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I am a lolo and lola’s girl. According to my mom, I’m the only apo that stayed with my lolo and lola the longest. You see, I spent my childhood in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro at my grandparents’ house while my parents work on our business in Manila. I am very close to my maternal grandparents. They would stay with us whenever they go in Manila. We traveled with them as well. My Lolo went with us in Boracay when he was in his 80s and in Laoag, Ilocos Norte in his 90s. My mom said that my lola is very meticulous with me. She would bathe me in tea believed that give you nice complexion. I miss them terribly so, especially my Lolo.

This is me at our beach in Mindoro (3 years old)

So when I got sick during the Halloween season, it broke my heart especially that my lolo just passed away last year only. And they have been “visiting” me – no kidding. I would hear my lola calling me and smell my lolo’s pomade. I would feel their presence every day that passes that I haven’t visited them. So by the time I had the strength to go to the cemetry, I asked my mom to drive me and Peewee to visit them.

We went to the Libangan ng mga Bayani first early morning. My lolo was a Guerilla when world war II broke in the Philippines. He would tell me stories on how they hid in the jungles of Sierra Madre and kill Japanese soldiers. My lolo have tons of stories, how he quit smoking, how he met my lola, how he learned palm reading and his agimat. I am so lucky to have a lolo like him. He really lived his 103-year life to the fullest.

After Libangan ng mga Bayani, we headed to my lola at Loyola Memorial at Marikina. My lola is the epitome of a Filipina mestiza. She was very malumanay, mataray and mahinhin. I remember my lola doesn’t eat anything dark – chocolate, Coke, dinuguan. She would stick her tongue out of disgust seeing them. She said she doesn’t eat dark food because it may darken her skin. She’d always comb her hair and put powder in her face.

Now that they are gone, I will some day show pictures and tell stories about them to Peewee. Not a day goes by that I wish my lola and lolo see Peewee grow up.

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