Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More1 Comments on Grandfather Tales

Constancio S Asumen Jr The Dagohoy Rebellion lasted 89 years and was quelled in 1829, 128 years before Tatay Insoy's passing on. He was reputed to have been 108 years old when he died, that puts him at 20 years old at the end of the Dagohoy Rebellion.
It is safe to assume that he moved to Mindanao as his father's dependent. Putting him at age 10 when he moved to Mindanao is a viable proposition. I don't have any idea which position he occupied in the siblings seniority order. So 10 is just splitting the difference.
By and large the story line is viable. What makes it dubious is the hint that it was the Simpron end of the clan who was from Inabanga. Mana did tell me today that Tatay Insoy's family was from Calape.

Mildred O. Asumen Yes, Kuya Jun (Felicisimo Jr) left for Australia 10 years - son of Uncle Mimi, then Uncle Nemesio (Mening) died a year ago and their sibling - Auntie Rosa, a teacher of Cabadbaran, Agusan. lola abing's descendants are in claver.

Constancio S Asumen Jr Neng, correction: Ingko Mining was not Nemisio. He was Hermogenis or Hermohenis. He was the one who initiated me into overnight deep-sea fishing when I was 13 to 14 years old. This was during the period between graduating elementary school and starting high school. We got so poor, everybody had to quit school and help out.
Those were the good old days I treasure dearly through the rest of my soujurn in the sun.

Constancio S Asumen Jr By the way, both Mano Mimi and Ingko Mining were raised by Nanay and Tatay like both were their sons until Mano Mimi had to go to Cebu to study high school.
This was the reason that your Papa and Mano Mimi were very close emotionally. They grew up like siblings.

Rommel O. Asumen So lolo mimi went to San fernando ,cebu to study hi school. Coz papa graduated in norte dame san fernando,cebu. Every Fiesta we would always go to san fernando. I had to drive him coz he will be to drunk to drive home.

Constancio S Asumen Jr I thought Oya Onday's town was Santander. If Notre Dame is in San Fernando then he was in San Fernando because I know he graduated from Notre Dame.He must have lived in a private boarding house (casera).
I read most (if not all) of your Papa's high school diaries because there was nothing much to read when I was laid off from school in Wangke.

Rommel O. Asumen Papa stayed with a family Suico and the Paradela's.It was not a private boarding house. I met all of them. They were nice people. so every fiesta we were there.

Constancio S Asumen Jr There was another side story to your Papa's going to high school in Cebu. He was deprived of the validictorian honors on graduating elementary school in favor of Salome Erazo who was one of the big shots in Cabugo.
This was a big deal because a validictorian automatically gets free tuition in high school. Tatay wanted to prove to the world that your Papa can excel even in a wider field, be a big fish in a larger pond.
Your Papa acquitted himself with flying colors by graduating top of his class in Notre Dame. We had a three-day banquet in Wangke for the occasion.

Constancio S Asumen Jr Mano Mimi should only be your uncle and not lolo. He was treated as the oldest son of Tatay. And I don't know where he went to school. I was then too little to pay attention to such details.

Rommel O. Asumen Yup people in san Fernando think the same. This the first time i heard about 3 days banquet.

Constancio S Asumen Jr He could not have been staying with a non-relative family. It must be one of those arrangements where you pay the monthly cost of board and lodging and laundry.
That he developed an amicable relationship with the family sounds inherent to what develops between long term tenant and landlord.
I had visited your Papa's living arrangement both in Cantilan (1 week) and Cubao (2 weeks). In both places, he did manage to develop a pleasant relationship with the landlady, because they were unusually pleasant to me.

Constancio S Asumen Jr Yes: Tatay had a penchant for lavish, no holds barred festivities when he got his mind to it. But when you invite practically the entire township it inevitably becomes a three-day affair.
One carabao and a couple of hogs were slated for the occasion. The day before the main event those who volunteered to help came to make preparations. A patch of meadow near the house was cordoned off for a dancing hall.
A local band was organized ad hoc for the occasion. The band leader was also the chief chef Mano Siso Taer. Then the day after the main event the helpers stay behind to clean up.
To a child's view it's a three-day fiesta because as long as there is company a good child is always pampered.

