(Since I started this blog, we have experienced some deaths in our family and friends that I have mentioned here. Few days ago we lost another friend, who is more than a family. This piece was read on his Eulogy.)
My wife and I are adopted children of Kuya Boy’s family. Albeit unofficial. And I know there are many of you here as well.
We came to know Kuya Boy and Ate Angie when we first arrived from the Philippines, and moved to Morristown, New Jersey. That was almost 20 years ago. Time flies indeed.
Malou was just a little girl and still wears pigtails on her hair. And Joe…..was already Joe, with his “pretty boy” image, as he still is today.
Having no immediate family closer than 8000 miles away, Kuya Boy’s family became our instant family.
When we didn’t have a car yet, Kuya Boy’s white van became our official ride. Every weekend they would go out of their way from their home in Livingston, to pick us up in Morristown, so we can attend the Fililpino Church.
With Kuya Boy, Ate Angie, and their kids, John, Mark, Melissa, Joe, and Malou, there was still room for my wife and I in their van. In fact if there’s two more that need a ride, they probably would make a room for them too.
That’s what Kuya Boy is all about. There is always room for you, irregardless of space and circumstances.
When we don’t have any “happening,” Kuya Boy’s house was our “happening.” We don’t need any reason to party. Any day was good enough to hang-out in their home and party.
That’s how Kuya Boy is. Any day is a good day for celebration.
Kuya Boy may not speak much. In fact, I remember him silently nodding off or down right sleeping, while sitting in a corner. Perhaps due to working too many long hours to provide for his growing family as he was such a hard worker, and we all know that. But when he speaks, you better listen. Because they are words of wisdom.
Kuya Boy will do anything you ask of him with no questions. During the Sing Men days, our male chorale group, Kuya Jun, our conductor, would ask him to sing bass, and he’ll sing bass. He would ask him to sing baritone, he would sing baritone. Sing second tenor, he would gladly do so. First tenor? He was one of the most booming first tenor I’ve ever heard. And Kuya Jun would ask him to soften up a little or he would drown all our voices.
That’s what Kuya Boy is. Accommodating and versatile.
When we had no home – yes, there was a time we were homeless, when I was in-between work for several months – Kuya Boy’s home became our home. Kuya Boy and Ate Angie lovingly took us in, even letting us sleep in their own bedroom. They sheltered us and fed us, expecting nothing in return.
This just show you how Kuya Boy is. His home is your home too.
And during that time that I was jobless, broke and had no money, Kuya Boy and Ate Angie would even hand us money, saying it was for my daughter’s needs, who was two years old at that time. I know that they were not rich by the world’s standard. They just have enough. But they were rich in love.
Yes, Kuya Boy and Ate Angie shared that love. Love that was overflowing.
When we left New Jersey several years ago, it was a sad farewell. And even though we moved on to a new State and a new home, we kept in touch with them and their children, our adoptive family. Somehow, we left our hearts here in New Jersey.
Now, these hearts are broken.
Only three years ago, we said our final goodbye to Ate Angie (see post here). Today, we say goodbye to Kuya Boy.
Somehow New Jersey for us will never be the same place that we know. In fact, its not just New Jersey, but our world will never be the same without them.
Yes we weep for this loss, yet in the same time we celebrate their lives, and the privilege of once in our life time, we came to know them.
Good night Kuya Boy. We’ll see you, with Ate Angie, in that great new morning.