On SB19’s MAPA

SB19 had recently released a song titled ‘MAPA’. This is a love letter to parents, to thank them for all their hard work and sacrifices. MAPA is a play on ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’, and can also mean a map (which was also referenced in the song). This song made me ugly cry as emotions I’ve thought I’ve buried already started to resurface.

For me, MAPA is a sad song. I know that this was an ode to the parents but for me, this was an ode to my Nanay, my grandma. Ever since I was a little over a year old up until I was 17, my Nanay was the one who raised. She was the one that stayed up all night every time I was sick and she was the one person who comforted me when my parents forced me in a program I hated. She was the one person I held on to during the darkest moments in my life.

Ever since I started working, one my greatest dreams was to visit home and take her places she had never been. I wanted her to see experience going to other countries, enjoy fancy hotels and see nice sights. I wanted to take her to nice restaurants and have her try everything she wants. But life got busy on my end but I was still holding on to that dream, even though it was less intense now. I always told her, “Next year I’m coming home” and she would always say, “I’ll be here to wait for you”. I left the country in 2013 and finally in the last week of January 2018, I finally booked a flight to come visit home. I got busy with school that I kept telling myself, “I’ll call her later to tell her I already booked my flight”. On February 2, 2018, days after I booked my flight, she passed away. I never got to tell her that I was coming home and this will always be my biggest regret in life.

The words of this song were the words that I wanted to say to my Nanay. The first time I was able to give her money from my own hard work (it was prize money for a writing competition), I saw how happy she was. I loved that look on her and wanted to see that more. Now, I won’t be able to give her all the good things in life anymore. But I really hope she knows how much I love and miss her. In everything I do, I always think, “Will she be proud of me?”.

Don’t get me wrong though, I love my parents. I’m also working hard to ensure that my future includes our whole family to not have any financial problems and that my parents can retire with no problem. They have sacrificed so much for me. My mom had to work abroad as nurse then care aide since I was 9 years old and my dad had to work late nights as a police officer. I also want to one day say, “You don’t have to work anymore”.

MAPA will have a special place in my heart but it’s the song that I can’t listen to too often. It evokes too much sadness from within me. Maybe in time, I can listen to it and not be sad anymore but that day is still uncertain.

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