The Song Goes On

Quezon City, the Philippines

July 20, 2009

It isn’t my birthday. And Christmas is still half a year away. But today, my Dad gave me a present for no special occasion but for the best reason. A recycled one, but no less precious than anything brand-new.

It’s an old-school notebook I can use when I’m on the road. Nothing beats the good ol’ pen-and-paper. There’s something organic about scribbling your raw thoughts on paper without the luxury of cut-and-paste, spell check, and Google!

My Backpack Journal from Dad

His dedication on the first page reads:

Dear Chaching,

Inday Des bought this journal from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s house in Boston for the sequel to Song of the Mountain. But time and tide and AMD caught up with its author. So Dad is bequeathing this to you so that the Song will go on. From Aniano to Aniano, make the Poliquit pen travel, in prose and poetry, in music and magical memories, through the mountains and valleys of this wonderful world of God.

Thoughts by Dad, written by Mom

Chaching is my Dad’s term of endearment for me.

Inday Des is my globetrotting, errr…globeshopping, sister.

Song of the Mountain is a short story my Dad wrote in his younger days.

AMD is a retinal condition that causes failing eyesight in the elderly. Mom now moonlights as his personal secretary.

And Aniano – that’s the name I got from my Dad that he, in turn, got from his dad. It’s an antiquated, unwieldy name that’s not easy to say or spell. But, like the notebook, it’s not generic and meaningless. It’s a legacy. Although I’m not even half as good a writer as Dad, it’s my destiny to share his name and the ink that runs through our veins.

On my succeeding journeys, I will not just bear his name on my passport. I will sing his Song “through the mountains and valleys” – its lyrics scribbled on this notebook, my backpack journal.

Dad and his Chaching, circa 1970s

Thanks Dad! I love you…and, after 40 years, your name too. :)

Chaching and his Folks, 2009

Family Photo 2009: Dad Rocks and Fails!

30 thoughts on “The Song Goes On

  1. lachrymose…..

    YOu’re Dad made you a great boy , Aniano, he didn’t wait for you to become a great man…. He outgrew “Chaching” in his lap but NOT in his heart…Your Dad passed and gave you the power of writing which is better than one thousand pieces of gold…His desire is nothing but the wish to duplicate himself in order that such a remarkable pattern may not be lost to the world…..”Good fathers make good sons! ”

    You’re sooooohhh blest…pass it around , Aniano Jose ..

    A Special and serious message to your DAD:

    Mr. Poliquit………..
    pwede po bang ampunin nyo na ako.. LOL! ( @ x @ )

  2. Ako’y hindi dapat magtaka sa kabutihan ng iyong puso at kagalingan ng iyong pag-iisip..
    Isa kang bunga ng dalawang nagmamahalang nilalang na sinubok na ng panahon.
    Kung mayroon man silang dapat ipagkapuri,
    iyon ay ang pagbibigay mo ng buhay sa kanilang angking talento sa pagsusulat.
    Salamat at may “blog” na!

    Gosh….. I wanna read it over and over…. and over…..
    Your Dad’s message did not just talk about ” the intellectuals” but “the lovers” as well.
    See, you must believe me everytime I tell you… your name is beautiful, Aniano!

  3. And the pictures gave the final touch…
    Bunsong Aniano, thanks for coming into my life…
    You always inspire me in myriad ways.
    Still smiling after reading your blog post more five times now.

  4. I’m glad that after 40 years you have come to appreciate your name ! It’s really a good name. I read somewhere that it is an ancient Spanish name. I hope that someday I will come across its real meaning. .

  5. I checked with google just now the meaning of Aniano. Aniano is a Greek name but the meaning it has for Aniano does not describe the Ajota I know! I never saw you upset nor sad. I guess the name Aniano can now be considered a Filipino name which means – he who makes a pen travel, in prose and poetry, in music and magical memories, through the mountains and valleys of this wonderful world of God. :-)

    • Greek? Really? I also researched some time ago. It said that it was originally a Celtic name that means “first born”, then found its way to Italian, hence the pronunciation: an-IA……-no. hehehe

      Anyway, I like your Filipino meaning. It’s plagiarized from my Dad though. LOL!

