Sunday, July 24, 2005

Uncle Titus & Auntie Emma

Augustine and Emma dropped by Friday night on their way to Cebu for their high school class's 20th year reunion Saturday. Jong was surprised to know they'd been high school sweethearts :-). If Mama's right and you "got together" in your 3rd year in high school, then WOW! Augustine, you've been together 21 years!
As usual, Papa didn't join us for some pizza and chose to stay home and look after his apos.

Saturday night found Jordi staying up late to read a few more chapters of Harry Potter 6. Couldn't wait to find out what a "horcrux" was: "Mama, come on, just tell me!"

Louie saw me get the keyboard ready for Children's Liturgy of the Word and decided he wanted to "practice" the few lessons he got last year. I have just got to find him a piano teacher soon or I'll regret not taking advantage of his interest.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Going Home

Going home on Papa's bike is a treat at the end of the day.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Dean's Barbecue at Forest Camp

Banica River at 11:45 A.M. Jong went to Cebu for the day to pick up some things so I had to drive with the kids to Forest Camp in Valencia, via some unfamiliar side roads. A short stretch of the main road up is being concreted (?) but this stretch happens to be near our place so I had to use a detour. It was definitely the long way up but it was unfamiliar enough to catch the kids' interest: "Are we there yet?" and "Mama, are you sure you know the way?" :-)

Before we went to the 8:15 Mass at Mary Immaculate Church, the kids had been saying they didn't want to go because the water was too cold up there. They kept repeating it all throughout breakfast but as soon as we got into the car parked under the hot sun they changed their tune. Jordi: "It's so HOT! You know, Forest Camp doesn't sound like a bad idea anymore." Louie: "I know. I could kiss the one who invented it!" When we got there, this was the first thing they did:

At Dean's barbecue, 1 PM, waiting for the fish to cook.

GJ and Alexis Pal at the newest and highest pool, just watching Jordi and Louie cooling off. Notice the banana tree in the middle of the picture?

It's this tree. Jordi had to go down below the pool to pick up Louie's goggles. He doesn't look too happy about it, does he. There's a huge lizard near his right foot, too.

GJ with his Gameboy Advance. He and his sister were not allowed to swim "because it's a school day tomorrow and we can't wake up early." :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

77th Founders' Day - Holy Cross High School

It's the 77th anniversary of the kids' school's founding and Louie's class sang the Invocation and National Anthem at the Cultural Night on Thursday.

On our way to the gym, we saw Diane at a computer shop and invited them to come to the show. They had to leave after the first performance but Bill said it was wonderful they had a chance to be there; if they'd known, they could have made it a field trip for the kids at Bonbonon.

Jordi was narrator and one of the bad guys in the elementary department's entry, "The 13 Stones." They had to wait more than 2 hours, being last to perform, but the wait was made more bearable by their being in the airconditioned AVR. He was so excited he forgot to eat and was sick all day Friday and couldn't go join their parade.

Only Louie got to see the entire show since Jordi was at the AVR. This is his closest friend Maika Quevenco.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Dipolog Weekend

So things suddenly picked up after the first week of school and I found myself with no photos to post, nothing to blog, no time to blog... until Tita Baby called Mama to invite her and Papa to a thanksgiving dinner July 9 for Wata (anybody know if he also went thru a phase when he'd only answer to his real name "Arturo"?) who'd passed the Nursing Board Exams held June 5,6.

Knowing Papa's reluctance to go on trips anywhere that would involve actually getting off of Negros Island, specifically leaving from the Dumaguete Port, Mama and I plotted to convince him to go. Real life, however, has a way of veering away from even the most well-plotted plots.

First, Mama got a runny nose on Thursday and she does not travel well with a cold. Second, Papa decided he wanted to finish cleaning the multi-cab engine he'd taken apart because he wanted it running by Monday so he could again drive the kids to school. Third, Friday morning somebody who probably needs medical attention went off his rocker and gave Jong a hard time (this is a long story and deserves its own blog, which I do not have the time nor the inclination to create).

7:00 a.m., Saturday, July 9, found Jong and I, Jordi and Louie on the Cokaliong boat bound for Dapitan-Dipolog, and Papa and Mama waving goodbye from the port.

Cloudy day, so early in the morning and the light is a soft blue. That's mist over the city, clouds on Mt. Talinis and the GP Lines boat fast catching up.

