29
Oct
11

I Love My Generation

Traditional Baby Crib made of hardwood

 To Pinoys and Pinays born in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s & 70’s!

First, some of us survived being born to mothers who did not have an OB-Gyne, who smoke cigarettes  and/or drank San Miguel Beers or Syoktong, while they carried us in their wombs. The Manghihilot was a cheap and popular way to deliver babies. Dinala ka ba ng Nanay mo sa Pediatrician for DPT? While pregnant, they took cold or cough medicine, cortal or medicol, ate Isaw, and did’nt worry about diabetes or cervical cancer.

Traditional "Andador", made of rattan

Then after all that trauma, our baby cribs were made of hard wood covered with lead-based paints, pati na yung walker (Andador) natin, matigas na kahoy or rattan at wala pang gulong.

We had no soft cushy cribs that play music, no disposable diapers (lampin lang), ( noon cloth or rattan duyan lang tied to the posts or ceiling, babies would fall asleep sa sobrang hilo ) and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, no kneepads, sometimes wala pang preno yung bisikleta.

Take-out foods was limited to Ongpin’s pansit or Aling Toyang’s pre-cooked ulam in kalderos. No pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Jollibee, and coffee was just Kape hindi gamahal as in Starbucks.

Getting a free ride

As children, we would ride in jeepneys libre pag kandong, hot un-airconditioned buses with wooden seats (yung JD Bus na pula), or cars with no airconditioning and no seat belts (ngayon lahat may aircon na).

Carabao Ride

Riding on the back of the carabao on a breezy summer day was considered a treat (ngayon hindi na nakakakita ng kalabaw ang mga bata). Chewing sugarcane sticks til all the juice is extracted is part of every Negrense childhood experience. Big trucks filled with sugarcane which makes stops in the city to get tires fixed often fell victims to children.

Did you make your own saranggola and pasted bubog on the strings?

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle purchased from 7 Eleven (minsan straight from the faucet or poso) walang 7 Eleven noon, sari-sari store ni Mang Akong to buy sarsi, suntan, RC cola or choco-vim.

We share one soft drink bottle with four of our friends, and NO ONE actually died from it or contracted hepatitis. 

We ate rice with star margarine, pampatangkad daw, took raw eggs straight from the shell, and drank soft drinks with real sugar in it (hindi diet coke), but we weren’t sick or overweight kasi nga ……….

Kids playing Luksong Tinik

WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING !!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, and get back when the streetlights came on. Sarap mag patintero, tumbang preso, habulan at tagu-an. Hindi uso ang kidnap for ransom na yan, safe maglaro sa labas. Tandaanmo ba PIKO, step-no-step- yes, trumpo, garter & mala-ahas sa haba na goma? Kung naulan, jackstones, pick-up sticks or sungka, bahay-bahayan, tinda-tindahan, titser-teacher- an or swimming sa baha or kangkungan.

"Tumbang Preso"

No one was able to reach us all day (di uso ang cellphone, walang beepers). And yes, we were OK.  Sipol lang ni tatay ang meron noon!

We would spend hours building our wooden trolleys (yung bearing ang gulong) or plywood slides out of scraps and then ride down the street, only to find out we forgot the brakes! After hitting the sidewalk or falling into canal (sewage channel) a few times, we learned to solve the problem ourselves with our bare dirty hands.

"Swimming Sprees"

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 100 channels on cable, no DVD movies, no surround stereo, no IPOD’s, no cellphones, no computers, no Internet, no chat rooms, and no Friendsters, Facebook. MSN etc. …….. …WE HAD REAL FRIENDS and we went outside to actually talk and play with them!TV viewing was a treat, kilala mo ba si Popeye, Gumby, Betty Boop & followed the bouncing ball in Melody Tunes? That was karaoke then, LOL!

We climbed walls and trees (to get aratiles and catch salagubang & tutubi – tied them on the neck or buntot with a string),fell out of trees, got cut or “bukol”, broke bones and teeth and there were no stupid lawsuits from these accidents. The only rubbing we get is from our friends with the words…masakit ba ? pero pag galit yung kalaro mo,,,,ang sasabihin sa iyo..beh buti nga !

