Tag Archives: reunions

Hello Dumaguete

I still managed to go around Dumaguete and see the sights, as well as taste their food and learn about the place. I had read up on it before I went, and I was given some tips on where to go by my online friend Zerisse, who is from Dumaguete. Still, nothing quite beats the actual experience.

On the plane again
The only time I’ve been in a plane was when I went to Cebu last 2006. The experience was truly amazing, from the moment I arrived at the airport until the plane landed in Mactan. I still felt excited, as giddy as any kid who still finds wonder in something so ordinary (though I think flying is not an ordinary thing).

I was disappointed that neither Lolo Sal nor I got a window seat. The plane (we took Philippine Airlines) was a small one, with three seats at either side. I was in the middle, and Lolo had the aisle seat so he could stretch a bit. Occasionally, I’d peek over my seatmate’s shoulder to the world outside.

The weather wasn’t good when we left. It was raining really hard since the morning, and the flight had been delayed for nearly thirty minutes: first, the call to board was about ten minutes late, while the weather hindered take off for nearly 20 minutes. There were already five planes behind us and two ahead before we were cleared.

Other than that. It was a rather quiet flight. When the captain announced that we were descending, I took a look outside and was surprised that the plane was flying very low above the sea. That had me worried because my previous experience with flying had us above land at that height. Soon, the water was so close, I nearly asked my seatmate “Kuya, wala pa ba lupa?” The next thing I knew, I felt the thud of the plane’s wheels as it hit the runway. I learned then that the Dumaguete airport’s runway starts/ends at the shore of the beach. Continue reading

Discoveries

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.

A past revisited

It has been eleven years since I graduated from high school. That alone should be an indication of how old I am in terms of numbers, but somehow, I don’t feel old. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really found where I want to be in this world, hence I still feel like I did ten years ago.

Maybe it’s just my nature.

High school reunions, in most cases, do tend to make you feel old. For many, the prospect of seeing their old classmates is not a fun thing, as it may bring about memories they’d rather suppress. From this point of my life, I can safely say that high school was good to me. It wasn’t the best, perhaps, nor do I get those “Damn, I miss it all and want to revisit it” feelings like I do when I remember college, but there’s this feeling of sentimentality still.

I would wonder more if I didn’t have those, especially since more than half of the people in my high school batch were my classmates and friends since pre-school. I’ve got pictures to prove it too, if you don’t want to rely on my memories.

Thursday night was probably an odd time of choice for a dinner reunion, being the middle of the work week and the Friday work day looming. I had already taken the day off to work on the application for school, so begging off the next day wasn’t an option. Still, my best friend of nearly twenty years and I went, and for a change, I was the late one, not her.

I didn’t know what to expect, really. Awkwardness? A bit of hesitancy considering that most of us haven’t seen each other in eleven years, except for the odd moments in between? Perhaps the fear that they would all realize that I was truly weird and I’d be cast out?

No. None of those. In fact, it didn’t feel any different. We were all older, true. Some looking a little more, er, healthier than the rest, but it was as if we all picked up where we left off. Perhaps not as smoothly as one could expect, but still well enough that there were no awkward moments.

It was a night where laughter dominated. Stories were exchanged in extra loud tones. Old relationships and gossips somewhat unearthed (but thankfully, not so much), memories of the good and not so good relived and can now be laughed at.

I got to see people I haven’t really thought of in so long but realize mean a lot to me. I got to reconnect with the friends I made back then, those who knew me at my worst (I haven’t reached my best yet, but I think I’m better), when I was still a kid (though I still am, in many ways). I’ve gotten to hug my best friend after a long time (our story is really funny) and basically just had a really great time reliving my childhood til teen-hood.

Reunions aren’t such a bad thing after all.