Issue of November 11, 2018
     
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Remembering Manong Alfred and his ‘songs’

(Continued from last week)


REFLECTING NOW-AND-then, it must be logical to conclude that Manong Alfred came to care for us because of three reasons, viz. 1) his mother – a sibling to my own mother, told him so; or, 2) my mom, his aunt, requested him directly to come look after us; or, 3) he did those caring – on his own mind and volition.

FOR, TO COME to our home at Shacshac, he had to walk some five kms. of foottrail – more than half of which was wet and slippery, being the base waterway itself of the native Kolokol (mini-irrigation), stretching from Today’s Bonecow Creek to Bingaan… or now, Marian Village.

OF COURSE, TO recall how many times more he came to visit and care for us, I’ll need to ask some older neighbour-informants, but most of them have gone… passed away… Anyway,

AFTER A FEW years at Bingaan, we had to “move out” (again) to a place called Naybaliw – literally meaning ‘across the (Agno) river’. And

THERE AGAIN(!), I met my cousin older and mentor: Alfred. I was already of Gradeschool years – in Grade V to be exact.. and Manong “Kimbes” (that was his nickname real, I just that time learned).. he was already a fully grown-up man, Baludaki mah, in fact at times ‘pestering’ (pinpinpinshowa) his elders: his own mother Insib – and the siblings of these: Uncles Agustin and Picad, aunt Saminja, and my own mother Rosenda, that he (Kimbes) wanted to get married. Agahem that! But

NONETHELESS, THERE WERE those times that Manong Kimbes (or Alfred) was his old self – as he was to us in childhood years at Debköw.. Each time

HE GOT TIPSY, he would get an old guitar we used to borrow at aunt Monica’s store and sing his songs – cowhand ‘Western’ style; or, his own compositions in Nabaloi or in the Bingaan language.

ONE IMMORTAL LEGACY he left us his younger fellows are these lines he said he heard spoken in an (American) English movie:

“Hey boy! See that man seekin’ ne testify ‘gainst you!” When some young men get at-humour, they re-quote these lines of Manong Alfred.

After this year’s feasts of the Saints and the Dead, I dedicate these reflections to my parents, to all my kinsfolks.. who’ve ‘gone Beyond’ – mentioned or not-mentioned herein, and: to Manong Kimbes and all others, that each one of us remember or miss!

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