Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Adventures with Sister Suzy

Our Merry Maller at the Capitol Commons Estancia something or other

Ellen Suzanne Lolarga is my number two sister (before her is Evelyn Marie or Embeng and after her are Genevieve Therese, Pinky for short, and Eugenia Celerina, just Gigi to all). I was five years old when Suzy was born.

I still remember seeing my mother going into labor. My Dad, yaya and I accompanied Mom to the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center. When Mom was wheeled into the delivery room on a gurney, she waved to Dad with instructions for the yaya to walk me home. That was my first memory of Su, as she was about to enter our lives.

My second memory of her was at Luneta Park in the early '60s (not Doroy Valencia's Rizal Park yet). We were near the breakwaters: Mom, the yaya, Suzy and me. I had the urge to pee. There were no portalets then. So Mom brought me to peepee by a bush, but I got bitten by ants on my buttocks, and I squealed like the piglet I can be sometimes. So Mom and yaya had to brush off the ants. Meanwhile, Suzy, a toddler by then, wandered away. When the adults realized she was amiss, it was Press the Panic Button time.

That must have been a weekend; there were just too many people (already!) then. Meanwhile, I remember being held by my hand tightly so I couldn't go astray either as Mom and yaya searched high and low for Suzy by which time, Mom being Mom, was in near hysterics. From the park we walked all the way to The Manila Hotel. It was already dark. As we approached the hotel, a car's headlights were switched on--and there was Suzy in the light, still dressed up like a doll with her bonnet and little handbag.

Whenever this story is recalled in family conversations, Gigi never fails to say that it was a sign of things to come. That is, Suzy would turn into a Merry Maller. On certain after-school days or weekends, that's what she does for exercise. Now and then she picks up a knickknack or three, most especially children's books from Book Sale that she can use for her Montessori class or to give to her grandnieces Max and Kai and grandnephew Jared.

The rest of the abubots are stashed in her aparador. Whenever there's a birthday, a wedding or similar festive occasions, she always has something ready. When we have no time to shop, we go to her and request for a suitable item when a friend or family member is having a thing (birthday or anniversary). Of course, we pay up.

Kind, gentle to all the wee ones in our lives, Suzy is shown here wiping traces of ube ice cream from Jared Susi's mouth.

This makes Suzy the perfect steward of our household budget now that Mom is retired from that. She settles the electric, phone, Wifi and water bills, does the groceries (the others contribute, too).

Every family needs a Suzy who is quiet, dependable, loves little children and lets them go to her for comfort and loving loving. And she is that silent patron of art and music, a cultural soldier, daresay I. She's gonna pinch me tonight (she's my roommate when I'm at Mom's).

Happy birth month, sis!

Suzy with tenor Arthur Espiritu, the prince of cantabile, a title given him by music reviewer Pablo Tariman, at Ayala Museum in 2013. This was at a post-Yolanda fundraising concert called "Arthur Espiritu and Friends." The other singers were sopranos Myramae Meneses and Kay Balajadia-Liggayu and tenor Nomher Nival.

Tenor Nomher Nival in a relaxed moment after "Donizetti and Friends," the last of two Opera Gala series featuring the participants in the first intensive vocal workshop/master class in the Philippines of soprano great Nelly Miricioiu Photos by Babeth Lolarga

Last Saturday (March 21), her birthday, she spent the evening with me at the Ayala Museum. Tenor Nomher Nival dedicated the penultimate number in the Opera Gala recital called Donizetti and Friends "to Suzy."

Following is the English translation of the aria, Donizetti's "Una Furtiva Lagrima," from the Italian comic opera L'Elisir d'Amore (The Elixir of Love):

A single secret tear
from her eye did spring:
as if she envied all the youths
that laughingly passed her by.
What more searching need I do?
What more searching need I do?
She loves me! Yes, she loves me, I see it. I see it.
For just an instant the beating
of her beautiful heart I could feel!
As if my sighs were hers,
and her sighs were mine!
The beating, the beating of her heart I could feel,
to merge my sighs with hers...
Heavens! Yes, I could die!
I could ask for nothing more, nothing more.
Oh, heavens! Yes, I could, I could die!
I could ask for nothing more, nothing more.
Yes, I could die! Yes, I could die of love.

Thank you, Joseph Uy and Nomher, for making Suzy happy.
Post a Comment