The Best Things in Life

The best things in life are not things. The best things in life are not free either.

The best of our lives are the stories of love, faith, courage, sacrifice, perseverance and simplicity; handed down from one generation to another, gifted by one spirit to inspire another, with a vision to create a community centered on compassion and peace.

If I had to use one word to describe how we were brought up along the streets of Calle Real, it would be “privileged.” Privileged, not because of the abundance of needs being met, or the occasional wants being provided for. It’s nothing material.

I feel privileged because of the abundance of stories that seem to surround us. Whether the stories be told by beings in the form of man, by spirits in the form of moments, by the divine in the form of nature.

Based on our history as a Spanish colony, there is a purpose why the church, the Capitol, and some prominent houses surround the town plaza. But what many do not seem to know or understand is this– In our case, the town plaza looks toward Calle Real. Calle Real as the PILLAR of the LOCAL ECONOMY. The pillar consists of both the tradesmen and the locals they trade with. A symbiotic relationship which propelled the growth of a very young society.

Many Chinese immigrants who landed on the shores of Antique, planted their roots along Calle Real. Most (if not all) of them knew one another, building their own close-knit community of foreign immigrants in a foreign land. The same names who first occupied those lands in the 1930s/1940s are still on it, despite the changing times. We have the P’s, Pd’s, L’s, U’s, Pc’s, A’s, among others.

I grew up in awe of the history of these families. The same families who were neighbors of our great grandparents, grandparents, our parents, and now us. The history, the story, that binds us all together- making us a very special community of sorts.

Though I’ve belatedly realized it now, New Years in Calle Real was the bomb! There is no other street where all families begin to line up and light firecrackers as early as 8pm in a continuous medley, each family taking turn, until 2 in the morning.

Thoughts on last Saturday’s events went pippity-poppity and poof- another MGATT for me to reflect, write and share. The Pc’s bid farewell to the last of their elders. The tribute video they made says it all, “…it signifies the end of a generation.” For us Pd’s, we had that epiphany last year.

Another familiar face has been erased from the streets of daily activity. But her passing, as with those who have gone ahead, leaves us with one of life’s greatest blessings- Her Life, Her Story.

I’ll always remember her Mona Lisa- like smile. Buen Camino Lola Inday Pc! It is a privilege to have known you.

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