I fondly called my grandma, Mama Ko. It comes from Mama Dako which literally means Big Mama. (Although she wasn’t big.) It was my grandma who named me Alyssa. (My mom wanted to call me Joanna.) We would have been celebrating my grandmother’s birthday yesterday, if she was still with us. This post is in memory of my grandma who taught me to appreciate a number of things I take interest in until now — books & travelling.
Mama Ko taught me the value of travelling in her own little ways. She used to bring me along in her trips to Cebu and Manila. My summers were never dull because of those trips. I enjoyed shopping for clothes in a shop called Red Circle. But above all, I just loved being in another city. I enjoyed the boat and plane rides to the unfamiliar cities.
I remember tagging along with her to Tagaytay and see the Taal Volcano. A vague memory is still with me of the time I saw dolphins while on board a ship to Cagayan de Oro.
I even got my passport at a very young age because she brought me, my mom and Mama Des to Hong Kong in the summer of 1998.
The following summer we traveled to Bangkok, Thailand. I was with Mama Ko, Mama and Tita Christine in Bangkok. I remember crying and having a fit just because I couldn’t ride the elephants. Hahaha! I really did like to ride that elephant. So, I rode a wooden elephant in Singapore Zoo more than a decade after. :))) But that’s beside my point.
Summer of 2000 was the last summer I had with my grandma. That summer, my mom and my grandma allowed me to join a book seminar that was hosted in National Book Store, Shangri-la. They let me be part of the Book Circle Club, a sort of club for kids who are supposed to like reading books. I don’t recall much of the book seminar. But I remember my mom and grandma buying me new storybooks – Strega Nona and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. That summer they also got me my very first novel – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I really don’t think I got my interest in books from me mom. (Sorry, Ma! Hahahaha!) I remember my mom dozing off after reading a few pages of the first book of the Harry Potter series. On the other hand, I remember my grandma reading monthly issues of Reader’s Digest.
I was blessed to have a grandmother who took me to different places, sparked that enthusiasm for travelling and taught me to appreciate reading books. 😀