The unexpected trip to my father’s hometown.

Actually, it was more like a business trip but still it was such a coincidence that my out-of-town engagement last March 2 to 13, the farthest I had for that matter (maybe even last) was in Iligan, Lanao Del Norte where my father grew up. It came out of nowhere, my forecast for the remaining weeks of the audit busy season was already full. And then for some reason, it all changed and the next thing I knew I have a client in Iligan for the next two weeks. My first reaction was like – “where the hell is that?” But I knew at the back of my head that it’s where my dad came from so I immediately texted him. I thought he was nonchalant about it because he didn’t reply until he told me the next day that everyone was waiting for me there. Everyone??? Well, after having given him the name of my client, my relatives knew where it was and they were just close to the vicinity. Ya you read it right, relatives… Relatives I never knew nor met! Of course my dad told me about some distant childhood memory about them I can’t remember. I have to admit I was a little indifferent about meeting them. But there’s just another teensy weensy problem, nope that’s not the last of the setbacks of this almost perfect engagement. It’s not actually a big deal, but it’s just that there are two of us assigned to this client. The other guy was from another department. And once again, let’s just say we’re not exactly close. Okay, so I was thinking I’m going to be working with and even sharing a room with a complete stranger. I don’t know maybe I am a little touchy about it but I’m just not comfortable with the thought. I learned later that he was a batchmate from a different group in the office. I did actually remember how he looked and that’s about it although I have a feeling based on our first meeting that he didn’t have the slightest idea about me. 🙂 And what made it more awkward was the fact that we didn’t get to meet before the engagement began; I wasn’t able to because of the pile of work I was under. I just couldn’t afford a free time. So we met on the airport and there I was meeting an officemate whom I have an image in my mind but not so much sure. Fortunately, it is him. And in fairness, we got along quite nicely. I think I can pretty much owe it to him, he was the one more, how do I put this, friendly? I really tend to be shy on situations like this. So that went down well.

Now back to my other problem. My dad convinced me that they are so eager to meet me and they were! They kept on contacting me the day I arrived and even offered to fetch me. The first meeting was just holy awkward! With a very impersonal handshake and not to mention the inkling in me that says “Am I actually with the right persons?” Haha… Talk about the mother of all awkwardness! 😀 I was in a place foreign to me what else could I think? I swear I don’t have any info to be of reference heck I don’t even know how they look! Not even a picture to measure any resemblance. But anyways, it was pretty easy to get along with them except for the language barrier, everything was fine. They were really, really nice and hospitable. My gosh I got so guilty for even thinking of not meeting them. But I’m glad I did. It was a very interesting experience, I just wish I knew how to speak Bisaya so I can get to know them even more. We had a couple of get-togethers and even more meeting of relatives like my Aunt Letty, Ate Isang, Ate Susan, Ate Mayang and dozens of my cousins whose names I can’t remember, sorry! I even found out that I already have a grandchild to one of my cousins. They even took me and my officemates to Ma. Christina Falls also famously referred to as the ‘twin falls’, President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo’s ancestral home and the well-known Timuga Beach with its cold spring. Wow, that was really a lot to take in for the span of two weeks but I just want to thank my Kuya Paul and Sonny for making me feel as comfortable as possible, I did felt like I had a home away from home. It was my first time being in Mindanao so it really helped, it was the farthest place I’ve ever been. I really appreciate what they’ve done for me and I wish I could go back there and maybe by then it’s not for work anymore. 🙂 Here are some pics… 

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