Family: Reunited, at last

Family picture

Mom and I had the biggest surprise of our lives yesterday when dad suddenly blasted through the doors of my maternal grandmother’s house here in the wonderful town of Palo in Leyte province.

You see, barely 24 hours ago, Dada Joel sent us a text message saying he’d fly in the morning of Wednesday, April 18, my birthday. Apparently, he wanted to give us heart attacks. I was certainly shocked, especially when dad swept into the living room and hoisted me high above his head. Mom, on the other hand, was catatonic.

After much gasping and shouting, partly to elicit some sort of response from Mama Joyce, we finally gave dad a proper welcome. A little pampering, some clean clothes and good food, and a lot of love.

In return, he told us of his journey, his adventure. Dad doesn’t speak good Waray, the local dialect. I can just imagine how he did his darned best to communicate to jeepney drivers and public transport conductors that he needed to reach the barangay of Baras in Palo.

Ever the optimist, dad hopped on the last plane to Leyte yesterday without giving much thought about how he’d reach us once he landed at the Daniel Romualdez airport. He said he just rode the first jeepney he saw at the airport, got down at the first major junction, and prepped himself for another jeepney ride that would take him closer to us, by his estimation.

I guess it was just dumb luck (or, from the optimist’s view, divine intervention) that dad saw MommyLa (my maternal grandmother) riding a jeepney that zipped past him. He said he wasted no time in calling out a loud and authoritative “Ma!” to get the attention not only of MommyLa but half the people in the vicinity.

Maybe that’s the reason why his 3 p.m. flight got delayed by two hours … so he’d catch that fateful glimpse of his mother-in-law’s face as a jeepney was speeding past him.

Welcome home, Dada Joel!

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