ok so it’s not really the first.
It's been over two decades since I last saw Uncle Bong. He would usually drop by Diamond Village in Novaliches, Quezon City to visit Lola Magding and my mother's side of the family there. Back then, I was still in college, and I think he had also just started working, in the automotive industry. He has since worked in cruise ships and it was a good stroke of fortune when he told me that they would be dry-docking in Singapore. Mama's side has always been close-knit and could see the fondness in his eyes as he recalled his dealings with Lola Magding and her children, Mama included. He would then share stories of how many of our relatives emigrated off the "isla" to find better opportunities in Manila. Given the brief opportunity, I'm still blessed to have seen him again after all these years. I am also happy that he was able to meet Mae and his "apos". Until we next see each other, Uncle Bong!