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Monday, November 12, 2007

Tatay Felipe

I got news from my cousin that his father died yesterday. He was 98 years old. Tatay Felipe is actually a nephew of my grandfather and his wife, Nanay Garing was the niece of my grandmother so that my father and his siblings and Tatay Felipe’s children share the same middle name and surname. Tatay Felipe and my grandfather were adventurous people from Bicol who came to settle in Negros. They were together for a homestead adventure in Mindanao but returned to their families in Negros during World War II. Somehow these common bonds and shared adventures made our families closer compared to other relatives in the province.

Tatay Felipe was in the hospital when I visited him last month. That was the first time I think that he was ever in a hospital and I was not used to seeing him lying down in bed. I always remember his smile when I would first see him on each of my vacation in our province. He is always seated at the back of the church and that’s where I would stay also and his face will always light up and show a nice smile when he does see me and ask when I arrived. He was a lean man but was strong. He still took charge of their farm even in his old age. It is only this last year that he has stopped taking care of their farm since one of my cousins already took over. My other cousin has set aside a cow early on for his 100th birthday. Every body felt he could easily make it. However, when Nanay Garing died sometime in August his health also declined.

It is somehow sad to be losing someone but the thought that he will once again share the sweet smile of his wife is comforting.

I found this picture a long time ago...

For me it depicts happiness.

Just seeing those happy smiles on the sleeping wrinkled faces made me also smile. I’d like to imagine them both happy together where they are. Yep, i think they are happy and at rest where they are and that makes me somehow lighthearted.


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