Family reunited


Family is the basic unit of society. Our nation, before it was divided into provinces, cities, barangays and sitios started by our Spanish colonizers, was a composition of families that comprise these communities even up to this time.

A family grows from one generation to the next as siblings produced from the union of two individuals produce another set of siblings. These siblings become first, second, third, fourth and call each other “prima and primo” as the generation continues to produce new members of the clan.   

Probably after the third cousins, the fourth and the rest normally lose touch of the lineage. These could be because of location, loss of contact, or even lack of interest in finding their roots. People in the old times were closer either because there were no opportunities outside of the country or they really are attached to the homeland.

My parents chose to retire in the farmland they inherited from my grandparents, while other family members lived in the main Barangay Mabini proper of Cadiz City. Members of the first generation chose to live in their birthplace, while those in the third generation are scattered elsewhere. My brother Dominic is now a Canadian, while my sister Stella, is an American living in New York. Cousins Reniel Palotis, an accountant, resides here in Kawit, Ma. Fe in Bacolod, Reina in USA, Jaja in Dubai. Zipper is based in Iloilo, working for Landbank, but still goes home, from time to time, in Cadiz. Crislourd, recently got married and is probably planning to migrate to Canada with his lovely wife. His brother Louie is a seaman and still lives in Mabini. All of us have been scattered in every corner of the world, just like most Filipinos.

Distances have been the main reason why families of new generations seem alienated. Most children in the 80’s grew up in a compound where their cousins also live, which made them closer to each other.

In order to reconnect with families, a reunion is a way to meet your loved ones whom you might have last seen when you were a teenager. From my mother’s side, the Ysulat Clan of Meliton, had their first reunion last June 8 in Dao, Antique. Lolo Meliton had two wives, Sinay and Rafaela. My grandfather, Juan, whom I had never met since he was KIA during the Japanese occupation as a military officer, came from Rafaela. My grandmother, Stella, had two daughters, Leticia Veneracion and my mother, Norma Deferia. She later remarried and had two more daughters, Lorna and Lavern.

From Desiderio Deferia’s maternal side, the scheduled June reunion of Tobungbanua did not push through since some relatives passed away. It is rescheduled to May 1, 2025 which this writer plans to join, God willing. I remembered visiting Tigbauan as a child and could recall playing with relatives. Later while working for Marsman, I met Boy Tordesillas, my second cousin, who works in Iloilo Doctors Hospital. Every time I am in the area, we would dine out once in a while to update about other relatives. I could only see relatives like Alma Tagamtam Villanueva in FB and exchange pleasantries from time to time. 

Even in ancient times, families are valued as the source of strength and power. Even in the Bible, it is written that the clan of Abraham played a major role in leading the Israelites for centuries until they were disbanded because of Roman occupation.

Families will always be families, no matter how far you are from each other. Distances are no reason not to keep in touch, and FB plays a major role in bridging these gaps. ||