Forever my Grandparents’ Girl


Here are just some of the perks of being the first born:
1) Having the entire family (and this includes the extended members too) in the hospital hours before you came into this world and the same set of people rejoicing the moment the doctor has announced that you have...arrived!
2) Getting everyone’s undivided attention to your every move and to every word you say.
3) Being able to build a relationship with everyone in the family for a longer period of time.

Needless to say, from the moment I was born, I’m lucky to be loved not only by my parents but even by my aunts, uncles and most especially my grandparents.

For my maternal grandparents whom I lovingly call my Kongkong (Grandfather) and Amah (Grandmother), I was their first grandchild and I would remember spending every summer breaks with them. Unlike other kids, both Pan and I loved every moment with our grandparents. Who wouldn't? As Kongkong would spoil us by cooking all the yummy dishes that our heart and tummy desires and Amah, who has always been the nurturing kind, would gamely take us out for some halo-halo and burger.

Together with my parents, my grandparents have played really big roles in my life. As I grow up, I get to learn more about their lives and how they got to where they are right now. Their stories are really inspiring and one that’s movie-worthy in my opinion. Let me share a little story with you:

My Kongkong is the third out of 11 children of my Atai (great-grandmother) and Taikong (great-grandfather). They were not that wealthy then so Kongkong had to work as a Taho vendor as a young boy. During one of those nights that he was peddling his taho, Kongkong saw a commotion happening and stopped to look. It was then that the Japanese also abducted him as he seemed to be “loitering” around. I think this was around the World War II era. Luckily, being a very jovial and friendly young man, he quickly endeared himself to his “abductors” and instead of throwing him in jail or giving him hard manual labor, he was assigned to the kitchen to assist. I think this brought about his love for cooking. Anyway, years after that, Kongkong was released and he did a multitude of businesses most especially after meeting and marrying my beautiful Amah. They've been through all the ups and downs ,which includes having the entire warehouse burned down in flames, closing the restaurant with a heavy heart and a lot more.

Now, on to my Amah. She had a really tough childhood as she lost her parents at a very young age thus forcing herself to grow up immediately in order to take care of her 4 other siblings. After being passed on from one home to another, she met my Kongkong and married at the age of 16. My Amah didn't finish high school but I tell you, she’s one of the wisest woman I know. As Mommy would say, hers is not intelligence but wisdom.

What I love most about my grandparents is that they really appreciate simple joys. They’d get so happy like the time I surprised them with our favorite Jollibee breakfast meals or I’d take them out for an afternoon in Greenbelt. They’re so easy to please and they never complain that’s why it’s so fun to be around them.

I may be miles away but I’m glad that I still get to call them up once in a while. Come September 8 (Sunday), I will make sure to call them and greet them a Happy Grandparents Day. For all of you in Manila, why not surprise your grandparents on Sunday? Treat them to Jollibee and get 2 FREE pieces of Chickenjoy for every 8-pc Chickenjoy bucket purchase. I’m sure this simple act will be the highlight of their day. Make the most of this day to bond with them and show them how much you care. ♥

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