The Lizares family through the decades (Day 1)-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Saturday, January 12, 2013
IT HAD been 8 years since we last had our 3rd Lizares Grand Reunion—in 2004 to be exact. We venture to have it every 8 years but, as all family reunions go and grand at that, from conceptualizing to preparations to actualizing, it really takes a toll. However, when propelled with love, that spells all the big difference. And truth be told, there was a lot of love and excitement from onset to finish.
With Christmas being the longest holiday in the year, we thought that it would be the most opportune time to have the event but plane tickets soared to high heavens, which was utterly ridiculous to purchase unless you had planned the vacation almost a year in advance.
Nonetheless, we did have our grand family reunion with the theme “The Lizares Family through the Decades” and in attendance was a stretch of four to five generations with the eldest at 93 years old, Tita Purita L. Tiongon, still very much lucid and agile, and the youngest a 7-month old lad, Gian Angelo de Oca Edic, who came all the way from Chicago with parents Jill Anne de Oca and Geoderico Edic, and an 8-month old lady, Freya Anne, daughter of Mona Locsin and Jose Arnold delos Reyes.
Day 1 began with registration, although pre-registration was done over cyber tools, Facebook, e-mail, cell phone and the good old telephone. Able younger Lizareses manned the three tables of the colors of our family: yellow, for the Jacinto clan, red for the Juana group and blue the Efigenio tribe which is the biggest, having 14 siblings to start with.
Though we did not match the 2004 count of more than 700 participants, the 2-day event had 350 to close to 500 at high peaks, especially during Day 2 with the presentation. We are happy with the numbers.
The thrust of this reunion was really to familiarize the new generation with their forebears. Isn’t it ironic that our kids are not even familiar with their roots? In the course of family history, only the closest of kin by the 1st to at most the 3rd degree of relationship are familiar.
The beauty of the planning was that, in our Facebook page where we welcomed all who are and could be possible family members, comments or more accurately shrieks came from friends who have been chilling out for months or years who had no notion that they were actually cousins and belong to the same blood line.
On the first day, there were expressions of shock and surprise encounters like: “OMG, we are relatives?” Seeing that was quite awesome in itself!
As we traditionally do after registration, we had the parade of colors and messages from a representative of each color. There was Kenneth Tirthdas for the yellow; Ramona Mosquera, who was home for the holidays from Australia, for the red, and Juan “Niting” Lizares Kilayko for the blue.
This time around, we wanted to honor our 13 elders, the members of the 4th generation. From the Jacinto is lone Prima, Purita Lizares Tiongson. From the Juana, are Alberto de Oca Gaston, Milagros Lacson Mosquera, Alice de Oca Villanueva and Angelina de Oca.
From the blue of Efigenio are Amelo T. Lizares, Juan L. Kilayko, Nonata T. Lizares, Josefina L. Lizares, Teresita Lizares Andaya, Charito Paredes Mendoza, Mercedes Lizares McKenzie, Erlin Lizares Draper and Carmela Lizares Du.
This was our chance to thank our elders for being the bridges that linked us with our forebears. They have kept the memories of the past alive by sharing with us the stories of their lives and the stories of their strengths, their innate goodness, and even their flaws.
We are grateful likewise for their personal, unique stories. They have been examples of faithfulness to God, devotion to family and service to fellowmen by striving to become what our clan best represents. And most importantly, we honor them for bearing our name with pride and dignity.
In equal measure, this reunion looks to the future so that our children and children’s children can embrace the rich legacy that has been bequeathed to them and carry out with equally the same pride and honor that we, in the present, hope and pray live lives worthy of that name.
A special citation of loving appreciation was also given to Fr. Bernard Ybiernas-Mapa, the 1st Filipino Carmelite priest in America, who has been the soul and the life in our spiritual journeys. He has given us the gift of his presence in baptisms, weddings, during dark nights and most especially during the final hours when it is time to rejoin our Maker.
Interactive games bridging different generations were played after a sumptuous buffet lunch. And as the reunion was in 2012, no less than the man who made the billion hits in Youtube made an appearance as well as our very own Batman.
That was Day 1 of our Lizares 4th Grand Reunion and it was an enjoyable day thus far!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 13, 2013.