Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

01 December 2015

My Sister, the Aldub Fan


My sister, the eldest in the family, became eligible for twenty per cent discount across the board just last May. If you get my drift. She is a self-confessed diehard of this GMA-7 television phenomenon called the Aldub.

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15 September 2015

Cody, the Black Labrador who Saved my Brother-in-Law’s Life

Cody, the black Labrador who saved my brother-in-law's life.

My sister and her family had just moved to a new home, and I was curious to see what it looked like. I had also promised to cook a meal for my niece Apples after she saw a picture of my mashed potatoes that I posted on Instagram.

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20 March 2014

Clarifying the LA Tenorio Connection

Visiting the wake of an uncle in Nasugbu last Monday, I found myself in the company of a cousin who is the first-degree uncle of the Gilas Pilipinas and Giñebra basketball player LA Tenorio. We apparently met once before when LA was still with a PBL club and there was an engagement at the SENTRUM, the arena my office managed at De La Salle Lipa.

That was so long ago and there were a few of them relatives from Nasugbu who had come to watch the game. Thus, apart from LA’s mother Lumeng, who had gone to my office to meet me, I had no recollection of everyone else.

When my first-degree cousin – a son of the deceased – introduced LA’s uncle at the wake, I drew quite an awkward blank. He was quite chatty, though; and they do say that blood runs thicker than water. Before long, the initial awkwardness was gone, since we had common things to talk about.

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19 April 2013

A Loose Concept of Time

There are just people who, shall we say, have a loose concept of time. One of my sisters, as things are, just happens to be one of those. In the old days, it was not uncommon for her to arrive an hour late for a get-together. And these were on her better days...

My other sister used to get so upset with her whenever she was kept waiting. I, on the other hand, had gotten so used to the tardiness that any arrangements I made with this sister I simply regarded the same way Einstein looked at time – with relativity.

In fact, I call my sister Ms. Reliability with the most scathing sarcasm. But because she is my sister, I am able to do so in a humourous way that despite the sarcasm, we are both able to laugh at it.

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24 August 2012

A 12-Year Old Shares Story of Struggle with Cancer

Last month, I was with a friend who honoured me by telling me of the difficult time his family went through as one of his children struggled – and subsequently emerged victorious – with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer. Because my own Mom died of the disease, I was so touched by the child’s story that I asked to write about it.

My friend said that the experience still touched a raw nerve; and told me not just yet. The other day, however, the same friend sent me a message on Facebook saying that an e-mail with the child’s story has been sent to my address. It turns out that the ‘story’ was actually the child’s own speech delivered during a gathering organized by a charitable cancer support organisation.

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11 January 2011

Duke: An Azkal Shepherd With a Strange Dog-sinality

When I was a teenage boy, our family used to own a mongrel named Duke. I honestly do not recall who gave the dog to us; or why he got to be called Duke. I have not thought about him for the longest time; but for some reason, I just did tonight.

He had the classic facial features of a German Shepherd: pointed ears, brown face and smudges of black roundabout the mouth. But his body was all wrong; it was small, slim and the unmistakable look of what used to be called Tagalog but these days, more fashionably the Azkal.

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04 January 2011

Sometimes Dad Knows Best


You have to understand how my Mom ruled the household: she was the archetypal Reina Emperatriz, capital letters intended. She was born under the stars of Virgo and – thus – was a hard-to-please perfectionist whose rule over the brood was characterized by order and regimentation.

I meant that description fondly, of course. Those who know me well will also quickly come to the conclusion that I am – thus – not unlike my Mom in my ways. Indeed, there is a truism to this; albeit, as I was growing up, our clashes of personality were inevitable and one for the parenting pamphlets.

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31 October 2010

Traveling to Alabang

Last week, I agreed to meet my eldest sister and her family in Alabang the day before All Saints’ Day – which would be today, as if you did not already know. Being me, up until the time I was about to leave home, I was still rationalizing inside my head that I was, in fact, doing the right thing.

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18 August 2010

The Saddest Story: When a Pregnant Woman Meets her Husband's Pregnant Mistress


We used to have a lavandera who would come in every once in a while to do the family’s laundry. She was this dark, skinny Ilongga who had somehow found her way to the province to eventually become one of its citizens. She spoke with an unmistakably Ilonggo accent that was nevertheless tainted already by the local punto.

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07 August 2010

The White Light

Like most everyone else today, I had the television on from early in the morning to mid-afternoon following the funeral ceremonies for the late former President. No, I was not stuck in front of the screen all that time; I had an ear cocked to what was being said by the commentators and went about as I normally do when I do not have to go to work.

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17 July 2010

Trips to the Market With Mom


Every other Saturday when I was a young kid, my Mom would take me along on a sortie to the Batangas City market where the fish – or so she liked to say – was always freshly caught.

We would board one of those creaking wooden United Lines buses, with their hard wooden seats laid across the bus – a door at the end of each row of seats – and the conductor gymnastically hanging out from the bus as he went about ticketing the passengers. I am certain younger readers, who have grown up in the era of luxurious air-conditioned buses, will be struggling to visualize this.

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25 June 2010

Spook Stories: Sometimes There is a Logical Explanation



Those of you who have been to the Dallas area of the Base know that many of the houses in that section of the military property are – or were; I haven’t been there for sometime – wooden American style homesteads. That was because, Dad used to explain, the initial houses in the area were Dallas prefabricated huts.

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30 May 2010

Explosion of Colors on a Bed of Daisies


This may come as a complete and utter surprise to even the people I consider my close friends and associates these days, but the truth of the matter is that I do, indeed, have a green thumb! If I stuffed a paper clip into the earth, it will probably grow into a paperclip tree that will flourish and produce many paperclip flowers and seeds that will fall back onto the earth.

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26 May 2010

The Sheer Anguish of Grieving Without A Body

Last year, I wrote this lengthy piece about the manner in which my Mom passed away. I think Dad deserves a bit of a mention as well; belated, though, this may be.

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12 May 2010

Japs: Distrust of the Japanese Because of World War II



Just between us – and the pox on you if you breathe a word to anyone – I was born 14 years after World War II ended in the Pacific. Despite the 14-year gap, it was as though those of my generation were born with an almost congenital hatred and distrust of the Japanese.

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