Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Calls To Mom in the Philippines

Ok, so this blog appears to have taken a vacation over the Christmas week. Either that or I was being lazy or even maybe I ran out of things to talk about in my uninteresting and boring life. This is probably the month in the past couple of years that I have posted the least.
Would you believe that I talked to my mom in the Philippines two days in a row? On Christmas Eve and Christmas day there (they are 16 hours ahead of the U.S.), I was able to get in touch with her on the phone which is a Christmas miracle in itself, because all the Filipinos in the U.S. seems to be calling there at the same time the whole day. It’s not a surprise if you get a busy signal or the call doesn’t connect at all on Christmas day. So the first time on Christmas Eve, we talked about our holiday plans – any party invitations or going to church. She said her only plan was to go to mass and have a quiet Christmas at home, which didn’t turn out that way (I’ll tell you more about that later). During the call, it occurred to me to ask her how she and my father met. During elementary school before World War 2, they were schoolmates but other than that, they didn’t really talk to each other, she said. After surviving the war and finishing high school, my mother started working in the box office of a movie theater in Jolo, Sulu, Philippines, with my dad’s mother. That’s when they really started talking and the courtship began. My dad would often go the theater to pick up my grandmother and when he drove his passengers (my dad was a jeepney driver at the time) in the part of town where mom lived, he would stop by and visit. I wish we were able to get into more details but the long distance call was getting lengthy. I hope I would be able to explore that part of mom’s life at a later date and ask her about things we never knew while growing up.
The next day, Christmas Eve here and Christmas day there, I tried calling my mom again while I was at a family party at my uncle’s house. The first three tries, nobody answered maybe because mom was still in church or the call didn’t go through. When she finally answered, she said she had gone to church and was invited to lunch by very close family friends (that's her in the red dress, with the Pabellon Family and their Christmas at KFC - photo courtesy of Jing :-)) , after which she went home to prepare to go to another party. I tell you, my mom has a more active social life than I do despite her osteoporosis and osteoarthritis J. During the call, I passed around my cell phone to my relatives to talk to mom, not caring about minutes because it was Christmas after all and it’s not often that they talk to her. Since she rarely gets to talk to them, I’m sure she was pretty happy about that. Soon we had to say our goodbyes again so she could rest before her next party (she is 79 after all), while we continued our festivities here. The dinner feast consisted of kulma (a native Tausug dish related to curry), potato/macaroni salad, ham, turkey ham, lumpia shanghai, bistek, kilawin shrimp, poached salmon, fruit salad, pecan pie, ube, lemon cheesecake, and cream puffs, plus others that I don’t remember anymore. It was a gustatory and calorie ridden delight!
          As I end this post, let me ask you: how did you spend your Christmas and have you ever asked your parents how they met and got married?

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larrydlp said...

Kuya! Thanks for sharing this. I spoke with Mama after you called her Christmas eve. We talked about our favorite dishes she used to prepare during special occasions. I still miss her pumpkin pie.

It's 6:00pm New year's eve here now and will be calling her in a few minutes.

Happy New Year to you and everyone Stateside!

java ukigoshi said...

happy new years

java said...

happy new years

j7 said...

happy new years