Monday, November 2, 2009

Batangas Trip, Remembering Dad




We visited dad where he was laid to rest in Batangas last Friday October 30. We had originally planned to go to Batangas on Saturday October 31, but a typhoon and bad weather was forecasted for that day. The weather bureau announced signal number 3 here in Metro Manila, automatically cancelling all classes. So we got ourselves ready no matter if it was later than we had wanted to leave. We would usually leave around 5am for long trips, but we left around 7:30am. We got to the cemetery around 10:15am after making a stop at the Cuenca market to buy some suman, kalamay and flowers.

As in years past, there were hardly any people at the cemetery, only those cleaning up their mauseleums. Since dad was laid to rest in a simple tomb, we didn't have a lot to clean. Jojo brought the walis along, but we forgot to bring our own permanent pentel pen to re-write the faded writing on dad's tombstone. A couple of kids came by though offering their service to paint the tombstone and we took them up on their offer.

I still sometimes wish that the kids could have met their Lolo Benny, but I still try to relive some of the memories that I shared with him to them, in the hope that through those stories they can get to know a little bit of their Lolo. Okay I'm getting teary-eyed.

After lighting the candles, bringing some candles to our neighboring uncle and cousin and niece, and saying our prayers for our departed loved ones continued journey, it was time to go. We don't usually stay long since the morning sun can start to burn.

We made our way to Barrio Saimsim to visit our relatives and catch up a little. It is such a quiet barrio and it seems even quieter during this time of year. Most of our cousins and their families have gone abroad, some to Italy, some to Spain, some to Canada - greener pastures, far from the flood, where they make a good living. That leaves many of their elderly parents here in the barrio, where some cousins or a hired maid, helps to take care of them.

Tagaytay was next on our agenda. We past some portions where the roads were partly closed due to previous landslides caused by Typhoon Ondoy. It was around lunch time and though I had wanted to try something new, it's hard to break old habits, and Benjo was in the mood for Chowking's wanton noodles soup. After Chowking, we went to visit the Our Lady of Manaoag chapel and then bought some ube at the Good Shepherd Sister's before making the gruelling trip back through the traffic of Cavite cities.

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