“God made you as you are in order to use you as He planned.”

IT WAS around this time when I received a small card with a message from my mother, whom I fondly call “Ina.” I was then very busy minding all my assignments when I read that message. I had to pause and reflect on the inspirational words that seemed to give me a sense of purpose. I even pasted it in one of my notebooks so that day by day, I could put my views into perspective as I would be reminded of God’s plan not only for me but also for the person who gave it.

It was a matter of choice for Ina whether to stay under the same roof with my father who had a lot: houses, cars, and an income enough to support us—yet someone who was unpredictable and oftentimes abusive. She left with no money just to free herself, me, and my sister from the clout of misery that had us emotionally burdened for years.

Her determination to provide us with a better future drove her to make a firm decision to get us out of our difficult situation. It was tough adjusting. Still, I had to bear the task of collecting financial support from my father. It was really frustrating because it was as if he wanted me to reject every single centavo with the litany and embarrassment I got. I also felt bad about Ina that time.

I have learned to accept that no matter what, he will always be my father and perhaps it is a challenge for me to understand him and help him understand his mistakes. Luckily, with the help of some relatives and “generous” friends, we somehow had our financial needs fulfilled.


Nevertheless, as a single parent to my sister and I, Ina has risen above the challenge of ensuring that we get good education and values. She has always taught me not to be judgmental, and to stand for what is right, even if you’re standing alone. I always think that she has given me a priceless legacy of experience and lessons that I may not learn elsewhere—even in a “complete” family.

I consider Ina, not only as my mother, but also a friend. She is the most wonderful Christmas present I have ever received in my life.

Nichole Ariola Ensoy is a BS Nursing senior. She is the editor in chief of the Nursing Journal, the official student publication of the College of Nursing.


  1. wow, its nice to see this article posted online. it was just like yesterday when i wrote this. thank you very much for sharing my story. I’m now blessed to have a job abroad and i’m truly grateful to have been shaped by our University to make a mark in another country. Of course, thanks to “Ina” for always being there. God bless and more power to UST as it approaches its quadricentennial!


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