We played marbles (jolens) in the dirt , washed our hands just a little and ate dirty ice cream, fish balls & inihaw sa baga We were not afraid of getting sick or getting germs in our stomachs.

We had to live with homemade guns, gawa sa kahoy, tinali ng rubberband, sumpit, tirador at kung ano ano pa na pwedeng makasakitan, pero masaya pa rin ang lahat. We made up games with sticks (syatong), and cans (tumbang preso)  and although we were told they were dangerous, wala naman tayong binulag o napatay… paminsan minsan may nabubukulan lang.


We walked a lot, rode bikes, or took tricycles to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them to jump out the window!
Mini basketball teams had tryouts and not everyone made it to the team. Those who didn’t pass had to learn to deal with the disappointment. Wala iyang mga childhood depressions at damaged self esteem ek-ek na yan. Ang pikon, talo.

Ang magulang ay nandoon lang para tingnan kung ayos lang ang mga bata, hindi para makialam at makipag-away sa ibang parents.

"Kick"

That generation of ours had produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, creative thinkers and successful professionals ever! They are the CEO’s, Engineers, Doctors and Military Generals of today.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas….

We had failure, success, and responsibility. We learned from our mistakes the hard way.

You might want to share this with others who’ve had the luck to grow up as real kids, even to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. We are lucky indeed.

(This is a forwarded message)

28
Oct
11

In Gratitude to: Mrs. Remedios P. Bantug

Mrs. Remedios P. Bantug

Idiong Bantug in the town of Victorias is a symbol of generosity and great love. A matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She is loved by all. Every head bows to her in respect. An image of great power yet  humble in heart. A mother to everyone. She had touched many lives with her caring compassion and sincere concern for the welfare of others. She spent her life doing every good to everyone. A model and an icon. Her genuine passion to help and care for her less fortunate brethren is always transformed into action not just words and expressions. She is known for her involvement in social and civic activities even at an advanced age. She did not recognize boundaries and limits to be able to help the needy. Her people loved her so dearly.

Born from an aristocratic root, her grandfather donated the land where the town of Victorias stands today, Mrs. Bantug lived a life dedicated to public service both in and out of politics. She was Mayor for 3 years when she was 82 years old – – a record holding achievement. Her name is associated with the many charitable projects she had initiated. A very unique and admirable persona. A dear one to many who knew her.

With grandson Cong. Albee Benitez, brother Mayor Severo Palanca and former Mayor Remedios Bantug

With a grateful heart: Thank you and farewell Mrs. Bantug

 

You were a wonderful woman, a blessing to all

symbol of generosity, kindness and inspiration.

You are loved by all, young and old, rich or poor

A dearly respected by one and all

 

Your smile was magic, your ears heard every cry

Your wisdom and wit touched our soul

Helping others was constant to you

Making people’s lives improved by you

 

You spent a lifetime of dedication and service

You offered yourself to family and neighbors

The love you have taught us is treasured forever

In our hearts you will live eternal

 

A religious woman, so caring and gentle

always there to extend a helping hand to others.

In thousands many other ways,

you have touched our lives so greatly

 

Now that you are gone, our hearts mourn so deeply

But never the less we are happy

For the woman we love is home finally

To be reunited with our Lord Almighty.

 

Many things have been said, good things about you

Allow me these simple words that come from my heart directly

For the things that you have done and words that you said

For touching our lives and the love you have shared

 

With grateful heart I say to you

You will never be forgotten,

your memories will live

For you have a special place in me

 

Thank you Lola Idiong, and Farewell. . . .

28
Oct
11

The Armed Conflict In Mindanao & PNoy

What has happened to our country these days? Filipinos killing Filipinos! The recent killings of 19 soldiers in the southern part of the Philippines in the province of Basilan proved that the long war between the state and the rebels are still unresolved. It tells us that while there is politics being played by our leaders, our poor soldiers are shedding blood and are dying fighting and shielding themselves while awaiting for the result of the years long of peace talks. Peace talks that seem to be endless and are changing constantly as the terms of office of the Presidents end. Different politicians believe and undertake different processes. As a result we are going nowhere, the conflict continues.

