Tag Archives: lolo

My awesome grandpa

I accompanied my grandfather to his check-up last night. We had a bit of a wait before our turn, and when he started feeling impatient, he chatted with the other people who were also in line to see the doctor. Most of them were in their senior years, and funny enough, their stories started out with tales of their health woes. I mean, why were they there in the first place?

The conversation turned to more interesting topics. It stemmed from how long have they been this doctor’s patients, til it moved on to their occupations, to their ages and their families. One of the men said he was 62, and he asked Lolo his age. My grandfather said, “Guess.” The man didn’t hesitate to say “I’m guessing you’re around 72 or so.”

I’m sure I heard a slightly smug tone in Lolo’s voice when he said, “I’m 84.”

Everyone joined in the conversation then, and found some common things to talk about, mainly, school and work. The man who guessed Lolo’s age was a retired teacher, and Lolo was a retired district superintendent. The man’s son is a UP graduate (Business Admin, I think) and working at HSBC. The couple across us was also from UP, the woman working in the College of Education, handling the scholarships and exchange programs. She offered this information when my Lolo mentioned that he took his MA in Education at UP, and was sent to the States in 1964. The lady asked my Lolo who was the president of UP at that time and kudos to his sharp memory, he remembered. Which is something because I’m not even sure who was the president of UP when I was still in school.

She asked him who the dean of the College of Education was, and he couldn’t remember, but he offered two names of his teachers, and the woman knew them. She said her son (I think it was her son) is a doctor and graduated from UP Med in 2002. Lolo told them I went to UP too, and they all chatted like old friends. I don’t think the woman believed I graduated in 2002.

Sunday night, Lolo was talking about his teaching experience. I immediately took out my camera and recorded his voice. I want to write it down one of these days. Years ago he rarely talked about his past, but now, he opens up. It’s quite nice. I hope I have a video camera too, so the recording would be better.

Heading out for his eye exam today, which would be the last of his check-ups for this year. He’s pretty healthy, which is really good. Thank God!


I had often said that reunions should occur on happy moments, not on times when there is a loss. However, it is not often the case. My trip to Dumagete was just that. Though I was excited to visit my relatives and see the place, I wish that I had better reasons to be there.

I barely remember my great aunt, Lola Auring. I think I met her only once, when she was in Candelaria for my Lola Lilay’s funeral. I remember her children more, my aunt Marilyn and my uncle Melvin (who had also passed away not long after Lola Lilay) and I haven’t met any of my cousins from that side of the family.

So I was both excited and apprehensive.

The first cousins I met were my aunt Marilyn’s sons, Jun Jun and Biboy. When Tita texted me about who will pick us up from the airport, I was worried because I don’t know them from Adam. When we went out of the arrival area, Lolo immediately walked towards two young men I didn’t know, whereas I was trying to hold him back. Thank God he knew them.

At the funeral parlor, I greeted my aunts and another great aunt, Lolo’s youngest sister Juliet. I talked a bit with my aunts and uncles, who introduced me to more cousins.

What hit me the most was that these cousins of mine had strong similarities to my brothers. That’s when it dawned on to me that my lifelong belief that we got our looks either from the Banares side or the De La Llana side was shattered. A good chunk of it came from the Sales side, and it was rather amusing to note.

I must have stared at them for a long time. Jude looked uncannily like Dion, while several aunts said Carl and I share similarities around the eyes and cheekbones (though I think he looks like Nunik). Finally, I know where my cousin Jordan got his most distinct feature, because my cousin Neil has it too.

Amidst the sadness of the loss, I made discoveries. Perhaps this is the silver lining in the cloud.