Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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I like for you to be still*

These days I prefer silence.
People and places feel far away and I am adrift.
Home is at the tip of my tongue.

*line from Pablo Neruda's "I like for you to be still"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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A note on my grandmother

How have you all been this long weekend? I'm writing from home, and I think this is the first time in many visits that I'm not worrying about school or work.

I've been spending time with my family, remembering loved ones who have passed on. I especially miss my grandmother, because November 1st actually reminds me of her. When I was much younger, she used to marshal our big family off to the cemetery every year to visit the graves of our lolos and lolas. It would be a day-long event, with her in the thick of everything. She would have my titas pack Marie biscuits and bottles of Coke so we wouldn't go hungry during our expedition. Apart from the candles and flowers, we would bring brooms to clean the family plot. It was a busy scene: the adults chattering amid tidying up and the children playing with candle wax until someone got burned. Sometime during the day, my grandmother would bring me and my cousins along for a walk through the bustling cemetery. We would call on relatives and family friends, my cousins and I inducing the customary exclamations of "Nagdadakkel dan!" (Look how big they've grown!). Often, we would run into this ancient great-uncle who always looked spiffy in a brown suit. She was a real family woman, my grandmother. On the day we are supposed to remember the dead, she made it a point to bring together the living.
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