Today is National Grandparents’ Day, where people from all around the world celebrate, honor, and show love to their grandparents! In honor of the holiday, CHiNOY TV asked people for stories about their beloved angkongs and ahmas, from how they met to their reactions to being grandparents today.
The Probinsyana and the Manilenyo
“My grandfather was invited to go to Isabela to do some business. His cousin was neighbors with my grandmother, and one day brought him to her store, where they officially met.
My grandmother instantly liked him. Everybody in the province knew each other, so she wasn’t really interested in the guys there. Although she had wealthy suitors, they weren’t as good looking as my grandfather, who was a Manilenyo.
After meeting each other, he began to court her. He frequently visited her, whether she was in Manila or the province. They eventually got engaged after a year and got married.
I’m not close to my grandparents since we only see each other on special occasions. However, I really love them since they remember us whenever we would see them and because my grandmother would tell us cool stories from the province.”
Love at First Sight in China
“My grandfather, who was around 19 at that time, went to China together with his grandfather. One day, as he walked around a neighboring town, he saw my grandmother outside doing the laundry. She was around 18 then and was known for being the most beautiful girl in that town. It was love at first sight.
He wanted to meet her. After being properly introduced, he then asked her family’s permission for them to get married. They immediately agreed as Chinese families back then would send off their daughters to get married. They got married there, and he brought her home to the Philippines.
I do not have any memories with my grandfather since he passed away when I was a kid, but I heard stories of him being the disciplinarian in the family. However, I was lucky enough to spend a good few years with my grandmother, who was very caring and loving.”
“My ahma was always the muse in her college and my angkong was like the ‘bully’ in town. It’s really funny. My grandparents met in their college days when they were working part-time in the same industry but in different shops. They met when ahma was working so angkong made ligaw to her, and he became her first and last relationship.”
“In the palengke, angkong sold chicharon and ahma had a sari-sari stall. They often saw each other because their stalls were beside each other, and that’s how their love story started. Their relationship remains strong to this day, even if they have grandchildren now. They’re happy to have grandkids like us at their ‘young’ ages.”
Making It Work
“My grandparents were from an arranged marriage. Their families were very traditional, so it was the norm then. How did they make it work? Patience and respect with good kitchen skills. My ahma always prepared meals for her husband – breakfast, lunch, dinner. And it always gives me joy whenever he compliments her dishes. Aside from this, they made sure to always communicate and decide together as a couple when it comes to hard decisions.
Ahma always finds joy whenever her apos visit her. Sakto, she also loves kids. They have a total of 13 apos and for her it’s great that two of them are in their 20s, so they can buy her food or teach them some things on social media that they don’t understand. They say we make them feel young again.”
Remembering and Appreciating
“My grandparents got married in September 1958 all the way in Bicol where my grandmother grew up. They were married for almost 30 years until my grandfather passed in 1998.
But up until this day, even after more than two decades, I would still see ahma wear her wedding ring all the time. I believe that’s her way of loving someone – selflessly treasuring every precious moment she can to the smallest detail. She has a great memory, too! She still remembers all the birthdays of her grandkids (and great-grandchild). She also keeps a small diary and writes about her day there.
Ahma’s simple way of showing her love to us is a constant reminder that just because we don’t see someone as often or we don’t get to keep in contact with them as much, doesn’t mean that we should stop showing how much we care and love them in simple ways that we can. As her grandkids, we hope that we can pay tribute to how special she is by continuing to go above and beyond in showing how much we value, care, and love in our little ways towards the people around us! She’s truly like no other and I’m sure my cousins would all agree to that.”
Language of Love
“The details of how my angkong met my ahma are kind of blurry, but this is what I know. My angkong and ahma, both from different cities, came to Manila to work. She lived nearby my angkong’s family and, for some reason, became the apprentice of my tai-ma (angkong’s mom) to do household things. They both fell in love and got married.
My ahma is the kind of person who doesn’t say ‘I love you’ but shows that she does. She’s a generous person and loves to cook for us. My angkong’s language of love, on the other hand, is shown by always teasing us grandchildren.”
Whether it’s giving them a gift, sharing stories, or spending time with them online or offline, don’t forget to show your appreciation to your grandparents today!