Christmas Family Reunion and Some Memories

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Christmas Family Reunion and Some Memories

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boholano-thumbAccording to our Claretian Bible Diary 2015, today is the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

According to the Gospel: Lk 2:41-52: “Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem  for the feast of the Passover…and when Jesus was 12 years old, he went up with them…. After the festival was over, they returned but the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem and his parents did not know about it. …

As they did not find him they went back to Jerusalem…and after three days they found him in the Temple….His mother said to him, “Son why did you do this to us….” Then Jesus said: “Whey were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

Our Christmas family reunion. Our own Global Family took advantage of Christmas 2015 for our very brief get-together in our ancestral home in Beverly Hills, Antipolo City. Jonas our  youngest again lives with us.

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Otherwise the whole family can only get together by email and global telephone and very   occasional visits.

Daughter Lanelle, our eldest, lives in her own home in Beverly Hills, Antipolo and she hosted our Christmas Eve Noche Buena dinner and family reunion.  Son Jobert, our second eldest, came home from Pennsylvania. Rossana our third family member came home from Singapore. We were joined by closest family friends Monique and Bruce.

We also had Christmas day dinner in our Ancestral Home in Antipolo where my wife, Coring (going 84) and I (going 88) are the ancestors.

What a blessing and joy it is to be all together on Christmas, howsoever briefly. Especially because we, the ancestors, are very senior and still reasonably healthy, by God’s grace.

From December 26 to 30-31, some of us also took our vacation in Panglao and Duero, Bohol. Duero is where we have Handurawan, Balay Abueva, the ancestral home by the sea where my brother and sisters are the living ancestors.

My sister Ching Abueva Floro, the widow of Martin Floro, has retired in our Handurawan after living in Australia for some 35 years. Yearly she visits Sydney for three weeks to validate her Australian citizenship and avail herself of her generous medical benefits.

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The original Abueva ancestral home was built on the same memorable site by the parents of my father, Teodoro Lloren Abueva: namely Manuel Abueva (Capitan Awing) and Leocadia Lloren (Mama Cadia) Abueva.

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As youngsters before World War II (1941-1945) we used to spend our school vacations there with Papa (Lolo) Awing and Mama (Lola) Cadia. We still have fond memories of those vacations. We were living permanently in Tagbilaran, the capital town of Bohol.

Happiest and saddest memories of Duero. Our evacuation in Duero during the Japanese occupation (1941-45) was partly our happiest life—with the whole family together, safe and healthy. I am repeating a story I have told before for those who still don’t know about it and may care to know.

Mama (Lola) Cadia and Brother Billy (Napoleon) were arrested by Japanese soldiers in our evacuation home in Tugop, Duero. I was saved because Billy denied that I was his brother. And I was ordered to tell Papa Doro to surrender to the Japanese in order to save his mother from execution.

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Billy (Napoleon) would be released after his torture that bloated his face and broke some front teeth. I felt tormented by his suffering. Then Mama Cadia would be released. My father had refused to collaborate with the Japanese and he and Mama Nena served in the Occupation government and the underground.

And not long after, in fact when General MacArthur landed with the U.S. Liberation Forces in Leyte on October 20, 1944, Japanese soldiers with some Filipino aides arrested Papa and Mama and some Filipino guerrillas in their mountain evacuation site in Duero. The guerrillas were killed on the spot, and our parents were taken to prison as far away as Jagna, at least ten kilometers away.

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Two days later they would be tortured and executed on the hillside at Balitbiton, Valencia. This day, happened to be the birthday of Sister Ching, so we agreed to remember that they were killed on the next day, October 23, 1944.

Ironic reconciliation with Japan. Way later I would be living in Japan with my own family from 1977 to 1987. In Tokyo I served at the University Centre in the United Nations University including two years in the U.N.U. office  in New York.

In Tokyo I was reconciled with the Japanese nation because of its pacification, the peace program of the UNU, and my personal relations with peace-loving Japanese scholars, leaders, and students.

Mao diay ang atong kinabuhi! Ganon pa la ang buhay.

My email is pepevabueva@gmail.com (By Jose “Pepe” Abueva)

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