Of strangers and family

KNOWN WRITER Mitch Albom posits that “strangers are family just waiting to be known”. My biggest push and best reward in writing this column is the opportunity to meet more of my family.

For instance, I now have new relatives in Texas. “Auntie” Tess (Perez) of Houston writes: Your recent feature “Provincial Bliss” really touched my heart. My husband (Orly) and I have been living in US and Canada for the last 32 years now, but there’s always that yearning of coming home. We came for a visit 2 years ago, and decided that Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte is going to be our next home. We came originally from San Fernando, La Union, but Pagudpud reminds us so much of our childhood environment, and I can’t wait to come home to the “Province”. My husband and I are products of DMMSU of La Union (formerly LUSAT). We are flattered that we already gained a “nephew” in Laoag. We’re very hopeful that we will meet you someday. Meanwhile, I will be very eager to read your weekly column.

Herdy’s rikna ken nakem: I learned that although Uncle Orly and Auntie Tess’ plans for retirement won’t happen in the next five years or more, they are already helping their future community. They allowed part of their newly-purchased land in Ayoyo, Pagudpud to be used as a community fishpond. This is in close coordination with the barangay chairman. In addition, they are supporting YCAP volunteers assigned in the barangay.

Sensing that the couple prefers to work silently and without fanfare in “giving back” to their adoptive community, I am crossing my fingers that they won’t mind my mentioning in this space their noble efforts. I just want you, dear readers, to feel inspired by their generosity of soul in the same way I was moved. Thrilled I always am to hear of folks who, blessed enough, are drawn to pay it forward… people who do good for goodness’ sake, unlike politicians. Their act—a modern-day, borderless bayanihan—exemplifies the best traits of the human spirit. Mabuhay!

The Ilocos Times

A member of the Philiippine Press Institute, The Ilocos Times is the longest running community newspaper edited and published in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines over the past 46 years.

The paper was founded in 1920 although it came out irregularly until 1957 when it became a weekly with 90% English and 10% Iluko, the vernacular of Northern Luzon, Philippines.
The Ilocos Publishing Corporation, a family-owned entity having its own commercial printing facilities, publishes the paper.

The Website Edition (http://www.ilocostimes.com/) was constructed on October 2000 primarily aimed at catering to the local news and information needs of Ilocos Norte natives and other Ilocanos living abroad.