Thankful For Memories

Look back and find things to be grateful.

Growing up was tough for me. I did not belong to a nuclear family. My mother worked hard raising me but had to travel to put me through school. So I spent my childhood moving from place to place, living with my grandparents and relatives. Some may find that difficult, and yes, it was at times.

There were times of loneliness, times of trials, and there were times of questioning. Yet, in the midst of it, there were also times of learning and times of growth. There were opportunities to meet new friends from different places, have fun with cousins, and have memorable moments with my grandparents.

Papalolo ” I will always treasure and be thankful for my time with my cousins and grandparents in Bohol, Philippines. The times I spent with my grandfather, who will all call “Papalo,” were very special! I remember when he used to call out early in the morning, “LARGA!” means let’s go in the Visayan dialect. No matter how sleepy we were, we would get up, for it meant beach time. It was bonding time; it was time for fun!


 My grandmother, who will all call “Mamala,” was a great cook. She spent most of her time in the kitchen. My favorite as a kid was her “flying saucer burger.” We call it such since my grandmother would make it in this flying saucer-looking cooking gadget. I will never forget the aroma of the burger as we all entered the house after playing outside; it sure made us all full and happy afterward.

A home filled with love

Their home was nothing special; it was simple, made of wood and tin roof, but big enough to hold more than twenty kids and some adults. It was not a mansion, far from it, but it felt like one to us. The house was filled with laughter and love; that’s all that mattered to us.

Fondest Memory  

One of the fondest memories I have as a child was when we all camped on the living room floor. Can you imagine twenty kids in the same room? Chaos right? Well, somewhat, but as soon as Papalo comes in and sits on his favorite wooden chair, we all get quiet. We all get comfortable listening to him tell us one of his made-up tales. Some made us laugh, and some were meant to scare us. It was our routine before going to sleep.

The next day, we would wake up to a man yelling, “Puto Conchita,” a popular breakfast treat in the Philippines. We all get up and run outside, ensuring we get the man, but as always, Papalo beats us. We find him speaking to the man as if they were best friends. We go back in to see Mamala, with hot cocoa ready for all of us. I will always be grateful for my time with my grandparents and cousins- One to cherish!


 We celebrate Thanksgiving Day by being thankful for many things. We are grateful for good health, blessings, family, and friends. Every day, I try to appreciate everything I have and don’t have. I make sure also to be grateful for the things I don’t have, for it makes me appreciate it more.

In the spirit of this year’s Thanksgiving, I am making an intentional effort to look back, remember the good times, cherish the memories I have with the special people in my life, especially those who have passed on, and be thankful for them!

Remembering, Regee Cabagnot,Rudolph “Tabugok” Cabagnot, Marcello “Papalo” and Florentina “Mamala” Cabagnot

Happy Thanksgiving!


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