Today, I remember the birthday of my maternal grandfather, my Apong Toti. When I was a kid, I remember being more excited about his birthday than mine. Besides, his celebration is much grander, complete with a huge cake, the lechon, and the videographer (it was really a big deal at that time. And everyone, even those in the province, would come. There was even a year when all of us, grandchildren, wore a uniform attire especially made for that special occasion. I pray to God that you can see it. When I woke up today, and saw that it's May 13, he immediately came to mind. Even if it's been more than a decade since we celebrated his last.
I love my apo and he loved me. Even as a kid, I knew that already. Why? Because every time I'd ask him for piso o dalawang piso, he would immediately reach for his pocket, and that he would not nag before giving it. I also knew he was proud of me because whenever he would ask about school and his diligent grandchild would say something positive, he would say, "ang galing galing talaga ng apo ko". He may have said that to all his grandchildren, but I cherish those words until today. And you would not believe how those very words still inspire me in a great sense after all these years. The only thing is I will forever be sorry for the idea that I never got the chance to treat him out or to give him something really nice. He passed away when I was in first year high school, when I didn't have money yet and didn’t know much about showing appreciation. I guess that's just one of those regrets that I have to deal with in this life. Nevertheless, I know in my heart that he continues to be proud of me, as his absence still inspires me.
They say a Friday that falls on the 13th brings bad luck. But on this supposed cursed day, it's only love and happy childhood times that I remember.
Apo, you are missed.
One of those happier days