the news that some of our relatives were coming in from iloilo had my sister scrambling to tell my brother to prepare for lunch. and it's not just an ordinary spread.

the night before, we had pata asado, pata hamonado, palabok overload, kinilaw and pancit canton that had more meats and ingredients compared to actual noodles. food that's going to keep one young, you see, you die early with that kind of fare.

to top it off, even my cousin who lives across the road reminded us to prepare for the visitors.

what the effing shit is that?

hearing them you would have thought we were preparing for some fiesta. my dad's gone the way of the dinosaur. extinct. kaput. dead. i didn't think it was right to make that as an excuse to do a feeding program for the horde!

click on read.more my brother complained that his budget is not going to reach an additional five days with the kind of food that's being served.

i looked him straight in the eye and said, so stop cooking like you're doing a catering service.

i mean i wanted to eat ginataan na kalabasa with uga (pumpkin in coconut cream with dried fish) but they effing care what people will think. well has it ever occurred to anyone that what matters most is what WE, the family, think? don't get me started on the pork. pork. more pork. a whole lot of pork and i have tried (very hard) to avoid eating pork.

some visitors would make it a point to come in exactly at a time when everyone's eating. today i refused to stand up from the table as i didn't want to experience another breakfast that extended beyond the expiration date of some medication on the shelf.

out of courtesy my siblings will tell them to grab a meal, they puff their chests, look down and say they have already eaten. so then, what's the effing point of coming over when we are just about to eat? so they can prove that they have had their meal?

then they sit down, ask the maids to bring them softdrinks, juice, coffee and dig in the sandwich pile like it's going to be the end of the world. right, they had their meals, they just wanted snacks.
last night one had the gall to ask if there was any dessert. and i was still eating.

i stood up, went to the kitchen, grabbed the pack of muscovado (unprocessed raw sugar), gave it to the relative and said: help yourself.

i mean seriously, would the guests have seriously minded if we prepared amargoso nga may itlog (bitter melon with egg)? what if we wanted to have utan na bisaya (mixed vegetables in clear soup)? and heaven forbid, what if we actually served chop suey where the vegetables actually outnumber the meat?

not all visitors are like that, i would have loved to think that they came to pay their last respect to my dad and not to sample the buffet meals. some of our guests and relatives who the past few months have been more than mere relatives and friends but actual partners in giving some love to my dad (they know who they are) are more than welcome to join our table, they don't complain about the food, they laugh with us, joke with us and more importantly know that we're celebrating dad's rest.

we literally save some food for dad's bestest friend (or what's left of the original group anyways) because we love him and his family. he sat with my dad while my dad's bedridden, he dozed off beside my dad, talked to him and listened to all my dad's secrets. sadly his plan to watch the pacquiao versus cotto game with dad is not going to happen.

i have cousins and relatives who stayed with dad in the hospital, visited him while he's sick and shared in the family's ordeal. they all deserve the grandest, bestest (if there's such a word), tastiest twenty one course spread in the world.

i am definitely sure they will enjoy the food, but if the food is not that grand, i am sure they would still enjoy the company of people that rarely get together. i shudder at the thought that the last memory they will have when each of them goes home is that they had the tastiest, grandest, buffet. or they were made to eat uga by the household.

then again, my family is partly to blame, we (not me) yielded to the pressure of having to prepare the engrande espesyal dishes.

i feel hostaged.


Anonymous said…
i see this happen all the time... it seems like some people visit you for the food instead of paying respect to the dead.. this irritates me too..
Erich Jao said…
One good thing about cutting off family ties, I ain't gonna have people like that coming over my wake... the problem may be the opposite though :)
Anonymous said…
Oh my! Good thing your still alive.
Cacho said…
hmmm, at least our family doesn't have to put up with this now. we're done.
Cacho said…
on a more introspective thought, i don't think i want to get the full royal treatment when my time comes. i'd rather be cremated then leave a nice portrait of myself. i look hedious in makeup. :P

that way my family doesn't have to go through the whole circus.

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