Undeniably, this is a very sensitive and pressing issue because one mistake can lead to the deaths of many. Our poor brethren in Mindanao seem to pay for the price of this war. Bombings everywhere, bloody clashes, lawlessness and violence happen almost so often. I am afraid we are beginning to lose what we tried to carefully avoid in the past, a failed peace process.

While Pnoy cries for all out justice because he believes it is sober and fair and within the bounds of law and leads to lasting peace, and all out war is indiscriminate and borne out of anger, he must also understand, that the state must at all times be superior above all its subjects within its territory and it does not exempt the MILF. While there is an on going peace process, which is extremely important and healthy, the government should not lost control over its territory. It must exercise control at all times and the way things are turning out right now, that control is threatened. I am not sure anymore if this is what we desire for a strong government.

PNoy with MILF Chair Al Haj Murad

The best and most healthy thing and is very urgent at this point in time, if the MILF is really sincere about the peace process, is it should help the government give justice to its victims by turning in, their perpetrator comrades to the government for prosecution. Justice should be served. It is the prime duty of the state to impose peace and order among communities and while there are others who continuously defy the rule of law, should be brought before the law. It is not a matter of whether you call it a war or not. It’s just a term used, but it is matter of bringing in justice to every citizen. Even the monetary cost like what Secretary Ging Deles, head of the office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process attempted to justify over media to be very costly, to me was a desperate move to deceive the general opinion and persuade the Filipino people to chose the silent path and not act at all. I still believe that we can only attain justice if there is general peace.

Whenever there is a diminished control over some parts of our territory, there is the danger of becoming a failed state and this administration should clear its mind and focus on how to attain its goal of peace without wasting more lives of its people.

I feel for the soldiers who died because while I understand the danger that being the protector of peace and order, they are pretty aware that there chosen career constantly plays hide and seek with “Kamatayan”, in the name of the country they are serving and have sworn to protect. Recently, 19 of them and even more, did the ultimate sacrifice by dying so that we can live peacefully. I hope there deaths will never go to waste.

I must admit I was impressed to hear that our President Pnoy on a one on one  talk met with MILF Chair Al Haj Murad in Tokyo on August 5, 2011, to find peaceful solution to the armed conflict in Mindanao. What I and most Filipinos did not know, is that meeting had cost our government which is from our money 5 Million pesos for their so called Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute, a term no one ever heard before. But even so, I don’t think this is right. We have no business extending financial aid to a rebel group at whatever cost. It was never announced to the media until it came out in one of the news papers and not long later, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda confirmed that the President has authorized the release of that 5 Million pesos.

Only 2 months later, the MILF in a bloody clash killed, hacked and mutilated 19 soldiers who did not even realize they were going to die that night since they were supposed to go on a scuba diving training but was given a short notice about a new mission. Is not it sad? Is not it frustrating and disappointing? I wonder how the government and its negotiators feel about it?

These issues are urgent, sensitive and very important. It calls for serious attention and careful planning. We don’t have much luxury of time because lives are cut off everyday. Action is needed now. We need a straight forward-justice driven government.

24
Oct
11

Albee’s Sugar Act Bill on the Rise

Cong. Albee Benitez

 

Finally, our country’s sugar producing provinces including our very own Negros Occidental is poised to enjoy the most awaited sugar act bill. The Bill will surely help improve the industry which is the Province’s main source of livelihood for the majority of its people.

 

I keep my fingers crossed, but I trust that Congressman Albee Benitez, in collaboration with the sugar industry stakeholders and the SRA, will pave the way to solve the problems of the sugar industry with the passing of the proposed Bill.

Ma. Regina Martin-Bautista, SRA Administrator

 

Concerns like the high price of the locally produced sugar, the high productivity costs, the foreseen drop of tariffs on imports by 5% in 2014 and smuggling, must be considered.

 

Also the Congressman’s recent visit to Thailand, with Sugar Regulatory Administrator Ma. Regina Martin-Bautista and other Congressmen and concerned parties helped conceptualized the idea of coming up with new policies, structural support and reforms that can be imposed in the Philippines to ensure the stability of the Sugar Industry and make it globally competitive.

 

There are also some important bills that need to be looked upon like the excise tax on imported sugar and bills that will assist bio energy.

