Catching up with family members that you have not seen in a long time is always an agreeably appealing experience, more so when magnified by a happy and rare occasion.A day from today, my father will be ninety years of age, and at this once-in-a-lifetime milestone, all of us kinfolk’s converging back again to the old mothership, almost seems like a tribal thing.
My two brothers, based in Manila and General Santos City, have both come down with their entire families to briefly spend a precious few days with us, their Davao brood and our beloved old man. The occasion of his birthday had also been an opportune time for our younger set, composed of now-grown nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, to re-connect, with their own tales, and to weld back the spaces that had long separated them. These and everything else tipped positively to the makings of one great reunion weekend.
And where was the first place to go after saying our hellos to the dad? Since we were kids, the allure of the beach had always been a natural impulse. For some, a weekend might be the ideal beach time, but for this clan, it didn’t really matter what day it was. With no typhoons to stop us this time, a perfect day of cool waters and just the perfect shade of sun unfolded and justly provided the best backdrop for our short family reunion.
A visit to People’s Park proved to be another trip down memory lane for the oldies. What used to be Davao’s first sports complex, the PTA grounds, had now been converted into a large garden filled with indigenous trees and flowers of the region, aptly complimented with large sculptures of local artist, Kublai Milan.
Food sorties and the sampling of Davao’s durian were the next deducible activities. For the “elder” set, ergo true-blue Davao veterans, especially those who had missed its exotic taste, this felt like welcoming an old friend, but for the rest and a few first-timers, eating durian might as well have been the anticipated initiation to Dabawenyo culture.
Alas, with the busy schedules that always cramped things and time, we have not had enough ample moments for other Davao treasures, like visits to the Philippine Eagle Camp and other cool places. As such, a second visit, and a regular one at that, may be warranted. For this week however, the second batch of visitors might prove more lucky. Our beloved pop and our city will wait as always.
“The oxen may be slow, but the earth is patient.” – Tibetan saying