Rommel O. Asumen prodigal son

Rommel O. Asumen I remebered that last asumen reunion in Panatao in the 70's. A carabao was also slaugthered.

Constancio S Asumen Jr I look at it as privileges of being a first born.
Actually, because of Mano Mimi and Ingko Mining your Papa had an advantage. He had someone to look up to for pattern on how to handle the outside adult world.

Constancio S Asumen Jr This must be during their 50th anniversary, after I had my disappearing act.
For the ones I attended, I think the victims were only a couple of goats. Tatay did not have any carabao then.

Mildred O. Asumen correction on the wrong impression that Papa lived in an expensive casera...i used to be accompanying papa when he went to san fernando's fiesta... he lived with suico and paradela as a working student. most of his buddies would love to reminiscing their past- they helped him cleaned the whole school so they could have papa along with them for a barrio dance -baile. And could recall one of the old maid teacher who would love to retold the story how papa graduated as valedictorian, wherein most of the teachers contributed to papa's wardrobe- one teacher bought the shoes, another paradela old maid bought the pants and suico bought his polo.

Constancio S Asumen Jr Mildred,
Not to speak ill of the departed has always been one of the codes of ethics I adhere to religiously. And I am not about to violate it now, in the twilight of my years.
You are an accomplished engineer so this phenomenon should be familiar to you: There is a region in the strain continuum that the most tenacious materials as steel and titanium would exhibit fluid flow, the laws of solid mechanics cease to govern and those of fluid mechanics would take over.
To portray your Papa as a working student in high school would be analogous to crossing that solid/fluid divide. Protocols of civil and rational discourse would cease to govern.
I concede there might have been occasions that he would work. But it should have been more by choice rather than by brutal circumstances, not because he had to. None of Tansoy's children ever recoiled from work.
But to claim your Papa was a working student would be an insult to working students everywhere. Worse, it would be an affront to and defilement of the noble sacrifices and endeavors of my parents, who may have fallen short of their goals when they found they could not afford to send their other children to college. But their devotion to the cause of educating us never ceased.

Mildred O. Asumen Uncle jun,
the stories i have heard is not from papa but from people who were there when he has high school which i draw this conclusion. these people don’t have anything to gain to tell those stories to me... and consistency of information has been established talking and hearing stories from not one nor 2 people but a dozen.. and not just one time stories but on several ocassion when we go either on fiesta, community service leave of papa, all souls day holidays... papa does not talk much about his past... he could talk family tree, lineage and other things except his past...

Constancio S Asumen Jr Mildred,
I’m sure your Papa had his reasons to demure from discussing his past. So let us respect those reasons and not second guess him. Ditto, the people you heard the tales from. They had filtered the unfolding of events with their own prisms.
I am proud to be your Papa’s brother, and prouder still to be my parents’ son. I can assure you this: there is nothing in the family’s past that I know of that needs to be hidden. If anything, they need to be heralded far and wide and should serve as inspiration for struggling families everywhere.
We have managed to overcome all sorts of adversities. Some of them may be reckoned as self-inflicted but we overcame nonetheless. In the realm of parenting, my parents acquitted themselves with flying colors and I cannot be but proud of them.

Mildred O. Asumen Uncle jun,
"agree with you... what lolo and lola have done have been an inspiration to lots of families in claver and elsewhere. They have struggled and overcome all the obstacles and have raised above their level their children's welfare. there is no question about it... . as papa told me once - it is a legacy one parent could give when they raised the bar of comfort and welfare on their children and the next generation and his sample was your family... lolo was a farmer/fisherman and lolo and lola produce your generation as professionals - geophysicist, accountant, ministers, librarian, etc. and papa's brood - physician and group of engineers... like uncle titing - got physician and engineers too. and it’s now our generation to prove that legacy to our children...what would be the outcome would remain to be seen..."

