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cecile s. yumul
cecile s yumul IT HAS been a long week for us in the family. We buried our dead yesterday. I opened my email today and found inspiring material sent by dear friends. How fitting that one message had to be about music. Music to me, however, is not only found in the melody of strings, in voices, or in the wind.

There is music in every act of one caring human being– whether be it for animals, plants, or fellow humans– just as there is music found in the leaves of the trees that sways one to sleep on a makeshift hammock. I hear music in the raspy voice of my grandfather regaling me with stories of his youth, when honor and the value of one's family name was worth more than material wealth.

There is music in the variety of sounds that wake us up from an afternoon nap: the discordant but familiar sounds of chickens clacking, pigs squealing, dogs barking, the puto vendor's horn puffing on and off to get attention and attract people to buy his afternoon's ration of "Ssspannnisss," shortly before dusk and the angelus bells start tolling.

And there is music that people's lives make that is passed on and leaves a mark on others. This afternoon, sitting on a rocking chair, I pay tribute to Mang Lucing's life music that touched all of us in the family.

Mang Lucing's music was heard in the cacophony of pots and pans that she would strike and scrub to prepare food in for all who came for a feast. From the simple everyday dish to the mind-boggling meal, the sumptuous setting of her cooking overflows every celebration: be it for a fiesta, a birthday, a graduation, a baptismal, or a wedding. Whatever the occasion, her music (at cooking) fills the soundtrack of the treasured moments of our lives.

Mang Lucing's music was felt as well when she drew water from the pump to fill large pails for our baths. We all felt the music of her hands as she soaped, washed, dried, and powdered us till we looked whiter than cherubims, ready to be kissed and praised to high heaven for the simplest feat or the most complex antic that was endearing only to those who truly loved and understood. For us who went under her care, we know Mang Lucing was also in touch with our own music when she cradled us as babies, until we outgrew her loving arms.

In my heart I remember her music so well. You too must have a dear aunt whose lifetime she devoted to taking care of the sons and daughters of her married (unlike her) brothers and sisters. The likes of Mang Lucing never go. They are a part of each breath we take, and no moment with them is ever lost by our remembrance.

I feel her a part of my life still. I am glad she knew how much she was loved by us. If you have someone you love very much, but may be wanting to let them know, grab the chance now. Come home to them while they are still alive for them to feel your embrace and hear the music of you saying how much they are loved.

[About the author. Cecile Santos Yumul is a veteran award winning Broadcast Journalist, a visionary teacher (Most Outstanding Teacher of the Philipines in 1992), a nationalist (Most Outstanding Kapampangan for Education in 1993), an environmentalist, and a dedicated daughter. She has over 35 years experience in the field of arts as an actor, director, and author. She is a published writer (Woman's Magazine) of essays, poems, short stories, and social commentaries. She currently resides in Lakandula, Mabalacat, Pampanga with her Mother, 18 dogs, doves, and bonsais.]

-Posted: 1:22 AM 3/18/07 | More of this author on eK!