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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 27, 2015
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with Rolly Espina

Little joys in life

Rolly Espina

While the children were growing up, we always had a full house, not only because we have 11 children not to mention extended family members who stayed with us, but because it was open house as well for my children's friends and classmates.

Although it can be quite rowdy at times, my late wife, Nene and I, always welcomed whoever they bring home, believing they were better off having fun at our place than in the streets or elsewhere.

Especially in Manila where my three children, Mary Anne, Mate' and Nenen were at one time active in the performing arts, our apartment was known as the home where someone breaks into a song and dance at any time of the day.

While I was working then for the Philippine Star, I would come home to a living room filled with artists sleeping on the floor. Come to think of it, many of them are now well-known, award-winning artists, both here and abroad.

Among them whom I've met briefly are the Briones brothers, Jon-jon and Edward and if their names ring a bell, it's because Jon-jon is now as famous as the original “Engineer,” Jonathan Pryce, of the famed Miss Saigon.

Here at home, we recently had a house guest, Maylyn Obordo-Calansingin, a high school classmate of Mate' who was in town for their Pearl homecoming at the Negros Occidental High School.

Maylyn hails from Murcia and although she still has family there, she stayed with us because they usually ended late while preparing for their production number which they showed last Saturday at their reunion in the Sugarland Hotel.

A couple of days ago Maylyn invited Mate' for lunch in Murcia and to meet her husband's aunts, Edna, Azela, Chita and Dodet Calansingin. My daughter told me they welcomed her like they knew her so well and was quite amazed at their recollection of my wife and other members of our family.

She found out later that they've kept tabs of my column here in DAILY STAR and have, in fact, clippings of some of my columns and those of other columnists here.

When I was told about it, it was just heartwarming to know that somehow the stories we share here, and not just the news and political commentaries we make, but the poignant ones about our simple lives have touched others.

It brings to mind what one of my sons told me before. In a gathering, he was introduced to someone who started talking about his life and our family like they were old friends and he eventually found out that it was also because of my columns.

I certainly have been writing about important events in our lives or that of my children through the years, but it's usually in passing and only when I felt it was something I needed to share with my readers. Hearing how these has impacted other people is really uplifting and I'd like to thank them for letting me know they've appreciated what I and my fellow columnists have been writing all these years.

It's really a small world we live in. My daughter also got to meet other aunts of Maylyn from her husband's side like Melba Makilan and her sister, Cecille, the wife of Donato Cruz.

Melba regaled them with stories of my sister and brother, Dodge while they were attending college in Manila. Cecille on the other hand, stayed in the US for a long time and when she came back, caught the eye of Donnie and although they were already in their prime, Cecille at 70, Donnie, 80, they fell in love and got married a couple of years ago.

It's nice to hear stories like these and I wish them all the best and more years of togetherness.

Someday, I hope I get to meet and sit down with the Calansingin sisters and maybe they can refresh me with stories I've shared. In my old age and the years of column-writing, I could not keep track anymore of what I've actually shared with our readers.

These are little joys in life that keeps me writing despite the difficulty sometimes - to hear someone appreciate what you've written. And again, thank you for sharing these warm thoughts with me.*

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