The most important lesson they learned from Mom

The most important lesson they learned from Mom

She’s their Number 1 fan, their inspiration, their hero. She’s the one who cheers them up when they’re feeling down, reassures them when they have doubts and offers them advice as they navigate through life’s constant challenges. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we asked some of Ballet Manila’s artists to share the most important lesson they learned from their mom and what this special woman in their lives has meant to them.

Katherine Barkman, principal dancer

Katherine Barkman celebrates her debut as Kitri in the full-length Don Quixote with mom Darlene who flew in from the US just to watch her.

My mom is probably my greatest hero and source of inspiration. She has taught me so much not just by her words but by the woman she is from day to day and how she has this ability to find the good in every situation. 

Of all the lessons that have shaped who I am today, the most important one I learned from my mom is presence. She would always tell me... “Focus on what is right in front of you. Everything will fall into place.” She still reminds me this everyday (literally!) – no matter the challenges I face or how overwhelming life can sometimes seem. When I start worrying about the future or the what ifs... I always hear my mom’s voice saying it will work out if I can find the spark of goodness in every challenge I face and if I just enjoy the present moment doing my best right here, right now. 

My mom’s kindness, wisdom, compassion, and fearless spirit inspire me. She is one of the greatest blessings in my life for her unconditional love and support. I would never be where or who I am today without her. I miss her every day and I cannot wait to hug her again soon.

Jonathan Janolo, rehearsal master

Jonathan received valuable advice from his parents, but particularly from mom Arcangel (Leng to family and Angie to church friends) when he got married to Tiffany Chiang.

She would tell me all the time to take care of my wife, Tiffany, and my family since I got married. And to always pray for God's guidance. She’s quiet but when she gets angry, be ready with her claws, she’s got long nails kasi. Ha ha. Tapos three boys kami. Our oldest has two kids, the second one has seven kids. She is very excited to have an apo from me because I’m the youngest. 

Jessica Pearl Dames, company artist

For Jessica Pearl Dames, mom Maria Luisa has the most beautiful soul.

The most important lessons I have learned from my mother are to always forgive people and to stay positive at all times. She constantly reminds me not to harbor hatred in my heart and to forgive often because good things will always come to those who choose to forgive. 

Every time I tell my mom about my problems or if someone has hurt my feelings, she always gently reminds me to just let them be and learn to forgive. I can still hear her saying, "Hayaan mo na lang anak, wala namang magagawa ang hate-hate" (Just let it go, because nothing good will come from hatred). It might not be that easybut I realized she was right after all. Hate and negativity should never get the best of us. She believes if you do good things, good things will come to you too; and I have been a witness to that. 

Mom has always been the happy and cheerful type; she just does everything with positivity. She has always been forgiving and has been very supportive of me and my sister's dreams. My mom has the most beautiful soul. She could be a handful at times but I love her so very much. We may have not been together since we were young, yet she has never failed to be a great mother to my sister and I. I love her so so much with all my heart!

Joshua Enciso, Ballet Manila 2 artist

Joshua Enciso says that hope and life are two things mom Liza has encouraged him to focus on.

I remember what my mom told me that even if the Lord's answer is no, I should keep my eyes on the future, not on fear or death but on hope and life. My mom is a strict parent in many ways but she always lets us be free as long as we don’t do anything bad. I think her best trait is being a calm and very understanding person. She's a very caring and thoughtful mother!

Jasmine Pia Dames, soloist

Jasmine Pia Dames describes mom Maria Luisa as the mother anyone could ever wish or hope for.

Despite her being a "praning" (paranoid) mommy (and she knows she is praning!), she is cool, loving and very caring though we are miles apart. She's always there to support me and my sister all the way. Indeed she is our number 1 fan. She is a strong person and that's what I've learned from her. For me, she is the mother anyone could ever wish or hope for and I am very lucky to have her in my life.

Joan Emery Sia, incoming principal dancer

Joan Emery Sia sums up her mom Jiji this way: Strict but loving. Firm but well-balanced.

As a kid, I would always hear my mom say "Love is discipline, and discipline is love." She is a strong believer in tough love. I remember her saying that line even as I was crying my eyes out (from being spanked or punished). She is the best disciplinarian I know. Strict but loving. Firm but well-balanced. Now that I have chosen a career based fully on discipline and tough love, I appreciate her even more. Thank you, Mommy, I love you.

Mark Sumaylo, soloist

Mark Sumaylo points to independence and the importance of good manners as the values mom Sulieta ingrained in him.

The best lesson that I learned from my mother is how to be independent. She knew that I was going to be away from them (being based in Cagayan de Oro) so she taught me how to be that. We would always have conversations before when I was young about it.

She also taught me the importance of good manners. And she even said as long as you’re happy, safe and you don’t step on anybody, you can do whatever you want and we will be here to support you, as long as you finish your studies first. My mother is a disciplinarian! When I was a child, she would always reprimand me if I ever put a toe out of line. She was strict in that way but shaped me into who I am today.

Godwin Merano, Ballet Manila 2 artist

Godwin Merano cites positivity as the greatest lesson he learned from mom Grace.

I think the greatest lesson I’ve learned from my mom is that the secret to a long-lasting life is positivity. She has taught me that no matter what you are going through, no matter how bad – whether it be self-inflicted or from the environment around you – through a positive mind, heart and attitude, you will conquer and win at life. 

She's gone through some of the toughest battles and had to overcome many obstacles throughout her life, but she has shown me time after time that with positivity, you will make it through. 

I’ve definitely had to use this, and still am using this lesson to this day. Within this profession, it’s easy to let the bad days become bigger than they actually are, or let the people with negative comments get to you. But honestly, I try and rebuild myself by regenerating the negativity and seeing the positive; I try to remain as grounded and humble as I can, noting that, through a positive mind, not only will I make myself happier, but I’m sure it'll affect the overall situation get better. 

Moma, Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for being the strongest, most loving and compassionate woman and mother there is. I seriously don’t know what you’re made of but I know a lot of who you are is pure love. Thank you for all that you do, thanks for being my mom!

Ballet Manila School holds first-ever exams for students

Ballet Manila School holds first-ever exams for students

25 life lessons I learned from ballet - #2

25 life lessons I learned from ballet - #2