The Man I call “Uncle Felimon”
A Reflective Narrative
By Emily Benosa-Homma
When I was five years old, I was introduced to one of my two uncles named “Felimon”. I could not easily memorize the names of my three aunts who came to visit us occasionally in Makati, but the uncle my Nanay presented to me had a greater impact on my young mind for I could easily compare his character to the ones I often saw on black and white TV. Oh yes, he looked like Sampaguita’s Eddie Gutierrez or Eddie Mesa, no kidding! Uncle Felimon’s image was an epitome of a young man in those times, what with his well sculptured hair shimmering with sweet scented pomade and his matching pointed shoes that seemed to have gotten a million times of brushing. They were like little mirrors. Why, I could even see my big teeth’s reflection on the shiny tip of his shoes. And as he told us stories while sitting in his favorite “de quatro” position, he would speak with eagerness and punctuate his every sentence with a giggle. His vibrant personality would mean he was the happiest 25-year-old bachelor among my relatives.
Agtudtudo ti napigsa,nalamiis ti angin na
Napanunot ko ti mapan agtugtugaw diay ayan ti tawa
Nalagip ko manen ti anak ko ken ingungutek nga asawa
Ngem ti saludsod ko,malaglagip dak met ngata?
Maamiris ko tattan tay kunkuna dan
Ti pannakailiw isu’t narigat nga kalaban
Ngem ania ngay garud,ay ket an-anusan
Ta masapul met ti agbirok ti iyala,ti bagas nga sanga kaban
We are pleased to welcome Mr. Tony Brownlow as a guest writer here on the Sagunto Star. In the following essay, he shares with us what makes the Philippines, and Sagunto in particular, so special to him. He and his wife, Helen Bongog Brownlow, have a home on the foothills of Palina, overlooking Sagunto and the surrounding areas.
THE PHILIPPINE ENIGMA BY AN ENGLISHMAN
by Tony Brownlow
As a boy thumbing through a book of knowledge, I happened upon a photograph which portrayed a carabao being worked in the rice field. The farmer behind was clean and tidy, wearing a wide brimmed white sombrero. What I could not understand of this photography from a tropical clime was that the man was clearly white and this image stayed with me.
Some twelve years later, I had been a soldier in the Korean War, and by a twist of fate, instead of a troopship return to England, I was a passenger in an R.A.F. two-engined Valetta to take me from Japan to Singapore. This meant refueling three times. The first or was it the second stop over, we landed in some obvious tropical country. It was in the dark of the night, lightning was flashing in the night sky – this was end of May, 1953. It felt humid as though we had landed in the middle of jungle. “Where are we?” I asked. “The Philippines!” replied someone. Amazingly, the enigma remained because we took off and I never saw the country at all.