Friday, January 11, 2008

A Very Unusual Christmas

December 24 - While singing in a Catholic church wedding, Aunt Vilma texted me: "If you have time tomorrow come to Bubble's house or at my office at DepEd Pasig on the 26th so i will understand the circumstances in the omission of your name in the payroll." Going to Pasig was nearer but I have previous commitment on that day. I was accustomed being at Lamayan St., Sta. Ana during Christmas day until my mother's death in 2005. Going to Capitol Homes in Diliman was quite a trip. I have no choice but to give in to Mama Vilma's request.

I have asked Oniza to come with me. It happened that her mother and sister (Flory and Fatima) were around. They have consented to go along with me. Erik, my first son also gave in. When we arrived at Rome St., Papa Peping and Mama Tessie and family: 2 sons with their wives and daughter with husband with kid/s) were about to leave. Greetings, short they may be but full of warmth. I noticed a companion who made me want to cry: Who's he? He looks like Papa Maning! I told myself but i know it was impossible because it has been years when he has departed. He was looking at my direction, not looking directly but very obvious observing me intently. Have to say goodbye because my main purpose is also leaving in a short while because she has been called by the President.

Hurriedly, we did some picture-taking. At the dining table I cannot keep my silence anymore. I have to know who that companion was. Bubbles told me everyone and was accounted for. No one was with them with the description I gave. "Hala ka, si Papa Maning yon!" Birthday kasi nila (twin Salvador fondly called Papa Badong) ngayon.

That's it! While singing in the wedding, i thought of offering a mass for the twin for their birthday. I failed to drop by the parish office. The thought remained in me, can't have my peace. I have to keep my "promise". Finally, with the 12,000 pesos Erik deposited in my LBP account, i decided to pay our realty tax at the municipal hall of Bacoor. Upon seeing the church facade, I went directly to the parish office. AT LAST, I had offered mass for them in St. Michael Church. How I miss my uncles Maning and Badong. That's the only way I can tell them I love them so.

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