So! There was this kid that visited Samar for the first time in his life when he was around 7 years old. He was with his parents and stayed in Calbayog at an old but remarkable house, owned by his grandparents. The boy was restless! OMG! He was going in and out of closets, “raiding” drawers and cabinets. EATING! There was so much food in that house! Soon after, however, he was bored and sat in the living room on an antique chair. He was looking around the house and looking at this huge portrait of a man who looked very important, seemingly looking at him. He yelled (to anyone who would care), “this house looks haunted!” From a distance someone yelled back, “AWOO!” He wasn’t impressed.

He then wondered why they had to stay in a squeaky old house when they could have stayed in a hotel. No television, no radio, electricity was off and on and most of all, no friends. The kid was restless. He asked his parents if he could go out and walk around the city, an adventure he thought. They said NO.

After continuous, persistent and incessant nagging (I cannot stress enough how “makulit” this kid was), his parents let him go on this adventure with his “yaya”.

Soon after they step out of the house, the first thing he sees is Cinemar, a cinema in front of the old house. He asked his “yaya” if they could watch a movie. His “yaya” looked at the cinema and saw the title of what was showing. He laughed and told the kid, “maybe when you’re older.” The boy looking puzzled gave a grunt as spoiled child would and kept walking.

Whatever he thought, the adventure continues. Everything looked boring to him, there was no fun house, no Tropical Hut Hamburger, nothing. At least nothing that would entertain a child.

So, they walk on. On a nearby street parallel to what his mom called Primera Calle, they passed by a house with people just laughing and yapping away. He briefly looked through the gate and saw a lady looking at him. I think he was a bit frozen because soon after, that Lady shouted at the boy to wait and stay. She came closer and yelled back to the other people in the house, “Baga si Romy san guti-ay pa u-ho!” Another lady said that he looked like Romy especially because of his Cajurao eye bags. They asked his “yaya” who he was and who his parents were.

They let the boy inside their house. Welcomed him and told him that they were his Tita’s and Tito’s. I think they fattened him up enough to last through a summer famine. Hmmm, that fat never seemed to have left his body either. Haha! The boy was so happy and told his parents everything about his “adventure”, most especially in the lady’s house.

Days went on and he and his parents went around to visit more houses of other people. Some of them were his parents’ friends and most were their relatives. Lots of them. He was a bit lost in the language but naturally picked it up. His parents spoke Waray at home so he could understand the dialect. The child was now having a great time! He played with his cousins, ate sinakugan, quesiyo from Gandara and tamalos from Catbalogan. He loves tamalos by the way, and up to this day, regularly visits the busy town of Catbalogan just to buy tamalos.

As with any vacation, however, it comes to an end. The boy was sad. He wanted to stay. He even wanted to go to school there!

His mom asked him, “I thought you were bored, and wanted to go home.”.

He replied, “I have a lot of cousins in Manila too and we have been very close since we grew up together, but the people here, who are also my Tita’s, Tito’s and cousins welcomed me as if I grew up here with them in Calbayog. I could stay here forever.”

His mom replied, “that’s what family is.”

The boy regularly went with his parents to Calbayog for vacations since his first visit. As he got older, he has gone to many other “adventures” in Samar and this time without his “yaya” but with friends and relatives.

He used to wonder what kept bringing him back to this small city. But, in the back of his mind, he always knew. Now, he is sure. Two words. Roots and Family. Being a son of two Calbayognons, Samarnons, has always been a source of pride for him. His parents are both from Calbayog with very strong ties to family, friends and the land of Samar and they are proud of their heritage.

After much travelling different parts of the world and the Philippines and having a flexible career, the young boy who is now a man, has eventually settled in the province he loves the most. He lives in Calbayog and Santa Margarita, Samar.

For anyone wondering who this boy was, that boy was me. Jason Edward Gomez Tarrayo, son of retired Philippine Army Major General Romeo Buenavente Tarrayo and Minerva Gomez Tarrayo. The third child in a brood of four. A PROUD CALBAYOGNON AND SAMARNON!(CJ/JEGT)

-, January 31, 2024

The Calbayog Journal (also known as CJ)
is an on-line news service covering Eastern Visayas area.
CJ aims to offer unbiased coverage of the people and events in Eastern Visayas.

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