  6. love this post about your dad. unfortunately my relationship with my dad has been relegated to the occasional text message. i think it’s just me being cold hearted.

    • Well what are ya waiting for, Cacho? Text him…or better yet, go see him. Time, unlike ice tea, can’t be bottomless. Do it before time runs out…

  7. Your real name is much better than my real name. When I was in grade school, I will write my name clearly so that the teacher can read it properly. Kaso, pag nag roll-call na, the teacher will read the last letter “o” to “a”, thus changing the name to a girl. Our names are very Pilipino and it give us our ethnic identity. Ay, Pilipino gid ini, sigurado ako, sa ngalan pa lang!

    • I suppose your real name is Inocencio? My favorite prof in college was also Ino, real name Victorino. So I actually love your nickname. Reminds me of my idol (though you have an extra N). He really was an amazing teacher.

      In my case, I understand completely how difficult my name is to a foreigner…but even here in Pinas, people murder my name just the same. They’d say Aniniano, Ananaias, Antonio. :(

  8. hello, aj.. mere words are not enough to express how your site has touched me.. accept my sincere admiration, not only for your undeniable talent, but for the humbleness and goodness of your soul.. your love for travel, roots and family is so evident that it just transcends to the reader in each article..

    just wanna tell you that i enjoyed seeing you again after 23 long years, and i feel good knowing that we shared something early on in our lives.. “to love again” and kfc will always remind me of you..

    hope to see you guys again next year, God willing.. take care and God bless (“;)

    • Thanks for your kind words, Manette! You so clearly and simply defined the intricacies of my personality – loves to travel but firmly rooted. :) Isn’t it ironic, doncha think?

      Yeah, it’s absolutely amazing how we got another chance at friendship after 23 years! Do come back next year – we’ll have a blast again! Hopefully I can also include the Middle East in one of my future travels, if my pocket allows. :)

      • you’d Love the middLe east and africa for its weaLth of history and artifacts.. don’t worry about your pocket [i am sure it's fuLL enough for your needs and much more], God wiLL aLways provide in His time (“;)

        see you next year, friend.. sayang, wensky and i wiLL miss each other again.. she’LL be going in march and i wiLL be in juLy.. anyways, if there’s a wiLL, time is goLd.. ahaha..!! take care, kapatid..

  9. AJ,
    This is the sweetest post and I love the pictures. You were a cutie pie baby. I am so happy you have your mom and dad. Mine are both gone and I have so many wishes of things I wish I had asked and talked about with the. I know you cherish them so I don’t have to remind you but ask them there stories with dates and things if they haven’t already told you for your children to keep. How they met, there first date, stuff like that as I know Brianna always likes to hear these stories. rite it while they are still here. So sweet. I liked this, thanks for sharing.
    Love Yah!,
    Deanne

    • I’m still cutie pie, Deanne. :) Great idea – your suggestion. Yeah I should ask them about how they met. I just know they met in college, but I don’t really know the details. I’m sure there’s a story in there somewhere…

  10. Chaching up with Age! The last picture had me in splits. Everyone’s fingers are in different directions and how cutely your dad is looking at his hands and trying to get that rocking sign!

    As you rightly remarked, names are a legacy. In Biblical times, they meant many things and that is why precisely Abraham became Abram and Jacob, Israel.

    My name, ofcourse does not reflect my culture but is Biblical. Susanna is the name of the flower Lily in Hebrew and Deborah was a prophetess and woman judge. I guess I do have some traits of my names. My gut instinct is quite powerful (maybe like that of a prophet). My sun sign is Libra which is symbolised by scales. Deborah is a judge who balances judgments and scales are connected to that. My parents prayed over my name and then christened me. It was definitely not some run-of-the-mill things. And, I like my name. Afterall it has been there with me for 32 long years. I cannot part with it!

