"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bacolod


I haven't written for a bit cause I had to get up-to-speed with everything at work and I tell you, it's looking like 2008 will be a busier year as compared to last year! How can that be?! But you know me, I am positive that with God's strength and shield, I can handle it. Besides, God is there to lift me up when I'm weary, to wake me up at 5am to get a head's start and He's with me all the time. I just need to be more aware of that, that's all.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to tell you how my Yuletide break went given that I haven't spoken about it in great detail.

First off, I highly recommend a three-week break from your life. Seriously. Two weeks is too short and a month is too long, but at the end of three weeks, I found my batteries fully recharged and a-ok to go back to regular programming. Mind you, I am not like a lot of people in that way. I have a friend who went on vacation for eight months. I think I would go crazy to be idle all that time, but hey, maybe there's something for me to learn from my friend. And maybe even vice versa.

I had intentionally planned to spend a lot of time with my family over Chirstmas break and I'm happy to report that my intention was followed up by swift and decisive action, including a four-day trip back to our province, the home of the Masskara festival with mi Mama y Papa. We visited my mom's brother and his wife. My mom is the youngest of three kids and the only daughter. Tito R is the middle child. My Uncle D - the eldest of the three - passed away about nine years back.

It was great to be with them. Mama's high school classmates arranged a get-together over scrumptious Italian food and it was a joy to be surrounded by them all. They spoke about their kids and grandkids and inevitably talked about their friends who've passed on. Health and sometimes the lack of it was also discussed. Their conviction that when it's your time, it's your time came through over and over again. Papa's great recovery from his stroke was a source of wonder and amazement for the group and I think it was good to have Papa hear all this so that he appreciates it more.

Anyway, the funny thing about this particular get-together was that when it was time to ask for the bill, they all whipped out their cards. I thought they were all getting their credit cards, but they were their senior citizen cards! Twenty percent off! See, there are things to look forward to in your golden years! :)

I really enjoyed that trip. Whenever I go to the province, time always slows and deep down inside, I think I really needed that slowing down. And given that my parents don't move as fast as before, the four days were leisurely spent catching up with family, gorging on chicken inasal with garlic rice, seafood and cadyos, buying food to bring back to Manila, catching the game shows on TV my uncle and aunt like to watch, visiting relatives and dropping by the cemetery where my grandparents are laid to rest. It was also a good time for me to speak in Ilonggo which was getting rusty from the lack of use.

For those four days, I listened to my parents and my uncle and aunt in the car while we drove through the city they grew up in (including my Pa, by the way. He went to college here and Mama went to high school here but they met in Manila) telling me where they hung out, the schools they went to, the restaurants they love to this day. It was nice to hear their stories again. I've heard them all before, mind you. Growing up, we spent summers here so I'm familiar with the tall tales. Maybe somewhere deep inside, I needed to hear them retold. I was 37 in that car ride in December 2007 but it felt no different from being 7 in the summer of 1977.

What a great break that was. Thanks for the prodding, Lord.

(Photo credit: ~hbm~)

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