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23 May 2008

Together again

Ancheta Siblings

The Mijares-Ancheta siblings
Image source: Paul Ancheta

THREE WEEKS ago, my ten siblings and I gathered altogether in Manila for the very first time as a full group since 1982. We've been wanting to do this home reunion through so many family events (weddings, anniversaries, Papa and Mama's passing), but there was always a valid reason for one of us living overseas to miss such event. Last February, my brother Allan confirmed that he and his family were migrating to Canada in May. A flurry of e-mails and Skype conversations followed, and we all decided to come home in May . . . by hook or by crook.

And so we did. Between 28 April to 2 May, we did things together: catch up, cook meals, dine out, pray, shop, pose for posterity pictures at home, picnic at the tranquil resting place of Papa and Mama. We even visited the street in Quezon City where we grew up in the seventies, surprised at its eerie narrowness and saddened by its depressing crowdedness.

Those five days remain amongst the most memorable of our days. Now that we lead separate lives in the Philippines and overseas, we'll never know if and when this full reunion can happen again.