Constancio S Asumen Jr Mildred,
Amen to all that. My endeavor to engage myself in the exchange of ideas with my writing, is integral to my devotion to upholding the legacy that my parents handed down to me. Namely, to transcend the constraints circumscribed by the immediately given parameters of engagement with the outside world, to go beyond what is being provided by the here and now. I may not give a dent on the situation but the least I can do is try.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Comments on “Tales from my Grandfather”

Michael Asumen so that's where my father name comes from...very interesting....
Constancio S Asumen Jr
I'm not sure whether he knows it or not. But wittingly or unwittingly he upheld the tradition with FlorenLy and ElCon.

Rommel O. Asumen
Papa told me a different story. Asumen came from Inabanga, Bohol. Moved to Surigao during the Dagohoy rebellion.

Constancio S Asumen Jr
Well, your Papa's story probably is closer to the truth considering that he was some 12 years older than me. What's good about that angle is that it's easy to research the Dagohoy rebellion as it is part of written history.

So we can reconcile the chronology with grandpas believed age and story, as I learned it and told here.

Do you volunteer to do the leg work? ...
This post was made urgent by Uriko’s (Newton Mark Constantine Rodriguez) intimations that he and his father are researching the Asumen ancestry and discovered some “Jewish blood” in our ancestry. I consider that angle nonsense and told him so. In the first place being “Jewish” is not a matter of ethnicity but of religion.

Anyway, I’m glad to learn of your interest on the matter. Stories orally transmitted are bound to contain inaccuracies here and there. I just hope that we can establish a coherent, preferably verifiable version sooner than later before everything is muddled to oblivion.

Constancio S Asumen Jr The name Inabanga does ring a bell. It is something I kind of heard ever so often as a kid but not quite sure of the context

Rommel O. Asumen Papa was able name relatives who still lives in Inabanga. I have met some of them in Cebu.

Constancio S Asumen Jr So were they Asumen or Alonggi?

Rommel O. Asumen
No.i am trying to recall. Let me make a quick call to Cebu.

Constancio S Asumen Jr
Somebody in Facebook even opined that the Asumen's came from Mindanao then migrated to Bohol. I dismissed it as without any basis in fact because of the way we were confined in Claver to the Bol-anon speaking community.

Rommel O. Asumen
Papa told me that our last name was Quinones. And during the Dagohoy rebellion Lolo changed to Asumen. Papa told me that all bolholanos with spanish names were persecuted. How i wish i wrote all this in a log book.

Constancio S Asumen Jr Now that does not make any sense at all. Didn't you suspect that Asumen is Spanish? Third person plural or second person of the verb aumer (to assume as in assume responsibility) or alternately asumir, a rare version of to dawn,or something such; it's been some time since I had Spanish conjugation lessons.

Constancio S Asumen Jr You can still research it now. Just be careful about your sourcing in the internet. E.g., I'm hesitant to take Wikipedia as gospel.

Mildred O. Asumen
as i could remember with Papa, we were from Quiñones clan, our forefathers changed it to Asumen. ASUMEN is an invented name which iis derived from the influential family of Osmeña - moved the "a" and removed "o" for easy traceability since our great grandfather was one of the trusted leaders of Dagohoy from Inabanga. Even Lola Abing told me that story before...

Michael Asumen I learned from you guys....i like this discussion....very interesting

Elcon Asumen Acumen sounds cool to me

Constancio S Asumen Jr The Osmeña angle that Mildred brought up kind of drags us into the penumbral margins of nobility. Be careful when you get too far above the hoi polloi. It can get dizzyingly unnerving up there. At least with the Alongi's we are much closer to earth. I could not recall a famous Alongi in history. Not that I demure from any claim to fame, so to speak.

