Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Of retirement and grandchildren


IF THERE'S one guy - a Mambulaoan of course -- who loves being retired -Tony Tatom it is.

But frankly, his retirement a few years back has nothing to do with the kind of traveling he does now, because he doesn't seem to get tired at all.

A dyed-in-the-wool Larapino, he and wife Jane shuttles between the Philippines, US, Singapore and New Zealand, because monitoring the growing-up of their grand children in these countries seems to be the only zest that keeps their wine bubbly.

Just very recently - in August to be exact -- he and better-half Jane had to rush-fly to Auckland to check if their latest "apo", who was born on August 3, looks like them: How much did Maxine take from her Lolo...? Are her eyes those of Lola's?

They met their latest grandchild four days after she was born, via the C-section.

Things like this give Tony and Jane the spice they needed especially now that they're facing the twilight of their lives. It's something they would sourly miss if they are unable to hug their five grand children.

Retiree Tony Tatom (right) with wife Jane, daughter Rica and grandchildren Loui and Baby Maxine

Maxine, the second daughter of Carlo and Rica Camus, is right now the apple of the eyes of the Tatom couple. And of course, Loui, Maxine's big sister, is on Cloud 9, for finally having a baby sister.

The big news is that, Lola Jane had to stay on for some more months to look after Rica and the baby. She's getting a good feel of the Auckland chill, dairy and the wine, besides.

But Tony, who just can't endure not seeing the rest of their "apos" would soon be flying back to Manila -- alone -- for that sort of "lolo-at-apo" bonding with another of his grandchild by his son Val.

And the trip back home would spring him to Larap in April and reconnect with childhood friends and classmates who would be attending an alumni gig of grandiose scale at the Jose Panganiban High School (JPHS) set on April 28-29, 2012.

Although he did not attend high school at JPHS (he did it in Albay and at UE-Manila), he had many buddies in Larap who did. It's no surprise. He was born there. So  he's one of the group.

And besides, the alumni homecoming is also in sync with the reunion of the members of the LarapPIM Association, of which he is a member.

So, at the moment, Tony enjoys traveling around NZ and trying to get the feel of how it is being a first-class tourist. - As told to AP Hernandez

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