Of Renewing Family Ties

3:16 PM


My ten year-old son had always lamented why he seldom sees members of my side of the family as compared to that of his father's side who make it a point to hold a yearly reunion. A typical Gaudinez Family "reunion" would most probably be a dinner hosted by any of the visiting family member based abroad. Admittedly, these occassions are quite few and far between.

Upon receiving an invitation to such an occassion from my cousin Jun and his wife Beng in their most recent return to the Philippines, my son was quite excited and asked me to make sure that I introduce him and his younger sister to each and everyone so that they would remember. It was such a huge disappointment to him that he got sick the night before and therefore could not come. I decided not to come lest I further his disappointment in leaving him behind. My husband prevailed on me to go since events such as this do not happen often. After making sure that my son was okay, I went to the designated place with my youngest daughter in tow.

I am very glad that I did come as it was a wonderful time to renew family ties with the ever-gracious couple Jun and Beng, with my Uncle Bebet and his wife Juliet and children Cheska and Alexis, with my cousin Willie and his wife Chato and their children, with my cousin Cong and her husband James and their children, and of course with Tita Charing. It was also a time to meet Melchor, Jun's brother, and his partner Ashley. It was a time to be happy and forget all earthly worries while in the company of true family. It was a relief to be moving within a group that have accepted each other's idiosyncrasies, able to laugh at ourselves without feeling laughed at.

The worries of everyday life may have dulled my sensitivities to the importance of maintaining family connections for some time. My son's youthful anticipation has forced me to look in retrospect to things that we usually take for granted such as family ties. My relatives are probably unaware that I feel a sense of dread for our family get-togethers, believing that I'll always suffer in comparison in terms of accomplishment and material wealth. It was always my sense of duty and family that prevailed thus my consistent presence in family gatherings. I soon began to realize that nobody seems to be counting any way, so why should I be so hard on myself?

Today, I learned an important lesson through the eyes of a child who had no room for pretension and needless anxiety. The things we treasure most have always been with us and have always been staring back at us, waiting to be discovered or rediscovered. Some people say you'll know what is most important to you in this world when you know the answer to the question: What will you do if it was the last day of your life on earth? I was given a preview of my probable answer during a life-and-death situation involving my husband when I cried desperately to the Lord to take everything else but my family. During my most difficult times, I look back to that moment to remind me that all other problems pale in comparison to the prospect of losing a family member. In our gravest moments, we return to the basics, realizing that what we have been pursuing all our life is not that important after all.


Here's a toast to the family and everything that it represents. Here's hoping that the next Gaudinez Family reunion would include more members and allow all those based abroad to be miraculously here in the Philippines at the same time. My son will probably have the time of his life getting to know all of them.

My Say

Family members may be go their separate ways for some time due to marriage, work , and the pursuit of ambition but always there is a family to come home to.  There need not be any special reason to get together , just the desire to bond and keep the lines open and the ties tighter.  When we are among family, we are truly home.

That said, I resolve to be more available for this kind of occasions and play a big part in renewing family ties.




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27 comments

  1. Wow.. I miss big family reunion tuloy.. Every ones busy na kasi nasa abroad pa ung iba...

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  2. Wow! Your son is very smart for a 10-year old.. :) He already values family ties in such a young age. Anyway, I'm glad your side of the family got the chance to meet again. I'm sure your son will be very excited for part two.

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  3. it is been a long time since I see my family back home .We always find time to see each other .I am out of the country for more than 13 years and family re union is one special occasion that I always look forward to.

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  4. So true... it is always wonderful to join such family gatherings more so if your kids grew up away from them....

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  5. Reunions provide opportunities for us to connect or reconnect with our loved ones.

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  6. cheers to family.. i love having family reunions.. aside from catching up with them, I also get to meet new set of relatives :)

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  7. Family ties, aren't they just the best and most enduring ties in the world?

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  8. AWWWW!!!! that was the only time you can see the members of your family that you never seen in a long time. What a golden moment.

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  9. Families are now more geographically apart as probably most families would have their share of OFWs. It's always a pleasure to reunite with family members from time to time.

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  10. Though we celebrate family reunions somewhat annually, I don't think that that brings our extended family together.. Well, for me. Pagdating kasi dun, it's either we eat and mingle with those we just know, and there's no chance to talk with each other..

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  11. @ventocoseuss: It might be a good idea to plan some activities for the reunion to "force" everyone to mingle.

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  12. @Franc Ramon: That is true. In my own immediate family, we have three members working in other countries which makes it impossible to have a complete reunion.

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  13. We Filipinos are
    family-oriented
    and being reunited
    with those after a long time
    is a very sentimental event.

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  14. Yes, reason why I love children...No pretension...say what they feel and think...so honest... your blog is an eye opener not only to others but to myself. I haven't seen my relatives for decades...:D

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  15. I love reunions din! We have it every year.

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  16. More often than not sometimes the pace of day-to-day life is so hectic that time becomes a scarce commodity. As a result family life suffers but its good to know that you guys value families. I love family reunion.

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  17. The last time we had a family reunion was way back 2006 (?), I'm not sure. hehe. Family is what really matters most. :)

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  18. Kudos to your son who takes the initiative in getting to know his blood relatives. I wasn't like him when I was at that age. It's only now that I've come to appreciate the importance of knowing my relatives. I think that's a crucial part in establishing our self-identity. Too bad he didn't make it though. I hope there would be a next time. :)

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  19. Keeping in touch with family is important...this will be our link to the past. I am a genealogy enthusiast and it is so interesting to see the connections. Your son is on the right track :)

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  20. AWWW I love family reunions!!!!!!!!

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  21. It is great that you are there to walk by them and instilling in them the importance of keeping the family close.

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  22. Family is really important, and reunion makes the bond stronger and not to mention fun and time to get updates and stories from grannies.

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  23. Family reunion for us happens for the same reason too and only in my grandma's side, since my grandpa's family is small and they do visit us time to time :)

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  24. We never had a family reunion for the longest time now. I think it is a good idea to really have a family reunion. :)

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  25. Yes, It's so nice to spend time and meet other family members! Yearly we conduct our family reunion on my father's side (my mom's relatives are living quite far from us) and thru this we were able to keep the bonds and somehow patch up our differences if there is any. Cheers to our families!

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  26. We have mini-family gatherings every now and then. It's always great to be around people you care about. :)

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  27. I now realized that this kind of gathering will be the ones my kids will miss. they won't be able to experience family reunions and not know their relatives. Living far away from relatives gives that.

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