Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some explaining to do

Two major events took place in my life recently, explaining my absence from the blogosphere for quite a while.

For friends who visited this site and cared to drop by even for just a few minutes, my thanks to you.  Allow me to give the reason behind my semi-Sabbatical.

First, I got myself a dog.  Actually this is my second time to get one.  

My first dog, which I got around three years ago, was a cross between a golden retriever dad and a terrier mom.  I named him Andy.  Andy inherited his dad's build and so at a mere three months of age he was quite large for me to handle.  Sadly, I had to ask a male cousin of mine (who shares with me a love for animals) to take care of him.  I had no doubt that Andy was well taken cared of by my cousin and his family.  When we had a chance to gather, he would tell me how he takes care of Andy and how Andy enjoys the life at the suburb with a family.

Andy went home to animal heaven a few months ago after living a happy life.

My new dog is a Shih Tzu.  When I let Andy go, I have decided to get a small breed dog next time - the reason I got William Cody. 

I met him first outside the mall which is situated at the heart of this city.  Cody is among those puppies sold at the bangketa at the foot of the overpass, a perfect spot exposed to all the elements, namely, dust, smoke from cigarette smokers who pass by, smoke from vehicles, water when it rains, and the scorching heat of the sun.

Before I met him, I have been burning the midnight candle on the internet, browsing through sites which advertise pets for sale.  I was even tempted to get a chihuahua but somehow that did not push through.

Not until I saw William Cody that hot Sunday morning.

I just finished doing my grocery at the nearby supermarket when I asked B to accompany me to visit that spot outside the supermarket where dogs are displayed and are for sale.  She agreed and so we went.

Then there was Cody.  I felt that if I could read his mind each time a prospective buyer approaches them, it would have been something like he had to give his best shot and display his sweetest gesture, so he would be scooped out from the crowd of puppies that he was in, and forever be free from the dog seller.

Cody did just that.  He was standing on top of a cage and it amazed me then that he stayed put and never attempted to jump from the cage to the ground below.   (I realized later that it was because he is just a baby and did not even know how to jump from the cage down.)  He looked up to me with those big black eyes and tried to capture my scent by sniffing as much as he could.  When I reached out to touch him, he cradled his head in the palm of my hand, as if savoring the first time his coat and my skin touched, and as if saying, "At last you have arrived and you found me."

He just stole my heart without the slightest effort, and so I brought him home  with me approximately half an hour from the time we first met.  He will be three months old next week but his size is equivalent to that of Andy's when Andy was yet a month old.

The second major event had to do with my family.  I attended the 8th Grand Reunion of the ABLA Clan which was held in Malimono, Surigao del Norte. 

ABLA actually stands for the names of my great grandparents, Antonio Bonotan and Lorenza Ave.  They had five daughters and my grandmother was one of them.  Our reunion is held every two years and it is just amazing to ponder that each and every member of our clan really tries his/her very best to find time to attend the reunion. 

My great grandparents started out and built their family in this sleepy town in Surigao del Norte called Malimono.  Unfortunately, the place has not changed much since the time of my great grandparents.  I feel that it is still as sleepy as it was before and sometimes I am tempted to think that the government has forgotten this place and its people.  The roads are a patchwork of the concrete and of the rough undeveloped type.  Not all of the households have electricity and the water supply is straight from springs.  Wifi is almost never heard of here and only a chosen few have a mobile phone which is an ordinary luxury for the urbanized.

However in spite of all those technological drawbacks, my relatives, who come from all over the archipelago, and a handful scattered around the globe, still pack their bags to fly or sail or ride their way here, the land of our forefathers.  Malimono has its spell working on all of us - and Cody is not an exception.

I sailed to Surigao overnight with Cody in tow, then even before the break of dawn, we rode on a jeepney for an hour, to go to Malimono where the reunion was held, particularly at Punta Beach, an untouched paradise on this side of the world, which holds a lot of memories for the ABLA Clan - I will tell you why very soon.

This is the explanation that I feel I owe all of you.  Next time, let me explain it all to you again, not only in words, but this time, in pictures. 

Thank you my dear friends and followers.



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