groovy grandparents

my grandmother turns 78 today. we call her "nanay elving."

what is she doing beside all these shoes, though? i had her pose by the "ukay-ukay" (imported, second-hand items from countries such as korea, japan or taiwan) stalls in polomolok's public market in south cotabato when we visited her only remaining sibling after DECADES. more about polomolok's foot fetish in the ukay-ukay department in a future post.

it's amazing how a death in the family (my nanay elving's sister) can bring together relatives you never knew existed, or have only known by name, such as my nanay elving's younger brother, lolo caloy. we had flown to mindanao to visit him after the funeral. here they are in polomolok's pineapple farms, most of which are owned by dole pineapples. (dole operates a cannery plant here)


lolo caloy had left his native capiz as a teenager to migrate to south cotabato, where he had lived for the rest of his life. there, he served as a barangay captain and kagawad (councilor) for many years. when we visited his home in polomolok, he proudly showed me a laminated photo of him as a younger man shaking hands with then president ferdinand marcos.

lolo caloy is cebuano-speaking, which was a challenge for my ilonggo familiarity. thankfully, the people there are used to the mixture of dialects that they understood me when i spoke ilonggo although they would reply in cebuano. i found out that with a willing ear, i understood the essence of their cebuano sentences.

i should say, really that lolo caloy is groovier than my nanay elving. maybe it's because he's younger. oh, but he's also quite the comedic storyteller. an avid ballroom-dancer, too, especially when he was younger. he says he danced a lot in town fiestas, part of the perks of being a town official.

"come stay and work here, i'll find you a lawyer husband...sons of datus, even!" he joked to me in cebuano. the invitation to stay sounded sincere, as one would expect from a grandfather who just wants the company of family.

life maybe short, but i hope somehow we still see each other in polomolok. one doesn't know a person in just two days (the span of our trip there).

4 vandalized my wall:

Anonymous said...

Those 2 days must have been fun and full of fond moments :)

Anonymous said...

yes, people in South Cotabato essentially understands Ilonggo because a lot of residents there have Ilonggo origins. Na-miss ko tuloy grandparents ko sa kuwento mo, wala na kasi sila. Seems you need longer time in Polomok to be with your relatives:)

punky said...

ui ang laki ng pinya farm!

fortuitous faery said...

julie: bitin ang 2 days! hehe. but it was fun, nonetheless.

marites: sorry to hear your grandparents are no longer here. yes, i learned about that fact, too. my lolo caloy is one of those ilonggos who migrated to mindanao! it's amazing that people there are multilingual.

punky: yup, malaki nga...that's just ONE farm in the picture!

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