Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Sipping Coffee at the "Gaza Strip"


One of the joys of coming home to Kalibo is having lengthy conversations with Lola Susing.  The moment I step into our our ancestral house, I look for my lola.  Nowadays,  Lola Susing's favorite hang-out  is the "Gaza Strip". Well, don't ask me why I call it with that way. Its origin is classified "Top Secret" and protected by the Bangkaya Mossad.

Lola Susing is always prepared for her grandchildren's homecomings that a cup of hot coffee, suman and ibus (native rice treats) await them at the kitchen table. As I settle and rest my aching back into  one of the monoblock chairs, Lola Susing immediately embarks on our long yet heart warming conversation. She usually starts interrogating me - where I came from, how long  will I  be staying, or how is my family in Antipolo. I came to understand that this is Lola Susing's own version of showing affection. It makes up for tight embraces that most grandmothers do.  But I have long understand that  Lola Susing has her own special way. I guess I became accustomed to it. 

Talking of Gaza Strip, I consider Lola Susing as our family's version of Golda Meir (the outspoken Israeli  Prime Minister who incidentally is my late father's favorite). Like the Israeli stalwart, she has been our family's strongest post and refuge. Through hard times she has radiated unwavering confidence. It is her reassurances that made her brood surmount battery of tests. It is her unmatched love which is the source of a strong and true affection that bind our souls through the pains of existence.

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