 

Im glad to hear that talks and consultations are being conducted to make sure all productive inputs are being considered so as not to miss important concerns. I just hope that while these talks are being held, likewise they never miss to discuss the interest of the sugarcane farmers who work in the field and are often left behind when it comes to ensuring their benefits and wages.

Sugarcane workers in the field

 

Having come from the same town, Albee is known for his sincere service, dedication and righteousness, this bill will benefit not just the sugar producers themselves but likewise its workers.

 

Goodluck!

02
Oct
11

MISS ROSALINA J. HAUTEA

 MISS ROSALINA J. HAUTEA

Miss Rosalina Jaranilla Hautea, commonly known to close friends and relatives as “Lola Aling” or “Tya Saling” or simply “Aling” or “Saling”, passed away peacefully in the grace of our Lord on September 2, 2011 at the age of 84.
Lola Aling, is survived by her adopted sons Jonas Poblador and Dino Acuna, and many friends and relatives who dearly loved her.
Lola Aling  who resided in Victorias City, Negros Occidental for 61 years until her death, was born in La Paz, Iloilo City to Victor Hautea and Pacencia Jaranilla on February 11, 1927, the feast of the Our Lady of Lourdes.
She spent some part of her childhood under the care of her wealthy unmarried maternal grandaunt ‘Iyay” who owned vast lands in Panay and Iloilo. They used to wake up at 5am and open doors and windows while singing a hymn in beliefs that it will welcome good grace and luck all through out the day.
Lola Aling was the youngest of 2 siblings, her sister was Estelita Hautea, later married to Salus Villanueva whom together had 8 children, namely Rene, Erlinda, Ninfa, Emily, Elenita, Helen, Mae and Susan.
Lola Aling was fond of telling lots of her childhood experiences, like her dreams of the Our Lady of the Lourdes dressed in white with blue belt around hip who guided her in the dark with a lampara (oil lamp) and her experience with a big bearded man whom she later identified as St Peter in the gates of Heaven where she was asked to return.
She never learned to drive although her father in many occasions tried to teach her, at one point she ended up throwing their jeepney out into their family fishpond when she was in her teens.
The war broke in 1941 and Lola Aling and her family moved to the mountains of Guimaras in Panay to evacuate from the raging forces of the Japaneses Imperial Army. They spent some 4 years fleeing. She said it was one of the scariest nightmares of her life. Some of her nieces, like Nene Linda, later Mrs. Linda Aujero, were born in Guimaras Mountains while into hiding from the Japanese forces.
After the liberation, she went back to school to study education at the Colegio de San Agustin de Iloilo where she graduated in 1950.
After graduation, the young Rosalina, with the guidance of her father went to Negros Occidental in the town of Victorias where the husband of a relative was a Superintendent of Schools. Her first teaching assignment was in the farmlands of Barrio Estado in Victorias, Negros Occidental.
In Victorias, Lola Aling went to live with her paternal relatives, Lolo Eguil and Lola Edad Junsay (Miguel Junsay and Natividad Hautea) and later to Lolo Moning and Lola Oring (Hermogenes Hipolito and Leonor Junsay) until they all died. There, she took care of the kitchen as she was a good cook and became a nanny figure to the grand children of the olds. Jonas Poblador from the time he was born till aged 17 when he left for the states became her adoptibo. She did all of these while teaching at the same time.
She never married, although she said she once dated a businessman and a lawyer. She told stories about her run aways in the movie theatres in the middle of the show when her dates start to grasp for her hands.
In 1982, after Lolo Moning passed away, Lola Oring often asked my parents if I can stay in Victorias for weekends, so they can get to have a kid in the house. My parents  who used to live in Bacolod happily agreed.
However, in 1983, Lola Oring after a short battle with cancer died, so Lola Aling who was then in her mid 50’s is left alone in the big house. Lola Oring’s son Tito Gary Hipolito, before heading back to the states after the funeral talked to and convinced Lola Aling to retain me so that she will have company since she is the only one left to live in the house. I was 7 years old then and it was the start of my life’s journey with this great person, as her 2nd adopted son.
In 1988, after 38 years of teaching, she retired at the Victorias Elementary School, which was preceded by a big thanks giving treat to her fellow teachers with “3 lechons” (roasted pigs), 1 for grades 1&2, another one for grades 3&4 and another one for grades 5&6 teachers. It was a happy and memorable moment for Miss Hautea.
Because she had me, she never opted to go back home to Iloilo after her retirement. Instead she went with me to Don Felix where I studied high school renting the school’s canteen. It went on for years until it was my time to leave the school for college.
Lola Aling was a friendly and loving person, she liked to help friends in whatever way she can. She was sometimes coined as “Miss Manug-patigayun”. A very loyal, caring and kindhearted person. She will talk to everyone including strangers that she just met.
She loved to sing her favorite Visayan Songs like “Dandansoy”, “Si Felimon” and “Malakat ka na Gali”.
Playing mahjong ran through her veins. I would go with her in her daily mahjong sessions especially during summer. It was a fun experience for me because I get to meet friends, friends who even until now I’m still friends with.
Going to Bacolod to buy step in sandals and eat Batchoy were her items.
The best cook in the world when it comes to Valenciana, Dinugu-an, and Pancit Molo.
Lola Aling, your mission is now over. You have done your part, you have raised 2 sons and taught many students and loved many friends. Served relatives and touched lives. God wants you home now, so I release you. In my heart, you never went anywhere, you are always here with me. My heart is a safe place where you dwell now. We are always together. Farewell, but I will never say good bye.
Lola Aling, we will never forget you, we love you, rest now, sleep well and good night.
Interred on September 10, 2011, Saturday at the Junsay-Hipolito Musoleo, Victorias Public Cemetery.
3rd Night Celebrated on September 12, 2011
1st 9th Novena Night Celebrated on September 21, 2011
2nd 9th Novena Night Celebrated on September 30, 2011
End of 9th Novena Night or 40th Night Celebrated on October 9, 2011
30
Sep
11

