Last week, I made my annual birthday call to my mom in the Philippines. I used to call her on my cellphone but this time I bought some international minutes from MagicJack and used internet telephony instead. I wanted to find out the difference in clarity between the two.
My timing was perfect because she just got back home from church. Mama said she received the birthday card and money I sent several weeks ago and thanked me for it. Whew! I’m glad that arrived safely. LBC has delivered once again. Mom reminded me that it was her 80th birthday and was thankful for reaching that age. She had planned on buying her friends dinner at Palmeras Restaurant as a sort of thanksgiving for becoming an Octogenarian. So we got to talking and she mentioned that she and three of her friends visited Camiguin Island in August. Imagine that! I was happy to hear that despite the pain in her knees, she was still able to travel a little bit. I asked her if she was able to attend the recent Notre Dame grand reunion. Unfortunately she missed it because nobody informed her. I’m sure the reason for the most part is the lack of electronic social networking for the older folks. So I told her about my own electronic social networking with my former high school classmates. Of course I brought up the topic of Nangka-Nangka, tamarung, and durian. Mom confirmed that tamarung was a throwaway fish that nobody bought, but since President Cory Aquino pushed for developing that industry during her term, the fish became more popular and has gone up in price since then. Other than Nangka-Nangka, mom said there were also tamarungs plying their trade a few houses behind ours and when I was a little boy, I yelled “tamarung!” at some of them because I didn’t know any better what that meant then. Wow! That’s something I don’t even remember.
Turning to the topic of durian, I told her that I had tasted durian again after about three decades. She said one our family friends has three durian trees and they bring her some from time to time when the fruit is in season. Dang! My mom eats better durian, goes on a vacation, and buys her friends dinner at one of the better restaurants in the city! She’s doing much better than I am, LOL!
Anyway, we talked so much that my mom’s throat got so dry that she started coughing. This was after all the longest we’ve talked on the phone. We usually only talk for about half an hour to 45 minutes and this lasted an hour and 20 minutes. Maybe because we had more interesting topics to talk about. Before we said our goodbyes, I asked her how the call sounded and she said it was crystal clear with no lag or choppiness, in contrast to our previous chats. I’m sure this was all due to my faster internet connection. Although we could have talked more, she had to rest her itchy throat and prepare for the day ahead to celebrate her eighth decade on earth with her friends. Happy birthday again Mama, with much love <B
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