Skip to main content

Not all bad news

Visiting my aunt was depressing. She is sick.. terminally. She and my mama are the only surviving siblings. My Aunt is the eldest and my mother the youngest daughter. Her last visit to Manila was 2 years ago. She used to take time out from her provincial domesticities to visit my mother in the city who has been afflicted with glaucoma.

Just writing about this now turns my stomach in circles.. Add  is the condition of 64 year old my male cousin, only son of my deceased Aunt. He too is sick. He recently had a stroke and could no longer fend for himself.. even his hygienics had been continously compromised. My aunt who is now terminally ill was the one taking care of him for the longest time, and not that the inevitable is about to happen, there remains no one to take care of him..

My three remaining cousins from  this lineage have concerns of their own:-(

Good vibes please..  the trip was marked somehow with a flicker of hope.  Knowing we were around, relatives who we haven't seen and never met before asked us to come to attend our,  it turns out our second cousin's wedding. Now that is one positive news!


The  newly weds
Lola Rosa is the wife of my mama's uncle, Quirino Melad. My Lolo Quirino has passed away  a long time before. I remember him as someone who gifted me with a black piglet during his first visit in our house. I was 7 years old then.  He told me, "you feed the piglet very well so he grows fast in time for Christmas lechon, " funny thing is the pig escaped before he can grow.. har har.. fine memories which somehow uplifts my spirit today..

My Lola Rosa in orange, my Mama in  printed black blouse and Lola Rosa's children

Popular posts from this blog

The Ibanag Family in Retrospect

The Ibanags just like most Filipino groupings are matriarchal. When my mother was younger she wielded a power over me that forced my tongue in check whenever she gave me a scolding or admonition for a real or imagined “wrongdoing”.

No one ever talks back. Let alone me. I can not recall if there ever was an instance when I mastered enough courage to explain anything even when there was a chance to do so. But it sure did happen one day when I was already 26 years old and had 2 children. Swell. :-)

The elderly are treated with respect in the Ibanag culture. Deference is essential if not required and is lavishly displayed and shown. Proper language and the right tone of voice characterize conversations with the elders. It is not uncommon to take the elder’s hand, bring it to the forehead or kiss the hand to show courtesy and respect.

Women are venerated in the Ibanag family. Most of the time they have the last say in decisions involving family affairs. Although Filipinas are kn…

Learn the Ibanag dialect?

As I mentioned in one of my prior posts somewhere in one of my blogs, the Ibanag dialect is somewhat difficult to learn because when you speak it you can sound like a chirping bird :-)

I learned the dialect by just hearing it from my Mother who use it everytime her relatives come to our home to visit. And this was not that often. You see, her relatives from Isabela, that's where she was born, come to spend their vacation with us every summer, yes the whole summer months. And yes, EVERY summer of EVERY year. Well, they don't come empty handed. They bring sacks of rice, ample stocks of meat enough to feed all of us for 1 month. They bring live animals too, like chicken, piglets, not to mention baskets of fruits and vegetables, even our neighbors get their share.

Wherever Ibanags are, you know they are around because they are so loud and so noisy. They have this habit of speaking all at the same time :-)Sigh. Now if that is not enough reason for anyone to learn the dialect, I …

Ibanag and Filipino Childbirth Rituals

"For parents, birth rituals and ceremonies provide an immediate sense of connection as well as inclusion of the child into the clan, tribe or community. These rituals establish at a very early stage, who they are. The rituals also serve as guideposts as they grow and develop their own sense of identity. Even if they drift away from or reject their heritage, their early experiences give them a place to return to if they so choose".

The Ibanag culture is filled with childbearing rituals and practices which have been handed down from one generation to another. Here are some of them.

1. It is said that if a pregnant woman has a lot of blemishes or pimples on her face, her baby will be a girl.
2. If the mother glows and radiates beauty, the baby will be a boy.
3. If the mother craves for sweets and other carbohydrates, the baby will be a girl.
4. If the mother is craving for oily or fried foods, the baby will be a boy.
5. The mother should not eat 'balut' (a native duck egg d…