~~she's my mother's namesake, she being godmother to the youngest of the sanchez brood, jun. we grew up together in mandaluyong. how their friendship started, it now skipped my mind but we were close - very close. they lived in a compound in lopez rizal while we rented an apartment along antipolo avenue. tita tess (sanchez), tita angeling (estabillo) -as we call her tita angie now & my mother. their friendship inter-twined by this "kumare" thing, mama being godmother to jun (sanchez) & randy (estabillo). by the way, tita tess & tita angie are sisters. siblings & me grew up together - tita tess had lewy, jojie, jenny & jun. tita angie had cynthia, may, arlene, rolly, jun, randy & dondon. i am close to cynthia or "girlie" as we called her in our younger days. we went to the same school together (elementary), the same closeness i had for lewy as we grew up together. the estabillos moved out of mandaluyong eventually. later on, migrated to the US where everyone including their respected families reside.
~~lewy married ahead of me. now it's my turn to be godmother to her eldest, ansie kaian. in every celebration, our families were always present. our faces were a permanent fixture on birthdays, fiestas, baptisms, christmas, or simply a get together celebrating nothing. tita tess was always "punong abala" or the gracious host to even let us eat ahead because mama was already hungry & couldn't wait for the party to get started. she was always there, always making us feel special, even making time to wrap extra food to take home. she would give little nothings for christmas, one time giving honeybun some cash because she didn't have time to buy her gift. she would give me something i need in the kitchen, little things that she knew i'd surely appreciate. she marvels on the things i buy for the house. she appreciates everything i buy - from the cheap trivet to a not-so-expensive pickle jar. she would always tell me she'd tell jojie to check the items out. that's tita tess, always appreciative about everything...we complement each other.
~~in 1985 when my husband chito & i decided to formalize our relationship, my mother resented the fact that i was marrying an old, "balding" man. it was the week of my wedding. we were fighting. i thought of going to tita tess to find consolation - that was the time i felt the need for a "second mother". she didn't say much, she just listened & let me cried my heart out. she didn't lash a word at my mother. she showed compassion, nothing more.
~~as our kids grew up, tita tess & brood found a home in faraway molino, cavite. our get-togethers were far & few. time went quickly. lewy & i had some misunderstandings. but this didn't prevent tita tess to make contact with us. her respect for mama was always there. she didn't take sides. she listened to lewy & my side of the story. there wasn't any pressure from her. i maintained friendship with jojie, jun and jenny, though. until lewy and family left for the US in 2006.
~~jenny (the youngest among the girls), left for abu dhabi to work, leaving only child cookie who has already entered college at the university of santo tomas. the distance from cavite to UST and back was too much for cookie to travel everyday. so we decided to have the last door unit of our property to have it rented out to tita tess & cookie.
~~thus begins my relationship with tita tess, as my second mother..... part 2