It was a warm day today and it made me think of the time I spent in the Philippines. It’s been a five years since I made it back to the land of my ancestors; sometimes it feels like I was just there, other times it feels like I haven’t been there since I was a kid.
One of my favorite memories from five years ago was going to the beach with my cousins. We rode a tricycle there, all of us packed onto every available inch on the vehicle. Once at the beach, we unrolled our blanket and opened up our beers. A few of us jumped into the ocean, while the rest of us hung out sipping San Miguels, listening to music, and snacking on a bag of fish chips and a few freshly sliced mangoes.
My cousins regaled me with stories about our family and shared history. I loved hearing about how well my lolo treated the people in his neighborhood. He always made sure people had a good time, but more importantly, he took care of the servers and other hired hands. Coming from humble beginnings, he never forgot where he came from and didn’t look down at those who worked menial jobs.
I like to think that wherever he is, he’s still taking care of others like that. Or sipping on his beloved Crown Royal whiskey and keeping an eye out on his grandkids and great-grandkids.