OUTREACH PROGRAM; Bahay Pag-ibig (home for the aged).. I’ve visited there before. But that was when my grandparents were still here with us. Going back is not easy. Not when you lose someone like them. I mean lolo’s and lola’s (grandparents).
I find it hard to talk to them at first. Because I haven’t talk with lolo’s and lola’s for a long time since my grandparents went to the latter world. Staring at them, staring at their faces, I remember my Inay and Tatay. We grew up with our grandparents always on our side. They have fed us with so much love. A love we didn’t ask, a love they simply gave without much ado. Memories of both of them came pouring in. I felt the tears in my eyes but I decided to fight and unsuccessfully block my memories of them..
I remember my Tatay’s favorite story; his pandesal story!
He was just a student. Their class was all sleepy so their teacher decided to..;
Teacher: Stand up! (They did as what their teacher says) And
They jumped! Tatay jumped too and as he jump, the pandesal in the pocket of his shorts jump too! And there’s nothing he can do. He managed to quietly say;
Tatay: Goodbye my dear pandesal!
Recess time: He didn’t eat anything. Their teacher asked whose pandesal was that. But because the pandesal didn’t have any stuffing at all, he was shy to admit that it was his baon so he just stayed quiet and didn’t ate anything.
Whenever Tatay tells this story to us, to our classmates, to our friends, we all end up laughing. Once he started this pandesal story, he’ll repeat it again and again and we’ll laugh again and again as if it is the first time we’ve heard the said story.
Tatay has teached us also the following sentences;
Tino locked the door.
Dina caught the fish.
Sinon took the ball.
Pina tie the pig.
He’ll ask what those sentences were; filipino or english? He even said that when our teacher asks for sentences, we can give these. Hahaha.
Inay on the other hand didn’t have those kind of stories. But I remember she told a story about her and Tatay. She said there was this one time (they were not yet married) when she cried and when Tatay asked why she was crying, she answered; because you’re leaving. Hahaha.
Inay has a big impact on what I believe in now. She influenced me things in a good way. I was her girl. I always adore her. Her calmness, her beliefs, her understanding, everything about her..
Back to the lolo’s and lola’s in Bahay Pag-ibig.. After a few moments, I managed to talk to some of them somehow.
One of the lola’s said she was a tailor before she was brought there. She just stopped because she got problems with her eyes. One of her eyes was totally blind while the other was slightly blind. She said she was 87 and she was living there since she was 69. It’s been 18 years! She was living her life there for 18 years with other lolo’s and lola‘s.
Two of the lola’s have sang for us (: And again my Tatay’s Japanese song suddenly plays in my mind.
What an experience that was. It was really different. My heart was pricked. I was touched. I find myself asking, where are their families? I didn’t ask it to them for the sake of respect. But where are their families really? Were they abandoned there? Ohh please I didn’t want to think of worse things..
I’m missing Inay and Tatay.. -.-
I can say, I found another family here, the UPAEMS (:
“Ohana means family! And family means nobody gets left behind.
(Lilo & Stitch)