If memory serves me right, my late father has 11 siblings. Two passed away at an early age so I didn't get to meet them. I'm not sure if this is the correct order but to name them all, Tiyong Junior, Tiyang Luding, Tiyong Tino, Tiyang Lita, Tiyong Enchong, Tiyong Manoling, Tiyang Linda, my Papa Berting, Tiyong Rene and Tiyong Gerry.
I was the youngest of the four kids before and I remember Mama and Papa brought us often to my uncles and aunts. I thank all of them for thru them I try pick lessons and apply it hoping to be if a good aunt to my nephews and nieces.
Tiyong Junior (+) lived in the province so we only see him when he came to Manila for business purposes. Though brief visits, Tiyong Junior was always very nice to us. He'd always tell me I look like his daughter Golda. He was a tall, with fair complexion, good looking man. His presence made Papa happy. I knew whenever they were talking that he gives Papa advice on life. I Iiked Tiyong Junior so much.
Alberto clan's Christmas reunions were held at Tiyang Luding's (+) home. She was also very nice to us but was always busy probably because she has many children and business matters to attend to. She was very generous to us. Food was overflowing during those reunions. Even if she already gave us ampao (Chinese red envelop with money inside) she'd still tell us to pick a gift under the Chrsitmas tree.
Tiyong Tino is my favorite uncle. Although very strict, he was loving to his siblings, especially the younger ones who didn't have enough. We used to live with them in Balintawak until Papa and Mama had enough to start on their own. I have blogged about Uncle Tino before.
Although I had plenty of overnight stay at Tiyang Lita's (+) place, our encounters were brief for she was always out. I remember most about her thru her nine children. Ate Marie and I were close. She never hesitated to help me when she was working at KFC. Unfortunately, I didn't pass because I didn't meet the 5'2 height requirement.
I didn't get to talk with Tiyong Enchong (+) because he was always busy with a lot of things. I was closer to his wife, Tiyang Elvie, who always had a ready smile when we visited them. I was also close to their children.
Tiyong Manoling (+), they say was the most handsome among the boys. He used to work in a bank and that was a big thing before. He was my Kuya Bob's godfather and how I envied my brother because Tiyong Manoling always give him crisp bills during Christmas.
It's at Tiyang Linda's place where I spent most of my Christmas and summer vacations because I served as a playmate as well as tutor to my cousin May. I have blogged about Tiyang Linda in the past.
Tiyong Rene maybe hot-headed but I appreciate the times when he protected us from harm. We had a lady neighbor who was very mean to my Mama and Tiyong Rene confronted her and she stopped bullying my mother.
Although Tiyong Gerry didn't talk much to me and my siblings, I know he cared for us. One time, while I was about 9 or 10 years old, I heard Tiyong Gerry warned male teenagers to stay away from my older sisters.
I was fifteen when I had my first boyfriend. Mama and Papa didn't know although Mama asked several times if that guy was my boyfriend. Of course, I denied, they wouldn't approve because I was too young to fall in love. Plus that guy was probably 8 or 10 years older than me.
One day, while I was walking and that guy was at the other side of the street, I heard Tiyong Gerry shouted, "Hoy, tigilan mo yang pamangkin ko. Bata pa yan. Alam ko balak mo dyan!". That guy stopped talking to me. It broke my heart (hu!hu!hu!) but I'm forever thankful to Tiyong Gerry for protecting me.