I do recall in the transition from 1st to 2nd grade there was a debate in the family with tatay asserting that we were used to be registered as Asunem instead of Asumen. That some school teacher bungled it up somewhere.
The question before the house was shouldl we let the mistake of NEM instead of MEN stand or shouldl we endeavor to move mountains and effect a restoration. I recall it was decided that there was already too much in the public record with MEN and there really was nothing much to be gained with NEM. So tatay decided to let it be

The point relevant to Mildred's angle here is re-arranging the component alphabets to the name. I recall that chatter when I was in 1st grade but nothing much came of it.

It's worth pursuing though, especially with the preponderance of available information in cyberspace.

Suggestion: with all the esoteric angles being introduced here, maybe we are better served if you post them as comments to the blogpost. In that way the thread is consolidated in one location. Just a thought.

Mildred O. Asumen this is first time i have heard of alongi... names that came out from Papa was more of the Sempron of Inabanga... this is the side which he has contact at least of the roots in Bohol. One thing one could do is make research in Inabanga to find out our roots, the family history...

Constancio S Asumen Jr The Simpron connection is more consistent with my recollection. I used to overhear Nanay Orin's (as all of my siblings used to call grandma Asumen) reminiscence of events in Inabanga with evident nostalgia. Even Tay Ignacio in Iligan, who is Tatay's first cousin, used to sprinkle his reminiscence with Inabanga.

I understand there is a planned reunion of the 2nd generation Asumen’s slated to take place in Bohol next year. Maybe it will be an opportunity for the 2nd generation to dig out the roots and document it for posterity.
Sounds like a worthwhile project, if anybody asked me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tales from my Grandfather

It is probably more appropriate to call this piece Tales (from and/or of) my grandfather. Since there are numerous narratives of the “tales of” genre which I intend to dwell upon later, I decided to settle for the “tales from” angle for now.

The urge to take stock of one’s legacy comes natural in the twilight of my years. A reckoning on my heritage is an equally urgent need, if nothing else but to provide the necessary backdrop to the narrative, which may have been told before in one form or another.

The story I heard from my grandfather, who was one of 7 or 8 siblings, was that his father’s family owned a sizeable church-front property in one of the towns in Bohol. I don’t recall having heard the specific name of that particular town. Maybe some of my older siblings can fill that in later. The property was unceremoniously confiscated or expropriated by the friars.

Instead of fighting back what would have been a certain lost cause, his father just picked up and moved his family* to Mindanao, using ‘Asumen’ as the new family name, replacing the original ‘Alonggi’ or Alongi. Among his siblings grandpa Insoy (short for Lorenzo or Lorencio**) was the only one who eventually ventured to the mountainous part of Surigao, where virgin forests for homesteading were still available aplenty.

He became one of the pioneers in Wangki or Wangke. That he managed to claim a place for himself, undaunted and unbridled by the subterfuge of some of the more domineering clans, was a tribute to his fortitude which we, his descendants later dubbed as “the Asumen trait.” The rest settled in the rice plains adjacent to the nipa swamps of Gigaquit (Bunot).

The most relevant point is: for any Asumen (or Asumen-associated*** person) whose family originally hailed from Mindanao, I’m certain the ancestral tree can be traced to mine, based on grandpa Insoy’s account. So for whatever it is worth to you, I hereby claim some sort of familial relations with you, be it consanguinity or conaffinity.

With a song in my heart: regards and carpe diem, I wish you well. Or as Spock, one of my all time favorite movie characters would none-passionately say, “live long and prosper.” May the winds (of change) be at your back.

*This reflex to “get up and go,” I later identified in my memory bank as “the Asumen resilience,” and claimed it to be an Asumen trait. I relied on it heavily when I was confronted with the thankless task of making a choice that would irreversibly alter my career trajectory. It was an event which resulted in “a wealth of memories screaming to be told,” as a casual acquaintance would reckon. Thus, I was disconnected from the Asumen family for a while and have not completed the tedious and toilsome process of reconnecting.

