She was a diamond

Published May 7, 2021, 8:30 AM

by Candy Dizon

To this writer, the jeweler Jul B. Dizon was everything a woman should be, a mentoring mother, a doting wife and sister, an amazing boss, a wonderful grandmother, a selfless citizen

PRECIOUS FAMILY The author and her mom

It’s 7 a.m. and I would wake up to the sound of “Claire de Lune” playing on the baby grand. The music would fill the still and quiet morning with the melody that I would come to love because of how often my mom would play it. “Nocturne op. 9, No. 2” by Chopin would soon follow. After an hour of all that music, I would hear a knock on my door, my wake-up call for breakfast. I would go down to the dining room, the table already set up, and see her. She would be wearing her white silk pajama with a strand of turquoise around her neck and a pair of diamond earrings. By that time, she would have done an hour’s worth of meditation and yoga exercises. My mom was always an early riser, always the first to welcome the rays of the rising sun, heralded by the joyful chirps of birds on the treetops. 

I was 25, single, with two young daughters. A late bloomer, I was going home late a lot. She would be upset with me for partying too much. I would feel bad because when I went out, I would usually leave it to her to watch over my girls when they acted up. But I could see how much she loved being a grandmother and I loved the fact that my girls had her to lean on when I was being a brat. 

JUL IN THE PALACE Founder and matriarch Jul B. Dizon began with a small, family-owned jewelry store in Manila in the 1940s. She experimented with precious stones and diamonds and honed her skills by collaborating with goldsmiths

She trained all six of us, Cedric, Ginny, Janina, Christoffer, Lucille, and me, to run the business properly. “Integrity is what’s most important. Our clients trust us with diamonds worth millions of pesos. Never take advantage of that trust. Earn it and value it with all your heart,” she would remind us every chance she got, again and again. 

‘Integrity is what’s most important. Our clients trust us with diamonds worth millions of pesos. Never take advantage of that trust. Earn it and value it with all your heart.’

She was strict, very strict. She would often scold us but only because she wanted perfection. I would be the quiet one, almost never answering back. But as I grew older, I found my voice and the great thing about her was that she would listen. At 60, she decided to semi-retire and let us take the reins so that she might enjoy the fruits of her life’s work. My dad and mom bought a farm in Laguna and they developed it on their own. Without hiring a contractor, landscaper, or engineer, they were able to make the farm so beautiful and comfortable for all of us. 

Mom was a very active but silent philanthropist. Blankets and diapers were sent to Fabella Hospital, the children of our long-time workers were given free education. She headed Foundation for the Musical Filipino, People’s Patriotic Movement, and many more. 

At 66, my mom she left us. This is the only fault I find in her. She seemed content with the life she had lived, ready to move on to the next chapter. Even in her last moments, she would always remind me to thank the people who had helped our business flourish. Making sure that I would write the names down so that I didn’t forget. But this fault I mention is only because I was being selfish. I wasn’t ready. I was angry with God for taking someone as good as her away too early. To this day, I dream about her and wake up crying. 

DIAMOND WOMAN Jul B. Dizon was a patriot, a patron of the arts and music, a leader in the jewelry industry, and of course, a loving wife, mother, and grandmother

But I realize it is because of how good of a mother she was, a doting wife and sister, an amazing boss, a wonderful grandmother, and a selfless citizen. I was selfish for wanting her here, with me, waking me up every morning with her lovely piano playing. 

Jul B. Dizon was all a woman should be. She was my mother, my boss, and my inspiration forever. 

 
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