Thank You For Your Sympathies

Perhaps you sent a lovely card

Or sat quietly in a chair.

Perhaps you sent a funeral spray

If so we saw it there.

 

Perhaps you spoke the kindest words

As any friends could say.

Perhaps you left a facebook message

to convey your sympathies.

 

Perhaps you sent a music video

about Mariah Carey’s Bye-bye.

Perhaps you stopped by on your trip

to either north or south the town.

 

Perhaps you sent your loved ones

to visit at the wake.

Perhaps you called, texted or emailed

or diverted us to funny thoughts.

 

Perhaps you made a purposed trip

to come to pay respects.

Perhaps you gave yourself to service

so we family get some rest.

 

Perhaps you gave or lent resources

we knew it helped us great.

Perhaps you were not there at all

Just thoughts of us that day.

 

Whatever you did to console our hearts

We thank you so much whatever the part.

Your love, condolences and prayers

meant so much as we say, Good night Lola Aling . . . . Sleep well.

 

 

 

28
Sep
11

Sleep Well Lola Aling, Good night . . . .

FAREWELL LOLA ALING

 

MISS ROSALINA J. HAUTEA

February 11, 1927-September 2, 2011

84 years, 6 months and 22 days

 

I will miss you my love./Writing a farewell message to you is the hardest thing I could do./ I just can’t say Good bye./ I wish I could change the wheels of time and the shape of our destiny so I can go back to our sweetest moments together./ I miss you/ and I miss everything about you./ I am so lost to know that we will never see each other again ever./ I was not just ready to let you go especially that I am not home./ I thought we will stick to our promise to wait for each other?/ I have asked for March so I can go home to take care of you./ It so break my heart that you had to go and not wait for me./ I had asked for 6 more months, after 4 ½ years of longing to see you./

This is the most painful time for me ever in my whole life./ I know how hard you tried to wait for me so we can fulfill our promise./ I dread for that day,/ but I know, it will never happen anymore. My bags have been packed just as I am ready to go home  immediately but it was just too late. Please forgive me for not being able to see you,/ hug you/ and kiss you for the last time./ I failed to take care of you with my own presence and touch./ I am so sorry Lola Aling./ It’s so hard to accept the fact that you are gone forever./ You meant so much to me/ and I love you so much,/ and I love you so much that I had to go/ so I can give you the best./ But that’s what love is really all about./ It means sacrificing your personal happiness and interests for the one you love./ I learned it from you./

