Sunday is for Grandmother Santisima…

My mom couldn’t remember where she kept the title of our house and lot property so, Cecil and I rushed to look for it this morning inside the heavy “kaha de yero” in her bedroom.

I detest being sent into events like this because I do not like moving with urgent haste, particularly if it’s about looking for something very important. A property title is of great value, and losing it means we would have to go through extremely thorough processes for re-issuance.

I’ve already asked how it’s going to be from a friend earlier, and I was told I need to go to this, to that, through this, through that — I got dizzy trying to remember everything.

Bureaucracy remains an uncontrollable disease in my country; I’d hate to be a victim of it where our property is concerned. Fortunately, my sister, who is more enduring than I am these days, found it without difficulty.

Thank goodness, that “kaha de yero” is a nightmare for me.

Aside from the property title, she also found a letter I wrote to my grandmother Santisima (my mom’s mother) in 1988; several weeks before my high school graduation. I got emotional because I wrote it when I was in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and I used a paper that I merely tore from my notebook.

My writing was very legible, and I was requesting her to travel to Vigan, where I finished my high school at the University of Northern Philippines. But my lola then was already ailing; diabetes had slowed her down, and from my letter, I wasn’t sure if she could come.

I also requested her to talk to my mother because I heard from my dad that she was always arguing with him even on trivial matters. Recalling the year made me laugh and cry at the same time. I do miss her a lot, and I really learned from her when I was growing up.

It’s vivid — bright and very distinct — in my memory a particular summer day when she had cut out the letters of the alphabet (from A to Z) from her magazines, and she fed them to me, mixing them in the bowl of arroz caldo (congee) I was eating.

My mom was cool about it maybe from experience, but my dad freaked out, thinking it’s going to make me sick. However, my grandmother was insistent and firm that feeding me with the cut out alphabets would make me smarter, speak and write intelligently, think wisely, reason logically, and all that.

Crazy, isn’t it?

Well, today, I am a journalist in my city so, I write; I believe I am smarter enough not to be duped into anything crazy; I think wisely enough too, and reason logically.

There was also a time when one lunch time, she was feeding us grilled asses (hahaha!) of pork, chicken and beef. My dad panicked again, but she said they would help us become better speakers in front of audiences when we grow as adults. Go figure!

Today, I am a certified trainer on leadership and values, and team building. I have no stage fright when it comes to speaking in front of the public, and I had already been a spokesperson for a candidate for governor in my province.

Go figure again!

They did help me, right? Gee… 

I miss my grandmother Santisima, even if when we were growing up, we thought it was really hard for us. She was a disciplinarian, and she made sure we learn a lot of things like cooking, washing the dishes, doing our own laundry, reading and reading some more, doing crossword puzzles, connecting the dots, baking, going to the market, fixing our own bedroom, budgeting, and more and more.