My colleagues from the Mabuhay Guides were invited by our project director, Susan Calo-Medina, to her husband’s ancestral home in Arayat, Pampanga. It was two years ago and I still remember the dishes served by Lucia, their 3rd generation family cook.
It was an early ride to reach Arayat. We passed by penitents before reaching the house.
Mr. Johnny Medina is a descendant of José Alejandrino, one of the generals who fought in the Filipino-American War and a compatriot of Dr. José Rizal. The house has this huge photo hanging on the walls of the sala. I got a copy of the photo below from this site.
So where’s General Alejandrino?
We were treated to bits of history lessons and some side stories from Mr. Medina’s relatives while having a fine meal. This was where I learned an old joke about the names of the towns in Pampanga:
“Bago mag-Macabebe (meyka-beybe), Sexmoan ka muna.”
After that, we took our siesta in the sala.
The family carroza was prepared with a lot of flowers and decor for the procession in the afternoon. The Medina family has been keeping this tradition. Some of the santos were stored in a warehouse nearby. They were bequeathed by town mates who are now living abroad to the family so that there would be someone to take care of them.
It’s been two years. I still remember that trip, the beautiful old house, the delicious lunch prepared by the family and the good company.