I LOVE both the cold and hot atmospheres of Bukidnon.
The cold breeze gushing on our way back to Cagayan de Oro is somewhat refreshing for the weary soul in me, while the biting heat that could turn our skin into red vividly reminds me of that cute little boy dangling a hefty box of green and yellow alternately on his left and right shoulders, peddling icy-cold bars on the streets.
Ah, those back-breaking "Polar King Days" full of childhood memories. Each one recalled as we passed through the green meadows; hazy eyes filtered by the gentle rush of the sea of clouds that make the blue ridge mountains of Kitanglad look--so beautiful.
A backlog of string-tight emotion had somehow loosened up at that heavenly sight of nature at work.
Indeed, it's doubly hard and difficult to leave sweet Don Carlos with the nagging thought, visualizing the depressing condition of our dear lola now sleeping in a shiny white coffin left alone by her brood of families in a grassy cemetery encapsulated in a concrete tomb.
At 81 years of age, the passing of lola Isidra Daan Lafuente (yes, cousin to Cebu pride Esteban Escudero or Julian Bacus Daan in real life) could be less painful.
Lola Seding, who was both jolly and melodramatic had eyes that would easily mist in tears, died peacefully in her sleep. Or, as a religious group would say, our lola died by the grace of the Lord.
An easy peaceful feeling would have reigned among us. But that was not the case. There's an empty space that she left in our hearts. A tinge of sadness, I'm sure, that will linger for long.
Since birth, lola Seding was already with us. She practically left nothing for herself, working -- endlessly, unselfishly--for the good of her children, grand children and so-called apo sa tuhod.
"She's the best lola in the world," Manang Lesly (Salgados-Nu¤eza) wailed in a eulogy at DCB's Sto. Niño Parish Church.
I must say, had lola been exposed in the dirtiest sport of the universe, crooked politicians would cower at her presence and would keep avoiding her like a plague. For she despised that cheating game like no other, yet she was patient and consistent in giving words of advice. She used to remind us that bentahoso, segurista and mahilig manglamang (mamentaha) kind of individuals are grossly shameful for they can be categorized as the lowest breed of dogs in society.
Non-Catholics might hate lola Seding for her tattered line "pag rosaryo mo permi" everytime there's a chance for an intimate encounter with her palangga nga mga apo.
The economist type, however, would love her outright for her being especially thrifty. Although my good friend Dr. Alfonso del Fierro Jr. looks at its meaning in a different way.
"Your lola was daginotan and daginotan is somewhat different from being kuripot," the founding head of Corpus Christi School explained.
One thing for sure, however, our lola was superbly galante in showering her many apos with genuine love and affection.
"Pulos pahimangno lang gyod ang iya nga dili magbuhat og dautan and for us to keep cool always and stay away from trouble," remembered our youngest naughty brother, Leo--formerly with Avalanche/NSP/Mix Party/Bong Morta's and now keyboardist of the hard-rocking Influence band at Mojo and Energy bars.
We're still in pain. And I have no clear view on the concept of death and the after life. But for the moment, I take comfort in the message placed by Barangay 23 chair Jaime Joshua Frias II in my Facebook.
There goes Frix:
"May the soul of your late grandma rest in peace. Weep for you only lost her body, but her soul and spirit remain...take care beshpren".