Last last week, I attended the funeral of my grandfather’s brother in the neighboring town. As the usual Filipino culture, the funeral of my grandfather is almost devoid of sadness and served as a big family reunion. There is a mini casino where my cousins played and bet on cards. Tables were set-up for visitors that tell stories about the dead and other things. The coffee and biscuits are being passed around by the hosts to help the visitors to stay awake.
Present in the funeral are the regulars like my grandparents, my aunts, uncles, and cousins. What surprised me is when I was introduced to my other relatives from Bicol. I couldn’t believe that I have many lolo and lola (grandfather and grandmother) whom I just met there for the first time. And that does not include all of my third to fourth degree uncles, aunts, and cousins that accompanied the lolos and lolas.
The members of our clan is too numerous! Christmas can’t bring the whole clan together but when an elder member of the family dies, all of my relatives from around the country will come to see the dead person one last time.
On that day, I discovered that I have a meteorologist cousin who is now working in PAGASA. She graduated in Ateneo de Manila through a scholarship. I did not know that while I am studying in the University of the Philippines, I have a relative that is also studying in a university that is just a jeepney ride away.
Add my Bicolano relatives to the ones I met in Davao and I say that our clan is quite widespread. Suddenly, my relatives become plenty. As many as the stars of the Milky Way.