Sunday Lifestyle

Tribute to a mouse

FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez Ventura - The Philippine Star

You missed my column last Sunday? I apologize. My computer mouse died so I couldn’t write. I tried to recharge and inject new life twice using different means but it would not charge. I figured if my mouse died on me, it was time for a holiday. But now I’m back. Happy. Refreshed. Almost brand-new.

Two wonderful things have happened that have lifted my spirits. First, there were two meetings with Rizal cousins, descendants of different sisters. The first one was with the Paciano and Narcisa descendants in the house where Loy and I got married.

It is always a supreme pleasure to return there. The garden always changes a little. One of the daughters is an architect and she loves to do things at their home. Their mango tree was bearing fruit. I love the fruit of this mango tree. It is sweet but different, not the standard mango taste. It is fibrous but not itchy on the throat. They say a friend gave them a seed many years ago. They planted it and now it bears delicious fruit.

About a week later they sent me a heavy red bag full of wonderful mangoes. My husband and I are very happy and filled to the brim with delicious mangoes.

The next Rizal lunch I went to was at the new Kashmir, at the Stock Exchange Building in The Fort. There we met some of the descendants of Paciano and Narcisa, Lucia and Soledad. The largest slice were the descendants of Maria, the sister immediately before Jose. We — my first cousins and I — are all descended from her. She had two children — a son, Mauricio, our grandfather and a daughter, Encarnacion.

We were invited by my first cousin Gemma Cruz Araneta, whose son Leon Araneta now owns Kashmir. My maiden name is Barbara C. Gonzalez. The “C” is for Cruz, my mother’s maiden name. Gemma’s father was my mother’s older brother. My other cousins, the Sy-quias, also have “C” as their middle initial for their mother Caridad Cruz, who married Pedro Sy-quia.

There also was our second cousin Encarnita Laurel, descended from Maria’s daughter, Encarnacion. While we grew up mostly together, we had not been together for a long time so there was something warm and wonderful at this reunion.

Fatima, Gemma’s daughter, was visiting from Mexico. She and my second daughter Sarri, who now lives in England, used to go to school together at Montessori and were best friends in their early grades. They had somehow reconnected briefly. Fatima is in Manila to visit her mother, help out her brother, and meet her relatives. Her oldest son is 23, more or less the same age as Sarri’s. It was a genuine pleasure seeing her help host the lunch, explain the menu, introduce me to a delicious salad of alugbati and kamote tops with garbanzos and tiny cherry tomatoes.

Then there was the visit of one of my closest girlfriends, whose name I won’t write because readers might follow my mouse’s example and drop dead. We went out for lunch twice. The first time we discussed our families and whatever minor problems there were. We decided to find a boyfriend for one of her sisters who, like so many women we knew, was probably lonely. That was our opinion. Not the sister’s. We spent lunch brainstorming and focused on one man we both knew. He would be ideal, we agreed, but how do we get them together? We agreed to think about that.

A few days later I received text from her saying, “He’s gay!”

“How did you know?” I asked.

“I ran into a gay friend who always hangs out with him,” she said. That set the tone for our next meeting, which began and ended with giggles.

There’s this American astrologer who sends me lengthy texts about how favorable my planets are for me now. These positions will improve all relationships with friends, relatives, even lovers. I tried to charge her to two of my credit cards but neither was accepted. This is a sign from God, I thought. He doesn’t want me to believe in astrologers, though biblically, some of them believed in predictions.

When the Baby Jesus was brought to the temple for presentation, Simeon and Ana were there. Simeon, or so I heard, told Mary that her son was set for the fall and rising of many in Israel and that a sword would pierce her soul also. Something like that. This is now part of the rosary of Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, which may be a new project for me once I finish my orders, which may be never.

Let me get back to earth, back to reality. My mouse came back to life and I am writing again. Don’t you wish it had stayed dead? These uncertain days, I don’t know. A message to my mouse: Thank you for the holiday that somehow scattered me. I had wonderful times!

* * *

Please text your comments to 0998-991-2287.


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with