Monday, September 15, 2008

Having to see Tagaytay twice

Last Saturday, I was invited to give a class to grade schoolers in Lemery, Batangas. The school is a small one but it is very promising with my ninong Moie and Ninang Melba at the helm. It turns out that it was their family fun day and lots of fun was had indeed. What I want with a small school is that it seems like the people are more dedicated to teaching. None of those office politics you see in big, established institutions.

My day started very early as Lemery is some two hours away from Alabang. I left the house at around 4:30 am and was picked up by my ninong's nephew who was a former student of mine. We then proceeded to pick up a dog trainer and his belgian milinois Sid, who was as gentle as a lamb.

As we were still experiencing the tail end of typhoon Marce, we were accompanied by rain and the road was very slippery. But that did not deter the driver from speeding onto traffic which made me step on an invisible brake a couple of times. The road to Lemery, as I expected was foggy.

The children were adorable. They used the paint without any inhibitions. There was a stage mother who was instructing her kid. "Not too much water, sweetheart." I just managed a smile and let the child be on her own element.

When the class was finished, we were served a nice lunch and were on our way back home.

The following day, I was on the road again, this time with my siblings and my nephew who was to ask the parents of his girlfriend for her hand in marriage. Tagalogs call this event "pamanhikan". As was customary, we brought food with us. We brought several "relyenong bangus" and "kare-kare" which will be cooked entirely at the girlfriend's house as it might spoil on the way. When we arrived at the place, it turns out the family was preparing food themselves. We were about to have an actual feast!

I was a little worried that there might be some demands from the family as relatives are present, too. It turned out that the father was a swell guy who, like my siblings and I, loves to read. We were offered several Discovery magazines, Reader's Digest to while away the time while the food was being prepared. My eldest sister was able to borrow about seven books! But I digressed. After lunch, we all sat down to discuss the purpose of our visit. The father did not object. As a matter of fact, he just gave his blessings and left it to the couple to decide on their own. He only wished that the wedding be done in their place, for my nephew and his family to be there on the eve of the wedding "not to work or anything but to socialize with his family and relatives" which was very cool, and not too many ninongs and ninangs.

Everything went smoothly as planned. It all went well that surely, something must go awry and it did. My car lost its brakes! The good thing is that we were already in Marikina. If that happened in hilly Sta. Rosa or the SLEX, we were goners for sure! I immediately took the car to the mechanic to have it checked and we were on our way.

Just to make sure, I took the car for a thorough check-up this afternoon. The verdict, the brake pads are gone. I also had to have my caliper overhauled. Hopefully, I've seen the last of the car's problems.


Anonymous said...

Pamanhikan - how interesting! I think this is one Filipino tradition that should never be done away with. And how lucky your nephew is to have a future father-in-law who refuses to impose any unreasonable demands on his future son-in-law and his family.

Panaderos said...

Your nephew is indeed lucky to have a broad-minded and intelligent father-in-law. It must have been a very happy gathering too judging from what you wrote. Reading about it made me a bit hungry. Hehehe

I hope by this time that your car's brake-related problems have been fixed to your satisfaction. Take care, Rolly. :)

rolly said...

bugsy Yes, I think that is one tradition we will have to keep. My nephew is a very good boy. :-)

panaderos Oh yes. Had it fixed immediately. Don't want anybody getting hurt because of faulty brakes.

BlogusVox said...

Your nephew is in good hand, Ka Rolly. The father-in-law is broad minded, me think. He did not insist on those unnecessary and waistful wedding tradition which Batangas and also Quezon are famous for.

re: car. I follow its manual's check-up routine to the letter. Mahirap na, lalo na dito na mabilis ang flow ng traffic.

bertN said...

I am not really familiar with "Pamanhikan" and the formalities that go with it. We are ten brothers (6) and sisters (4), all married either in Pinas or abroad and none of us ever went through this Pamanhikan deal as far as I know. Is this a widely popular tradition in Pinas?

BatJay said...

di ba pag namanhikan, kailangan mong lasingin yung tatay ng babae?

rolly said...

blogusvox I agree re the brakes. I cannot ignore it hence, I usually have it fixed at the first sign of trouble. What happened that day came as a total surprise.

bertN Yes. I can just imagine that when a brother of yours will have to marry a Filipina, you might do this tradition. It's fun, actually.

batjay hindi ko alam kung parte yun ng pamanhikan. Hindi rin naman ako pwedeng uminom kung sakali at ako ay magda-drive ng napakalayo. Me kasama pa kaming dalawang bata.

caryn said...

wow, its nice to know that people still do the traditional pamamanhikan in the philippines ;-)

rolly said...

caryn mushi mushi! :-)
Welcome to my blog.

Yes, this is one those traditions that we still follow. I did it before, too. So, did my other siblings.