As is usual with me, I was staying with the Fortunatos when I visited Cebu two days ago. Since it was the first day of the Misa de Gallo last Friday, I joined them for that Mass at Perpetual Succor Hospital chapel.
It's been a few years since I've been doing the Christmas Dawn Masses and I have the Fortunatos to thank for that. Sometime during my third extended stay with them, Mrs. Fortunato invited me one morning and I've been at it ever since.
That got me thinking: I'm very lucky to have found a wonderful foster family. Because there's no other way to describe my relationship with them: leisurely breakfast conversations, wrangling Chammy, anecdotes, quotations, historical reminiscing, and so on and so forth. I've really known them for a very long time.
And the Fortunatos aren't my only foster family. There have been several others, too, necessitated by an vagabond life in Cebu and Manila.
My Uncle Vic and Auntie Liang when I first entered college.
The Fortunatos a little later on in college, and several years after that, when I moved back to Cebu.
The Reyeses, after I made that Fateful Decision eleven years ago found myself stuck all alone in Metro Manila with no money.
Auntie Anging and my other colorful relatives, lovable scoundrels all, with 13 of us cramped in a four bedroom townhouse.
So there: I've been part of several families throughout my life and in this regard, I think I'm luckier than most. I don't know how many of them will be reading this, but this Christmas season, I want to publicly thank all of them for all the loving and all the learning.