Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bingo 101

Where was I? Gone on a vacation? Well... kinda. Out of the country? Nope. Out of town perhaps? Well, yep.

Had gone to the province last Monday afternoon and just got back at about lunchtime today. The drive was ok, except for the TERRIBLE EDSA traffic (read: 2.5 hours from Balintawak to MOA). That wouldn't have been a problem had my car been an A/T. So now, my fresh-from-PT knees are about to give in.

But despite the ultraheavy traffic and the aching knees, I so enjoyed the past two days I had spent in Bulacan (tumpak, taal po akong Bulakenya). Monday afternoon was spent buying pasalubong for my cousins and Inang (grandmother that is); visiting my aunt's tomb (the primary reason I went home as it was her birthday that day); receiving hugs and kisses with my just-turned-three cousin John; eating cake with my favorite cousin Maraj; and exchanging so many stories with my inang, uncle, and aunts. I also rediscovered TV that day. Oh how I missed watching primetime soap operas! :D

Much later in the evening, in the midst of stories, gossip, and whatnots, Inang asked me if I could probably stay longer and not go to work the following day (as I had initially planned). That was a very tough decision to make. My heart was absolutely torn. I didn't know what to do: should I take a leave of absence or should I take a leave of absence? It was just difficult to decide. LOL.

Kidding aside, the decision to stay for another day was as easy as 1-2-3. I wanted to stay longer as well. It had been a while since I was there, and I felt that I also needed a break from all the stress here in Manila.

The next day, Tuesday, was spent exchanging even more stories with them, receiving even more hugs and kisses from John, digging into a big gallon of chocolate ice cream with all of my cousins, and playing bingo in the nearby SM mall with Inang.

If there was one thing Inang would probably thank Henry Sy for, it would be the in-house bingo. Yes. Bingo. Think cards, the numbers 1 through 75, bingo callers, and the infamous reminder "just shout Bingo!" Inang loved the game, but she would only have the chance to play whenever I took her to the mall. Whenever she's here in Manila for a vacation, I would take her to the nearest mall and play bingo with her. My primary task was to double check that she had marked the correct number what with her slowly blurring vision. In the midst of the game, we would chat even more (there is just no stopping us). Then, after the game, win or lose, we would grab a quick bite in our fave fastfood chain. That had become our bonding tradition.

Yesterday's bonding was extra special. I won twice in a single Bingo session! For those who do not know, there are about three to four sessions in a day. A bingo session is composed of three main games and about three or four special games. Okay. That's Bingo 101 for you. :D

As I said, I won twice. The winnings weren't really lotto material, but it was more than what I paid the cards for. And a little extra money isn't really bad, is it?

But more than the money won, it was a fun afternoon because of the time we had spent together. If asked if I would take another day off from work just to accompany Inang, I would absolutely say yes. She will always be the best lola for me, and I will always try to be there for her if she needs me.

Okay. Enough. My eyes are already welling up. Just wanted to share that I had a great two-day mini-vacation. Thank God for the stories, the hugs, the kisses, the laughter, the food shared, and the time well spent. I look forward to my next vacation at home.

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