Oh dear brother!
It’s 2015, it would have been what? 22 years since you went away to a place where there is no coming back. A lot has changed, I changed, I grew up, gained weight, fell in love, fell out of it, got hurt and been to places. Places which I am sure you would have loved to visit yourself.
The early part of the time you left I never thought of you that much. I just knew you were gone and had the man responsible for your passing sent to jail. Eventually he was let out because of good behavior, he was sorry since the day he was caught and the family had forgiven him but it was not forgotten. Mom and I fought hard to send him to jail and serve his time. we won and he served good 14 years. It was good right? he served the punishment he deserved but his cruelty lingered in the family, he took you from us and we will not see you ever.
Anyway, I finished school like you would have expected but I was not stellar like the others. I got by, made something out of myself, and made good friends along the way though I am not sure where most are or how they are doing but I hope they are all happy. I still keep your friends as my friends, especially the one I grew fond of since the beginning but he’s not the boyfriend material type of guy, he belongs to his own world but definitely not mine. I know too, that the woman who loved you then still loves you now and I am happy because of the torch she lit for you in her heart does not die, it’s good to have that one true love but you have to go and leave her — I hope she’s happy with her life now but I would never know.
We left the house we all grew up in the city. It was time to go. By the time we left and re-established our roots in the old house, where we enjoyed summers during our childhood. Not much has changed in the house but the community had grown and many people has and others moved on. It was not the best summer place anymore for children — it’s crowded with people and cars and the community above and below seems to be more dire than I remembered. But still it’s home for all of us here, it still evoke the nostalgia of our youth and the memories of long ago before there were permanent lighting fixtures in the area or a free-flowing water in the tap. It still is cold during the Christmas season and very hot during the Lent, that I think will not change if one lives on top of a hill but we are visited now by more tropical depressions and cyclone like typhoons, and I am worried that because the house is old one day it will go up with the wind and bring with it our childhood memories.
I’ve been to places and did some wonderful work with other people. I think philanthropy is in our genes. I can’t seem to get away from doing something for others, even if I need helping myself. I turned out to be just like Lolo Santos and Mom, in spite of having nothing ourselves it’s hard to turn our backs on helping those who have much less than us. We were lucky I guess to have very little and wanting less — that is what I think our parents and elders imparted to us — the young us. Unfortunately we have none to pass it on — children of our own I mean, but we adopted a mother with a child 6 years ago and they are loved like our own but still they are not. One day like all the drama in the TV they will eventually leave like everybody else but I hope when that happens they are ready to be on their own and can fend for themselves, when that happens it means we have done our part.
Mom left us too not too long ago. She went very quickly, six months after they told us there was problem but we had time to make her last days happy (I hope she was knowing her). While I toil somewhere else, Ate has to be here for them, she has to drop everything and come back from Italy to be with the family. When it was time for Mom to go, it was Father’s Day — a fitting day to say goodbye to Dad and Kuya, it was quiet, she left at 3 am. We were ready, Ate made sure we – me and Kuya, Dad and the others living with us – were and it was fine. We cried, I cried being her arch nemesis among us four but I love her. I just don’t show her as openly as I should have, I have no regrets though, I made my peace. Now she’s there with you, I am happy you and Lolo are not alone there anymore.
Dad is doing great, we celebrated his 80th last year. For many it was a milestone — for us it is a gift. Remember where he was when we were growing up? toiling the hot sands of the Middle East. Now the likes of us have names — we are called children of OFW and there are many problems attached to it but we turned out fine. I think we were the lucky ones because we have Mom to keep us all grounded and not let the imported stuff cloud our judgement. We just enjoy having him longer than most of his contemporaries and we are happy. I became an OFW too but that is another story.
In two days the new Pope, named Francis will visit the country, he is called the People’s Pope. The Pope we knew is now a saint St. John Paul II and I was happy I had the chance to see him in person when I was in Vatican one Easter season, oh how I miss Europe. Yes, been there as a jump off point to my adventures in other parts of the world, it was a wonderful experience — I never imagined to experience those and I am very happy, grateful for the gift God had given me, just hope I’ve touched enough lives to merit me a place in heaven 🙂
The country is very excited, more people are expected to be witness and attend his concluding mass, we are over 100 million people now in our country and growing, so the volume of faithful have increase for sure. I know it’s not your thing but having been brought up and educated in exclusive Catholic school you know what I am talking about, it’s just a wondrous experience no explanations needed. By the way Ate will be in the Meeting of the Families and I am sure she will have tons of stories to tell next time she sleeps over here. Traffic would be horrendous during those time but the pilgrims will flock the city just like in 1995 and 1981 and won’t complain.
The world has changed a lot since you left. The gays have increased in numbers and they now come in different shapes and forms (having said that I am sure many will react on my description), the parlor types have evolved from the likes of our beloved Noel. They are very bright also — they come in rainbow colors and I still love being friends with them. Feminism have evolved also with some women interpret it as shallow sexism rather than the equality it wants, which I don’t really get but I won’t get in details here I might get carried away. The music became trashy too (and so are some of the singers), I thought yours were the trashy ones during those time because I can’t understand a word they say, they mostly shout but the music the young people like now are worst — the more you understand the more you cringe on what subliminal messages it conveys. I am glad to have known your music, overtime I started to appreciate them, even made post about it here. The world become more afraid of each other — history is repeating itself and people are becoming more and more greedy of their own territory but I advocate for inclusive development, but like one book I read, it is a dream that someday would come true hopefully in my lifetime.
You see there’s so much to catch up. If you have flat screen or curved TV up there or wherever you are I am sure you understand what I am talking about. God had given us so much freedom to do what we have to and want what we need and I hope we the people don’t sink the world to oblivion with what we now call climate change — the reason many say its whats causing all the strong typhoon and the sinking of the islands in Micronesia and Oceania, we need to do something soon. But I don’t say there are less good people, I just hope the tribe of good triumph over the bad ones overtime. The more knowledge we acquire the more the world becomes complicated and competitive — missed the days when children read books, play outside and graze their knees like the time when we would escape Mom to run crazy in the playground for the children of Manila only to be scolded, whacked with the broom and crying all the way to home when caught. Those were the days …
I will go now, I am getting tired. Today I went out, went around the village on foot and visited three children with cerebral palsy to catch up on their progress. I am happy with what I’ve seen, they all made progress, thanks to their mothers who heeded my suggestions on how they could help their children and manage their time around them — it makes my work worthwhile. So, until next time.
With love ❤
Your sister — the youngest!