The idea of visiting my aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces from my father's side was conceived last November.
I have my little boy already and since my cousins have their own kids, too, I thought why not see them for the holidays and get re-acquainted.
Supposedly, meeting them would took place last December but my brother (together with wifey and less than year old baby Aira, whom we haven't met yet) then would be flying home from overseas and said to postpone it because he would love to join my game plan. LOL.
Last January 2, we headed to Pasig City and visited every family's home. We came bearing holiday presents for the kids and seeing old and new faces was sheer joy.
First stop was at Tita Lydia's house:
from left, seated: cousin Jean, moi, my little boy Miguel,
niece Jam, Bambi, SIL Ayin and Baby Aira
Left photo: the young ones with the ladies in black
Ayin, Baby Aira, Jepoy
Left photo: younger generation of the
Manalansan, Samboa and Casagnap Family
Second stop was at my cousin Kuya Richard's house:
standing, back: Bambi, Apol, Jepoy
Left photo: another group shot
Before we proceeded to our next destination, we decided to have our late lunch at three o'clock in the afternoon at Jollibee. While everybody had chicken, I ordered their crispy bangus (most of the time, it is unavailable and my craving made me order it) and oh boy, it was worth it. Truly crispy, crunchy and oh so satisfying! :)
With our stomachs full, we headed to our nearby destination.
Third stop was at Tita Grace's house:
Bambi, little Miguel, Ayin, Baby Aira, Jepoy
Left photo: another group shot
Fourth stop was at Tita Linda's house:
Tito Bernie, nephew JM (seated on the floor), cousin Stephen (seated on the floor)
Final stop was at my cousin Noel's beautiful home:
cousin Noel (standing) with kiddo EJ 1
Ayin carrying sleeping beauty Baby Aira
What I have in mind in bullet points:
- My little boy Miguel is only game to have his photo taken when it is a group shot or when it is with his cousin Jam (the two bonded during our Cebu trip).
- My niece Jam is always ready to project in front of the camera. :)
- Baby Aira became the true little darling of the family since it was everybody's first time to meet her and she wowed them with her infectious smile and little giggles.
- It felt great to see my cousin Richard. He's been sick for quite a while. But it was endearing to see him play with his kiddo Apollo.
- For the first time, I met Apol (cousin's wife) face to face. I first saw her during my dear departed Grandma's birthday celebration and the next was during last year's family reunion. We were never introduced back then.
- Nothing beats total enjoyment for two little kids of almost the same age than to play together with their toy race cars. Miguel cried when I said that it was time to go (I know, I'm such a killjoy). He and his cousin Apollo seemed to be having a great time. He would rather see me leave him there than to join us in our next home-hopping.
- Wished I could have seen Tito Joe but he was unavailable. It has been a long time.
- Every house we hopped in to had food served in front of us. We did not partake much because we were quite full then.
- Learned from Tita Grace that having an internet shop is not a wise choice for a business venture these days. With all the available and affordable options a house can have when it comes to computers and internet connections, there is no way for you to survive the competition or even get the venture stand on its feet.
- I was so surprised that the little bundles (Yeyet, JB) I used to know have grown past me (my height...hehehe). I'm sure Kuya Berlyn is happy from up there, seeing his kids growing up so well. They are lucky to have adoring grandparents Tita Linda and Tito Bernie to take care of them.
- I loved Noel's homey neighborhood. It look so perfect when it comes to raising kids. Wish I can have my own house in a place like that. :p
- It was another first...meeting Ofel (cousin's wife). I believed it was our very first meeting and she was nice and very accommodating.
- My little Miguel was overjoyed to meet another cousin(s) in EJ 1 & 2. They got lots of toys, too. Like Miguel, both kids owned a roomful of toys. :)
- I found it hard to get three little kids together in one photo but the little toy train and its train tracks gathered them together in one frame, even though they did not want to face the camera.
- Seven to eight hours of doing this was not enough. Period.
- It really pays to have a car handy in times like this. It would have been disastrous, time and energy-consuming if we were to commute.
- Engaging in this kind of activity with my siblings was a fun thing to do. After all, it is usually a once-in-a-blue-moon thing since the one live overseas while the other lives some cities away. Hehehe. It was made exciting all the more with my sister-in-law with her baby and my little boy.
Truthfully, I initiated this uber-mini reunion because I want to rebuild ties with the family. I simply want to detach myself from the family conflict that has been brewing for years. All I know is that my generation has nothing to do with it; more so, my son's generation. It was ultra short notice but I cared about seeing them. For me, it was a great way to start my 2011. :)
By the way, we also dropped by my sister-in-law's house nearby to refresh. Hehehe. Afterwards, we hit SM Megamall to wander and shop.