I WAS part of a not-so-suprise-party on Saturday for my niece, Monica, daughter of my celebrity sister, Dolly. It had the formula for a successful surprise party until the proverbial and crucial last two minutes. Murag basketball, lingin ang bola. She was told to have dinner in a nice hotel with only two tita, not knowing the whole village lie in wait for their beloved Monica. It has the perfect formula for a successful surprise party. Everyone did their part, mouths shut, not a hint. Everything was perfect until she was on the way up to the venue in an elevator with her ninong who blew it all away.
The sin of the talkative ninong was forgivable. He was a famous DJ during his prime. He does talking for a living. He loves to talk but he now has a senior moments syndrome like many of us. Everybody understood — perhaps, it is one of the privileges of a senior citizen. By the way, everyone was charmed when he delivered his testimony for his godchild, Monica. He still got the voice. My man, you are still the man!
Anyway, the anti-climatic scene in the elevator did not dampen the celebration. Not a bit. Classmates, childhood playmates, former teachers, friends and media friends of her mother, relatives, the ninong and ninang were all teary-eyed. Well, okay, to some, tears of joy flowed like a river like Msgr. Tex who cried when Monica cried, feeling overwhelmed by the love all around her. Maayo na lang gani pag lingi niya sa iya abay naghilak daw gihapon, Msgr. Tex said.
Monica is an only child but she never felt alone. She was always surrounded by loving and caring people. She has beauty and brains, a loving and obedient child, witty and fun-loving. She is everyone’s darling. A village watched her grow. Her pleasant personality attracted the right kind of people. So anywhere she lived, be it in US or UK, a protective and loving village grew around her.
She migrated to the US with her mother when she was in 2nd year high school. She got herself a college scholarship at the University of San Francisco, took her Masters in Public Health at Sheifield University in the UK and then a medical degree at St. George University in UK.
She came home last week a full-fledged doctor working in one of the public hospitals in London. She was the 15th doctor in the Ilogon family. Inspite of her success, she gave specific instructions to her mother that she will have none of those high-profile welcomes. But when she entered our compound in Licoan, she was greeted with her face smiling at her in a huge tarpaulin hanging across the street. Darn! How she hates tarpaulins. Hahaha.
The village watched her grow and they raised her well! In the not-so-suprise-party on Saturday, all were beaming with pride, and tears of joy flowed like a river.
Her mom, Dolly, would had been a physician herself but our mother died when she was 16. Our youngest sibling was two. I was eight. She did not continue with her studies in Cebu and came home to take care of her five younger siblings.
However, the dream lives on. Dolly’s little bright girl made a promise to her Lolo Jake that whatever happens, someday she will become a doctor.
Promise fullfilled! With a bonus… Her husband is a doctor, too.
Congratulations, Dr. Monica Ilogon Talag-Haydock!