I heard the sad news that Inang, my grandmother has passed away early this morning. Just like my grandfather, she wanted to go back to our ancestral home in Nueva Ecija and the night the she arrived, as if recognizing that she is already at home and everything is where it should be, she moved to the eternal plane of existence. Inang has lived a long wonderful life, full of prayer and hopes, full of positivity and dreams. I best remember her for her soft voice and every time we visited her with my dad, she will be smiling and happy. She would whisper to our ears, “Magdasal lang tayo, lahat ay magtagumpay.” (Let us all pray that everyone will have success) She had always been a positive person and I have never heard any bad sentiments from her. She and my grandfather prayed a lot and it is because of them that I learned that the Angelus is a prayer done at a specific time in a day. They were always tuned in the AM radio, listen to some radio broadcasting series in the afternoon and by 6pm, we knew it was time to pray.
Over the weekend, while I was walking in our neighborhood in Tiong Bahru, I saw Cecil, an old woman who fed the cats in the area. She became our friend a couple of months ago because Jose saw her daily efforts of doing this act of kindness to these stray cats. We helped her out with her chores we also helped her pay for cat castration so that they will not overpopulate. (Its the more humane thing to do here in Singapore). She told me that she and her husband has already moved out of Tiong Bahru to live nearer their son in Potong Pasir, a place quite far from where we stay now. She told me that she is still devoted to come to the neighborhood to do what she does. I smiled and said we should have dinner one of these days, she can come by the house once she is free. This gesture from me is an honest one, I see in her the kindness and determination similar to my grandmother and that is a rarity that I find here in Singapore.
I have also started to meet up with my closest friends, to have some time with them before I go for my journey to Germany. I know for a fact that most of them will not be able to see me when I go there and there is a possibility that they too will make their own life choices while I am gone. They might move to another country, or move back to Manila or move to another office. The future holds so many possibilities and I would just like to capture now – you are important to me and we should celebrate our friendship before I leave.
I guess my trend of thought in this blog is this: These seemingly unconnected events remind me of the idea of leaving and living, saying goodbye and remembering. Life moves and we move with it and we just have to establish some points and say thank you to those who have made impact to our lives.We are like a human pyramid, our lives are so interconnected that when we really think about it, our success is not just ours. It is the culmination of dreams of many, acts of some and our own personal choices. Underneath our feet are the support and strength of those who love us and those who are constantly trying to help us in our goals. In this journey that I am taking, I have with me the prayers of my Inang, the steady pace of my Tatang, the hard work and determination of my father, the pursuit of knowledge that my mother has imbibed and the love of my whole family. I have my ate’s zest for life, my ditse’s intelligence, my kuya’s practical advice and Jose’s patience, his happiness and ultimate support.
I bring with me the dreams of my landscape architect colleagues, the aspirations of those who dare to dream and the joy of those who I may not know now but are there for me when the right time comes. I have the spirit of the divine guiding me, the souls of my departed loved ones carrying me to places and I stand here not just by myself but with the hearts of many. It is with hope that I want to share my Inang’s kind words – “Magdasal lang tayo, lahat ay magtagumpay.”