Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Lola "Ninay"

Written in: Poblacion, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, PHILIPPINES.
Edited in St. Michael Subdivision, Meycauayan, Bulacan, PHILIPPINES
Composition: Impromptu, certain passages written by my Mom.

Previous Post: Evening of the 30th of November 2006

My Lolo Luis and Lola "Ninay", circa early 1970's

Lola's life was a simple one. She was an unassuming but gracious lady.

She was born in Rizal, Santa, Ilocos Sur on May 3, 1923. She's the youngest of a brood of six. Married my Lolo Luis, a scion of a political clan of Santa, on January 10, 1944.

Note: My Great Grandfather, Luis' Father, was Mayor of Santa Ilocos Sur for 16 years.

She finished her Elementary grades at a local elementary school. She did not go to High school for 2 reasons: the nearest high school at that time was in Vigan; and being the youngest of the brood, she did not want to be separated from her parents. Three of her siblings (Esperanza, Socorro, and Espiritu) have degrees in Education.

She was a simple housewife. Tended a Sari-sari store which evolved to a minigrocery. Her lineage is not as famous compared to my Lolo Luis. However, her family is well respected in Santa's Barangay of Rizal.

A deeply religious, patient, very understanding, and compassionate and forgiving woman - her heart sometimes was even too big to understand the vagaries of her own children. She's not rich, however, she always had a ready hand to help her less fortunate neighbors.

She died without any savings of her own - preferring to give whatever money she had to those who needed it more, for she already had what she considered her greatest treasure

..her children.

My Uncle Pete - Director general of NACA, an international agency based in Bangkok. Before NACA, he was a consultant of FAO, an umbrella of the United Nations.
My Mom, Fe - Worked with the Central bank of the Philippines for 22 years, supervising Rural Banks, before she migrated with her family to Canada. Presently working in a big Engineering company, of which the business interest is in oil and gas.
Uncle "Boy" Luis Jr. - Assistant Director at DAR
Uncle "Dodo" Domingo - Mechanical Engineer working at PEA.

My earliest memory of Lolo Luis and Lola Ninay was when I was probably no more than 6.
We - Mom, Dad, Myself and my older brother - as a family, were on our first Vacation at Lolo and Lola's house at Barangay Rizal, Town of Santa, Ilocos Sur using our own transportation - we had always travelled on buses.

That detail about using our own transportation was memorable because it was our second try; with our 'assembled' Jeep letting us down at San Fernando, Pampanga on the first attempt.

Anyway, Mom and Dad allowed us to bring our most favourite of toys to play with. My brother had a realistic looking, albeit plastic, .45 Caliber Colt 1911 toy handgun.

I had this "MatchBox" toycar - diecast 1:64 scale copies of real cars I used to collect - of the TV show "Knight Rider"'s KITT.

Lolo was a gun enthusiast. So when my bro and I showed off our toys, Lolo took immediate notice of the Colt 1911 Replica, paying just a passing glance to my KITT.

I remember feeling ignored so I moved on to Lola, who was cooking something at the time.

Now, a little note: most senior citizens in Ilocos barely speak the national language of Tagalog. My Dad, being from the Tagalog speaking region actually used to speak to Lolo and Lola in English. But because I barely knew how to speak English at the time, you can imagine the language barrier between me and my grandparents.

"Lola, tingnan mo'ng laruan ko, oh!" I said to her. (Gramma, check out my cool toy!)

She looked at me, understood the situation, said in the most affectionate way that a grandmother could say to cheer up a grandson, "Maganda! Nak-kong. Maganda!" (It looks nice my child. It looks nice)

That was pretty much her Tagalog vocabulary. That was the extent of our communication prior to my learning English.

But none of it mattered.

What she spoke was the language of Love, and whether we understood each other's words perfectly or not, Love provided the translation.

Lola "Ninay"
May 3, 1923 - November 30, 2006

Lola, I'm sorry if I wasn't able visit you while you were still alive.
Still, thanks to providence for at least giving me the privilege of being there to say one final goodbye.

Next Post: To Ilocos


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