Last Easter weekend, while enjoying our relaxing staycation, I had to deal with some minor drama at home. I discovered a puddle of water forming in the corner of our tiny lanai. It turned out that one of the air-conditioners had a leak. Then I saw that one of my old trunks, filled with memories and sentimental mumbo jumbo, was inadvertently moved to the lanai by my husband. And the puddle of water seeped into my wooden baul.
And snippets of my life from the time I moved to the Philippines to before I got married. I had photos and slides from my work in Guimaras and Mexico, old Metro magazines where my first published article and columns came out, and tons of letters from friends and family. The only thing that could console me was a cup of Earl Grey tea. And solitude for about an hour.
Good thing my box of negatives survived the water damage. They were all untouched inside this paper box. Seeing old negatives again actually made me smile. Gosh, how I loved film! My camera back then was a point and shoot Rollei and Rollei Prego.
This was the worst casualty. A pile of old letters and cards, mostly from my friends in Canada and my family. I bit back some tears. But when I saw that some old black and white photos of my parents survived unscathed, I got over it. It’s better to lose the letters than the old photos, in my opinion.
My life flashed before my eyes. An old road trip to Pennsylvania with my mom and brother. This was at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. An original black and white print from the time I was one year old. My old ABSCBN News and KBP Press cards, which reminded me that I actually was a news reporter in Malacanang. I also went through a few weeks of covering police/crime stories with a Tulfo Brother (aka Erwin)! The old Metro Weddings magazine that published my bridal diary. After this, they offered me Editor in Chief. I did it for a couple of years. That’s where Ingrid – The Baghag and I met.
Black and white photos that Patrick took of me at the set of The World Tonight. I was the weathergirl back when Angelo Castro Jr. and Loren Legarda used to be the anchors. One of the news managers asked me to cut my hair short to make me look more serious. I had a 45 second appearance every night . The World Tonight was the top rating newscast in its time slot back then. Other reporters wanted my job. Even though 99% of the time, I said the same thing – “scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.” I took the job seriously, but my heart was never in it. I really just wanted to tell stories. So I learned how to write, shoot and edit my own vignettes – Video Postcard. Seeing this brought back memories of my hungry years in the newsroom. Yesterday, Patrick and I attended the necrological services for Angelo at ABS-CBN. It was deep, meaningful and personal. I’m not sure I have the words for it now.
One of the albums that survived – my scuba trip to Palau in 1997. I remembered how much I loved scuba diving. That was the main reason I first decided to move to Manila. I was diving practically every weekend. Diving made me so happy then. Until eventually I found reason to be happy on land. Oh to be young and angsty.
I have two of these small albums that didn’t quite make it. All the photos got stuck together. This one was from the time there was a major snow storm in Toronto in 1999. By the way while I was going through and talking about my photo albums, Lily blurted out, “What’s an album, mommy?” Thank goodness we have digital files now. I am finally appreciating the digital age.
Minor damage in this old magazine from 2002. Patrick wrote about surviving his “abduction” by the Taliban (or was it random bandits) when they went to Kabul, Afghanistan via the Khyber Pass in 2001. This one’s for keeps. For our daughters.
I thought about whether on not I should even share this little mishap of mine. I know some of you lived through worse water damage – Ondoy, Sendong, hurricanes, tsunamis. And I am so sorry for that. My damage is minor.
This came at the strangest time in my life though. It was Easter week. While I was going about my quiet life at home, I got distracted by a useless but harmful storm that got me sad for a day. It took some perspective and silence to get over it.
Then a day before Easter, this happens. It was a different kind of sadness. It was more of a cleansing. I took it as a sign that maybe I should unload physically and mentally. That I shouldn’t think too much and just live life to the fullest every single day. That even though I lost some old letters and photos, I continue to make new memories every day. That I am grateful for all the people whom I loved and loved me in those old photos and letters are still here with me in my life now. My sisters consoled me via WhatsApp. My dad texted me from Ilocos. Patrick and the kids rushed me so we could spend the rest of the day laughing and playing at the pool.
I’m over it.