We arrived at the Dapitan port at 10:30 a.m. but it took 30 min to actually dock and get off. I wanted to take photos of the men holding up van-for-hire signs for the towns of Liloy, Ipil and even Zamboanga City (!) but couldn't move in the crowd all wanting to get off the agonizingly slow-to-dock boat. The V-hires are a sure sign that the dusty roads of my childhood have all been paved.

Edsel just arrived from Nursing classes at Dipolog Medical Center. The cousins had had all of 30 minutes to get reacquainted and in the case of Inaki, introduced, and yet they all “fit” at the “Children’s Table”. This part of the Green House felt the same if you didn’t look out the windows (not seen) on the right; those looked out on to a rough hollow-block wall instead of what used to be the yard in front of the main stairs.
11:30 a.m. Titus, Emma, Wata, Jong, Tita Baby and Nana Diding just before partaking of (he he he, I've always wanted to say that) Steamed Crab in Coconut Milk, Green House Ceviche, Calamares Fritos, and Grouper In A Clear Broth. Well, you know what we had.

Remember the “Adult Table”? It seems much smaller now, one end pushed up against a green wall where half of the dining room used to be. Good thing Nana had the wall taken down from Auntie Inday’s old room and turned it into a living area, otherwise the dining table would be in the dark.

If I closed my eyes, I could still feel the missing half of the house….much like an amputee would be able to feel a missing limb. Physically, it’s a changed place all right, but our family’s history is there and hey, I waxed and polished those now-missing floors and stairs to a mirror finish over so many summers, rocked baby cousins to sleep to songs of The Carpenters, Nat King Cole, and the Ray Conniff Singers in that living room, and talked far into the night with cousins in that corner bedroom - The Green House will always be there for me.

1:30 p.m., Titus and Emma's house across the Medical Center.

4:00 p.m. All the cousins with Uncle Kevin in a tiny corner of the vast Go-Rivera compound. Inaki's dragging his yaya away from the see-saw because he wanted to sit on the other side.

4:30 p.m. No, this isn't the same yard. It's the Memorial Park where Lolo, Lola, and Uncle Dodo are now buried. Things like this provide the familiarity, the continuity that makes Dipolog feel like home. Tita Baby still remembers when Junjun would ask why we were always going to the cemetery every week. Wait, I think it was every day one summer. Can't remember why, though. This place is definitely a huge improvement over the old crowded site.

5:00 p.m. What remains of Lolo Engracio's Green House, with Titus' Mega Home Builders occupying the ground floor, can be seen to the right of Chinette's 3-storey Inaki Go Rivera Building/Rivson. Her building ate up the corner bedroom AND the huge living room AND the staircase we used to polish every morning of those summer vacations.
Emma now has to stay inside a "cage" because in December, when they still had a more open design, a "shopper" decided he didn't like anything in the store and instead went home with Emma's bag with her cellphone, cards, cash and certificates still inside.

5:15 p.m. The Dipolog version of Dumaguete's Boulevard. The plants are coconuts, not acacia, and that's about the extent of it, but they do have a beautiful view of sweeping coastline and bay, and ...

...Mt. Talinis in the distance.

5:45 p.m. Jong decided to get a haircut at the airconditioned City Barber. He was in there a looong time and afterwards said it was the best haircut he ever got for P40.00. "They even gave me a hot towel!" The kids thought it was fun, but we had to run the 2 short blocks to the Green House because it was starting to rain.

8:00 p.m. After dinner at Wata's party, the cousins - who were unprepared - sang school songs and fought over the microphone while hiding behind, under the buffet table. No amount of bribing on my part could get them to stand up in the middle of the dance floor. Only Lola Pesing's grandchildren came away from the table. Their talent was dancing and they very well couldn't do that under there.

Ok, this was past 9 p.m., after Lola Pesing had been brought to the hospital because she suddenly fell off her chair.... The next generation, missing Junjun and Gemma's, and Rey and Denden's kids. I hope they'll have as much fun as we did all those summers.

9 a.m. Sunday Mass at Cor Jesu Seminary in Mibang. Lengthy homily about different kinds of soil/ground/people ending with a mention of PGMA and the CBCP. Sailed over the kids' heads but they sat still through all of it!

Titus and Emma had their newest truck blessed right after the mass.

Almost 8 p.m., back in Dumaguete and hungry, keeping busy while waiting for the chicken.

This trip was supposed to have been theirs, but Papa and Mama were happy our family went and the kids bonded with their cousins again.

Well, he was hungry!