APONG PELA… TRACING BACK HER ROOTS AT 86.


It’s been like 8 long years since I tried as a 21 year old grandson to look for my grandmother’s relatives in the town of Hinigaran located in the province of Negros Occidental in Visayas. I started sending emails to people living in nearby provinces through some social networking directories. I thought of emailing the offices of the mayors, congressmen and even some officials because of my will of finding her roots. “Wish ko lang” and “Willingly yours” were so famous then in doing the same public service to less fortunate but I did not see myself as a less fortunate person and I thought alot of people deserve the help than I do. Aside from this, I was also conscious that this would land me in the said TV shows and I would end up being teased to death. What a petty alibi!

This attempt gave good results. Several LGU officers and employees emailed me back. Some even called me. I was optimistic until there was this one person who called me and told me that he is my grandmother’s cousin. He has promised his aunt and uncle that he would look and bring back her long lost cousin in their town. Thus, he travelled to Manila and there he lived his life and raised a family in Marikina City. He was so happy to tell me that somehow his long wait has been fruitful. At an old age, he still wish to keep kis promise and he longs to see her cousin. Unfortunately, just days after we talked, he succumbed to heart attack and he died… accomplishing his mission. Although he never got to see his cousin, he learn at the last minute that she is alive after almost 8 decades of being away. He was happy and he was the late Rodrigo Dalisay.

That was a quick story. Anyway, my grandmother’s name is Apolonia Lachica Dalisay. I have yet to locate this notebook I had where I listed down notes as she was telling us her story before her Alzheimer’s Desease erased part of her memory. Nonetheless, I will continue the storytelling. I will update the details as soon as I get to check the note. Well, she is the only child on the first marriage and her father died early so her mother had to marry her step-dad from the Urbina Family.

She had other siblings from the second marriage of her mother where she was the eldest. They were known to have this sugar mill or I was just wrong. I know that she came from a well-off family as she speaks english eloquently even at a young age as confirmed by my uncles and aunties and even my grandfather when he was still alive. My grandmother or Apong Pela as how we call her knows her past amidst her illness. She can narrate every detail of her childhood with all the names and dates that is so vivid as if it were just yesterday.

So how did she arrived in Manila? Her uncle or perhaps my great grandfather was working then with the Araneta Family in Cubao. If I am not mistaken, she was taken there through the help of her teacher who gave her a free ride on a ferry- There she worked until my grandfather met her and married her. They headed to Pampanga to have their own family and there they raised 9 kids. She lived as my Ingkong Eti’s right hand and wife as they were farming for a living. She never got to visit her birthplace since then.

Apong Pela used to walk to her children’s home each day bringing “suman” and other stuffs to check his grandchildren. Like my Ingkong Dado or late maternal grandfather whom I have written a blog entry days ago, she is thoughtful and very loving. Never did I hear her complain about life because I always see her as a jolly person displaying her usual smile. I guess this is always true for ladies of Bacolod City. Unfortunately, she has aged so much and lately she cannot walk anymore because she broke her hips from an accidental fall a year ago. Nonetheless, she has her wheelchair which did not prevent her from malling and going to her favorite foodchain – JOLLIBEE! Well, she loves SM CITY as well that she makes it synonymous to malling and malls. She is a jolly and outgoing person.

Well… I will continue this post later. My wife is now signaling that we have to go and travel back to the province. See you later!