Friday, December 22, 2006

The Evening of the 30th of November, 2006

Written in: Poblacion, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, PHILIPPINES
Composition: Impromptu - Recalling things from a month ago.
Previous Post: The First 14 Hours

I was not planning on visiting the town of Santa, Ilocos Sur -my Mother's hometown- until around Christmastime. This would have given me ample time to acclimatize and adjust before embarking on any regional trips. Also, my Mom's brothers were going to make this same trip at around the same time just as they (we) have always done; I might as well hitch a ride.

But on the same day that I arrived (within 14 hours), I got a call from my parents in Calgary that Lola Ninay, my Mom's mom, my last remaining grandparent, had died.

That the call came from Calgary was significant in that, my Mother's clan wasn't yet sure how to reach me. They were all made aware that I was going to be in the country staying in my Dad's hometown, but with who, and how I can be reached, was still unclear.

I still smelt of airline seat and travel sweat. My head was still spinning from lack of sleep and time zone changes. If it was unclear to my mother's relatives how I can be reached, it was less clear to me how I was going to get to Ilocos Sur - about 400 kilometres away, an 8 hour trip by land from Bulacan.

Note: Provincial Bus travel in the Philippines is reliable and a common occurence, but trying it as an absolute newbie (or in my case, an expat who hasn't been back for a decade), by yourself, is not suggested due to the high incidence of kidnapped and/or mugged foreigners in this country. I personally think it's a bit exaggerated, but I really was not in the mood to tempt fate at that time.

However, despite this, I found the energy to start packing up for a weeks worth of travel. As I was choosing which clothes to bring, I noticed that I did bring at least one black long sleeved shirt that I was pretty sure I would never get to use in a hot humid country.

I tried contacting two of my Uncles and some of my Mom's cousins, but to no avail.

I slept only a few hours at a time, with the uncertainty of how I was going to get to Lola keeping me awake. It was in this state that I reminisced... what kind of Lola did I have?

Next Post: Lola Ninay


Anonymous JJ Bueno III said...

Naimbag nga oras mo kabagyan!

I'm JJ Bueno III, Popoy Bueno's eldest son. I was cleaning up the message board of Santa's website and I saw your name. Just wanted to say hello to a relative and I do hope you can come and visit Santa again. Maybe this November Town Fiesta? :)

8:59 PM  

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