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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Great Weekend

We're back! Baby Gaby and I spent a great weekend over there at Papa Ghie's place. Although the 1 1/2 hour travel was a little tiring, it all paid off when I saw how happy Papa Ghie's mom and dad (my in-laws so to speak) to see the baby in between. We left our place around 9:30 A.M. and since their place is almost 40 kilometers away from our place, seeing this sign gave me a feeling of relief.

Papa Ghie's hometown is in Manito (Tinapian in particular) - a 5th class municipality located on the eastern part of Albay. Although there are no major landmarks to visit in their place, spending a nice weekend or a vacation there will give you that "close-to-nature" feeling because it's away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Anyway, moving on, since we arrived near lunch time, Papa Ghie's mom (now I called Ma as well.hehehe) prepared a simple yet such a delicious meal for a city girl (city girl chos!lols) like me (perhaps I was just too hungry that's why it tasted so good.LOLs). Actually, it was only fried fish, but I don't know why it tasted so different from the fried fish that I eat here in the city. Ma said that the fish was very fresh, and got it from "bunuan". (Hmmm.. I forgot the exact meaning of this one, I'll ask Papa Ghie later) But anyway, I did have a hearty lunch and felt like taking a siesta after since the atmosphere there was very relaxing. But then, I didn't want to waste time so I went to his cousin's place instead to say hi.

After having a nice conversation plus a short videoke session with Papa Ghie's cousins namely Tonet, Nonet, Tate, Me-ann, RJ, and others which I forgot the name, I went back to Ma's house to see what's cooking. You see last Sunday, May 4, was also Baby Gaby's 6th month birthday so I brought a cake and Ma cooked "pancit" and "biko". When the foods were ready, we invited some of Ma's relatives to join us in celebrating Gaby's monthly birthday. Here are some of the pictures that I took:

(Yummy! My cake looks delicious. YumYum!)

(Mommy blowing the cake for me)

(6 Months Old Baby Gaby)

Overall, the celebration was superb (though the food was limited) and I was glad to see Papa Ghie's relatives happy especially when Baby Gaby flashes her adorable smile.

After the "small birthday party", I spent the remaining day talking with some of his cousins. They told me that Baby Gaby looks more like her dad and that they found her so cute with those dimples and big round eyes. Of course, as a mommy, I felt super proud. I did not even expect Gaby to be so friendly during that day, smiling to everyone as if she had seen them before.

At night, nothing was left much to do for me since most of his cousins went to this "dance party" (chos! dance party.lols) or what we simply call here as "baraylehan" or "kurudalan". In rural areas, "fiestas" are very popular, and during the "disperas" or that night before the day of the fiesta, a "dance" is held. Supposedly, I'd go together with his cousins, but since Gaby's nanny also wanted to be there, I just stayed home and babysit Gaby.

Okay, the next day, Ma and I went to Bagong Sirang, a part of Tinapian, to attend the fiesta. I never expected it to be so much fun, yet a bit exhausting. Under the excruciating heat of the sun, we went "house-hopping" (hahaha!), on which each house that we entered, foods were readily served at the table. Yum-yum! Hmmm..Let me count how many houses we think, all in all there were 8 houses, on which I only remembered 4 names of the owners..hehehe...(bad Bhem) But anyway, I did enjoy the foods that they served (hey, I didn't eat in all 8, only in 7 I think. hahaha)

At around 2:00P.M., exhausted and full, Ma, Tiya Glice, Tiya Nelicia, Ate Vangie, and I decided to go home. When we reached home, I saw Ghie's cousins already busy preparing for the birthday celebration of Pay Pael - Ghie's grandfather. The "pabitin" and "palayok" were already hanging, and the streamer and other decorations were already in place. It was Pay's 87th birthday yet the theme of the party seemed to be for a kid's 1st birthday..weee! But it's actually a nice idea since Pay has a lot of grandchildren who are kids at heart and well, great grandchildren with ages ranging from 6 months to 5 years old (with Baby Gaby as the youngest, the newest addition to the Sibuyo family).

Pay's birthday celebration started with a thanksgiving mass held at the house of Pay's daughter, Tiya Vivian. I was deep in my thoughts (char!char!) when Ate Jean, another cousin of Papa Ghie, called my name to read the 1st reading. I was of course shocked, and I nearly faint (chos! lolz!) She did not inform me beforehand that I'll be reading so I was really surprised. But then again, I had to do it and no time for me to say no and make "arte-arte" since the eyes of all Sibuyo family were on me. So, okay, I stood up, even with my knees shaking and my heart pounding with 200 beats per minute (lolz!), took a last minute instruction from the priest and started reading. Read...Pause...Look at the people around...Then read again...1 minute. 2 minutes. 3, whew at last the chapter that I was reading up to the Responsorial Psalms were done, leaving my hands still cold as ice. (oowwwsss!lolz)

After the mass, everyone gathered near the table for the blowing of the cake. Pay was very happy to hear his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren sing the Happy Birthday, while fireworks were litted outside for more special effects. weee..vongga! lolz. And before the program started, everyone ate the "salu-salo" first.

When everyone's stomach was already full, Me-ann took the queue and started the program. A special number was given by the little grandchildren, followed by messages from Pay and Tiyo Agus, Pay's nephew who happened to share the same birthday with him. Pay also delivered a special song for everyone, which made us all teary-eyed.

After his special number, messages were given by 1. Pay's sister-in-law, Lola Ine, 2. Pay's eldest son, Tiyo Henry, 3. Pay's eldest grandchild, Kuya Ramil, and 4. Guess who? No other than - ME. Yup, you read me right, it was me!

But why me? I didn't really know, it was some sort of connivance by Ghie's mom and some of his cousins. Supposedly, they were asking me to sing for Pay but since it came as a surprise and I wasn't prepared, I settled on giving a message instead. After giving the message, I asked Ma why they called me to speak in front of the whole family. She said that it was the way for the rest of the Sibuyo family to know me as the newest addition to their family. I didn't know what to feel because all this time, I thought I would never really be a part of Papa Ghie's family. But after that night, hope abides on me that perhaps things will really become alright for me and Papa Ghie once he comes back and stays home for good.

(Pay's children)

(Pay's grandchildren)

(Pay's great grandbabies - Terence, Gaby, and Thea)

The night went on with so much fun. Games were played, and I even joined the stop dance contest. Too bad, I didn't win. There was also a dance contest for the kids, a Hephep-Horray- Manito Version contest, and the batting of the "palayok" which really made the kids and the whole crowd roaring with laughter. After all the contests were done, the floor was opened for the "dance party"...weeee..

Pay's 87th birthday was really a blast. And my weekend in Tinapian turned out to be one of the most stress-free weekends I've ever had. I felt sad when we had to leave the place last Tuesday morning. But well, Baby Gaby and I can always go back as long as I have free time. This time, I'll be looking forward to that day. Hmmm. And that means on June 16th, for my nephew, John-John's 1st birthday.