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Visiting Grandmother in Biliran, Leyte, Philippines

I'm Sure Everyone Has a Relative Like This from Their Childhood

Hi everyone. I have been back in Province for a long time. No electricity there, so I cannot write until I get back to my place in the Manila area. So now I am back and I have a story to tell you.

You know I have written before about the long bus trip of 20 hours there and back.  Today I want to tell you about a little trip that I took when I was in Province.

We took a small boat over to Biliran island. I still call it Leyte because Biliran was part of Leyte when I was a child. I have so many cousins in Biliran in Casiawan, Cabucgayan. I always like to see them, but really am not so close to many of these cousins even though they are family from my grandmother of my mother's side.

My mother has 13 or 14 sis and bros and my father has 9 sis and bros, so this is why I have so many cousins!

But I really enjoy going to Leyte because I can visit my grandmother, mother of my father, in the sementerio. We go there and light candles for her. I was so very close to her when I was young. She kept me from first through third grade, and I would always sleep with her until she died.

This is common in the Province you know. People so very poor but as strong family we always take care of each other. Anyway, my grandmother loved me very much and was always nice to me, she never hurt me.

Many times I would shout and cry for her to give me just one peso, you know acting like bratty little kid. She would get a little galit (angry) and shout back "wala pera" (no money) haha but I would not stop.

She always had food for me too. Many days after school she would find some bread for me. And she did not like me to play outside, because always afraid I would get hurt.

My grandmother died when she was 82 and when I was 14 years old. For one year I would not do my studies in school because I felt like I am dead too. Even today I cry when I think of her and I cry when I visit her in sementerio. I am sure you know what I mean, many people have someone like this when they are a child.

She is still alive in my head and I know God always takes care of her.

Yes there is a beautiful bundok (mountain) in Leyte and many nice trees with fruit that I like. We swim in the ocean and we eat the fish from the sea. We play in the waterfall. I make gimik with my sis and bros and favorite cousins and we have so much fun.

But I feel best when I visit my dead grandmother there. I know if she is alive today I take care of her,  and I always wish I could hug her one more time again.

More Stories By Inday Vinyas

Inday Vinas grew up in Samar Province, Philippines. She left high school after three years to work and help her family, including seven brothers and sisters. She is now a writer and small businessperson.