Monday, December 31, 2012

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Part I

Since the time I worked in Metro Manila, which is more or less 390 nautical miles away from my hometown, Anao-aon in Surigao del Norte province, I tried my very best to spend my Christmas with the family. I have tried to endure the many cancelled flights bound to Surigao City or Butuan City, the countless rerouting to other cities in Mindanao, due to bad weather during monsoon in December.

Thus I resolved to take a flight bound to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City this December 25 because the flights going there during this wet and monsoon season are seldom cancelled. I was as well confident that despite the distance of 310 kilometers still to take via car ride, my whole family agreed to fetch me at Lumbai Airport with our new car. I took it also as an opportune time for them to reach, visit, and roam around CDO. As a matter of fact, I was met by my immediate and extended families: my parents, Papa Tantong and Mama Dulcing, Manong Danny (my older brother and the driver) with his son and my nephew, Entoy, and Mama Fely, Manong Danny's mother-in-law, with her other grandson, Betut (Entoy's cousin). So we will seven; plenty enough to cram inside Toyota Innova, which is built for 8 passengers including the driver.

Arriving at around lunchtime, I decided to bring the lot to El Salvador City, the neighboring city where the Divine Mercy pilgrimage site is located. We're a family of religious Catholic, so a church visit let alone a pilgrimage site visit is a must. We took our lunch from a cafeteria up the hill where the gigantic Divine Mercy statue towered over. We have some photo ops in the area and the statue before climbing down, which coincided with the drizzling of the rain.

I had a cousin, Annie Chan, in Papa Tantong's side who married a businessman in CDO and they settled in the city. We kept in contact with each other so Annie and her husband Mike knew about our trip. They set a meeting with us and treated us to a sumptuous dinner of chicken barbecue at the famous Mang Steve BBQ. Then they brought us to Xavier Estates where Mike's family got a property and his parent's house was just completed. It was indeed a taste of luxury! The Chan family treated us a dessert.

It was around 10pm when we commenced our road travel to Surigao City. We reached Butuan City at little past 2am and we decided to rest at Entoy's bachelor's pad he resided in the city where he pursued a law degree. We continued the ride home at 6am and reached our place in Anao-aon, Surigao del Norte in the morning of December 26.

Part II

It's been awhile since my last Christmas in our hometown. Due to bad weather during December, I ditched some years of family reunions.

This year's home visit actually has other purpose. My high school Alma Mater hosted a Grand Alumni Homecoming on December 29; my first time to join in. On the eve of the homecoming event day, a batch reunion called "Barkadahan Night" happened. My HS batch 1993 gathered in my place. We were 44 when we graduated and a third showed up. But we were curious about the absence of those residing in the town near my place. Michelle Maniwang-Angob, our former batch president, was first in the list.

So after quite awhile of felicitation among those present, we headed to the direction of Michelle's house. I realized then that she still lived with her parents, together with her husband and children. She went out for some errands when we got at the ground towards their lobby. When she arrived she seemed agitated. And when we compelled her to join us, she flared up and declared dramatically that she's resigning from out batch. I don't know if it's acceptable as we don't have rules about it. But anyway, after some pleas she stubbornly discard and insisted to delete her name in our HS batch 1993 list. Frustrated and disappointed, we retreated back to my place.

As I dug about the real reason of Michelle's resignation, I discovered that being formerly our batch president who attended several meetings to prepare for this homecoming event, she tried desperately to moderate us, sourced out funds from all of us, presided our preparations. But since we're scattered around the Philippine archipelago, having our own daily routines and personal obligations, we just (I myself was guilty) disregard her. Most of the more successful alumni in our batch are residing in other cities or countries. So there, she then relinquished the president's role to Lisette Seguis.

I joined the homecoming in a surprise manner. Along with fellows from CDO, Charlie Dexter Febra and Merlita Madrid-Febra, I did not announce our intention to attend, as well as, contribute or donate funds. We like Lisette better because she's no nosy, not bossy. We have planned together before we dispersed from Barkadahan our preparations, transports and gimmicks for the homecoming day of December 29.

(insert pictures)

Being the class president during our HS years, Lisette asked me to attend with her the Alumni Association meeting on December 30. We then realized that we will be hosting the 2018 Grand Alumni Homecoming of San Nicolas High School, Anao-aon, Surigao del Norte.

No comments:

Post a Comment