December 2, 2022

IT WAS A quiet Sunday morning – just last June 12, someone was calling by the bridge end. She was saying something but I couldn’t make out the words, so I said, “Please come meet me near the gate.”
THAT DONE AND we were facing each other. She spoke: ‘I can’t find the Entrance to your house, uncle..’ Recognizing her voice, I looked at her and she shot:
‘YOU REMEMBER ME, UNCLE?’ I nodded and said: “Nora of Loakan (Itogon). Come in, come in please.” There were two men, and another woman – with a little daughter. She introduced them briefly. Then continuing, she explained:
‘WE ARE GOING to attend Councilor(-elect) Pacio’s party here – at (Upper) Sitio Marian. But since it’s still early, I suggested to them to see you first. Here’s a valley loaf bread for your breakfast, uncle!’
“WOW! HOW VERY nice and kind of you all. And you, have you had your breakfasts?”
‘YES, UNCLE – EARLIER, before we started towards here. So, how are you doin’ here uncle? I hear you rarely come up to Baguio (City) and you prefer to just while your blues away here. Is that correct, or true, uncle?
“SOME.. OR MOSTLY that-a-way, kasla kasdiayen. You see, Baguio is two hours or so away from here, and my colleagues up there – they’re not much to ‘coffee-talk’ anymore – especially these days.
[WE CONTINUED – WITH the other guests – to talk about many things: politics, reunions, kinships, everyday chores, and so on. Finally, Niece Nora looking at her watch, said:
‘OKAY, UNCLE. TIME to go’ – and the others were smiling. I replied: “Of course, of course!” And we all stood up – for their going.
THEY WERE GONE after a few seconds, but I was still standing there – musing, and saying to myself: ‘how lucky and happy I am thus this day. I saw that niece Nora last during the funeral of the late Apo Trazon Fianza – that was years ago; and suddenly, here she was a while ago to say ‘hello!’ and to cheer me up! Many other relatives are up there for that Thanksgiving or celebration, but not one thought of ‘inviting’ me with that customarily-of-sort Line: ‘Let’s go there!’ or whatever?
I CLOSED MY eyes for a while and whispered: “I give you praise again, O Lord, you brought Nora and the others to surprise-visit me, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

TWO DAYS AFTER – that was June 14, 2022, I met a certain ‘Jojo’ – a relative in up-North Guissit. They were doing some minor construction tasks at a neighbour’s house and, one break time – 12:35 p.m.(?), he asked to talk with me a bit. Joyfully, I said: “come on in, you’re quite welcome! How’s your work going on over there?” And he replied:
‘PRETTY GOOD GOING, uncle, my helping hands know what they’re doing; they’ve had prior tasks done some place with me before; so maybe that’s why – I can even depend on them without me for some hours and they’ll do it right.. but uncle, I came for another intent. [I nodded, and he went]:
‘IS IT TRUE that Kabayan (Municipality) and (Mt.) Pulag are Hebrew words; and that we have distant kinship, waray nai agui an tayo, with the Hebrews?
‘I’VE READ AND had little discussions with some others regarding that matter; and my intense interest for it has moved me to come to you, if you have..’
“YES, BUT NOT quite detailedly”, I said; and continuing: “although once upon a time, I came across a material saying that we are descended from one of the sons of Biblical Noah..” and he jumped:
‘THAT’S RIGHT. From Shem, uncle – that’s the name of that son – our ancestor..” And so I added:
“ANOTHER I’VE READ before was we are co-descended with the Afghans and some forest tribes people of the Far East?
‘RIGHT, UNCLE, RIGHT! But my breaktime is up and we’ll continue later?’ I said yes, but again, I was left dumbfounded.. oh, how so healing and comforting that Jojo came this way! Though very briefly, I truly enjoyed every bit of what was said – for one: it reminds me of my pre-University days when I read a lot and each time had my ‘special’ interests a-surmounting! Ayo, Ayo, Ino!