    Nice one, Age.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    • We all love this photo. Dad in his clueless best! He even laughed at himself. :D

      Love the meanings of your name. Flower and judge. Delicate and tough. Beautiful and brainy.

      But Deborah in the Book of Judges wasn’t just a judge. She was a warrior of God. She led Israel’s army to battle and won. To celebrate their victory, she sang the Song of Deborah. You can write a post with that title too. Like my song post. :)

    • Not “just” a judge, so yeah she was one but more than that, she was also a warrior. She led the Israelite army against an enemy state and won the battle. That’s as far as I remember…..

      • Hi there! would you mind if I meddle in your discussion about Deborah? She’s my favorite heroine in the Bible. I wrote a literary analysis for Biblical Literature during college days about the Deborah and Queen Esther, women’s leadership during a highly patriarchal, Old Testament.

        During the times when Israel doesn’t have a king yet, God appointed judges to lead. One of them is Deborah. But she had a multi-tasking role. Deborah was a judge, a prophetess, and yes, a warrior. She was a military genius and she was the one who led with Barak and thought of the strategies to overthrow the enemies.

        BTW, I used several theoretical approaches including feminist approach ~_~

        Nice meeting you Susan Deborah! :)

  11. Chaching :) sounds EPIC! I like the names of endearment your parents gave you and your sibling! So, you inherited your writing prowess from your dad and your mom! nice to know…

    Would you mind sharing your dad’s short story?! I can’t wait to read it.
    It’s great to keep a journal, especially if it’s a gift. You’re lucky!

    I also make it sure I have something to scribble with during travel. I still have the notebook decked with Cambodia’s miniature temple from Cambodia, bought it in a cultural fair in Thailand last Dec. 2007. The papers are kinda thin, my notes are slightly faded; yet the memoirs are still vivid :)

    ~Curly

    • Sure, you may “meddle” in the discussion as long as it contributes to the topic. Maybe my writing or comment box are not conducive for discussion cuz it rarely happens. I get mostly just one-shot comments, which is fine with me too.

      Oh, my Dad’s stories have not been uploaded online. I’m afraid you’d have to buy the book from me. :) It was just a vanity publication. My sibs and I decided to surprise him with an anthology of his short stories (only those published in the Philippine Free Press in the late 50s) on his birthday. We just ordered 1,000 copies to be printed.

      Thanks for the interest, Curly! :)

      – Chaching.

      • Hi Chaching!

        Let me know how to avail that book :) It’s great to invest on books :) would love to purchase a copy, with an autograph sign! LOL!

        It’s nice to discuss here though hehe…thanks for letting me meddle :) more later…

        ~Curly

    • I’ll ask my sister if we still have extra copies. Sadly, you won’t ever get an autograph because the author has passed away early this year. :(

  12. The meddling is wonderful, if I may add to Age’s comment. And, what more to say of Deborah! First I liked her because I was given her name, then I started reading more about her started admiring her skills and now, standing in my mid-thirties, I cannot but wonder at the different roles she would have juggled with in her life. Given that ancient time, she managed quite efficiently. I just hope her name in me stands worthy.

    Great meeting you as well, dear Curly. I would like to read your dissertation. If you don’t mind, could you email it to me: susandotdeborahatgmaildotcom.

    And, dear Age, thanks for this platform and this space for voicing our thoughts. These sort of things should be happening in the comments’ section of blogs.

    Cheerio!

    Joy always,
    Susan

    • Great to hear from you ma’am Susan Deborah! Your parents were inspired in giving you that name. I read an article that the persons given Biblical names somehow have the similar characteristics; innate personality or adopted.
      I think you’re a good leader too! :)

      I’m fascinated to know you liked Deborah more. It’s a pleasure to share my literary analysis. Will send it to you once retrieved. I would love to hear comments about it too!

      I concur to that, thanks Chaching for the space given for healthy discussion! :)

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