Tough Love, Sisterly Love: For Monica Kabigting

NOMINEE: Monica Kabigting
NOMINATED BY: Nella Lomotan

Growing up during my adolescent years, me and my eldest sister would get into fights all the time. Me, the teenager sister who always wanted to do things her way, who didn’t like having rules imposed on her. Being the eldest, my ate was always the one disciplining me, and because I didn’t like being disciplined, we would always clash. What I admire the most about my ate, which eventually I learned to do as I grew older, was to stand my ground and stand by my principles — that’s what she did all these years. There was a time she didn’t talk to me for 4 months. She didn’t do it because she didn’t want to talk to me, but because she wanted me to assess for myself what I did wrong, and apologize sincerely when I finally learned my lesson. She was always upfront about what she felt, and was honest — not because she wanted to hurt anyone, but because she cared. I realized all that when I was already an adult with a brain mature enough to take constructive feedback well, to know when to admit that I was at fault, and to acknowledge that I needed to allow people to discipline me as well. Today, we are closer than ever, and I can say that we wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for the tough love she gave me.

Through her, I saw the values of honesty, hard work, and selflessness. These inspired me to embody those values just the same. At the age of 33, a Marketing Director at one of our big telecom companies, she left her corporate role to better fulfill her obligation as a mother, and to help grow the restaurants she established with her husband when they were just newly-married (and the restaurants are very successful too!). She is not only successful professionally, but also personally — married to her biggest crush, her best friend, the love of her life, having 2 of the most precious, happiest kids. I personally think that if I were in her shoes, I couldn’t ask for more! I believe that she is in a good place, because of her genuine heart and because of the good she has shared and done with the people in her life — including me! Someday, I will get to where she is. I’ve been inspired by her to to give myself fully in all that I do, carrying with me the right values that will get me to where I desire to be.

Thank you ate for helping me become who I am today. I love you!

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