I am writing this post while listening to a medley of Eraserheads songs, right now it’s the upbeat song Toyang. Appropriate for this sharing. =)
“..bahay namin maliit lamang”
“pero pero pero malinis to pati sa kusina.”
“kumain man kami, laging sama-sama…”
. . .
“Madalas man kaming walang pera, Makita lang ang kislap ng kanyang mata, ako ay busog na.”
“…kahit namumublema basta kami magkasama”
Last days of August I was browsing through SM Cebu City Official Facebook Page, and saw their contest calling for big families to submit pictures particularly that of the grandparents with their grandchildren. The contest for ‘Grandparents with the most number of apo’, an activity in time for the upcoming Grandparents Day Celebration.
Immediately I know that this was the opportunity our family waited for a long time.
During family gatherings when all or majority of the family members are present, I often hear my aunties, uncles and cousins muse that if there is a ‘padaghanay ug apo contest’, we are surely a shoo-in.
So this activity and contest of SMCC is something perfect for our big family. If we win, it will be something to remember for years and years; a family milestone, a family story for sharing from generations to generations.
But I must do the first step first – submit our family picture.
But before I could do that, my attention was diverted elsewhere. So I forgot about the contest until last September 3, Tuesday night when I again visited SM Cebu’s page. I saw all these pictures of big families where everyone was smiling and happy to be in the pics.
“I must submit our family picture.”
“We deserve our picture to be shown along all the other big families.”
“I can’t sleep without submitting our pic.”
These overriding thoughts latched on my mind and won’t let go. When I saw the deadline which was 3 days away, a sudden urgency grips me, demanding that I act.
I knew in my heart then that this was an opportunity for us all to do something big for Lolo and Lola.
Banay ni Yul and Mancia
I am proud of our Sandal clan especially our grandparents, for the care they took to keep the family intact, for being a good role model, for showing us that love can be really uniting and wonderful.
Our grandparents are inspiring without a doubt, even those who are not-family members would often remark ‘suya kaayo ko sa imong lola and lolo, holding hands gihapon maglakaw sa dalan’.
It’s an ordinary day when Lolo will tease Lola, sometimes they become so cheesy that we the younger generation would roll our eyes. Here they go again, lol. But we are proud, so proud.
Often their simple conversations turn to ruckus laughter. They bicker a lot too, mostly Lola demanding attention “Eulaliooooooooooo”. When Lola is miff about something, Lolo would just try to hug Lola drawing her out of what’s irritating her.
If there is a good role model for love that lasts, love that cherishes, theirs would be one good example.
Lolo and Lola and apos during the Grandparents Day at SM 2013
Ang ubang apo ni-habol sa SM so we had a second session pictorial hehheh
Urgent! Contest Requirements Must Fulfill!
So on that Tuesday night around 10 pm, I was looking at all the family pics posted on SM’s page and I know our pic just have to be there. So I dug up one of my favorite pictures, from that of their 50th wedding anniversary in 2008. I submitted two pics, one with lolo and lola and apo; the other of the whole clan.
You can see the pic submitted on this story on how our grandparents found love on the road. =)
After submitting our pictures, I again checked out all the other contest entries and I got aware of one of the requirements – submission of birth certificates all the way from the first generation.
It was discouraging, how can I gather everyone’s birth certificate when it was only 3 short days from deadline?
So the whole day of Wednesday I decided to forget about the ‘Grandparents with the most apo’ contest of SM. In my mind I was thinking that there is no way I can gather the birth records of my kins at such short notice.
Wednesday night I checked my FB inbox, the admin of SM fan page have messaged acknowledging our submission along with the reminder of the Friday deadline.
I don’t know, it was like a switch was turned on and I got this feeling that I have to do it or forever I will regret it.
After reading that Facebook private message, it only took me a few second to decide to contact all my aunts and request them for all the their birth certificates and BCs of their kids. Time was running out it was already nearing Wednesday midnight, deadline is less than 48 hours . To ensure that everyone can read my request in time, I posted to FB and tagged one key person (cousin) from each of the families of the 8 children of Lolo Yul and Lola Mancia and assigned them to follow-up.
