Friday, February 21, 2020

Biography: My Favorite Vacation Memory

This is my first time back in the Philippines in about 10 years. Back in the province, life is very simple. I wake up around 5 a.m. (which is very different than my typical vacation wake=up time of 3 p.m.) and sleep around 9 p.m. I enjoy this type of lifestyle. Similar to every night, I go about my usual sleep routine. I sleep next to my lola (which means grandma) on the bed and my niece, aunt, and cousin sleep on the floor in the same room. My relatives are so kind that they would make sure that my immediate family and I got the beds. One night I suddenly felt my lola move. My lola is the stillest sleeper I know so I would be conscious of her movement so I can check up on her. As I am waking up I hear awful scream crying. I noticed that my 86 year-old lola is reaching for my 2 year-old niece who is wailing. My lola has 9 kids so I can see how alert she with taking care of babies. However, my lola has REALLY bad hearing. Her eardrums are almost completely broken, so I wondered how she heard Andrea (my niece). It is either God woke my lola up or I am a really deep sleeper. At this point, I am trying to grab my glasses. My eyesight is 800/10. That means my eyes are so bad that I am not part of of the 20 in "20/20" scale. What people with 20/20 vision can see in 10 800 feet, I can see in 10 feet. However, I could not find my glasses! I did not have time looking for them! I carry Andrea and I start to rock her. I look for my aunt and I could not find her. I look for my other aunt, but her location was unknown as well. I look for my sister. Of course, I could not find her either. Andrea is pointing at the kitchen. So I'm like oh she wants milk!! But she doesn't want milk after I gave her milk. She keeps saying "nameg." That is not a word in Tagalog, so I am very confused on what she means. She reaches for the freezer and tries to open it. I open the freezer door and she grabs a water-bottle from the freezer. She GULPS it down. I have never seen a 2-year-old chug water. Turns out she was meaning to say "lamig" which means cold, instead of "nameg." At this point. I. Still. Cannot. See. Clearly. I get closer to my lola who is trying fix up the house. I get as close to a clock as I can and see that it is 2 a.m. and I am so confused at where my family is. My lola is trying to turn on the electric fans, because we live in the province and most rooms do not have air-conditioning. Andrea is sweating so I can see why my lola was doing this. However, my lola did not have her cane. Then my lola pulls out the electric fan a little far where the cord is not resting on the floor. So at this point I'm thinking, "There is NO way I am going to have two year-old wailing and have my 86-year-old grandma trip over this cord while I cannot see clearly and I cannot find my family." So I  push back the electric fan and run, while carrying the toddler in my arms, and find my lola's cane. I gave it to my lola and told her to use it. FINALLY. Everyone is settled. My lola has her cane and stopped fixing the house at 2 a.m. and my niece stopped crying and chugging water. I bring them back to the room and lay my niece in the middle of me and my lola to prepare for bed again. All is well in the province.
Philippines (Image Source)

I used first-person in this story because I wanted to walk my audience through my experience. I wanted them to know my thoughts. I wanted them to feel the uncertainty that I felt as I experienced this memory. I also wanted to use present tense for this reason, because I wanted the audience to feel that worry I felt. I tried to tell a story that was fun and light-hearted looking back at it know, even if it was stressful during the moment. I feel like there are many moments like this in life - but if we look back at it with a good attitude, it can become some of our favorite memories.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Zhanie!

    I love coming back to your blog knowing you’re a fellow Filipina. It’s a great feeling when I understand what you’re talking about in your story. I’m not sure where in the Philippines your family lives in but, my family lives in Mindanao which is down south. Whenever I visit them, there’s always at least one blackout. At my house, there’s only one room with ac so the rest of house is cooled with electric fans. Anyways, I loved reading your story! One comment I have is to space out your writing. It gets difficult to keep track of where I’m at in one long paragraph so dividing it would make it easier for the reader.