**I recall vividly when we were in the process of writing grandpa’s grave marker that even father was not quite sure what grandfather’s formal name was. When one is in the process of establishing a new identity somewhat obfuscating formal labels vestigial of the old identity has its advantages.

In my personal memory banks, I have this to retrieve: My younger brother’s name Florencio was deemed to be derived from a combination of grandma’s name Florentina, and grandpa’s name presumed at the time, circa 1951 or 1952, to be Lorencio.

***Father was the only son of three siblings. Amongst grandpa’s direct descendants we count some Samontina’s and at least one Tadem as my immediate (first degree remote) Asumen-associated cousins.

Friday, May 21, 2010

In Search for Governing Virtues

Should I at all the path of danger brave,

The consequence to face sans bitter tears,

Let forfeiture not be that path conceive

Else all my days be litany of fears.

Virtue misplac'd there seems in arrogance

Misplacing virtue's reason's temperance!

-- The Schumann-Spinoza Sonnets

Time was, presidents were held to higher standards than comedians.

--George Will

But not at such a time as this, in the regime of Obama, when every presidential policy pronouncement on national security and wealth creation is so much more of an egregious nightmare, far worse than a distasteful bad joke. It is simultaneously sobering and disturbing to admit and realize the full implications of the fact that the two abortive attempts by Islamist jihadist at inflicting terror and injury on the country were aborted only due to the fortuitously gross incompetence of the perpetrators.

I refer to the attempted car bombing of Time Square in New York City and Drawers Omar, the underwear plane bomber in Detroit last Christmas. It is of course good to be so lucky. But for how long can the country's security be premised on primarily being lucky? How lucky can we get? Can we afford to giggle when one nice day, by sheer luck, we suddenly find ourselves not so lucky?

When major players in government, from President Obama himself, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security admit to having not read the Arizona Immigration Law and yet publicly proclaim it to be their duty to criticize, demonize and condemn that law, then we can be sure that intellectual honesty in the government is all but missing or considered an obsolete concept. Where and when honesty is wanting, the virtue of truth is the first casualty beyond redeem.

This is consistent with the pattern of behavior that allows, nay, compels lawmakers to vote on a legislation, as in the around 2,700 pages on ObamaCare, without the chance to read let alone analyze what they are voting on. That it has been openly been admitted to be the historically standard operating procedure for processing legislations only emphasizes the contempt of the government on the sensibilities and welfare of the governed.

The same mindset is grotesquely reflected in the President's choice of words. With a callousness that would make Henryk Sienkiewicz's Emperor Nero in Quo Vadis green with envy, President Obama decreed that he had the power to dictate how corporate chief executives should conduct themselves. This elicited nary a squeak of protest, rather almost an approbation of awe from the hallowed halls of punditocracy.

Addressing the principals of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, President
Obama proclaimed, (emphasis mine) "I will not tolerate more finger-pointing." It is outrageous that the media does not even recognize how inappropriate the word "tolerate" is in this context. Governance is not a matter of imposing all your whims and wishes. It is a matter of law and perhaps some unwritten codes of conduct or rules of engagement, some protocols of civility.
What did the POTUS mean by not tolerating oil executives' mode of engagement? He implied he has the power to just line them up against the wall and let loose the wrath of government with extreme prejudice. This is much worse than just a slippery slope. It is more of a Freudian slip by an obsessive-compulsive thug.
He effectively claimed there is no constraint whatsoever to what he can do, as President, to the country and the people. The intimidation factor is, if he is ready, willing and able to do it to the so-called big oil executives, there is no imaginable limit to what he might do to the hoi polloi, when expediency demands. Recall how easily he could, without as much as a blush, dump the Right Reverend Wright, his pastor and inspiration for two decades "
under the bus" when political expediency so ordained.
To add insult to injury, the country was treated to the spectacle of a President Calderon of Mexico bashing the format and content
of U.S. Immigration laws in the heretofore august halls of Congress. Among the personages delightfully giving him a standing ovation was the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, the very principal officer of the law who is supposed to be charged with the formulation and enforcement of our immigration policy.

