Tumbaga to celebrate her 94th Mother’s Day

Some people get their mothers gifts like flowers, candy or a trip to a Sunday brunch on Mother’s Day.

Romang Tumbaga Peake of Kekaha penned a poem for her mother, Maria Tumbaga, who Sunday will celebrate her 94th Mother’s Day.

Maria Tumbaga and daughter Romang Tumbaga Peake, along with other family members, are planning on enjoying a “quiet dinner” at home on Mother’s Day, Peake said.

“We’re having a low-key dinner this time. She eats like a bird now,” and doesn’t like to go out to brunches or dinners, Peake said of her mother.

She is “alert and vital. We are blessed,” Peake said of Tumbaga.

Peake’s two sons, in Oakland, Calif. and London, England, respectively, will probably phone their mother on Sunday, she said.

Mother and daughter took a trip to Waimea earlier this week, and Tumbaga was honored by members of the Kauai Filipino Centennial Committee last weekend as one of the first sakadas, or Filipinos recruited to come to Hawai‘i and Kaua‘i to work in the sugar industry, during the Filipino Fiesta at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.

This year marks the centennial of the arrival of the first Filipino laborers to Hawai‘i and Kaua‘i.

Here is “Ode to Mama:”

Mama is finally ninety four…

In all her glory, she is still strong to the core.

All her old pots are tattered and torn, ruined or burnt to the limit

She still warms up her own meals day after day, bit by bit.

Her mind in sharp and her will power very strong…

Alas, arthritis challenges her every move all day long!

Mama is, after all, ninety four!

But always has a smile when opening her front door.

“To all the mothers in the world, happy Mother’s Day,” Peake said.

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