Thursday afternoon, the day after my FB shout-out at midnight, I went to SM to clarify the requirements.
I was not so sure what “birth certificates of the first generation means. Was it from grandparents to the first generation apo? Or first generation of the family which is technically lolo and lola? I was determined to get the requirements right, at least that would give us a fighting chance to win this contest. So I went to SM to inquire from the marketing team behind the contest. It became clear to me that the required BCs are from lolo and lola – anak nila – apo nila.
I went home armed with that knowledge, and lo and behold what waited for me when I got home?
My mom, 3 of my aunts and 2 of my uncles were there at our house bringing with them the BCs of their children as well as their own birth records. Only 2 second generations were missing, one aunt and one uncle who were still at work that time so they can’t possibly come.
Less than 24 hours since the requests and almost all the birth certificates were with me!!!
The family really pulled through and delivered what was required at such short notice. The support was overwhelming. Our house was a loud din that happy afternoon but no one minded; excitement reverberates from one to the other talking about the possibility!
Wait, you may be thinking that BC gathering was fast because everyone has a copy of their birth certificates at home. Nope, unfortunately, it was not that easy. The fact is, two of the second generation went to the City Registrar so they can request for a certification of their birth records so they can hand it for submission.
Desperate move just to win? Not really. It was more for the love of the family. They exerted extra effort to have their BC at hand like the rest of the members.
It’s support, its love.
That’s how our big family is, we support each other. We are a huge family but we know we can count on each other.
Friday afternoon I went back to SM and with me were the complete requirements. Ma’am Eve of SM checked the family tree and verified existence of birth certs and advised that she will be passing it to the Accounting team to audit the submitted BCs.
Once submission was done, I keep asking the beau if our family has a good chance of bagging the title. He keeps on assuring me that yep, “with family as huge as yours, ewan ko nalang”.
The Official Announcement of Winner
Friday night at around 10 pm, good news awaited in my Facebook Inbox! =) The family won!!!!
Mannn was I ecstatic, my joy couldn’t be contained that I had to flood my FB wall again and announced to the family and the rest of my friends that we won the contest! Happy, happy times!
The SM official winner announcement post with our family picture in it was shared multiple times by family members. We were so excited for the win! =)
Ma’am Eve in the same pm advised us to claim the contest prizes that Sunday morning and to ‘bring the family with you’.
‘We will be there. This is an event the family members will not want to miss’ I’ve replied.
Happy Grandparents Day to All Lolos and Lolas!
Last Sunday the whole family with SM made our Lolo Yul and Lola Mancia so happy during Grandparents Day!
For the first time too, we went to SM as one big group! We must have been a sight, with our long trail of adults talking to each other, aunts and teens taking selfies, and kids who can’t be contained in a single place heheh.
We got their early for Sunday Thanksgiving Mass, then had the awarding and pictorial, lunch at Mang Inasal and then Lolo and Lola went to buy souvenir blouses and shirt with their GCs.
Happy Day of Grandparents indeed! Our P10,000 gift cheque from SM City Cebu!
a few missed this event for they had work but were nonetheless ecstatic like the rest of us!
Our sponsored family lunch at Mang Inasal 🙂
more members wa nasud sa pic sa kadaghan hehhehe
All the GCs went to Lolo and Lola, our gift to them for this special occasion. Aside from the blouses and shirt, they used the rest of the gift certificates to buy medicines and groceries. Thank you SM!!!
As I was taking pictures of what Lolo and Lola got from the grocery shopping, I can hear Lola in the background….
She was in their kusina saying over and over …
“.. Thank you sa grasya Lord..salamat kaayo.. Thank you kaayo.”
It’s a celebration, it’s a Thanksgiving. We did well for our Lolo and Lola.
Thank You God for the wonderful family you gave us.
Yul and Mancia 🙂
Thanks again to SMCC, Mang Inasal and Picture City for sponsoring the contest. This is one celebration our family won’t ever forget. Daghang Salamat!
For more cool contests and activities, check out and like SM City Cebu Facebook Official fan page.