Saturday, May 09, 2009
Thirty-four and counting
For the first time in almost three years of blogging on this platform, here's a post that is a collaboration between myself and another human being. To celebrate the 34th wedding anniversary of our parents (who are now in the United States), my sister and I have come up with top-of-our-head favorite memories, thoughts, lessons, realizations, private jokes, recollections related to our Pop and Mom noted down verbatim.
The odd-numbered items on the list are mine (Ian's) and the even-numbered ones are my sister's (Chiqui's). We hope you'll write a similar list and make it known to your own folks, if you haven't done so =] Enjoy the ride!
1. Our house has always been filled with books. Mom and Pop cultivated (unwittingly or not) our love for reading- freeing our minds to wander beyond the realm of the possible.
2. Falling in love with Japanese food. Actually, being obsessed with it!
3. Thanks for the moles on the soles of our feet (the Filipino sign of being wanderlust!). They’ve scrimped, saved, splurged rightfully so on travel- near and far, for two-day or two-week journeys- knowing fully that travel is one great teacher.
4. Learning a favorite mantra: Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Hint for Ian, from Ate: fix your stuff.
5. In connection with travel, trusting us with any and every car we’ve had. Dents, bumps, flat tires and all. We love you NTW-8*1, PAC-7*4, PJE-4*5, WBH-7*7, WSB-5*9 =]
6. “Family airtime” during road trips, short or long- our talks on all topics under the sun when you drive us to school, to work, pick us up from dorms, the hospital, ROTC, among the myriad other conversations.
7. Treating us as adults, or as persons more matured that our actual years. Allowing us to speak our minds and hearts, allowing us to “reason” (as long as it’s within “reason”). Really Listening To Us.
8. Huge fights that we laugh about years later- e.g. don’t argue with your mom the day before your wedding over a mundane thing like getting your nails done. It really does look pretty in pictures when your deceased fingernails are revived via a manicure.
9. When you are supposed to do something, do it immediately because there is a HIGH chance and probability you WILL forget to do it.
10. DO NOT LIE. You will always, ALWAYS get caught. The best cover-ups are no match to your CSI-trained parents.
11. Sorry for the 100 or so umbrellas, jackets, shirts, jungle bolos etc we left in school, campsites, taxis, etc. =[
12. Looking forward to power outages because we can play- SCRABBLE!
13. Being extremely active in my high school Parents-Teachers Community Council (our PTA) – proof being, you Pop were the PTCC Class President and you Mom were the PTCC Class Secretary =] A feat never heard of before or since!
14. Yummy pasalubong (take homes!) from the wet market every Saturday morning- palabok for Ate and spaghetti for Ian.
15. While on vacation and Mama says “Pose. Smile!,” do it! Posterity records your tantrums forever- but, boy, is the background truly a killer view!
16. The only person we know who coughs when she uses Q-Tips is _____. Guess who!
17. Beware the typhoon announcements- someone will race through the grocery and buy every canned good, battery, candle, and junk food available =]
18. Even if when you’re in college already, you have to open your bag before leaving the house to prove that you did really bring your umbrella and jacket =] And hours later, when it starts to pour, you breathe a sigh of thankful relief.
19. No school activity is too uncool, too tiring, too boring, too far, too tedious to go to regardless of the size of our participation in that event (eg Boy Scouts, quiz bees, proms, press conferences, pageants, Igorot dances, etc etc)
20. Wednesday novenas are hard habits to break.
21. Loving whom we choose to love (among our boyfriends or girlfriends) to the extent of buying our gifts for them.
22. Comfort food from home, the mere mention of, brings a smile to our faces: papaitan, spaghetti, dinuguan, Sunday nilagang baka, champorado, siomai, hardinera (yesterday, today, and tomorrow), the almost-transparent gelatin, salmon belly, Klondike, shrimp cocktail…
23. Giving in to many of our whims, but tempering it with wise, prudent financial advise (mahal yan anak).
24. They’ve always been respected in their industries, their work ethic is a dream come true for both their bosses and staff.
25. Your almost daily early morning chit-chats as soon as you wakeup even before you get out of bed about life, us, work, showbiz, politics…
26. Ian got his stubbornness, ooops “firmness”, from you-know-who, and Ate her pangugulit a.k.a. persistent reminders from you-know-who.
27. TV is generally a friend, except on Saturday mornings when you have to do your chores.
28. Remember Amber? Our piano teacher from hell, who used to correct our wrong finger positions on the keyboard using a chewed Mongol no. 2? Good thing we are great music lovers despite her =]
29. 50s, 60s, 70s music! From ABBA to The Carpenters to The Beatles to Englebert Humperdink! Proof: our 100+ cassette tapes at home- a time warp to the golden days of music =] We ALL loved Mamma Mia!
30. I like that they lived many facets of their lives on top of being great parents: there’s Kiwanis, REACT, Lectors and Commentators Guild, Ushers and Collectors Guild, Mother of Perpetual Help Organization, Couples For Christ… They have time for us, for the families they’ve come from, for their friends, our neighbors.
31. They’ve allowed us to live our lives the way we’d like to, even if it means departures from paths they may be secretly wishing for us to tread on. From clubs, to choice of friends, choice of schools, college courses, clothes (almost always!)- we’ve been our own bosses, with them at arm’s reach conveniently.
32. I’ve learned that the best advices really come from our parents. They DO know best. Even now that I’m almost-as-old-as-the-number-of-years-you-have-been-together-as-a-married-couple. I find myself running to you during difficult times and always ALWAYS I put down the phone feeling recharged and ready to take on the challenge.
33. Our parents have the kindest, most generous, most giving, most selfless hearts.
34. We’ve been handed excellent roadmaps for life, from our detailed atlases and encyclopedias, to the regular welcome torrent of concern and advice. But the best gift we’ve received is the gift of prayer and faith, which can be traced as the source of every blessing that is always ALWAYS more than what we need – thanks to the excellent example of the life being lived by our prayerful, faithful parents =]
35-36-37 (The following shall be equivalent to the three years they were together and only they know of…)
If the assignment of parents were made through a game of chance, we really hit the jackpot with whom God gave us- we won in the parents lottery =]
Here’s to you, Pop and Mom! Happy 34th! Or should it be 37th? (*wink wink*)