That the Republicans could not muster enough pride and fortitude to walk out of the U.S.-vilifying speech in Congress speaks volumes for the spinelessness of the Republicans. That the U.S. citizenry did not sack Capitol Hill for the abominable spectacle is a tribute to how far civilization has advanced from the citizens and denizens of Rome as portrayed in Henryk Sienkiewicz's Quo Vadis. Or maybe it is only a testament to what straits America is going through to make ends meet in Obama's statist utopia.

As for me, from the smirk my president's face sported which seem to sing hallelujah that he has finally found himself a kindred spirit from a neighboring head of state, I was anticipating the POTUS to get down on his hands and knees and lick Calderon's shoes. Somebody has to celebrate the evidence that contrary to Robert Frost, even bad fences make good neighbors. Between Mexico and the United States we have nothing but miles and miles of bad fences to substitute for immigration policy.

The Basis for Governance

The Declaration of Independence is always a good starting point if one is in search of moorings for effective governance. Who would dare argue against "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as rights endowed by Divine Providence upon the individual? Once the country has gone astray off these enduring essential founding principles, prosperity becomes untenable and hegemony over anything would prove unsustainable, if not inconceivable.

In the absence of core principles on which the politics is based, a political party would tend to propitiate to the blatantly provincial and neurotic reflexes of the electorate, inevitably resulting in the most parochial policies imaginable, which can translate into the worst of all possible worlds. The political calculus is hopelessly reduced to a cost-benefit reckoning of the basest kind, at the most personal level.

The Trade Embargo on Cuba is one such parochial policy that illustrates this point. It has proved to be a colossal failure for decades through a succession of administrations of both Democrats and Republicans. It does not even lend itself to a titillating entertainment on prime time TV, notwithstanding the antics of Janet Reno and the paradoxically celebrated spectacle saga of Elian Gonzalez.

On the one hand, John P. Sweeney of
the Heritage Foundation, arguing (rather persuasively) for the continuance of the embargo, noted in 1994,

"Many Cuban women have turned to prostitution in a desperate effort to feed their children and families, since government rationing provides only half of the average family's monthly nutrition needs. . . . Many Cuban families now survive on one daily meal consisting of rice, beans, soy, and water. For months, Cubans have been deprived even of bath soap. Infectious diseases once thought to be eradicated, such as tuberculosis and malaria, are returning as Cuba's free health care system collapses. . . ."

On the other hand, fifteen years later, condemning President Obama's extension of the embargo, the Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan, echoed as follows,

". . . Cuba's inability to import nutritional products for consumption at schools, hospitals and day care centres is contributing to a high prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia.

"Although responsibility for providing adequate health care lies primarily with the Cuban authorities, governments imposing sanctions such as embargoes need to pay special attention to the impact they can have on the targeted country's population . . ."

It is at the very least noteworthy that both parties to the debate profusely cite the suffering of the Cuban people as supporting the rectitude of their respective positions on the issue. It behooves to emphasize that schadenfreude, no matter how poignantly delicious, has never been a fountain of political virtue.

The political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli long ago lucidly and painstakingly pointed out that politics devoid of virtue is never conducive to effective and successful governance. What does it take for the governing class to learn from the sages of history?

The twenty-first century version of the Boston Tea Party, or some creative variant thereof,

The Americans would now get their tea at a cheaper price than ever before. However, if the colonies paid the duty tax on the imported tea they would be acknowledging Parliament's right to tax them. Tea was a staple of colonial life - it was assumed that the colonists would rather pay the tax than deny themselves the pleasure of a cup of tea.

