Open Mic Friday! featuring Ann Borja

Welcome, dear loves, to Open Mic Friday!

Today I’m honored to welcome Ann Borja, a Bay Area photographer. She created a heartfelt tribute to her mother which touched me so much when I saw it.

Pilipina Warrior by Ann Borja

As the holidays are here, one tends to think of family…A LOT. I’ve been thinking of my mother and her battle with cancer. She’s in remission and has been such a warrior about the process.

This photo was taken at the end of April of this year in my mother’s Daly City home. At the time, she was 1 month away from her “remission” month (June 2010). I wanted to document “A Day in the Life of Edith Borja”. My motivation was to break my inward and isolating response and lack of presence when coping with a sick loved one. I wanted to understand more and I wanted to be present in her struggle; I am her only daughter out of 5 brothers. She shared her fears and frustrations and the things that made her happy over some delicious adobo! She has a cute and silly sense of humor. I compiled the photos and made a photo book. I gave it to her on Mother’s Day, along with the prayer below.

Pilipina Warrior

Pilipina Warrior (click on image for larger version)

How I Understand You

To the beautiful woman who gave birth, life.
Sacrifices. Absences and loneliness that kept you company at night.
I thank you Meh.

To your kind heart holding hands with your giving soul. Gatekeeper of pamilya.
The class and grace you uphold in your battle. You’re the strongest woman warrior I know.
I thank you Meh.

To your lioness stance and zany sassy spirit.
I thank you Meh.

To your hands telling a million unspoken stories. Your eyes doubling that.
For being the true gangstar faithful.
You put the “die” in ride or die chick. Check.
I thank you Meh.

To your knick knacks, purses, jewelry. You’re the OG Carrie Bradshaw.
Mah-jong queen bee.
Killer cook in your domain.
I thank you Meh.

For all that you are and continue to be beyond this lifetime, this is how I understand you. With love.

Happy You Day.

Ann Borja

Ann Borja (photo by Jaylyn Silvestre Torres)

Ann Borja is a part-time photographer & full-time Executive Assistant at an awesome start-up.

See the rest of Ann’s photos of her mother in this set, or find her work at and flickr.

Thank you, Ann, for sharing so generously with us!

And now — it’s your turn. Offer your applause and other feedback in the comments, where you’re also welcome to share your own work. The comments are threaded, so you can reply directly to each reader by hitting the “reply” button within that comment box.

Read, share, and converse!