my great grandfather
There are no more giants. I sometimes think that they accomplished
too many amazing feats and had collapsed under the extraordinariness
of it all.
In 1896, my great-grandfather had witnessed the execution of Jose
Rizal. He was 12, with questions he could not ask. Years later, he
would become a traveler, an answer-seeker. He would meet many people,
change his views and fall in love. He would marry someone else. At
97, he would be telling his great-grandchildren about his travels and
his friends and his beautiful American girl.
My other great-grandfather, a Spaniard who practiced law in
American-ruled Manila, was said to have died mysteriously. A curse
had supposedly been pronounced against him and females in his direct
line, that one in every generation would never marry.
I have their daguerreotypes and family traditions, family group sheets
and five generations in my ascendant chart. And yet, I suspect, some
questions will never be answered with certainty. How tall is tall and
is wide too wide, how to buy back wasted time and with what, how to
make ordinary lives less ordinary.
Whatever we are—grounded, uprooted or good to go—we can always use 'where we came from' as a moral and practical compass. Here at OOV, we have just started a genealogical dig, one which we hope will lead to many more discoveries about Filipino Ancestry and Progeny. Welcome to our 24 th issue where—
Rhonda Lee Richoux Finds Strength in the Past as she walks the ancestral trail with us, giving pointers and possible research pitfalls; Eloisa Gomez Borah Collects Family Stories and in the process, Saves Filipino American History ; Freddie Hernandez traces Filipino Origins in Papua New Guinea ; Eileen Tabios' ' list poem ', a Martial Law retrospective, illustrates multitudes affected by Marcos' reign; in a separate essay, Tabios announces Jean Vengua as Winner of the Filamore Tabios, Sr. Memorial Poetry Prize; Isabel Enriquez Kenny expounds on the Making of a Documentary . A script by Remé A. Grefalda casts 12-year old Toby attempting to babysit his spunky, 90-something lola. A young woman's life flashes before her in Nikki Alfar 's Final Farewell . In Poetry, we feature works by Patria Rivera , our 2007 Resident Poet. Our Gallery includes chromatext entries belonging to Melissa Christoffels that combined art with Wilfrido Nolledo's short stories and novel. A partial list of works relating to the Filipino family and collaterals, is compiled in Bibliography.
Of everything I have learned, the stories of love are ones I will
keep. For I am a product of choice, an aliquot part of my ancestors'
In the future, should a descendant find me in some open stacks
somewhere, then I must have gotten it right and my muddling through
ended up where it should. Next to G .
31 May 2007