Finding the right words to say good bye is difficult./ It will take me a lifetime to recover from this pain./ It breaks me apart./ No words can express how I feel about losing you./

It is my faith in our God that keeps me strong at this point in time./ I know I have no one to turn to especially that I am alone,/ but to hold on to my faith and accept HIS WILL./

Oh sweetest Jesus in Heaven,/ please receive my Lola Aling,/ I trust in You./

Now that you are gone,/ I have no reason to stay longer in the US./ My business here is done./ I will just drain out whatever endurance is left and go home/ to live simple and decent life./ For I know from day one,/ America is not for me, but home/ but because I needed to serve you and ensure your wellness,/ I happily decided to stay./ Because I know I won’t earn the kind of money that we will need for your  medical needs, if I were there./  I just hope to myself,/ that perhaps I was able to fulfill my duty to you as a son./ Because I am your son/ and you are my mother,/ and you are my joy./

Two Nights after Lola Aling passed away,/ my real mother,/ Mommy Minda visited me in a dream./ Thank you Mommy for coming to comfort me./ It is indeed true that a mother,/ knows and feels the child’s pain./ In my dream,/ Mommy and I were walking along downtown in Bacolod,/ when an old woman gave me a handful of loose diamonds in my hand./ I did not like it because it got defects and came in different weird sizes and shapes./ When I started to complain,/ Mommy, pat my back and consoled me with these meaningful words,/ “ Just accept it and be thankful”./ Upon waking up, I realized what Mommy was really trying to tell me,/ to accept that Lola is gone and be thankful that she is finally home./

A few days later,/ a small white butterfly touched me in the arm in broad day light here in California./ I surely knew it was my Lola Aling,/ because I felt her presence./ She was visiting me,/ just like when I smelled the scent of fresh flowers when my Mom passed away./

I did not ever imagine that,/ that morning in the airport some 4 years ago on March 9, 2007/ will become our last meeting/ and that kiss would be the last kiss./ I could have given you my hardest hug and my sweetest kiss/ but even so,/ it will not be enough,/ I know./ I don’t know how to handle this because its just too painful./ The ache is constant./ But I know God has a reason for everything that has happened./ I know I should be happy because you are now under His care/ and that could not be any better than any of my own care. /

Every time I wake up/ I see only your face/ and from that face I feel better, knowing that face loves me so much/ and treated me like her own son./

You never gave up on me in all my troubles,/ even though the world was telling you to leave me,/ and for that,/ I say THANK YOU.

Since the time you took me under your care when I was 6 years old,/ I felt nothing else lesser than your love,/ and care,/ and protection./ You are my mother/ and I am your son/ and I thank you for the privilege of being your son./ Thank you for making that decision to raise me./ I owe my life to you./

The retired teacher’s community here know pretty well/ that since then,/ I became like a tail to you./ Wherever you are,/ Dino is following you./ They often would say/ “Ari na ang Bata ni Saling”./ Thank you for caring for me,/ for the attention you gave me./ And for that LOVE,/ that did not recognize limits and boundaries.

We became a family of two./ For many years since I was a boy,/ we lived in one small bedroom in the house in atubang simbahan,/ with our own kitchen,/ dining/ and living area in it./ We lived independently./ We slept in one bed/ and I remember not being able to sleep without Lola Aling by my side./ I was everything to you/ and you to me./

You were a wonderful cook/ and many people remember you for your Valenciana,/ Dinugu-an/ and Pancit Molo,/ I went with you wherever the cookings took place./ As well as your mahjong sessions./ You gave me my childhood experience./ The trips to Bacolod,/ mostly to get loans from Feobit/ or GSIS/ which normally entails eat/ and shop at downtown were one of the bests./ Eating Batchoy in Downtown was your item./ You loved to buy step in sandals for yourself./

In your stronger days,/ you don’t trust others to do my laundry works/ especially my karsonsilyo/ as you call it/ because only you/ can make the best,/ the whites whiter./ When I wake up,/ my breakfast is ready/ and my towels have been prepared./

Each time I complement breakfast is good,/ I will have the same breakfast for the rest of the week,/ until I start to complain,/ then that’s when the menu gets changed again./ All at my convenience./

