand. “I’ll always cherish her for leading by example,” she exclaims.

Left to right: Gilly, Joy, Tara, and Keana Rustia.

Gilly Rustia

As a business owner’s daughter, Gilly Rustia witnessed the courage, tenacity, and hard work it takes to build and push a company to success. “My mom has always been a strong-willed and determined person throughout her life,” Rustia shares. “Even when I was a little girl, she did not shelter me from the hardships she faced every single day.” While she couldn’t fully grasp problems at that time, her mom Joy explained it with patience. With this exercise in openness and maturity, Rustia grew up resilient and understanding.

“Many people would tend to ask me, ‘How does your mom have time for the family if she is too concerned about work?’” she reveals. It took some time reflecting before she can now confidently say, “My mom simply makes time. Why should it not be possible for a mother to have both a successful career and [a] fulfilling family life?”

Rustia also debunks the stereotype that a mom’s path is only split between being career-driven, or stay-at-home, and points to her mom as an example. “She is goal-oriented, and career-driven, but is also very nurturing and compassionate to her family… she never fails to amaze me with how she is able to keep the best of both worlds.” Rustia takes inspiration from her mom, seeing the “endless possibilities of what a woman in the 21st century can be.”

Sam Sadhwani and her mom, Apples.

Sam Sadhwani

“I think the biggest lesson my mom has taught me is to always be kind,” Sam Sadhwani muses. Her mom Apples imparted the importance of having compassion govern her heart. “You never what people could be going through,” she elaborates.

The CNN Philippines correspondent treats her mom like a best friend. They have similar interests especially when it comes to fashion, and so it is no wonder they have a tight-knit relationship. But as they go on their individual lives, Sadhwani never forgets to take this advice to heart. “She definitely leads by example,” she says. “It’s something I try and live by every day.”

Alex Roque and her mom, Cris.

Alex Roque

With a mother whose passion for style bore a thriving local fashion brand, it is no surprise how Roque sees her mom Cris as an inspiring figure. Apart from the value of hard work she witnessed from her mom, she shares, “One thing that really stuck to me is to have my own personal sense of style and fashion, centered on who I am and where I am, as a woman.”

No matter the aspect of her life—be it handling Project Glow as its creative director, working on her vibrant paintings, strengthening relationships, and more, Roque keeps this advice in mind. “This particular [value] was very influential. It’s something that makes me happy.”

She loves bold colors and crazy prints and naturally, her personal style and her artworks reflect these. Such joy and warmth that she creates influence all those around her, and is a testament to how much she values her mom’s wisdom.

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