So last Thursday night, I had to venture to Makati to meet up with my Mom who also travelled there all the way from Alabang to meet with her first cousin. I didn’t know who he was at the time. All I knew was that he was Mom’s cousin making him my uncle and that I had to make sure I arrived at Dusit Thani still looking like a human being after battling Manila’s rush-hour commute – Mom’s order.
I managed to make it there alive. I was introduced to Tito Vince who came here from Hawaii on business. And according to what I have heard, the last time he and mom saw each other was a couple decades ago. When I arrived, they were in the middle of reminiscing their childhood in Bacolod and Tito Vince was recalling his visit in the Lacson Ancestral House in Talisay. He, Mom and Tito JohnLee looked like they were enjoying their little trip down memory lane. In fact, Mom looked like a few years were taken off her. This wasn’t the first time I’ve been with my uncles and parents while they were reminiscing their childhood but every time I had the chance to see be with them reminiscing, it’s always a sight to see. I get to see how much fun they had before they all grew up and became a generation old.
So in one of the many conversation topics, we arrived at the topic of nick names. It came about when Mom mentioned my Dad’s nick name – Brown – and Tito Vince was like, “Why is his name, Brown?” and we all went with “It’s because his skin is Brown.” That cracked him up and made him share his own. He said, “I always thought my name was Beans. B-e-a-n-s beans because my mom called me that.” He then relayed how everyone of his neighbours were puzzled whenever he introduced his name as Beans, that even he thought his name to be spelled that way. Until one day, he heard his mom call him, “Bean-sent, bean-sent,” then did he realize that “Beans” was actually “Vince” short for “Vincent.” Now, that made the entire table laugh. Apparently, Lola’s Visayan accent came out whenever she called her son, Vince. Taught me a valuable lesson that evening – you can never really forget your roots no matter how far you grow away from it.
There was more talk among them cousins and Tito Beans – oh sorry, Vince, expressed more than a few times how much he wanted to bring his family here to the Philippines – especially in Bacolod. Well, I, too am hoping that one day I get to meet my cousins. We ended the night exchanging hugs and ‘see you soons,’and Mom and I went home after that.
Well, it wasn’t the end of the night for me because I became curious of my roots after hearing Tito Vince’s stories of the Talisay House. Asked Mom some questions about out lineage and apparently, I’m part Chinese (tiny tiny part, may I add). It’s quite ironic that these past few years I’ve been quite mean with my Chinese classmates haha always teasing them when I have that tiny, very tiny Chinese blood in me. If they happen to read this, I think they’ll be glad I’m eating my words right now. Don’t worry; you’re still my friends no matter how much I tease you!
That’s the photo of us four last Thursday evening. The four of us seem to look alike grinning and all. Tito Vince is the one in green and Tito JohnLee’s the one in red. In that short time with them, I had fun listening. I learned that Tito Vince is a really cool guy, loves kids and is very charismatic. And he claims that that was the reason he got a lot of my other Lolas married. (I just had to put that).