Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another Funeral
Biñan, Laguna
6th of January, 2007

Written in: Poblacion, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, PHILIPPINES
Composition: Impromptu.
Previous Post: A Snake!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zGOrpaD5bgY/UsuFk9lgbRI/AAAAAAAAAi8/3gH_ZQvJ_wU/s1600/IMG_0062.JPGOn the first Saturday of January 2007, I attended another funeral. This time it was for relatives on my Dad's side. I went there with my Uncle Tito's Family, Tito Nato, and Tita Ofie.

The deceased was my Dad's Tiya (Auntie) Rosa Ligaya "Osay" - which would make her my Lola Tia (Grand Auntie) Osay - in Biñan, Laguna.

Her final resting place was a departure from the usual Filipino burial method of having a concrete aboveground sarcophagus (a Nitso) . Lola Osay was instead laid six feet below the ground.

Somewhat distant relatives (Paquito Espinosa, Osay Espinosa's husband, is my Grandfather's Cousin) my Dad nevertheless knew them very well. He used to spend summers in Biñan during his youth, helping his Tiya Osay in the market. As well, during his Masteral Studies in the University of the Philippines in nearby Los Baños, he would often visit and live in Biñan.

I remember that we - us here in Sta. Maria, Bulacan - were always invited for the town Fiesta every year. And in turn they - relatives from Biñan - would visit us as often as they can during our own gatherings here in Sta. Maria.

I was slightly disappointed that this tradition was not necessarily kept. Ever since my Dad (we as a family) left the Philippines, the link slowly eroded away. In my Grandfather's Family, my Dad was perhaps the closest to this distant branch of our family tree.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WpOzUPdSgT4/UsuFolZ5eFI/AAAAAAAAAjE/LmAt--rnJK0/s1600/IMG_0083.JPGHowever, when we got there, they were as warm and friendly as ever. My Dad's Father, My Grandfather, Tatay Arseng, was an only child. They all fondly remember him as the only link to relatives in the Northern part of the Tagalog Region.

As we made the trip back home in the dark, after having visited Cousin Maloy and wife Jubie in Parañaque, I had a thought: How very Filipino to still be very proud of having relatives somewhere else in the map. And it's not just about being able to say "Uy! May Kamag-anak kami doon! (Oh, we have family in that region!)".

It is something far more, I think. It's roots. It's history. YOUR history (or mine, in this case). Because as much as we'd like to think we are our own people, the process of 'creating' you, involved a lot of people. Now, that kind of sounds 'off', or maybe even hilarious, if interpreted the wrong way (*wink*wink*nudge*nudge*, say no more say no more!), but just draw a family tree and things start to emerge.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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