Compassion was the greatest gift my mother taught me

Isabel Llacuna Alcuitas: Nov. 19, 1902-May 20, 1988

Mother’s Day reflections

By Ted Alcuitas

My mother died 30 years ago this month and as I try to remember her legacy and what she taught me, I feel it was her capacity for compassion that really reverberated with me.

She was always helping others in every way she could and I remember our house was always open to anyone who sought help from her – cousins and other relatives who sometimes fell on hard times. And she shared what she could despite the meagre resources that she had after she retired as a public school teacher.

I remember my elder sister who was abroad  inquiring about the ‘gifts’  she sent her from Canada when she  came to visit. She would always say “I give it to your cousin or to somebody who could use it.” She would never hesitate to give off her clothes from her back if she could. That’s how compassionate Mama was especially to the poor.

In my later years here in Canada I became active in advocacy work for the poor  back in the Philippines. I know that my passion and compassion for the poor came from her.

That is the gift I am nurturing and trying to live by.

That is the gift I leave my children and my grandchildren.


This obituary appeared in Silangan, the newspaper I founded in Winnipeg in 1976.


Do you have a story to tell bout your mother?

Send us your stories and we will try to publish it in this month of May.

Send to: Ted Alcuitas


Mail: 708-1723 Alberni St., Vancouver, B.C. V6G 3G9

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