Super Lola

Bright, pink hair. That’s the first thing I noticed when I saw her. Apparently, her apos in Bohol gave her a make-over as a farewell treat before she came to live with us. It was the kind of pink that Rodman and Pink used to sport. She doesn’t know how her hair looked like because of cataract. When she got her eyesight back, she said she wanted a change of hair color. So my aunts took her to a Beauty Salon along Rizal Avenue for a new do and dye. She was enjoying every moment like a pampered beauty queen.

We fondly call her Super Lola. Nope, she doesn’t have super powers. We just thought it’s cool to call her Super Lola. We also think she, sort of, rocked the pink hair. Actually, we call her Super Lola to distinguish her from our other Lola, my Dad’s mother. Super Lola is our Lola-sa-Tuhod (great grandmother or literally Grandmother-on-the-knees?).

LOL This process of thinking bi-lingual is so difficult! I am so tabal!

Super Lola is the shy-type, but very observant. Whenever we have guests, she’d retreat to her room or stay in the kitchen. Then she’d quietly peek out of a corner and stare at the strangers.

When she became at ease with the strangers around, she’d speak her mind out loud to our embarrassment. Like one time, she said to a visiting friend, “You should marry my granddaughter!” or something to that effect. Oh, man…

Later she’d ask, “Unsay rango ato, day?” (What’s his/her rank?)

Rank is a big deal for Super Lola. She has this high regard for those who have been educated and have professional titles such as Doctor or Teacher or whatever. Super Lola did not finish school. She said she had to stop going to her classes out of embarrassment. Her classmates teased and called her, “Mrs.! Mrs.!” Back in the ancient days, it’s legal to get engaged at the age of 9 and then be married after your first period. Super Lola got married at a very young age and she has 12 children. Wow. Her husband was 30 years older than her. He did all the house chores, while she took care of the children. When she stayed with us, she did her own laundry. She refused my offer to do it for her because I have a “rank.”

Even though Super Lola did not finish school, she understood English. She speaks Bujol, a difficult kind of Visayan which we have a hard time deciphering. So we spoke to her in English and she answered YES or NO or I DON’T UNDERSTAND. It was always a hilarious moment conversing with her.

She loved to hum/sing to herself while doing her stuff. She said Super Lolo used to sing to her. He played several musical instruments, too. Maybe that’s where our musical inclination comes from.

Super Lola got weaker due to old age. Speaking of which, she can’t remember her birthday or age. We estimate her to be near a 100 years old. She’s healthy for someone in that age. She doesn’t have arthritis, or highblood, or heart decease, or whatever that troubles aged people.

She liked drinking Coke and eating ice cream. Spaghetti is the least of her favorite food. She said it reminds her of bitok. LOL I guess her secret to longevity comes from not eating oily food. And NOT taking baths during Fridays and Tuesdays. LOL Ok that’s just a superstitious belief. She believes that during those days, evil spirits are stronger. If you take a bath, the evil spirits will enter your body. There is this part of the head (bunbunan) which is not strong enough to keep the evil spirits from entering your body. Once they’re in, they could make you sick. @_@

The past months, she was acting like a little girl who sat in front of the TV all day long. She learned to imitate the way TV hosts sit -short dresses with legs/thighs dangling and all. Hehe… She wanted to have whatever was being advertized. She was like Mik or Crystal, or Chreslyn… loved to dress up, fix herself, where earrings, necklaces, rings, with bracelets.

Full of life and years, Super Lola eventually became too stubborn to move and walk around. She doesn’t even like to take a bath! Hehe… I am truly my Super Lola’s apo -if I’m just going to stay in the house, I don’t like taking a bath, too. LOL Surprisingly, I still smell good. LOL XD

Some people think there’s no point in taking care of her or taking her to the hospital when she’s going to die anyway. My Dad said if the issue is a mathematical equation, the thought of not taking her to the hospital is logical and practical. However, the issue is love. We take care of our elders because we love them. That’s how filial love works, especially for many Filipinos. We still take pride in taking care of our elders no matter how difficult it is.

Bye Super Lola. Thank you for the wonderful, quirky moments you spent with us. You will be missed, but at last you are at rest.

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