Andy, George (his dad) and I made it to the Philippines after about 30 hours of travel. Luckily, it was 2:00 AM, so we had nothing to do but sleep. We were driven to McDonalds for a treat before bed.
George was here last when he served in the Air Force during the Vietnam conflict. He was lucky to be in a paymaster position after commercial services. He met his wife, Amelia, when in this second position as she was a Philippina in the Civilian Pay department. They met at a Christmas party on base and were married 10 months later in
Oct. of 68.
They lived in the de la Cruz family house until George’s term was up around Oct. of ‘69. That’s when George and “Mellie” left the Philippines for 6 mo. leave in St. Louis, George’s home city. That was his last time here!
Yesterday (Sat. here/Fri. there), George finally saw his third niece still living here in Manila. The 4th and oldest sister lives in VA, so he’s seen her most recently some 8 years ago at her oldest son’s wedding. George was amazed that he new them all despite not seeing them since they were under the age of 9 – he said their faces haven’t changed! One benefit of us being here in the beginning of January besides being the “dry season” (they have gotten some unseasonable typhoons/hurricanes), is that we will be celebrating Tito Tony’s 82 (Andy’s Uncle Tony) Birthday and George’s niece’s, Aileen’s, 60th! Tita Aida, the sister of Mellie, turned 80 in November – this was was the true reason for us wanting to take George on this reunion trip.
We’ve been living up the Philippine lifestyle, eating and conversation followed by more eating and conversation. “Priming the pump” and moderation is the key! Last night at the house of Ate. Annabelle ( she’s older than Andy and me so women get the title Ate. even though she is Andy’s cousin), we planned an adventure to Baguio where we will go hiking in the mountains and visiting the huge outdoor “Wet Market.” Don’t ask me! I have to still do the research. Baguio is the city that George is excited to visit as it is where he and Mellie spent their Honeymoon. Are. Annabelle, her son “Beto” (Alberto – one of 4 sons), and the three of us are going on the 13-15.
You all probably noticed that the family have nicknames (I think most people do here), but they also all have names beginning with “A.” Here are all the family members of Tita Aida and Tito Anthony (other husbands not included):
Annie (VA), Anton (son), Adrian (s)
Aileen (Manila), Alan (s), Angela (daughter), Abbey (d)
Agnes (Manila), Anele (d), Aisha (d), Ayan (d)
Annabelle (Manila), Alfonso (?) (s – again he’s always called by his nickname, which is “Pancho!”), Alejandro (s), Angelo (s), Alberto (s)
Anthony (Wales), Adrian (s – so far the only duplicated name in the entire de la Cruz family…they are actually spelled differently too, but I don’t know who is this spelling).
Well, I will write maybe a little more later after we have more experiences, but it’s time to get out for a walk around the neighborhood before we have to eat again!
Em and Andy