Quote of the Day: Niece G

There ensued following conversation as self was driving niece to her apartment off Mission, after the USF panel this evening:

“Tita! You are my favorite writer. You and James Baldwin.”

Self almost lost it, right then and there.

Self also remembers a time, shortly after demise of Dear Departed Sister, when self had to go to New York, probably to give a reading. She was teaching full-time, so she could only stay two nights, and she spent all of that time with friends and hardly saw her niece and nephews, even though she was staying with them. When she returned, her second night, she found a card on her bed, made by niece G. It said: “I love you, Tita!”

That card nearly broke her heart.

And tonight self discovers that, for her senior project, niece chose to do a poetry collection. And she is in love with the “indigenous” (whatever that means), and wants to get an alibata tattoo, alibata being the ancient Filipino script.

“No!” self wants to tell her. “No, don’t do it!”

Niece also tells her that for her final class with Cherie Moraga, she read aloud one of her poems, and she chose the one about the time self took niece and son (They were both seven) to Pearl Farm in Davao. Now, that trip was something. Self remembers that all three of them had a gorgeous time, going down a giant slide that went straight into the ocean; renting a speedboat that took them to all the surrounding beaches, just the three of them; having mango for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; all three of them getting browner and browner with each passing day. They had their own little house and would ride a jeep to and from the main part of the resort. And, each time, they passed a bridge over a pool which contained an enormous black turtle, its face so wrinkled and old.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


  1. Kathleen said,

    April 24, 2010 at 12:28 am

    I love this. I want to meet G. Tell her she has one more tita who was at her christening. Mercy ran and hid under the dresses at Bergdorf’s. Our room at the St. Regis was the smallest in NYC. Hence, the $99 special. Where you there? Maybe we met there too. We all ate at Tavern on the Green. Oh the years, the years pass so quickly. Soon we will all be the lolas.

  2. April 24, 2010 at 1:07 am


    Hopefully you will meet her here in SF! I think she’s applying to extend her “Teach America” contract at the school in the Mission …

    She has a younger brother at Tufts. Is that near you?

    Yes, the years pass too quickly …

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