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Saturday night’s barbecue with Sol Laforteza was _the_ best evening
I’ve had in Canada so far, and I owe so very much to Dr. Oposa for
introducing me to their wonderful family.
It was amazing how quickly they took me in and made me feel welcome.
Upon hearing that I’d graduated from Ateneo, no fewer than three
Atenistas started chatting with me about our alma mater. Then there
were questions about high school, grade school (turns out a number of
them had also been associated with St. Scholastica’s College), the
diabolo I brought… And of course, the brownies were a big hit.
What really made me melt, though, was how they repeatedly referred to
the Philippines as home. Even those who had moved as far back as 1988
still had very active connections with the Philippines, still thought
of retiring (or at least skipping the Canadian winter) in the
Philippines to teach. With all of our tsk-tsk-tsking over the
political messes the country gets itself into, there was still that
underlying pride in our country.
And oh, how Filipino we were last night. From discussions of
traditional delicacies to musings on the lyrical properties of deep
Filipino, it was an evening celebrating our culture. Top it all off
with truly horrendous puns (like the name of an actual salon: Scissors
Palace), another Filipino specialty, and you’ve got a night to
I had a lot of fun teaching Gretchen how to do the diabolo, and by the
end of the night both she and Leslie could get it spinning pretty
quickly. Tito Gil made very passable and amusing attempts. He’s a
natural comic and performer, positively twinkling with energy and joy.
I’d like to be like that when I grow old! It’ll take me years to gain
the kind of ease and confidence he had, though… Amazing, really.
What a fantastic group of people! I’m really, really glad I had an
opportunity to meet them, and I hope to get to know them better over
the next couple of years.
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