You know everyone/ including their business/ both good and bad./ I remember as a boy when we walk in a street,/ to go from point A to point B/ which will normally take us only 20 minutes,/ it will get us 3 hours to reach to our destination/ because you would chat to everyone that we meet along the way,/ as a boy I was always there pestering you./ It becomes a sweet memory now./

The prayers you taught me,/ to this day,/ I still pray them each single night./

In all of my 6 years at Victorias Elementary School,/ you were also there as a teacher./ You let me choose who I want to be my teacher for next school year/ and I usually get it./ By the time I graduated,/ it was also the time of your retirement after 38 years of service./ As I went to Don Felix to study High School,/ you went with me when you rented the school’s canteen./  That’s why all of my teachers and classmates from both elementary and high school know who is Tya Saling to Dino./ We lived very simple/ but loved filled life./

Lola Aling,/ I want to tell you how much I love you/ and how much I miss you/ and I wish you are still around to be with me,/ for one,/ to sing with me via skype, our favorite old visayan songs like Felimon and Dandansoy,/ and we would both giggle./

I know that your mission is now over./ You have done your part,/ you have raised 2 sons/ and taught many students/ and loved many friends./ Served relatives/ and touched lives./ God wants you home now,/ so I release you./ In my heart,/ you never went anywhere,/ you are always here with me./ My heart is a safe place where you dwell now./ We are always together./ Farewell,/ but I will never say good bye./

To the Retired Teachers Community who are here today,/ Thank you very much./ You are always very dear to me because you are a part of mine and Lola’s lives./ Each time I will see any of you,/ it will always remind me of my Lola Aling./ Thank you for your love./ I consider you our family./

To all of Lola’s friends and relatives,/ Madamo gd nga salamat sa inyo pag unong sa amon sa sini nga ti-on./ The love you have shown today meant so much./

To my siblings Michael,/ Maricel,/ Maricar,/ and Dennis,/ cousin Lara/ and friends Grace,/ and Ning-ning/ thank you so much for covering for me while I’m gone,/ for making the effort to make Lola Aling feel that she is not alone/ and also,/ for your own love/ and affection/ shown to our dearly beloved Lola Aling./ Words can’t express how grateful I am to you/ for giving Lola the love that she deserves from you./ You have become selfless for her./ I have seen how a family works in us./ THANK YOU.

To the daughters of Lola Pelia Lazalita- Manang Nancy and Manang Echel,/ thank you very much for always being there and checking on/ and giving me advices on Lola’s health condition./ Your love and kindness is sincerely felt,/ SALAMAT GID.

I would like to special mention Tita Ninfa Lajera,/ Tita Myrna De Asis/ and our neighbors/ Tita Loret Palmes,/ Tita Norma/ and especially The Demiden Family/- Tita Didi,/ Tita Lete,/ Tita Mila,/ Tita Annete,/ for always seeing Lola  and keeping her in company./ She needed those./

To my 3 other Nanays,/ Tita Lilia Espera/ Tita Pearl Javelosa,/ and Mams Visi Calida/ – For 3 years now—in all my sorrows and griefs—I always found solace and comfort in your words./ Your love is felt deeply./ SALAMAT GID SA INYO.

To Lola’s biological nieces from Iloilo,/ I can’t thank you enough for sharing Lola Aling with us./ I know how much you love your Auntie Saling/ and how much you wanted her to be with you/ but you gave her the freewill to do what she desires./ I will always give you my respects/ and I humble myself to you because you are my Lola Aling’s loved ones./ I consider you a family./

To Manong Jonas,/ madamo gid nga salamat sa imo. You never ceased to help and care for Lola Aling. You gave her your lifetime commitment. I am glad that you and I were able to be with her till the end. She did not die lonely, and helpless.

Lastly,/ let it be known to all/ and I say it with pride/ and honor,/ that in my LIFE, there was once MISS ROSALINA J. HAUTEA, who took care of me like her own child. She will live in my heart forever.

Lola Aling,/ farewell my love./ I promise you/ I will live by the many life’s lessons that you imparted to me. SALAMAT GID KAG PALANGGA TA GID KA./ Till we meet again.

Sleep well and goodnight . . . . .

Toto Din-din




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