“I am a hardworking person. I don’t dream and just sleep with it. I try to accomplish something however small it is whenever I can,” said the vibrant lady Lorna Sun-Tobias.
She is still a dreamer at her age (that does not show on her face anyway) for Lorna Sun-Tobias, a certified Public Accountant, a Summa Cum Laude graduate from University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos and with Masters Degree in Business Administration from University of Sto. Tomas, dreaming is ageless. She still has dreams to fulfill as a family woman, a public servant, an artist and for every role that she has in life.
A native of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, her exploration of the world outside her homeplace started when she was sent by her Alma Mater to Manila for further studies after graduating with top honors. “In the farm where I grew up, where the sky and the stars could be seen unobstructed during night time, I often wondered where the stars could be nearest to Earth,” she recalled.
Career and public Service
She would have been Dean of a college but fate gave her another job to do. The mother of her friend obtained a recommendation from one of the Presidential Advisers in Malacañang for her to work in the country’s revenue agency where she has been building a career for more than thirty-five years now.
She could have opted to retire already if not for the children that she is still helping to finish school. Besides, she believes that her potential as a public servant is not fully actualized yet and she can still give more to the service but she is aware that for her to attain her career goal she has to deal with politics and the workings in the bureaucracy.
But being married to a politician, the Mayor of Sta. Ana, Cagayan Valley, has not given her an edge in her career advancement though. She does not meddle in her husband’s political affairs nor had she used his office for her personal gain. Instead, she helps her husband with her own undertakings. She supports the projects of the women’s organization in their town.
Through her effort, the children of their municipality have this “apple treat” during Christmas season. This apple-giving activity has been going on for more than ten years now, so that if there is a corner in the world where every child has eaten an apple, it could be in Sta. Ana.
“When i see children or even adults braving the rain for an apple on Christmas day, I seem to understand already why we all became sinners because of an apple,” she jokingly said.
Indeed, the apples that she and her team distribute to the children could light up every child’s face and give him/her beautiful memories of childhood. When a child, she remembers how excited she was when her father arrived home from work with an apple as “pasalubong”. She wants the same excitement experienced by the children around her.
According to her, one should be bigger than herself to be considered a success, “We can’t really be considered a success if we are only able to take good care of ourselves. We have to put meaning to other people’s lives.”
She admires Cory Aquino’s deep spirituality that helped the former President overcome the challenges of life being a wife, a mother and a leader. “I like Mother Teresa’s genuine concern for people and Margaret Thatcher’s iron will and strong character. Also, Abraham Lincoln always comes to mind when I am thinking about great men and women for his Emancipation Proclamation. Their qualities helped them make a difference in life.”
Being an artist and growing songs
She wrote her first poem at age of twelve. “It was inspired by a childhood crush,” she said laughing. She was a campus writer during her high school and college days. She has written quite a number of songs already, enough, so that she can produce an album. Six of these songs she likewise has provided melody. Eight were written in collaboration with award-winning actor and composer, Arnold Reyes.
Her compositions include “This World For Us All”, “My Heart Aches”, “Sometimes We Love”, “Let Me Be The One”, “Sing Me A Song My Love” and “Something Growing”. Her song “This World For Us All”, will soon be launched as the Gender and Development (GAD) song of the Philippine Commission on Women. The first song that she wrote with Reyes – “Dapat Tapat” – came into being because she wants to immortalize the political slogan of her husband, “Dapat Tapat.”
Music is just an expression of feelings and emotions according to Ms. Lorna when asked how she is able to write songs. “I am an emotional person. I love much,” she declared. With this love in her heart and her natural inclination for writing make it easy for her to write songs. Some lines from her:
“To interpret my songs , I prefer artists who have not recorded songs yet. They are less demanding. Like flowers, if later on they will be discovered in my garden and they get picked, at least , sometimes in their lives they may be able to tell the world that I am the one who started planting them in my yard.”
Family is priority
She’s not just a public servant, not just a music lover and producer, not just an empowered woman but a loving and doting mother too to her only child, Lordwin.
Her family is a priority for her. She considers her son as the most beautiful gift and the most challenging responsibility she had ever received from the Lord.
“He is still young but very matured emotionally that I can pour out to him my inner self without getting censured. I try to give him much space so that he can grow freely and discover the world around him on his own. I watch and try to know when to come in. He is one real love I have,” she shared.
Take this from Lorna:
“Sometimes we think that we had done enough. But it is never enough unless what we want to accomplish is accomplished. We should never be looking back and saying, ‘I should have done more or could have done it the other way around.’ Never regret. Move on and go forward.”
She can be a woman next door who has to deal with setbacks along the way. What separates her from the rest? She is a woman who knows how to deal with her imperfections and limitations. She knows that she has to travel while her legs can still walk a distance and she has to do some walking to keep herself fit.
She serves, she writes, she inspires, she empowers, she gives and she wants to smile. As her song goes, “No one gets less of the right to smile and be happy deep inside.”
She can make things happen. She is LORNA.