family portrait

In my family portrait, we look pretty normal, we look pretty happy. Let’s get back to that.

I like the song. reminds me of my teeny weeny days. Nostalgic. As I remember, I was a hyper-active bulgy kid, who loves chocolates despite my terrible skin asthma. Me and my cousin Ate Sweet were partners in crime. Ate ting, ann and me used to role-play.. that we were mermaids. Mermaids!?! Not fairies but mermaids! We swam on the floor and acted like we were running away from the syokoys. I remember my younger cousins who were bratty then, were my protege and the worst enemies ever. The playground was the battleground. After school, we get into full battle gear, screaming with pride– “Taya!”. Savages. we are savages. It’s like Lord of the Flies but with flair. And each of these battlescars bore lessons in life. A lesson on physics and sometimes home economics. You do the math. I remembered that I haven’t been into fights when i was younger, except with my bratty younger cousins, whom I now really miss.They turned out to be great characters in action comics or teenage movies, they’re unique and yes they can still be bratty, but hey, i guess that runs in the family. Way back, I don’t really like sharing my toys with them. Being an only child kinda gives you the right to be that way. You turn into the grinch. I am used to playing all by myself at home. The younger ones who visit me, often gets bullied.I on the other hand when I visit my older cousins, gets to be the guinea pig for experiments and mischiefs. And that leads to trouble, trouble they caused and in which I cannot be blamed for. Hey! I am the victim here. Being the youngest among the oldies (cousins who are ahead of me) is kinda cool. The aunts and uncles always favored the younger ones.. You often get the bigger slice of the pizza or the extra scoop of ice cream. The downside is you get to stay at home when they are up late watching a movie, having sleepovers or out all night partying. The uncool part is that even now that I am “legal”, they still threat you the way they did when I was 8. They ask questions like ‘how old are you?’ ‘what’s that on your face? Is that make-up’ and the whole rant about does-your-parents-know-about this-and-that. I once got caught up in this question of legality. I was in high school (ok, barely legal but with parents’ permission). I went clubbing with my friends. We were in the middle of getting our grove on with some high school boys when out of the corner of my eye, I saw the face of ‘you’re in big trouble’ . yes, my cousins were in the same bar that I am. They’re already in college. big deal.Anyway,when i got down from the ledge, he approached me and shot me with questions like’what time are you going home?’ and ‘does your parents know about this?’ I simply shrugged and said ‘hey, if they haven’t said yes, i wouldn’t be here. and to end their sermon, i said ‘ if i were you, i’d worry about my own ass. remember to bring the car home in one piece.’ And with that..well, that evens the playing field. I really appreciate my cousins. I always look up to them. Damn, they’re tall.. lol

It’s sad though, when they all grew up, got jobs, moved to the States , settled down and stuff, things became really different. I used to look forward to attending reunions. Every year we would have our family photo op. We’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. What’s funny about it is that Charles Darwin was right. Humans do evolve. Evolution in hair-do and fashion sense was evident..Seeing each fashion statement was depressing. It has forseen what we’ve become. lol. I also missed weekends. We used to hang out in the swing house that our grand parents built. During holy week we have excursions, we even had our own Easter Egg Haunt. My grandparents really made the fool of all of us.. searching for that damn egg was so exhausting that i just gave up. Yes, there was just one egg and we’re like 10 grand kids rumagging the whole yard… I didn’t realize that the easter egg hunt has to have one egg only.. They’re suppose to be alot right? Well, those were the days.

We are all grown up now, the younger ones that i used to bully around and quarrel are whom I’m stuck with during reunions, the one I hang out with, the ones whom I pay meals for. Being a grown up sucks. They look forward to every treat, on who’s going assume the bills after they ordered, who’s going to make decisions. Will it be Mcdo or Jollibee? Sundae or Pie, Pizza or Pasta. It’s tough. This is tough–all too much to take in.But what wipes all those bitchiness is when they huddle around you for a group hug or say that they miss you even though you know that they only say this to get something in another treat or pasalubong the next time you go home.. But since they’re the family you got, we’ll you’re stuck dude. Just learn to deal..hehe

Our annual family photo op was also already discontinued. I don’t know maybe, evolution has already stopped. There’s only one way to find out though. Wait ’til december.

Going back, I remembered that life was easy then. Not so much problems. We have the ultimate weapon against them. They are called parents. They have the responsibility to worry about our problems. But then we grew up, we become adults. Some of us became parents earlier that we have expected. Our problems are..well are our problems. We have to deal with them because no one else would. Here’s the catch though, although we still have parents who also have their own crosses to bear, now’s different,it becomes a shared venture. shared headaches. shared everything. it’s time to take a bite in the apple pie of life. it’s time to be a grown up. In the real world, there are bigger wars, much more complicated ones. They also invented this thing called psychological warfare which can be mentally draining and induces eating binge too. Sometimes, we loose ourselves in the sea called life. It’s nice to know though that when you return to the shore, you’d see familiar faces–your family. And despite their imperfections or no matter how dysfuctional they could get–they’re still your OHANA. Yuck! I feel like a wuss now. Homesickness sucks. Otherwise, it must be the estrogen!


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