Abeth & Francine: An M&S Mother’s Day Story.

Mother’s Day is a day we show appreciation for the unconditional love, and for the sacrifices just to make sure we grow to the best versions of ourselves.

At 44, Elizabeth Lopez Unlay, Abeth as she is fondly called by her friends, is a wife to Dave, mother to four kids and a businesswoman. Being all that, she says it’s a blessing and an everyday challenge, and in all the roles she scores high. Though her days are centered around the family, she manages to find herself me time, which is good.

A mom, the wife, mother, businesswoman, counselor, driver and cook is also the ultimate palengke queen. She adores everything linen.

“My name is Francine Cassandra Unlay. I’m 15, the second child and the eldest daughter. Let me tell you why I have the best mom in the world.”


Why Francine loves her mom? She can ransack her closet anytime and wear any of her clothes.

“Here’s the big picture. We are four siblings, two boys and two girls, aged six to 18. Imagine what my mom is faced with? School work, teenage dilemmas, varying hobbies, age gap management, varied food preferencesand mom manages them all quite well.”

“She takes care of dad, too. When he’s away, mom plays dad and looks after the business in however way she can.”

 Fashion wise, this mom prefers the classic look, pieces that never goes out of style.

“On weekdays, a day starts by seeing us four kids to school. In between, mom does her paperwork and errands. She picks us up for lunch and asks how our day was, sees three kids off to school again and looks after Daphne, the youngest. It’s during Daph’s nap time that mom gets to go to the gym. She gathers us again at the end of the day to bond while waiting for dad for dinner.”

“The weekend is a different story. With everyone having their own itinerary, mom turns into a driver, cook and the “palengke queen”. She insists going to the wet market herself to choose the items for her menu.” 

 My mom is wise in a lot of ways. I learn a lot from her.

“Stingy? No, thrifty and wise. She said she only purchases what benefits our health. Quality will always be her priority. The palengke is where she finds the freshest of ingredients at the best price. Imagine how good and balanced her home-cooked meals are. But we do eat out on Sundays after Mass. Though she says it’s family time, I see it as her official day-off from the household chores.”

“After all the hard work she rewards herself by shopping. It’s her way to relax.”

I adore my mom’s sense of fashion. Like her palengke stints, she is as wise in shopping for great deals on clothes. She hunts for the best looks with value for money. This is why she sticks to the classics—elegant and simple yet powerful, and always stylish. She’s a jeans-and-linen-top kind of girl, goes for the safe tones of black and white, and pastels, which makes her feel young and vibrant.

“Let me share a secret. She loves to hoard on the linen tops and bottoms of Marks & Spencer. She said she gets a good deal on the store’s new, lowered price lines. For the same budget, she gets a couple more pieces in the basket than the usual. Her picks in classic styles and good quality can last a long, long time, she says.”

“Here’s another secret. Why I love her fashion sense so much? We’re pretty much on the same wavelength—and size. I can ransack her closet anytime. She doesn’t mind sharing. Like I said, she’s one wise mama. Letting me borrow her clothes saves us both onshopping money. Like mother, like daughter. “

“That’s my mom, Elizabeth. There may be a million adjectives to describe her but I’ll write one—her love is unconditional. That’s what matters most to me, to the family.”

“Happy Mother’s Day, mom!”


This jeans-and-white-linen-top mom can rock linen dresses as well.

Fashion: M&S Collection Spring/Summer 2019 available at the Marks & Spencer stores in Ayala Center

Photography: Wizbren Ang

Make-up & Styling: Otoy Mercado

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