Graduations, gatherings, memories | Inquirer News

Graduations, gatherings, memories

/ 06:30 AM June 15, 2012

Mansfield, Texas—With time seeming to be passing by much faster than it used to, and with so many significant events happening one after another in this particular midmonth at this midyear that is today, let me also try to share with you here, the more memorable.

To repeat parts of what I mentioned last week, last June 3rd, I came here to the States where I now write this, for a three-month vacation here, on the invitation of my resident children here. This, after having finished early on and submitted way ahead of deadline time, last week.


My children actually wanted us to be together in celebrating special occasions for some family members.

June 6th, Antonio’s birthday was celebrated very quietly, with a little birthday eve family party, prepared by his wife, Rebecca, a good cook, being especially a working nurse, a good wife, and a devoted mother to her three smart young growing daughters. The celebration on his birthday was actually a late lunch after his daughters came home from school, from kindergarten, from fifth grade, and a special school.


On Sunday, June 10th, Amelia flew in from Mansfield in Texas where she works as a nurse in a hospital. She was expected to join us, me on a visit from Cebu, Antonio and family who reside in Los Angeles, my late daughter Raquel’s family of her husband and three children in San Diego, before we two, Amelia and I fly to her residence in Texas.

On June 11th, in the morning, we all attended the graduation from kindergarten of Caryl, their youngest daughter. The school auditorium was filled with parents and their children, carrying multicolored shining and glittering balloons, flower bouquets and gifts for their graduating young ones. The ceremony, which started on time, was brief and simple, but most colorful and meaningful. As their principal made opening announcements, acknowledgements and congratulations, she called out each child by name as they then marched in onto the stage with their colorful shirts. Those in red, Caryl, the smallest, among them, took the top tier, the others occupied the following tiers down to the lowest, in green, orange, yellow and green, (was there also in blue?), one color to a tier. They sang their class and school song with appropriate arm and hand gestures in unison. After all that, they were warmly applauded, came down and joined their families and guests out to the covered schoolyard for food, gifts and getting together.

Later, together with Amelia, we went to a getting together of families, relatives and friends in mourning for the death of Juanita “Juaning” Rodriguez, aged 94, a beloved unmarried figurative head of the respected Rodriguez family of my daughter-in-law Rebecca, my son Antonio’s wife. Juaning Rodriguez, a longtime Los Angeles resident, belongs to the family of the late respected patriarch Quirino Rodriguez, whose building at the corner of Jones Avenue and Colon streets in commercial downtown Cebu City bears his name.

Here in the States, a resident’s death’s wake some days after their death, is not held in their residence but in a mortuary, where viewing is held at particular hours of early evening on designated evenings, followed by interment on the day after the last evening of viewing. This is how it also went with my daughter Raquel’s death in San Diego January last year.

At the gathering for Juaning, I met people, now San Diego residents, whom I knew from way back to when I was working at radio dyRC before martial law was declared and it was shut down for a few years. One of them was Ms Meding Cuevas who then worked with the Tourism Department in Cebu City. I used to help with publicity on the air for activities of her department.

Another, Ms Miling Jariol, whose late mother, then a prominent and very active civic and religious leader, I also used to help with publicity for the latter’s civic and religious activities.

Later back at home with Antonio, Rebeca and the children, and Amelia, Rebecca decided to host a play tea party in honor of Caryl on her graduation. She prepared colorful woven straw hats for us to wear, as Lady Caryl, Lady Caitlin, Lady Amelia, Lady Miling who had come with us, Lady Rebecca and myself as Lady Virginia. There was real hot tea in a miniature little white and blue teapot and milk pitcher, teacups! And Lady Rebecca did the initial tea pouring ceremony before we all drank our tea! With which we ate the colorful delicious tea party tidbits prepared by Lady Rebecca. What fun it all was!


On June 12th, the Filipino papers published in California reported that June 12th, Philippine Independence Day, in the States, particularly in California, was celebrated with honors at memorials to our Filipino heroes, and celebrations, parties, get-togethers by Filipino residents, now American citizens among man others. While I have not been able to attend any of these, I am glad to know about them through the media.

That day, June 12th, Antonio drove Amelia and myself to San Diego where Raquel and Jing’s youngest child Jenelle was graduating from fifth grade. That and other exciting family celebrations later in Mansfield, Texas, where I now write this, as well as other news developments, will hold until next week.

Till then, here’s praying for God’s blessing on us, one and all!

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