I have never had a good recollection about my grandparents from both father and mother side. If I did, it was very brief and vague. Perhaps, my age has something to do with it, because I was the youngest of four siblings. If I had my moments with my grandparents, I was too young to remember. Just the mere stories of my parents about them would suffice my desire to know them more.
Last weekend, the whole family (Tatay, Nanay, Kuya Olan, Ate Ne, Ate Jo and me) with my nephew Kenken as photographer, decided to go to my father’s native land – Salcedo, Eastern Samar. It’s around 130 km southeast from Tacloban airport.
The initial plan was for my parents only to visit Samar along with my Kuya, however, my wife suggested that the whole family should go and enjoy the bonding time. We were all dumbfounded. It was one suggestion, we simply cannot refuse.
Schedules were arranged and flights were booked. It was the first time in many years that the whole family traveled on an out-of-town adventure by plane. It was also my first time to visit my father’s native land and I was really excited.
Salcedo, Eastern Samar is located near the tip-end of the Samar island. It is a coastal area bounded on the left by the Leyte Gulf while on the right by the Philippine Sea (Pacific Ocean). The coastal road to Salcedo from Tacloban is really captivating. The sceneries were majestic and perfect. Rainforests that can only be seen in movies and in postcards will feed your eyes and imagination. The place was literally overflowing with trees particularly with coconut trees. My rough initial estimate is that the ratio of a man to a coconut tree is 1:6.
Far more than the stunning landscape, I came to know more about my family roots and branches. Kuya Giling, our eldest cousin on father’s side gave a vivid and personal story about my Lolo Adriano. He was fortunate enough to live and grow on the same house where my grannys used to live. He have wonderful experiences when he was a kid, especially when he was dealing and negotiating with Lolo Adre. It came to me that I never had experienced having a Lolo on the side. At one point, I envied Kuya Giling, because he has a very good reason to say, “wala yan sa lolo ko…”
Lolo Adre died when I was in elementary school, he was 84. I remember receiving a birthday card from my Tatay with a picture of an old man, with gray hair and his grandchild standing by the shoreline, looking far into the horizon. Tatay told me in his letter that I was the kid in the picture while the old man was Lolo Adre. I held on to that memory until now because frankly, it was the closest experience that I had with my Lolo. Sad to say, I never met my Lolo Adre in person.
Well, I remember asking myself once, what traits did I get from my Lolo? Kuya Giling, may have answered it indirectly in one of his stories. If Lolo would still be living today and I would met him and exchange stories with him, I am pretty sure, he would have blogged it. Lolo Adre was a brilliant writer.
Inversetutuldok found its roots.
tinuldukan ni Edong nung 12:13 PM
Isang simpleng salita pero punong-puno ng kapangyarihan. Maraming buhay na ang nabago at nasira dahil sa simpleng salitang ito. Sa isang lalakeng kagaya ko, malakas at malalim ang dating ng salitang ito, lalo na kung iisipin ko kung kanino manggagaling ang salita.
Marahil maaari kong makalimutan ang pangalan ko pero hindi ang salitang ito. Ito kasi ang tawag sa akin ng aking nanay.
Noong simulang nagkakaisip pa lang ako, nagtataka ako kung bakit hindi ang tunay na pangalan ko ang tawag sa akin ng aking nanay. Samantalang si tatay naman ay ‘Eddie’ ang tawag sa akin at ang mga kapatid ko ay ‘Idong’, bakit si nanay, iba ang tawag? Siguro dahil ako nga ang bunso sa amin at ako ang pinakamahal niya.
Sa totoo lang, naiilang ako kapag tinatawag ako ng nanay ko ng ‘Mahal’, lalo na kapag naandyan ang mga kaibigan ko o mga kaklase. Dyahe. Sinusubukan kong pigilan ang nanay ko pero susuklian niya lang ako ng ngiti. Yung ngiting tipong, wala ka nang magagawa. Nagiging tampulan kasi ako ng tukso ng karamihan kapag naririnig nila ang nanay ko na tinatawag akong ‘Mahal’.
“Mama’s boy ka pala, Edong!”
“Hahaha! Mahal pala pangalan mo… gaano ba kamahal?”
Akala ko noon magsasawa din ang nanay ko sa pagtawag sa akin ng ganito. Iniisip ko na baka dahil bata pa nga ako at dahil nga bunso din ako kaya niya ako tinatawag na ganito. Malamang pag tumuntong ako ng high school o kaya’y magkaanak pa ang nanay ko, hindi na niya ako tatawagin na ‘Mahal’.
Pagdating ng kolehiyo, bibihira ang mga kaklase kong nakakapunta sa bahay. Ayaw ko kasing malaman nila ang tawag sa akin ng nanay ko. Ayaw kong malaman nila ang sikretong matagal ko nang itinatago. Alam kong pagdadaanan ko na naman ang matinding kantiyaw at tukso sa oras na malaman nila ito.
Hanggang sa makilala ko ang isang kaibigang nagpabago ng aking pananaw at paniniwala. Naiinggit daw siya sa akin dahil iyon ang tawag ng nanay ko sa akin. Siya kasi, kahit anong tawag gugustuhin niya, marinig niya lang daw ang tinig ng kanyang ina. Ulila na kasi siyang lubos. Nabanggit niya sa akin kung gaano kalaki ang pagmamahal ng nanay ko sa akin. Sa sobrang pagmamahal daw ng nanay ko na nasa kanyang puso para sa akin, umapaw daw ito sa kanyang bibig at yon ang naitawag sa akin. Matagal kong pinag-isipan ang mga katagang iyon at napagtanto ko na napakaswerte ko pala talaga.
Dumaan ang mahabang panahon, ikinasal ako at nagkapamilya, ito pa rin ang tawag sa akin ng aking nanay. Kung dati ay nangingiwi ako tuwing maririnig ito, ngayon gusto ko pang ulit-ulitin. Minsan kapag nag-iisa, hinahanap-hanap ko ang mga tinig na iyon ng aking nanay. ‘Mahal’. Malumanay na bigkas na may lambing sa dulo. Nakakamiss din minsan ang maglambing ang nanay.
Isa pang sikreto - Nanay ko lang ang binigyan ko ng karapatang tumawag nito sa akin, kahit asawa ko, hindi niya ako matawag na ‘Mahal’. Tanging ina ko lang.
tinuldukan ni Edong nung 12:17 PM
With the scorching temperature during midday and the student-less commuting public, I have fair, good reason to believe that summer has indeed arrived. And it came with a bang.
When I was a kid, summer season is the best season of the year for me. I can sleep and wake up late without thinking of homeworks, quizzes and exams. I can do whatever I wanted to do and that is to watch TV and play all day long.
While I was watching Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb with my kids, I was fascinated by its upbeat opening theme song. When I searched for the lyrics and read it, it caught me off guard.
Obviously, the cartoon shows how Phineas and Ferb are spending their summer days on a very meaningful way. Everyday, they worked on an adventure they wanted to do or a project they actually designed. At the end of every episode, may their projects be successful or not, it still taught them simple life lessons that they cannot learn in classroom teaching alone.
It came to my senses that I haven’t capitalized much on my summer days when I was young. I was too busy singing and playing just like the grasshopper. But I cannot cry over spilled milk now, hence I need to make some chosen individual’s summer vacation a fruitful one.
This is my summer job.
This is my summer job.
tinuldukan ni Edong nung 12:32 PM