Author of the book entitled "Simplified Libel Law in the Philippines"

Today, Dec. 9, 2012, my father (Remo Centeno Causing) celebrates his 72nd birthday with a very big smile on his face and a very loud laugh from my mother (Marianita Catolico Cataluña-Causing). 

My dad (green) and mom (red) pose with Lawrence (checkered shirt) and other grandchildren

That is despite the fact that only 2 of their 8 children are expecting to be with them and despite the other fact that 5 of their 17 grandchildren are away in Manila and Dallas (Texas).

When I called up my father at 12:30 a.m. to greet him, we enjoyed extraordinarily good laughs.  I laughed when he said, it's his birthday but the LPG tank was empty and he had no money to buy one. 

So, he said, he had been wondering how can he cook for his visitors the single menu ingredients he already bought a day before based on his own available money: "langka" and pork feet for "nilaga."   He added he cannot also cook the rice gifted to him by his sister, Auntie Hernaida "Inday" Centeno Causing-Junsay.

Then, he said he was expecting 3 "lechon."  One pledged by his son-in-law Chito.  Another promised by his daughters Lyndale Marieta and Arlene Priscilla.  The third pledged from Dallas, Texas by his nurse daughter Yogi Marshare.

However, he laughed as he told me all three roasts were still not sure just because not one had been delivered.

He added that he was appealing to Yogi to just convert the "lechon" to money because he had no LPG. But my sister abroad did not want to be defeated by two other pledges.   So my dad, Remo Centeno Causing laughed as he reiterated: "Ti, paano ako makaluto sini?"

I advised him to do a trick and not to use the Texas money for "lechon" and use the money instead for the LPG tank and other menus.

He asked me how to do it because my sister Yogi wanted the "lechon" to be photographed and the photo posted on Facebook.

I told him it was easy: "Get three pieces of cardboard and write on each a name of each of the donors.  Then place the 'Chito' cardboard beside one "lechon" and take a shot.  After that, fold downward the ears of the same lechon. Then, take off the 'Chito' cardboard and place a new one bearing the name 'Yogi' and take photos again and post them on Facebook.  Then use Yogi's gift money for other purposes."    After hearing this, he laughed out loud in a manner that was too contagious. 

My father--who is still so strong that he still do carpentry, masonry, welding, iron smith works, and electrical works while tending to his little sari-sari store that earns P250 a day enough for him and my mom--bragged to me that his 30 contemporary neighbors are already all dead and he is the 31st and the only living senior citizen in our subdivision block.  This fact was the reason that three donors insisted on giving "lechon."

My father--son of Agosto Posadas Causing of Ajuy, Iloilo and Lourdesita Doctolero Centeno also of Ajuy--retold my advice to my mother who then laughed out loud together with my dad.  My mother is the eldest of Alejandro Cataluña and Priscilla Catolico Cataluña.

Then I asked my dad on what was his alternative if these pledges did not come and if he could not have money for LPG.  He told me that he will just invite the close relatives because they can understand.  If the pledges arrive today, that would be the time he will invite all others.

Without him knowing, I am so happy because until such time, I ascertained that my father and mother have been together until now since they celebrated their wedding on June 20, 1964.  I haven't seen them separate from each other in any bivouac of life.

Nevertheless, I told my father that I will send him P2,000 today for the LPG and other menus, even if it would mean I may have no money for my own birthday on December 10.

The two of his children who are expected to be with them are the second eldest, a son, Dennis Remo Cataluña Causing, and the youngest, another son, Don Rey Alejandro Cataluña Causing.

Five of the children who are in Metro Manila are:

(1) yours truly (Berteni "Toto" Cataluña Causing) who has to finish legal writing commitments to mostly-handicapped clients and who is celebrating his own birthday along with clients and leaders of ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM) on December 10, Human Rights Day and the day when Spain sold Philippines to the USA;

(2) Lyndale Marieta Cataluña Causing, who has business commitments with Organo;

(3) Astrah Causing Syjueco, who has her own business meetings;

(4) Arlene Priscilla Cataluña Causing who resides in Parañaque; and

(5) Marianita Cataluña Causing, who has also business commitments with Organo.

One child, Yogi, is in Texas with her second son Jose Michael.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY DADDY! I ask God to give you more life.


Anonymous said…
Hahahaha!!! that's a good one Toto.What the heck, the main thing is your Dad has a good laugh on what predicament he is in particularly in his birthday..:).I'm pretty sure things will go as planned..Family and real good friends around you is the best gift anyone can have, in my book..A bonus if good food and some few drinks is on hand as well..:).Say happy birthday to your Dad, and cheers!:))..Let me know how it will turn out!!lol..
He he he, thank you po! Yes, there will be a follow-up story on this.
arlene priscilla causing said…
nakakatuwa na nakakatawa at nakakaiyak!!!thats true halos lahat ng kapitbahay namin na mga kumpare kumare nasa heaven na...thats why we feel very blessed to have both our parents still alive and kicking...HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!!!TAY I SA LOTTO BIRTHDAY MO hehehe!
Gil Camporazo said…
Friend, I do appreciate how frugal and modest is your Dad, and his initiative and resourcefulness just to celebrate his birthday.

I do also appreciate how you support your parents.

In reality, money couldn't but happiness, but money could be one of the sources of happiness.

Happy birthday to your Dad. May the best of everything be with him. Godspeed! :)
Salamat gid, sister Ging and friend Gil. Have a good day.
Violy said…
coming from a very loving and proud son.. nice piece, kuya :)

God bless and happy birthday to both of you..

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