Memories of Lolo

FACT: Drawing and Sketching are not my hobbies, it is my mood.   I draw the faces of the people I love as well as friends who are dear to me, both when I remember, and wanting to remember them.  Since today is my Lolo (Grand Dad) Femio’s birthday, here’s a little treat for you all.  I drew a simple caricature of him.  I was originally planning to paint his face, but eventually changed my mind and thought of coming up with the latter, since one of our favorite past time together when I was a kid, was watching my favorite cartoon shows, especially during those lazy summer afternoons.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful moments in my life is when I get the opportunity to touch the faces of the people who are important to me, and holds a special place in my heart.  It’s like brailling them, as I try to memorize the details of their faces.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful moments in my life is when I get the opportunity to touch the faces of the people who are important to me, and holds a special place in my heart.  It’s like brailling them, as I try to memorize the details of their faces.

I remember several things about my Lolo including, showing us his teeth as he starts making faces.  You see, he was a very funny man, with a very good sense of humor that he can easily crack a good joke especially when the occasion calls for it.  He also told us tales of his childhood during the Japanese regime in our country, his experience during the Death March and how he survived during those trying times.  Most of us in our family are big time movie buffs that watching old time war movies with him was an orthodox to me.  He even made me watch that movie, “Gone with the Wind” when I was somewhere between 9 and 10, and fell asleep in the middle because it was too long that the entire movie almost covered the three sequels of Superman.  My Lolo is a frustrated magician, and he would always voice that whenever he is in the mood of storytelling.  He loves Harry Houdini so much that he even gave me a book about him.  I thought I would learn some magic tricks myself, but to my dismay, the book was a summarized autobiography of Houdini.  He loved showing us his self-made magic tricks – his magic coin, and his highly classified mantra, which, by the way never failed him since we never caught him cheating while he perform his tricks.  Oh!  And yeah!  Who could ever forget the famous “Match 2” game, which can make the entire family together inside the living room, laughing, scheming and screaming?  I remember Lola (Grandma) would complain that my Lolo  Femio is cheating during the game.  I don’t know what’s with their generation that my Lolo was so into “eggnogs”, it is still vivid in my memory that one time when he prepared a glass, my cousin Sunshine and I, took much of the eggnog out of curiosity, and got some upset stomach after.

Some of my fondest memories of granddad are us, playing the piano together.  He was the one who motivated me to attend my afternoon piano lessons after school, and would oblige me to play a piece in front of the family, or whenever there is a funcion at his house with his compañeros and compañeras.  Well, the rest of his grandchildren were required to learn at least two instruments.  In my case, I learned to play the piano and the bandurria (a plectrum chordophone from Spain, primarily used in Spanish folk music), but wasn’t very successful to master the latter because it hurts my fingers.

Probably the most important lessons he taught me were how to act in the church.   My earliest memories of it are those of me sitting by him in the service.  Before the service would begin, he would show me how to look in the bulletin for what songs we would sing and mark them in the hymnal.  He even encouraged me to audition in the church choir and choral group (though I couldn’t sing a note).  Yeah, I am one of the unfortunate members of our family who is out of tune, since most of my cousins sings really well.  Lolo also taught me how to put money in the offering plate as it was passed by,

I also remember him, keeping a trumpet on the coffee table in front of the couch.  Occasionally, when I would lift and look at it, lolo would ask me if I wanted to hear him play it.  Every afternoon, of every weekend, the children of our neighbors as well as his compañeros, would gather in our ancestral home and listen as he played the trumpet while everyone were being served with tea.  Those were happy and glorious days.

I wanted to pay homage to my granddad today by sharing some bits and pieces of his memories.  I don’t know him well enough to tell you everything about who he was, but what I have are the fondest memories of him as my Lolo, which were all imprinted in my heart, and here’s hoping that I have given you at least a small picture of the kind of man he is to me.

Memories of him grows old in time, but are never forgotten.  His flesh may have been defeated, but his spirit’s triumph, nothing may touch it.


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