I opened my Flickr account for the first time in months and saw a message in my inbox. It was from this person in Japan who stumbled across my photos and videos of Candelaria. He said that my last name was familiar as his first grade teacher had the same last name, and wondered if we were related.
At that, I smiled, but tears filled my eyes. I quickly typed in “Yes, we’re related. She’s my grandmother.” After that, I couldn’t finish and let myself have a good cry.
I miss you Lola.
It’s really nice to hear from people who stumble across my Candelaria and Zambales blogs. Some years ago a man from Germany wrote me asking for contact information to Coke Bolipata, my siblings’ violin teacher. Now, I’m getting messages from people who live in various places around the world but trace their roots back to Candelaria. It’s great.
I’m starting to believe that I may have this aura of “niceness”. I’m usually the person people (strangers) approach to ask for help, say, on the train or anywhere. The other night someone asked me if he could share my umbrella as we walked from the train station to the tricycle station. One lady, in a grocery store, beamed at me when she asked if I could help her with her things.
I don’t think it’s bad or bothersome. I just never really thought about it before.