I went to Binalonan, Pangasinan last Saturday. It is a small town in the eastern part of Pangasinan. When I was a kid, I’d go there every summer vacation or on weekends. Most of my cousins in the mother side are based there and since majority were girls, we would play hide and seek and even pretend that we’re popstars or celebrities.
I have to admit that I rarely go there now. I know that my Lolo Erning (my mom’s father) is longing to see me more often. I feel a bit guilty about this part since I travel often yet I always miss the chance to visit them.
When I arrived last Saturday, some of my relatives were excited to see me. They’ve been reading some of my blog entries and Facebook updates about the places where I’ve been. Even my pamangkins (nephews) are big boys now. How fast time flies!
Lola Rosing, my grandmother’s sister prepared Pinapaitan for dinner. They know that I am craving for this Ilocano dish and I am just glad that I am about to eat this favorite viand of mine. My cousin also owns a sari-sari store, where I am allowed to get tigpi-pisong tsitsirya everytime without paying LOL.
For some reason, the internet connection there is quite slow that’s why I am forced to ‘unplug’ a bit. I couldn’t really work productively with a very slooooow internet connection so I ended up creating videos and editing pictures. In short, my time and attention is still focused on the laptop – not on any of my relatives.
We rented a videoke machine during my first night and since singing is my forte (ahem LOL just kidding haha), we ended up singing until 1AM. I did manage to talk to some of my younger cousins. Wow, are we talking about life and love now?!
I am also convincing some of my older cousins to travel. I told them that they shouldn’t feel guilty with their desire to travel since they deserve to explore the beauty of the Philippines. I also mentioned that there are a number of holiday specials available that are fixed yet fun. They can also do DIY trips if they want to spend less. I still need to push them a bit more or if the schedule permits, I’d love to travel with them before I leave the country.
Josh (7) and Gabriel(6) are my pamangkins. I remember when their mothers gave birth to them yet now they’re big kids! Last Sunday afternoon, I went straight to the room to work on some online tasks then eventually I felt sleepy. They went inside the room and kept on playing. So noisy! Gabriel kept on asking on why I keep on using my laptop and if he can play games. Here’s how our conversation went:
Gabriel: Tita Mica, bakit ka laptop ng laptop? Pwede ba akong mag-games?
Mica: Walang games dito. Nagta-trabaho ako.
Gabriel: Sunday naman eh.
Josh: Oo nga Sunday naman. Laro na lang tayo!
Again, I felt guilty. I didn’t really witness the kids grow up and I rarely give them presents when I visit since I am not used to that practice. Still, they’re kids. I decided to just take their pictures and record wacky videos using the Photobooth feature of my lappy =))
The next day, the two kids woke up early to prepare for school. I suddenly missed my school days when all I cared about are my grades and how I am allowed to watch tv after I study =))
Sometimes, we need to ‘unplug’ from the online world to ‘reconnect’ with the family we rarely see or talk to in person. I know that my quick trip to Binalonan last weekend is not enough, but I’ll exert more effort next time. I am about to leave in a few hours to a beach destination here in Pangasinan and I won’t be bringing my laptop with me. It’s about time for me to appreciate life outside my online world.
Don’t worry, I’ll reconnect to the cyberworld by Wednesday night. Happy Independence Day, Pilipinas!