Disclaimer: While the “Ate Vi” I am talking about is also a star for all seasons, I am not referring to the Batangas governor. I am talking about my niece, Yoona. I know, I know–why Ate Vi, right? Here’s the etymology: Yoona –> Yoona Valdez –> Yoona V. –> Ate Vi. At itinuloy ko pa ‘yan sa Vilma Santos-Recto. Yes, christening people with weird names is my hobby.
The binyag patalbugan
I used to dream of having twins: one boy and one girl. Mala-Muhlach twins. Obviously, it didn’t happen. But what happened was something akin to it, for Yoona lived with us. Yes lived, as in past tense. 🙁
Yoona had been with us since she was about a month old. I was still pregnant with Raviv then. When she was almost three months old and during her binyag, I was in labor. In other words, Raviv stole Yoona’s thunder.
Pero hindi nagpatalo si Ate Vi (Yoona), because during Raviv’s binyag/dedication, this was her outfit:
O what can you say holiday?!?
CBFF: Cousins and best friends forever!
Anyway, Raviv and Ate Vi are really like siblings. They shared practically everything!
dede “mammary glands” (para soshal) namin ni Ruth nag-share din sila. There were times when Raviv fed from Ruth, and there were times Yoona fed from me.
Of course, they had their away-away moments. They had their own “vampire seasons” seasons, as in nagkakagatan! They also had several tulakan, kurutan and batukan moments. But just like real siblings, what they remember most is that they love each other. We are amazed at how they love each other despite their fights. Yaya Isay once told me that at a playplace, an older fat kid fell on top of Yoona and Yoona started to cry. When Raviv saw what happened he ran to the kid, said, “No!!!” and pinched and scratched the kid’s face. Of course Yaya Isay pulled Raviv away and told him it was bad to hurt other kids. But the point is that it was obvious he does not want anyone hurting his Ate Vi. These past months whenever I go shopping for Raviv, he would also always remind me to buy his Ate Vi pasalubong. When I was buying him new clothes at the Mall of Asia, he held girl’s clothes and told me, “Nanay, pasalubong for Ate Vi. Buy mo ito.” And recently at Duty Free, while Randy and I were buying him foods that he might like, Raviv said, “Lollipop Nanay o. Pasalubong ‘yan kay Ate Vi.”
Ate Vi, on the other hand, also fought for Raviv. On Valentine’s Day when we were at the UP Feb Fair, we bought Raviv a 50-peso toy set from the tianggge. My son loved it so much that while we were walking he wanted to hug the paperbag that held the toy set in. Even though it was convenient for him to have us carry the paperbag, he really wanted to carry it by himself. When finally we were about to eat at a food stall and while waiting for the food, Raviv opened his cheapangga toy. The food stall owner’s toddler was there, and kept on getting Raviv’s toys. Raviv got exasperated and just cried and cried. When Yoona saw that her Kuya Raviv was in distress, she pushed the older toddler away from Raviv. Again, I’m not advocating violence among kids but clearly, the cousins are watching each other’s back.
Goodbye Ate Vi!
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that my sister-in-law (Yoona’s mom) is in Spain pursuing her master’s degree. That left Yoona with my brother and Yaya Tet at our place. But two weeks ago, Yaya Tet left without pasabi and my brother can’t afford to be absent from school particularly because it was finals week. My brother TJ had no choice but to have Yoona sent to Ruth’s parents in Mindanao. We were all saddened by TJ’s decision but we know it was for the best.
It has been more than week since Yoona left, and I know Raviv misses her terribly. The first day Yoona was gone that Raviv woke up, we told Raviv that his Ate Vi has already gone. He did not believe me and marched to TJ and Yoona’s room. When he saw that Yoona and Yoona’s stuff were no longer there, he just stood and stared for a long time, saying nothing. It took him some time to finally accept that his cousin is no longer a few steps away, because for some days he would still look for his Ate Vi whenever he wakes up or arrives home from school.
The other day when I was on the lawn with him and we set-up his Spongebob tent, I asked him whether I could enter his tent. Raviv said, “No Nanay. House namin ito ni Ate Vi.”
Truly truly, he misses his best friend. 🙁
Tell me what you think!
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