Monday, February 09, 2009

Love Letters, 1949 - Family's coming

My father was originally from the northern province of Isabela, more than 300 kms. north of Manila. He moved to Manila and lived with relatives in search of better opportunities. I remember him repeating that his life would not have improved had he stayed in the province.

In the following letter, he talks about his father and siblings coming from Isabela and La Union, another northern province, to visit my mother in Los Banos. My mother was expecting to give birth any time.

In the same letter, my father narrates an incident that happened at his workplace involving a co-worker caught sleeping on the the job. Read the rest of the story...


University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City
September 21, 1949

Ling, Mahal Kong Dar,

Bago ang lahat ay hayaan mo munang ibalita ko sa iyo na ako ay dumating dito na maluwalhati. Kumusta naman ang inyong lagay? Di pa ba ako uuwi diyan? Kumusta naman si Fremma, at kayong lahat diyan?

Ling, ako'y lumiham sa iyo dahil sa mayroon akong ibabalita sa iyo na mahalagang bagay. Ngunit maya-maya ko na sasabihin sa iyo para masabik sabik ka naman. Ling, noong Sabado ng gabi na ako'y nandiyan ay nahuli ni Mr. Arana si Cabangbang na tulog sa puesto. At alam mo, isang buan daw pinagvavacation. Ngunit alam mo naman ako kay Mr. Arana, yaon isang buan ay ginawa kong isang linggo, walang bayad, bayani namin siya ngayon.

Ling, dumating ang tatay ngayon umaga kasama ng manong. Sa Sabado ay pupunta sila diyan sa Los Banos. Sa Juebes ay pupunta sila ni Mining sa La Union upang kaunin ang kapatid naming bunso at saka sila samasamang pupunta diyan.

Ling, hihintayin ko lamang ang kaun sa akin. Huag mong kalilimutan na ipatawag mo ako kung ikaw ay mayroon nang nararamdaman. Ibig (kong) katulong mo ako sa mga sandaling iyan. Kailangang nandiyan ako. Kaya, huag mong lilimutan, sa Sabado pupunta sina Geneng, Mining, ang Tatay at ang bunso naming kapatid kung may awa ng Dios na makaun nila sa La Union sa Juebes.

Ling, hanggang dito na lamang at hanggang sa muli. Maraming maraming halik sa iyo. Ihalik mo rin ako kay Fremma.

Ang iyong
Fredie, Mahal Mong Ling


University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City
September 21, 1949

Ling, My Dear Dar,

Before anything else, I want you to know that I arrived here safely. How are all of you? Don't I need to be there yet? How is Fremma and everyone else?

Ling, I wrote you because I have some important news to tell you. But I will tell you about it in a little while so you will get excited. Ling, last Saturday evening when I was there, Mr. Arana (Chief) found Cabangbang (a fellow policeman) sleeping on his post. And you know, he (Arana) told him (Cabangbang) to go on a one-month leave. But you know my influence on Mr. Arana, I got him to turn that one month into one week, without pay. He (Cabangbang) does odd jobs for us now.

Ling, Tatay (my father's father) arrived today with Manong (older brother). They are going to Los Banos on Saturday. This Thursday they will go with Mining (younger sister) to La Union to pick up our youngest sister, and they will all go there (to Los Banos) together.

Ling, I am just waiting for someone to pick me up. Don't forget to call for me when you feel like you're going into labour. I want to help you when that happens. I must be there. Don't forget, on Saturday, Geneng (my mother's sister), Mining, Father and our youngest sister, God-willing they are able to get her from La Union, will all go there on Saturday.

Ling, this is all for now and until next time. Many kisses to you. Kiss Fremma for me too.

Your
Fredie, Your Beloved Ling

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