As I mentioned in a previous post, my family mainly drew our strength in facing the death of my dad from our relatives and friends. They supported us in many ways during such a challenging time. It brought us comfort that we shared our grief with people very close to us. At no point during the funeral and the holidays did we feel alone, both emotionally and physically, which proved to be of value to my mom most of all.
So today I'm sharing the photos taken last December (it had taken me this long to get into the mood of sharing them), in which you'd see some of my cousins, aunts, and friends who were constantly around us.
First, look who I met at the airport on my way home? I was on a stopover in Cebu, and Sarah, my ex-colleague and fag hag extraordinaire, was on her way back to Davao from Cagayan de Oro. I couldn't be more thrilled! Unfortunately we only had like an hour for coffee.
Now in Surigao... I told you that my cousins now have spawns that wreck the house like crazy. Again, it creeps the hell out of me that they look exactly like my cousins when we were younger.
Now look at my baby doll, Isay! She's a darling and a model in the making. She loves it when I put make up on her. I told her mom that at two years old it's the right time for the kid to start dieting.
And then there's Mansing, who has been with the family for more than fifteen years.
And this is Auntie Vikki, my dad's sister who's based in London. We smoke a lot when we're together. Love, love, love her to bits. With her is my cousin Michael (mom's side).
New Year's eve there was a strong thunderstorm that flooded some parts of Surigao. We had no choice but to stay indoors and played mah jong. I learned to play it during the wake and mind you I won quite often. What did I tell you about my Chinese blood? Choz!
Whereas my brother is a big loser in mah jong. Ha!
Well, I also helped in the house a bit. A bit means once I cooked ESPEYSHAL turon for Christmas eve. I forced every visitor to eat the freaking turon and I did not bother to ask for some feedback. On the right side of the photo is Shiela, my cousin (mom's side), cooking some hot-dogs.
My sister celebrated her 22nd birthday (wink wink), which falls on the same day as my parents' wedding anniversary. Two photos down is my sister and her BF of nine years. Don came all the way from Davao (about ten hours from Surigao) to visit my sister on her birthday. Ang haba ng hair ni ate!
And when in Las Islas Filipinas you have to do the karaoke until the place closes and you had to be dragged outside by the security guard.
Of course I also spent some time with my super amigas from high school. Below are Gheleene, Lyn Mei, and Nikki.
And speaking of familiar faces, look which national icon Gheleene daringly molested?
Lastly, I had the opportunity to participate in the annual Crayons for Peace project of UP Maradjaw Karadjaw. UP MK is the student organization of Suriganons in UP. I was one of its founding members ten years ago.
We have also been doing the Crayons for Peace project for a decade now. We mainly distribute coloring books and crayons to kids in Surigao, hoping that their love for different colors would translate to their acceptance of diversity, hence, helping promote peace. The two (colors and peace) are not exactly directly connected, but the coloring books themselves have stories and photos that teach kids the concept of peace.
P.S. The good photos are courtesy of my sister, while the crappy ones are mine. :-)