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Archive for the ‘grandparents’ Category


You’d think it is a review of the movie, right? Wrong. I just borrowed the title.

I saw this picture of a little girl walking with her old grandma and I suddenly thought of my grandparents. I grew up not knowing nor even seeing my paternal grandmother. She died when her youngest son was born (the seventh child- six brothers and a sister). What was sad about it my uncle Domie who is now around eighty-two years old was born with speech defect. He is the only one we call uncle and the rest of them we call Tatay. Tatay means father in the vernacular. I don’t know what happened, uncle Domie never attended school but he knows how to count, he knows the faces of our local money. His nieces including me are all called Bea (pronounced as Be)by him.

Most of my Dad’s brothers and only sister told me that I was a look-alike of my paternal grandmother, my height, the way I walk, the way I speak and the way I carry myself among relatives and friends. I wished I have known her.My older brother and I together with three cousins grew up under the care of my maternal grandmother. Mom was always with Dad when he was working here in Metro Manila until my eldest brother and I reached high school and we were all transferred here. My youngest brother spent his grade school years in a nearby public school when we lived in Quezon City. The four of us spent our high school years at the University of Santo Tomas, two of us graduated there in college.

Speaking of my baing (vernacular for grandma), she was quite strict with us but we grew up knowing how to pray the rosary every six o-clock in the evening. There was even a part there spoken in Latin but I already forgot all about it. I wrote in one earlier post here that I learned weaving mats through her. I learned a lot about life during the Second World War through her stories. That probably influenced me why I like reading about anything historical now.

Funny how sometimes, just a mere picture would trigger memories. Sometimes, you long for those days of old. You smile at the thought and you reminisce.

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We are a big clan.

My  paternal grandfather had fifteen kids in all and dad was second to the oldest  among Tatay’s  kids (we called our  paternal grandfather Tatay and all the rest of his other siblings except my lone aunt who we called Nanang). The first seven were during the first marriage and the second eight kids with Tatay’s second wife. I never knew my paternal grandmother. She died giving birth to their youngest, their seventh child who grew up with speech defect  and cannot speak well.  One of them told me that I look like her, speak like her and even got her mannerism. Maybe that was why I was so close  to them when they were alive. Let’s just say I was one of their favorite nieces.  They are all gone now except the youngest who is now around eighty years old.

When Tatay married again, they had eight kids and the youngest is now as old as I am. I remember Dad telling me that his only sister used to take care of her half-siblings. My two aunts and an uncle live in Spain with their families and the youngest  is married to a Japanese and has lived in Japan for more than three decades now.

I have close to about fifty first cousins  and  so many nephews and nieces with their own families now.  Imagine having so many grandchildren with cousins. I  haven’t met almost half of them except seeing them in pictures. Last February 2011, my aunts and uncles organized a family reunion and it was an amazing attendance with around a hundred family members  including their wives and husbands.  I was not able to attend though because of health problems.

When my aunts  and I meet, we usually talk about our family tree.  We remember those days when Tatay was still alive and my brothers and I would visit them in their home in another barangay in the province.  We remember those days when Tatay was so active in Church. He was a choir member and  a Legion of Mary member too. And I remember those days when we would visit their farm and before we go home, our bags are laden with fresh veggies and some fruits.

Though we are far from each other, we get by through Facebook messenger and occasional texts and calls.  We are connected. We may not often see each  other but the bond is there.

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