Family Reunions Remind Us That Family is Forever12:49 PM
Around twenty ago, my mother decided to declare December 30 as the official date of our annual family reunion in her side of the family. My parents' home would always be the place of our family reunion and there were only a few times when it was held elsewhere. Relatives would bring food to share for everybody. There have also been times when we had to cancel our family reunion especially during lean and trying times Nevertheless, the family reunions we spent helped us to be a solid family.
|Here's Rap with his cousins and second-cousins.|
Thanks to Facbeook, it's now easier to organize family reunions. In fact, we were able to hold our family reunion twice in 2011 - one in May and the other in December 30. I set up our family's Facebook group page which tremendously helped us in getting in touch with relatives whom we haven't seen or heard in a long time. I also got to meet others whom I only know as daughters or sons of a certain Tata or Nana (uncle and aunt, respectively, in Bicolano dialect).
|My dad with two of his favorite nephews, Kuya Pete (left) and Kuya Eddie (middle). Kuya Sunny, the one that completes his trio of favorite nephews, passed away in 2010 that's why he's always teary-eyed when he sees this photo.|
My mother comes from a large family. And when I say large, it really is large! Ours is a Y-shaped family tree because my lolo and lola had children in their previous mariages (they were both widowed) before uniting in marriage. Thus, when addressing our family, I always say Rovelo-Racal to properly recognize my mother's half-siblings and their children and grandchildren from the Rovelo branch of the family. If my memory serves me right, I have 16 uncles and aunts all in all.
|My mom (in white) with her siblings (L-R), Manay, Tata Pidong, and Nanay. They are the children of the Octavo-Rovelo and Racal union. Missing in the bunch are my deceased uncles Tata Dado and Tata Digoy.|
For me, family reunions are important especially for someone like me who has spent my entire life in the city. It's different in the barrio where most of my cousins grew up. They knew each other because the relatives lived in the same community. This is also the reason why my mom thought of holding our annual family reunion - to help us reconnect especially to those who are already settled outside their ancestral place in Bicol.
I understand that some people frown on reconnecting with relatives. I, for one, get naughty side comments about my weight every time there's a family event. Then again, I just shrug it off because it's true that I'm obese anyways, hahaha! Better your family telling you the truth, right?
But seriously, I'm doing this for my boy. I have already accepted the fact that he may be an only child forever. I would want him to have family members to run to when we are not around for him anymore.
Family is forever and, I believe, that bond is more strengthened by family reunions.
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