Today, I went to my mentor’s memorial mass. It is a celebration of the passing of a beautiful soul.

Seeing the familiar people I used to work with her, brought back beautiful memories. !hat a wonderful experience it was to have worked with her! I’ve learned so much by just listening to her, watching her move with so much power and conviction that people within her aura cannot miss her fervent passion. She is truly a person full of with desire to improve others' lives.

I arrived early for Mass was to be celebrated within the village of their residence. The first person I saw was her son, who also happens to be my dentist. He called me in to have a seat beside his Aunt.

Ate Ter, as we call her, is always the opposite of my mentor's personality. She would always laugh while she explains to me how she was living her life under the wing of her elder sister. Her sister sent her to school and looked afer her after their parents died. She was very strict, and Ate Ter would always defy her sister's wishes by escaping late at night or staying up late for a party.

“Hello! How are you?” It was the warmest welcome I could ever give. After all, I feel like I’m the least family member from the rest of the crowd. I was just relieved to see her once again because she and her sister and I have worked together in different trainings. She embodied the spritual presence of my mentor.

Ate Ter: “How are you too? I’m doing fine. Did you come alone?”

Me: “I’m doing well. It's nice too see you again.”

Sighs My mentor, she was more than my friend, my teacher, my colleague. She was also a second mom to us -- recalling her wisdom. Though I am not a family member, I also deserve to shed geniune tears of longing for her. She really means a lot to me.

“Pssst.. Ate Liz! Musta na?” I went over to the lady in white, who looked so vigorously as the last time I’ve seen her. She was the secretary of my mentor, Ate Liza. She was also surprised that I was able to come.

The Mass itself was very inspiring and heartfelt as the celebrant was none other than, Fr. Martin, the priest at one of the places she used to go to help children.

As all of us there are friends, family members and colleagues of my mentor. Each of us were moved by Mam Doro’s passion for helping others. The homily was about having passion for moving lives of other people; that which left me with vigor to continue doing what I love, and also be like my mentor, Ma'am Doronila.

My promise to her, I shall never lose passion for what brings me joy. 🙏