my sister asked me to read her letter to papang, she felt scared she'd break down in the middle of her love letter. i suspect the real reason is that she won't be able to reach the podium becuase of her height.
most people don't know me in town. i left at a very young age, studied in bacolod and manila, left the country and settled in cebu. i stood in front of them without really knowing what to say or how to introduce myself.
considering dad's reputation as something of a ladies' man, i told everyone: many people ask who i am when they come visit the house, i tell them that i am the youngest of seven. hopefully.
turning towards my eldest half brother, i told the crowd: manong cesar is the eldest of the siblings... probably.
click on read.more at one point when the mood was so solemn, i turned towards tita jasmin and said: tita can you play dad's favourite song? To All the Girls I Loved Before.
i acknowledged dad's remaining three siblings, i told them, Tito Jhonny, Tita Neneng and Tito Joaquin, dad told me he won't be contesting the title "The Last One Standing". three out of nineteen, the last remaining link to a generation that spawned the tagamolila-gonzalez clan.
later in the evening, i told tita neneng that it was me who pulled a prank the previous night when i used dad's cell phone to send her a text message: I'm hir na, wer na u?
oh how she laughed. but i felt my heart break a thousand pieces when i saw her hunched in her seat in church, her shoulders heaving as tears fell.
dad would have loved the show, he loved a GREAT show. a couple of people approached us and commented that it was run very well, organized, efficient, solemn, funny and poignant. i told them, we've had practice. that or we could have charged admission and donated the proceed to little way seminary. my dad loved that place.
people nodded their heads and some averted their eyes when i pointed out that dad would have appreciated all the good things we said about him if we was still there to hear these things.
towards the end, it was heart breaking to see the workers from our farm come pay their last respect to dad. hardened and burnt men and women filed by the coffin and cried. i can't believe that all three hundred packets of food got wiped out during the burial, i suspected tita XXXX swipe a dozen to take home. she does that every single night.
the fiesta has ended, no more endless supply of coffee, sandwiches and tons of relatives dropping by the house. the silence is deafening.
on the other hand, it was clear at the end that we are not mourning his death, we are celebrating his life.
hey pops, give my regards to mom.