Friday, June 20, 2008
Listening to my mother talk about my ancestry is like reading a book such as The Hundred Years of Solitude. I thought our family tree would be uncomplicated, but I now know it isn’t. Quite common is a male relative with multiple families. An uncle left Mindanao ahead and left a wife and 2 children. When he relocated, the wife and children did not follow immediately; so my uncle married another woman and had several children. (Now it wasn’t that simple but I cant talk about things I don’t know about.) I know all the children of the second family, but I never met any one from the first family. I reckon that they must be in their early forties by now. They’re the only 1st cousins from both mother and father’s side that I haven't met.
A brother of my maternal grandfather had at least 3 known wives. One of his children became a student of my mother when she was teaching at an elementary school in Lepanto, Benguet. She has apparently married an American and is now settled in the US. I googled her name and was surprised to find a high school class photo that included her. (See picture below) She would be my 2nd cousin. It would be nice to find her number one day and be able to call her. I imagine the conversation will start with – "Hi, you’ve never met me but we are cousins… "
The same brother had another son who in turn had 2 families. These two families retained 2 different family names – Pednga-en and Moting. My mother’s family used Nadnaden, and as is the practice in the Philippines, this also became my middle name.