Perhaps we can dump mortgage-based securities instead. As it was tea to King George III, let's make it CDO (collateralized debt obligations)
to King Barack I, and maybe we can use the Potomac or the South Lawn in lieu of Boston Bay. Otherwise, shall future historians write, waxing nostalgic of the halcyon days of yore when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reigned supreme, thus:

The Americans would thenceforth get their tranquil and comfortable homes at a cheaper price than ever before, thanks mainly to the eternal benevolence of Obama the Messiah. "Allahu Akbar"!?!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Controversy on a Delicacy

The following post was originally emailed to the indicated address. It is posted herein in the interest of journalistic hygiene. It is this author’s belief that the best way to counteract falsehood of any kind in journalism is to air it out in public.

Exposure has the balmy effect of diminishing the putrescence of the lie. After the point was arrogantly ignored by the addressee, this appears to be the one remaining recourse. The parties of interest are of course welcome to comment on this blog post.

Sent to:

I would like to call your attention to a blog post of Monday, June 16, 2008, titled “Tamilok: The Longest 'Oyster',” credited to one Faith Salazar. The piece states, in part:
“. . . The word ‘tamilok’ was surprisingly coined by two Americans. They started calling one of their friends - "Tommy, look!", after seeing the locals eating the tree worm. The locals adopted this term to refer to this wood worm delicacy.”

I take umbrage at your assertion that the word "Tamilok" was coined by two Americans. It’s a claim devoid of any basis in reality. This is pure unadulterated nonsensical hogwash.

My grandfather pre-dated the arrival of the Americans (circa 1898) to the Philippines by a few decades. He passed on in 1957, at the tender age of 108 years old, one year after I graduated elementary school. He was in full command of his faculties and a healthy, fully functional set of teeth, until three days before he retired from his “mortal coil.”

That fateful day, the family gathered in the front yard unwinding from the day’s saga. We treated ourselves to a feast of wok-roasted corn kernels (sinangyag na mais) and freshly harvested sugar cane stalks, both definite challenges to the chewing skills.

Grandfather nonchalantly announced that he was getting old because he broke a tooth. He caught a high fever that night, slipped into a comma and passed on three days later without regaining any consciousness. He was a lifelong Tamilok-harvesting enthusiast.

Maybe because I was named after my father, I’ll never know. I just enjoyed the fact that he made me feel like I was his favorite grandson. At any rate, I was his favorite assistant in his Tamilok harvesting trips, before I started grade school, and through most of my primary school days.

He already called it Tamilok then. So did his father before him. Please try to be a little more demure when you venture to be creative and invent history, even if it might prove to be a lucrative marketing gimmick, spiced with xenophilia.

In the interest of “accuracy in advertising,” I enjoin you to correct the error as expeditiously as possible.
FYI: I posted a similar-tenor comment on the referenced blog post which you apparently chose to conveniently ignore.

Friday, May 7, 2010

There Must Be Something Special About It

While I was in the middle of my disappearing act, shortly before Rommel dug me up out of the Internet circa 1996, I had a dream in which you were a part. The strange thing about it was that you were the ONLY one who appeared in that dream of all my many nieces and nephews.

At that time, I was aware of a total of 13 nephews and nieces: 5 amongst your siblings, 3 from Manong Titing's brood, Lidel from Mana, John Manuel from Lita, and 3 from Flor's children, including Edmond. Then, I did not know anything about Mario's family.

I don't know what kind of significance you attach to dreams, but in my 66 years under the sun, this is one of only four such very vivid dream narratives which don't get washed off my reverie. It is the reason I want to tell you about it. So here it goes:

I was by myself having a late-lunch/snacks in an unknown ferry terminal restaurant to pass the time while waiting for my boat. Two tables away from me a party of five young people, 3 females and 2 males, were noticeably stealing glances my way.

Then one of the lovely young ladies approached me with singular determination and said: "excuse me if you find it rude, my name is Abet, I want to tell you that you look like you can be my long lost uncle." I was so pleasantly surprised. As soon as I started to register a glimmer of recognition of your appearance, I attempted to get up to give you a hug. But I woke up and the dream ended before I could hug you.

End of story. I believe I have related this to Rommel, somehow, when I first visited him in Florida. He did not seem to be very impressed about it.