Sunday, February 18, 2024

Our neighborhood


After a late lunch, my cousin Hannah and I saw our Marbel neighbors, Uncle Ephraim and Auntie Eden, having a date in Gensan. They insisted we join them, but said we said, "Bag-o lang gid kami tapos kaon." Uncle Ephraim was in an accident that needed some stitches a few days ago, but other than that, his brain was clear of traumatic injuries. He was well enough to travel to Gensan to have a belated Valentine's date with his wife. 

“When I go to any place, whether it’s a neighborhood or country, the thing I’m most interested in finding out is how well people are treating each other on so many levels.”

Growing up in a quiet neighborhood is one of my life's great blessings. Our neighbors are, well, neighborly. When we were kids, Auntie Elsie and Uncle Boy would invite us in their home to play with their family computer. Auntie Norma would make us polvoron and see that we were properly fed, after we played patintero or pitiw on the street. Auntie Lingling would bring us fruit and cut flowers after her trip to the farm. Auntie Eden would alert us that someone was snooping around the house while we were away. 

A few days ago, as I was backing the pick up out of the garage (it had no back camera, which explained my tachycardia), Uncle Ephraim offered to be my driver, to which I said, "Di ta ka afford, Kol." 

He said, "Libre lang, Dok!" Retired, he had time on his hands.

Since I became a doctor, they've been calling me "Dok," a practice I'd normally dismiss with ,"Lance na lang, Kol," but they say it with neighborly pride, so I no longer pushed back. 

This also explains why I prefer to be called uncle, or angkol, instead of the more generic Tagalog term, tito, by my friend's kids. Angkol gives me a feeling of warmth and tenderness and familiarity. 



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