July 27, 1971 letter from Philadelphia

Friday, July 25, 2008

10:30 pm 27 Jul 71

(Received at UP August 3, 1971)

Dearest Lioness,

It is indeed some scene to imagine you and your cubs trailing the Disney jungle from our cave to the game field of the Coop.  The Buch cub is gradually initiated into the Diliman ethological niche, w/c the oldest Bob cub is now familiar w/..  Just imagine that 10 yrs. ago you first strayed into the U.P. game as a young lioness.  The U.P. territory has been abundant w/ competitive lionesses from the basement cave to the church grounds, unions [Vinzons Hall was then named University Union] and LC [Listening Center].  But in no time, out of sheer long legs and strides, you had roamed every game nook of the jungle, except the sororities w/c only invite for membership the unimaginatively evolved lionesses.  Out of sheer feline beauty and occasional aggressive pawing, you soon drove the other lionesses that lazily groomed themselves from the LC to other caves, and caught the boastful leo.  Now that the daddy lion is away and hunting for his queen lioness and princelings, he hopes that she “ferociously” or felinely protects her cubs and attacks any stray lions.  Lionesses are deadly and monogamous.  They hear and smell any invasion of their territory even when the stray cats are still far away.  So it is seldom that they lose the imperativeness of their claims to their territory.

Lions seldom fight as their lionesses give them no reason to fight each other.  They trust their lionesses, that’s why they can roam far for game and hunting w/o worry.  What I can simply growl is that my lioness is touchingly loving for her cubs and that she is always sending lioness-cries to me, so even at great distance she keeps her mighty claim.

(Midnight:  I had to interrupt my writing to eat my supper of torta w/c I hunted at Penn Fruit late p.m.)  My baby, while I want you to write me often, if possible everyday w/c is unlikely, I don’t want you to rise at 3:00 a.m. just to write me unless doing so eases you and helps you sleep deeply afterwards.  I don’t want you to get sick, not just for our kids, but for your own well-being.  I’m sorry I am quite demanding of you as I am of my obsessed self.  During loneliness w/c I undergo very often, I just long for words about you and the children.  While the world, esp. cities, overflow w/ teeming people, one is still a slave of taste, habit, acquaintances, loved ones and individuality.  Man is a social animal, a crawling social vine.  And yet he only strikes home in a small close group.  This is quite true w/ me.  Put me in a huge gathering–a fiesta, party, excursion, church, and the like–and my mind gets restless, looking at the blue sky or lost inside in a far away memory.  This is what happens w/ me now.  So I always long for your letters, for your familiar messages.  But while I do so, I am not asking you to get up on the wee hours of nights just to write me.  I know how devoted and true you are to me and for your being so, I will feel very bad if you get sick on my account.  Just try to write me during Buch’s naps [Buch, now called Gids, was then just almost 3 months] and sleeptimes early in the morning, at 6:30 a.m. or early night.

I must reiterate that you consult for post pregnancy checkup until you are assured that you are very well, and that you should keep me informed.  You did not have to bleed that profusely, as you did not at Bryn Mawr.  Of course you could’ve been very anxious on account of my absence, w/c could’ve caused you the hard labor.  I hope you won’t ever experience the same.  Perhaps I should study how to attend to child bearing, so that I can look after you myself.

As often as possible just buy toyo to be able to control in indirect manner Ima’s use of patis.  Tell her patis is bad for her heart and blood pressure as it is for the teeth.  Try to minimize patis then.  Also, don’t let the children eat sweet foods only, such as ginataan, chocolate bars, etc..  Diabetes is also high among children.  Buy them Vi-Daylin occasionally.  In fact, you can buy them that upon receipt of your allowance for Aug., w/c I mailed this a.m.  As you should notice, the allowance includes an extra $20 for your dresses, the kids’ and added miscellany.  I allotted the amt. for my b’day, but on second thought I decided that I would feel better if I allotted it to you.  It is not much, but I can’t save much from my own money.  Food is also expensive here.  $5 doesn’t give me any wt. to carry from the stores.  Food in school is expensive.  Once in a while, I try to juggle my budget to determine if I can increase your money  by $20 every second month, but I always end up short of the aim.  At least I am fed enough though.  For sure I look constantly beyond 100 lbs.  Anyway, just buy a dress or 2 for the house or market out of the extra money I included.

Take care.  I am true to my words.  Tell Ima [fg's mother] to eat well parang hindi siya mabibingi.  Baka sasama ang pakinig niya.  [This is a private joke.  My mother-in-law, who's Kapampangan, once asked me how I was feeling.  In Tagalog, she should have said, "Kumusta ang pakiramdam mo?"   In Kapampangan, "pakiramdam" means "hearing", or, in Tagalog, "pandinig".  So she must have felt she was correct when she asked me, "Kumusta ang pandinig mo?"  From that time on fg would good-naturedly joke about his mother's transliteration.] Tell Bob [then 6 going on 7] to put a piece of old sandal to the screen door to muffle the loud bangs from the door.  Give my regards to everyone: to Lola, the folks at Genato, Alex & Juliet [Hufana], etc..  Do you know if Tatay [my father] got his denture grip?  [I am reminded of this time, when my father had requested fg to buy Cushion Grip for his dentures.  FG had bought a lot, such that the salesgirl or cashier noticed, and asked him: "Are these for you? " FG, ever playful, replied, "Yes."  The salesgirl looked at his teeth, then in very good  condition--in fact, one of his attractions for me was his 100-watt smile--and commented: "They sure look very real!" ] He, like Doc, has not written back.  fg

Margin Notes: Lingcotte: I sent you these 3 strands of hair, w/c I will soon have cut short.  Don’t worry.  I still look young, so much that I can’t yet be admitted to X movies.  I think.

Yesterday, I saw a black woman whose legs resemble yours.  But hers are a bit crooked.  Anyway I admired them, but detachedly of course.   But she had tagihawat. LC is unique for me.

Everything of LC: complexion, texture, height, hold, reach, the leggies.  I leg-watch just to flatter myself for what I have.  So be assured.


28 July 1971

Efhraim P. David

33 J. Luna, U.P.

Q.C., P.I.

[With sketches of a box, much like the ones fg and Ef would make in their spare time, and a half-clock pointing to 1:25, possibly a.m., the time fg got around to writing the letter for Ef.]

Mahal kong Anak,

Ako’y nagagalak sa pagaala-ala mo sa akin.  Sabi ng Mama mo anak itinatago mo ang BF Goodrich dahil sa FG.  Pero tandaan mo anak na magaling din ang mga babae.  Halimbawa ang Mama mo.  Siya’y magaling din.  Kung hindi sa mga Mama walang magaalaga hanggang sa paglaki ng mga bata.  Ang Mama mo dalawang taon ka niyang pinasususo at halos tatlong taon ka niyang dala-dala bago siya nakapagaral muli.  Kaya mahalin mo siya ngayon at saka tulungan.  Ako’y nagtitiyaga para gumaling.  Marami pa ring ibang matiyaga, lalaki o babae.

Mahalin mo sina Vey, Bryn at Buch.  Ikaw ang halimbawang ginagaya nila.  Ang mabuti o masama mong gawa ang gagayahin nila.  Maglaro kayo nina Bryn at Vey.  Sabihin mo sa kanila huwag magsipagawayan.

Igalang mo si Apu.  [Kapampangan for Lola/Lolo.  In this instance, referring to fg's mother.]