Wednesday, 31 October 2007

RESTING PLACE


I thought I have something to write about our family tradition back in the Philippines during this time of the year. Now that I am doing so, I can't seem to compose one and my children will be waking up soon. I'll try my best and I hope at the end of this, we would all be pleased with the result.

1985 was the last time our clan gathered on November 1st, having only my Lolo Ramon resting in the family's graveyard. Who would ever think back then, that a wide space would be allotted for our burial site and it would be spared off from the land partition among my grandfather's 8 children.

When we were kids, I always look forward for this day as all my cousins from Baguio City and La Trinidad would be coming home to Tublay. We would all go together with flowers and candles that would later surround my Lolo's resting place. After saying our prayers, we would all sing my grandfather's songs. The first voice, second voice blending from my father and his siblings would always awe us grandchildren. As a little girl, I always had this feeling that those voices are the angels singing and it makes me proud being a part of this gifted family. Then my Dad, aunts and uncles would later tell us anecdotes about my Lolo and their younger days.

Lunch would follow in our house. A pig is always butchered back then that is cooked the Igorot way, no spices, just water and salt. Before feasting on it, my Dad will 'i-pum'makan'(an Igorot ritual, sort of a prayer talking with the dead to come eat, bless the food and give us good luck). After we had all eaten, our parents would stay talking all day while we the small ones would go to the school my Lolo built near our house and play hide and seek, pinalpaltugan(shooting game) and 123...7 UP.

When we became teen agers, for some of my city cousins, going home to Tublay wasn't cool anymore. By that time, my Mama Normie and Uncle Roger joined our Lolo on the family's graveyard. Still our parents sing their songs and tell the same stories every November 1st.

Years passed, my Lola Meding finally rested with my grandfather then my cousin Agustin and later his brother Julius. My Uncle Arsenio followed by my Uncle Alex. Then our recent departed Auntie Juling and my cousin Sony.

With the resting place getting narrower, our city relatives have more reasons to go back to the province. Second generation of Lolo's family tree, where I belong, dominates the number now and its a shame we don't sing like our parents do. Its also a shame that we don't tell stories of the old times for some reasons this blog is not ready to discuss.

I was suppose to write about the food we serve, the mass in the afternoon and other things we do but I somehow came out with what really this day is all about. Its the celebration of life, family and home. We may not be there right now but our hearts and prayers are!

4 comments:

matsay

I miss those days too sis.We did sing once,remember when they told us to sing and I think we did infront of Mama's grave.

matsay

I think I remember some lyrics which goes:Where ever you go,I shall go,where ever you live so I shall live.We even had a laugh at the end because it was not the right line.
I don't know if you we're there that year but I think you we're already in Malta that time.Maybe that's why it was not that good chorus we have,haha.

Jane

you really are a family of singers, aren't you? :)
nov. 1 and 2 somewhat become good times fo family reunion - looking at it, it turns out to be both a celebration of life and end-of-life.
hey, you may want to consider re-living your earlier days back there in Italy, i'd like to believe either Matsay or Lovelyn's place will give you enough space to gather and sing all those songs like you used to do.

lovelyn

Ciao Sister,

If I remember it right, we're already in Malta that time. Huh, lots of memories there isn't it? Remember Auntie Gloria and the big drama? Sshhh, that's just a part of it.
_________________________________

Ciao Jane,

Our generation can't sing good like our parents do. If they are singers, us would be - "we only like to sing(lol)".

Yep, you're right. Its more of a family reunion.

We had a simple gathering here yesterday with our neighbors. Matsay's family weren't able to come because the kids weren't feeling well.

Oo nga ano, it would be nice for our children, I bet they will feel what we felt before when our parents sing their songs

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