One day I visited apo in the village.
Later after seeing i was fed and rested-
Nin-lugan ka ngen? Did you take the jeep home. She asked.
Aji ya. No lola. I replied. Nanad-aranak. I hiked.
She asked if my father gave me money for fare. Ma-id ngen inigwan amam ay ipilitim?
I said father did give me fare, but that i had spent it. I did not say on cigarettes, but who was i kidding? Smokers cannot deceive non-smokers.
Amom ay apok, Apo started. No waja na inigwan amam ay ipilitim, ipilitim ji. Kan na driver ji. Ajim ilako ay para ahna bisyom.
This is what Apo said:
"Do not deprive someone of their income to satisfy your vice."
I hung my head.
And I smelled the bitter stench of cigarettes hanging on me.
This was her way of telling me a lesson - by reprimanding my brother.
Apo liked sweet bread or pastry, and bangus or seafood. I did not bring my apo anything that time too.
And I did not know it then but I think that was the last time I saw her.
Ah regrets, I have a lot...
Visit your elders as much and as often as you can. And when you do, bring them some of their favourite things. In their later years people look back to the memories of their youth and yearn for some attention. Elders would like their children and especially their grandchildren to reciprocate the love and care that they were given when young. Like you and me our allapu like to feel loved - to be remembered.
So remember your allapo. They'll love that.