I had mixed feelings during the holiday season. One the upside, it was our first Christmas as a married couple and there were lots of things to do. On the downside, there were untimely deaths in just a span of days.
We recently moved in to our new abode, which is practically inside the compound of our old house. We did a lot of renovation work. (The ASEAN protest schedules and the con-ass charter change issue sort of delayed the house repairs.)
The fun stuff was working on antique furniture which were half a century old. We did a lot of cleaning up and in the process discovered a lot of the stuff that my Lola was kept over the decades. These included postal stamps from the turn of the 20th century (some were dated 1907 which would make the stamps 100 years old by 2007), vinyl recording of classical music dated 1937-38 (music greats like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart), and oh the nice cross-stitch collection dated 1938. My Lola kept a lot of stuff. That’s probably where my mom got her penchant for keeping lots of stuff too. I am only afraid that I may also be susceptible to the same habit of keeping stuff just for the sake of keeping them.
Renovating you house is just like the computer game SIMS, except in this case, you actually spend money and do a lot of labor. For couples or families looking for affordable furniture, we recommend this place along Muñoz in Quezon City, just before the Muñoz market if your coming from Quezon Avenue.
The name of the place is Richmont Trading, or so the receipt says. Its proprietor is a certain Mario Uy, a very warm Chinese dude whose smile makes you feel “at home” in his shop. Don’t be misled by the look of this shop since the place is no mall or fancy store. It’s at the ground floor of a dilapidated building.
Still, Mr. Uy sells almost every imaginable piece of furniture at very affordable prices, way lower than what you can find at SM malls. For example, a 42 inch Uratex mattress that’s sold for more than P3,800 at the mall can be obtained at his shop for only P3,000. He does deliveries and accepts credit cards. He also volunteered the cut the piece of wood we bought at the hardware beside his shop.
And so after being married for a month and sleeping on the living room floor, we now have a bed to sleep on.
The downside of the holiday season were the untimely deaths of comrades and friends in the movement.
There was Dr. Ochie Baes, a nationalist, environmentalists and scientist for the people. There was Ka Selma, a cultural worker from the First Quarter Storm, who is also the wife of Bgy. Chairman Caloy, the village chief where our old Anakbayan HQ used to be.
What made me really sad was the news of the confinement of my friend and mentor Monico “Nick” Atienza. He’s currently confined at the Intensive Care Unit of the Philippine General Hospital after a lingering ailment caused complications with his breathing.
Nick is an activist from the 60’s. He became secretary general of the Kabataang Makabayan and was one of the many who went underground to fight the Marcos dictatorship. He was arrested and tortured by the fascist regime. During the Aquino administration, he was ambushed together with another professor as he was coming from a TV program of Prof. Randy David. He survived but Prof. Simbulan was not as fortunate.
When we started to establish the youth group Anakbayan in 1998, I would often visit Nick at his office at the Faculty Center to ask for guidance. He was very much a part of the founding and formation of Anakbayan, from the drafting of its constitution up to designing the structure and function of the organization. He also gave a message during Anakbayan’s founding congress in November 1998.
I learned my first lesson in united front work from Nick. I learned it the hard way of course, through negative example. I realized that not all politicians are at once your enemies. That was way back in 1992, during my freshman year in UP.
We all hope for the best for Nick and we sure hope more of his friends and students throughout the years would continue to help out.
I always thought that my Lola and my mom were the kind that couldn’t let go of certain things. That’s why they kept a lot of stuff at home. I guess it’s different with people though. You can’t keep people in a box and store them away in your garage.
There will always be a time to let go.