It was a last minute plan when my sister and I decided to come with my eldest sister and her family to Batangas.

It was really not just a simple getaway.

The real reason why we went there is because we were going to attend the wake and burial of my eldest sister’s husband’s father.

We call him “Tatay” which also means father/dad.

Yes, we are not blood related but we still call him tatay.

Aside from him being like a father to all, as an individual, he is genuinely kind..not only to the people he knows well but also to random people and the people he just met.

His kindness and intelligence has long been an inspiration to many and because of that, I’m pretty sure that he will never be forgotten.

He has made his mark into people’s hearts.

It was almost around 9 in the evening when my eldest sister’s family fetched us at home.

Our mom had sandwiches and other snacks packed for our 3-hour trip to Lobo, Batangas.

During the whole trip, everyone got their little dose of sleep.

Except me.

I kept talking to my brother in law who is driving because I know he’s tired and really lacked sleep these past few days.

He actually said that he only had 3 hours of sleep in 2 days!

Imagine!!

As we arrived at the wake, I realized that it was a familiar place.

Then it hit me.

It was beside their house which I have visited before.

I’m not sure if it was here already when I last visited this place around 5 years ago.

It was a small chapel.

They had it built inside their very spacious lot which houses a lot of homes – homes of their relatives.

Stories were exchanged and while we were there.

Then we decided to play cards.

It has been a habit and somewhat like a tradition here in the Philippines that when there is a wake, there are really groups of people who play cards or Mahjong.

They don’t necessarily gamble but usually, the elders do.

In Tatay’s wake, it was a bit different.

Though the elders were playing Mahjong, I didn’t really see if there was money involved.

On the other table were a little younger set compared to the elders who were playing cards.

Beside them were benches who were sat on by teens and some of their parents.

I’m not sure what they were playing but their punishment was to have something written on their face by the use of  coal!

They were really having fun while playing.

I don’t know what is in the wakes I go to but usually, when I go to a distant relative or a relative’s wake, the people there are usually not the silent types.

Yes, they mourn but they won’t let it stop them from being happy.

We have this way of thinking that the deceased person would want his/her burial to be happy and not see his/her loved ones sad.

My table on the other hand is composed of both my sisters and my sister’s boyfriend.

At first, we were really just playing with no bets.

That was before we thought of a great plan.

We got the snacks that we brought for the trip and got a few and divided it equally among us.

You got that right!

We used food as our bets.

To cut the chase, I ended up with the most food.

HAHAHA.

But I didn’t eat everything since I was so full.

At around 4 AM (yes, we didn’t sleep till that time), we decided to walk to the beach since we planned to sleep there.

The walk lasted for around 7 minutes because it was dark so we slowly walked.

When we reached the beach, it was cold but warm at the same time.

I don’t know how to explain it but the wind felt nice.

We brought our own sheets and spread it out above the sand.

The nephews of my brother in law got some wood and made a bonfire.

It was a fun experience!!

P.S Sleeping by the beach is on my bucket list… and now, I can tick it off :>

Also, having a bonfire is on my list..another one I can tick of!

You can see my not-so-finished bucket list here.

That is it for now.

Ciao!

—wanderrwithmee

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