Tuesday, September 18, 2007
We have a reunion every Sunday. Really, that often. We have been doing this for as long as I can remember.
Three or four families do meet every Sabbath day to renew ties, trade secrets and stories and update each other about the latest buzz in town. The others join us once a year as they are staying in different continent. Well, when that happens, expect our house to be a bit jolted as different kinds of energy pervade in all corners of our residence and loud noises brought about by different tones of voices vibrate all over our place. Our home, peaceful and noiseless home, now resembles a market place as each of us relate his or her great story.
Each has his or her unique reason as to why it is important to have bonding moments like this.
But we all agree that it is for the children first and foremost. They need to know the members of their family tree. It is vital for them to be familiar with their relatives and build good, loving relationship with them, aside from their parents. It will help them get along with other people of different ages later on. Moreover, they can choose someone who can be an inspiration and a role model to them.
Children are a blessing. They are considered angels because they are pure, witty and always ready with their beautiful smiles as their names are called. Older ones must treat them with tender, loving care as children readily submit to or obey someone who makes them special.
Joel Osteen, a well-known Pastor in America, mentioned in his book Your Best Life Now, that if we want our children to have a bright future, we must bless them and utter to them only kind words. As they embrace our kind words and instill them in their minds, they will possess an aura of success, confidence and power necessary for them to fulfill their dreams.
As for the older ones, be wary of the attitudes and emotions we demonstrate to our children since they are not able to discern yet the good from the bad. They will just go with the flow, mimicking every action of the older ones. Later on, all these are within their systems and will be hard to eliminate.
Of course, I love to interview my nephews and nieces always. When I ask them why they love to go to our house, they will answer, "Gusto naming kumain ng kare-kare ni Mang!"
The older ones butt in, "Mechado!" These are the dishes that complete their Sundays with us. My mother, who we call Mang, reveals that she has no secret ingredients in cooking the food but every visitor lucky enough to have tasted her kare-kare and mechado, tell us "ang sarap! Anong sekreto?" Even our siblings from abroad, days before their arrival, will ask our mother to cook kare-kare first then, mechado on some days. From Navotas to Vermont in Malate to Meycauayan in Bulacan to Los Angeles in California, my mother's dishes have become the favorite of all. Mang never fails to give them her best even now that she has reached the age of 71. She is getting better, so do her kare-kare and mechado.
After that, we will tell stories to the younger ones about our favorite past times then. We orient them about our games like piko, batong preso, chinese garter. We explain to them that our activities required us to use all parts of our bodies including our brains making us more healthy and lively. Then one nephew would contradict it that our games have somehow become "jologs" now considering the proliferation of computer games like tantra and dota which make them glued to their seats for a long time. We think that this kind of diversion is making the younger generation more lazy since only the fingers are moving, aside from the brain. Nevertheless, it can help them to be alert from time to time.
We never fail to mention to them how hot pandesal was such a craze back then. When the clock striked at 3:00pm, almost all were having hot pandesal with matching hot coffee or hot chocolate in their houses. One can even smell the aromas coming from these food which was a bit relaxing to us. Now, almost all go for Go Nuts Donuts or if you want to keep up with the Joneses you can try Krispy Kreme Donuts. There is danger in here, these specialties are super rich meaning with high calories and very sweet so threats are up for those suffering from high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
When it comes to music, it was the tune of the 70's hits, new wave of the 80's that dominated the charts and radios that time. We are very proud to say to our younger ones that we are lucky to have experienced living in these significant decades because most of the songs from these times are still being played in radio stations today. Songs of VST & Co., Rey Valera hits, Boyfriends' danceable tunes, the 80's British music invasion, U2, Petshop Boys, Duran Duran. They have become classic and will forever be. One nephew asks us, "buhay pa ba sila?" We tell them that some are still up and about and active in the field of music but others have resigned to do worthwhile tasks. They have mellowed as they say, "tumatanda na kasi." It is rap time for younger generation and only through them did I get to know these rappers. Frankly, when rap tunes hit the airwaves, I have stopped listening to the radios because I could not dance to its tune. I have never liked rap music.
For the get ups, now the younger ones can relate, "uso pala ang bell-bottom pants dati?" " "Yes, what you are wearing now is reminiscent of the 70's and 80's," we answered. Puff sleeves, midrib blouse, pedal pusher pants, one shoulder shirt, they are products of the past decades and they are being revived from time to time.
We also recount our experiences in school. How we hurdled those difficult exams. How we got away from notorious and terror teachers. All of them seem to be interested even if these stories are told over and over again.
I believe that imparting these with younger ones will help them know and understand their parents, aunties, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers more as we mention the kind of life we went through before. It will give them insights as to how they will face the challenges in life later on. Also, this will encourage them to tell their own stories to their would be children. We mention to them that recent past decades are just as important as the decades of Rizal and other heroes. Simply because people close to them can be their heroes and idols even if their names did not land the pages of broadsheet and magazine. Now, they are eager to know their roots thru our story telling and they look forward to more stories every Sunday.
By the time we say the last line of the story, we are almost done with our merienda. Pancit luglog and spaghetti are some of the food we serve on Sunday afternoon. Puto bumbong is also a favorite, so is ginataang halo-halo. After that, it is eat and run. They are all in a hurry because it is already 5:00pm. Some beso-beso and short talks and they are off to their own abodes.
Not without telling us, "O, parang kumbento na naman itong bahay nyo pag-alis namin."