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New beginning

Ben Contreras

TOMI was one of the few who would come and spend the night in our humble home. Sometimes, I watched in shame seeing them sleeping and packed like sardines on the small bed in my son’s room. But that was more than a decade ago.

Their bonds seemed to have not faded a bit. They all turned into young professionals and entrepreneurs but are still like the kids they were before.

Lynlyn comes third among sisters of 4. She is a certified public accountant like her father. In her job, she rose from the ranks with colors.

Tomi and Lynlyn were classmates, batchmates in high school at Oro Christian Grace School. It seems like only yesterday when we heard of Tommy courting Lynlyn. Today, they’re altar-bound.

How their love blossomed is not one like fairy tale. But being children of devoted Christian parents, their relationship has always been anchored on trust, respect, and God.

Their union today marks a new beginning in their life. They worked, planned and prepared for it independently.

Tomi is Antonio Miguel N. Gamboa, the eldest son Mr. and Mrs. George and Leilani Gamboa of the famous Minindal near Gaston Park.

Lynlyn is Karolyn T. Contreras, daughter of my younger brother Kong Ngo Contreras and his wife Rosita Tan Contreras.

I stand as one of the principal sponsors among others like my elder Robert T. Contreras, my sister Tiu King Dee, my sister-in-law Rita A. Contreras, Mr. Romulo B. Makalintal, Mr. Celestino C. Lim Sr., Mr. Federico L. Uy, Mr. Robin Y. Lao, Mr. Arnold Michael P. Rillera, Mrs. Milagros G. Makalintal, Mrs. Rowena T. Malinao, Ms. Judy L. Chiu, Mrs. Myra Liza M. Cordero and Mrs. Ma. Christina V. Cacanando. As such, a responsibility has been bestowed upon me as their second parent.

Here is my simple message to them:

Both of you have wonderful parents. Make them the mirror in your new life. Welcome to the family, Tomi. Congratulations and God bless you!

Once again, it’s going to be “Hello and goodbye.” The waiting always takes months or a year or two. And when it comes, it also ends in a jiffy.

We, brothers and sisters of seven are all in our senior years, living in different cities and countries. To be together is a rare occasion that can happen only once in a year or two or more. While we all look forward to each with hope and excitement, there is always that sadness of saying goodbye again, notwithstanding the pangs of inevitable.

We’re not a perfect family. But we tried to inculcate in the minds of our children the importance of loving and caring for one another, and setting ourselves as good examples as possible.


About Ben Contreras

Ben Contreras has been writing a column for The Gold Star Daily since the 90s.

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