Got a call from Dad around 3:30 pm, telling me to go pick up my Tiya Alicia at some house in Union City after work. Wrote down the address and goggled my way for directions. At 6:30 pm, I left the office to pick up my aunt.
When I got to this house, I was greeted by this kind lady and asked that I come in. My aunt was not yet done with her activities and asked that I wait. When I got in the house, I was surprised to see about 12-15 people playing mahjong. So, this is what’s keeping her busy these days.
My Tiya Alicia gave this hand signal to come near her. “Anak, pasensya ka na na hah! Mga five minutes pa, nanalo pa ako eh.” She said, with this huge smile on her face.
“Ok lang po, I’ll just wait here.” I said to her.
True enough, after five minutes she was done. “Mga amiga, alis na ako at ginagabi na tayo sa kaka-mahjong. Kita tayo ulit bukas hah. Bye!” she said to her new found friends. Looks like my aunt is having a blast playing mahjong.
While driving home, I said to her. “O Tiya, magkano ba ang napanalunan natin dyan?” curious of her winnings. “Naku anak, naka $450 ako ngayon. Mukhang swerte yong $40 na bigay ng Daddy mo.” Sounds like my dad was the one who gave her the pot money for her mahjong game.
“Babalik ako ulit bukas, baka swertehin ulit.” She said, then asked if I can drop her off tomorrow before work. I agreed to do so, as I don’t need to be in the office till 11 am anyway.
“Nagugutom ka ba, ‘Nak? Gusto mo kain tayo? Sagot ko!” my aunt said with excitement. ” Oo ba, di ako tumatanggi sa libre hah!” was my thrilled reply. I didn’t want to bring her to a place where she’ll be shelling out money. I decided to bring her to Jollibee instead, which was just around the area.
“Ay, Jollibee! Miss ko na yan.” she said with this childish grin. And so we went inside and ordered our food. I must say, there cheeseburgers and spaghetti are the bomb! It’s tasty and swak na swak talaga sa panlasang pinoy.
While I was munching on the cheeseburger, I looked at my aunt and saw her teary eyed. I asked what was wrong. She said, “Namiss ko lang mga apo ko, kasi gustong gusto nila ang Jollibee eh.” She must be missing her family badly.
“Ay Tiya hah, tama bang magdrama? Naku, eat na tayo.” I said, trying to distract the conversation and cheer her up at the same time. She did smile, followed by a loud laugh. Hahaha! After finishing our meal, we decided to stop by Pet Club to get some supplies for my cats.
“Anak, kamusta naman ang Mommy at Daddy mo?” she asked as I was pushing the shopping cart. “Mabuti naman po, bakit nyo natanong?” I said.
“Naguguluhan kasi ako ng konti sa relasyon nila. Hiwalay sila pero para pa rin silang mag-asawa kong titingnan.” she sounded I bit confused. I myself am baffled, but trying to be open minded. Besides, it’s not my business to meddle with my parents relation.
“Naku, magulo na talaga ang mga yon. You never know what they want in life.” I said in reply. “Ganyan talaga pag tumatanda, bumabalik sa pag iisip bata.” then we laughed.
“Ikaw talagang bata ka, isusumbong kita sa mommy at daddy mo!” she said. “Dba, may kinakasama na silang dalawa?” I nodded in agreement. “Ano kayang nararamdaman ng mga yon? Dba sila nagseselos?” she’s trying so hard to analyze my incomprehensible parents.
“Yup, meron nga po.” I answered back. “How they’re feeling, I don’t know po eh.” raising my shoulders at the same time.
“Ay, ang gulo nila noh?” she said, with this huge question mark on her face. She’s trying to understand the complications of my parents relationship. After the quick stop at the pet supply store, I drove my aunt to my dad’s place and said farewell.
While I was driving home, something did hit me! My parents have been long divorce, but it’s evident they still love each other. They might have differences, but when it comes to us (children) they tend to be on the same page. That no matter what relatives has been saying behind their backs, that they’re this and that — they couldn’t care less. They’d even have the same answer, “Hayaan mo sila!” What matters is what they have to say to each other. That even if our family’s a bit disarranged, we are rigid when duty calls for it. Tough love, eka nga nila!
BEHIND THE PICTURE: Took this one at this farmers market in downtown Hayward. There was this guy selling a wide selection of flowers. These bright yellow and orange sunflowers caught my eye. Aren’t they beautiful?
IDENTITY CHECK: One of the greatest feelings in life is the conviction that you have lived the life you wanted to live — with the rough and the smooth, the good and the bad — but yours, shaped by your own choices, and not someone else’s. [Michael Ignatieff]
BOOK JUNKIES: Check out Shelfari.com; members connect my-space style, it’s your own virtual bookshelf that other readers can browse and comment on. Then there’s Booksense.com; a remarkably thorough clearinghouse of independent bookstores. Just key in your zip code and find out where you can buy a book in your neigborhood. Less committed readers can test-drive books at Booksfree.com; it’s the book version of Netflix, sort of a lending library.
And speaking of Shelfari, I just opened an account with them earlier — it’s FREE; what’s not to like about it, right? Anyhow, please feel free to visit my book shelf online (adding me would be nice, too.) Forgive the clutter, it’s still under construction.
RANDOM QUESTION [ A stupid moment ? ] : I have way too many. But allow me to go back memory lane, rewind to my highschool years in Manila. There’s this is guy named, Mister T. He was a good friend since junior year in highschool, I was going “gaga” over this person (head over heals, lihim na damdamin, whatever you call it?). Sa katangahang palad, he’s straight. No way he’ll ever looked at me differently, other than a friend. You asked why I called myself “gaga” ? I helped him get closer to this girl he really likes. Kong di ba naman ka-eng engan ang tawag mo doon. I don’t know what else? Used to be a martyr, gladly I was the last of them. Hahahah!