February 17-22, 2024: Laura and Aunty Ruth's Visit to the Philippines

Laura Rajaratnam Manuel, my cousin, who hails from Malaysia, first visited the Philippines when she was 18 or 19 years old together with her granny Flora (my Lola Lucy's older sister). Since then, she continued corresponding with me and the rest of our relatives. We regularly sent letters to each other via snail mail then. She also never failed to send Christmas cards during the holiday season. 

Even when Lola Flora passed away, she continued connecting with us and is updated with almost everyone here via Facebook. She would come over with her cousins or with her family multiple times throughout the years. She was here too to celebrate my great grandmother's 100th birthday in 2000.

It was also during this trip of theirs that I learned why some of my grandmother's siblings live permanently in Malaysia (three of them) while the rest went back to the Philippines (six). It was also interesting to know the lineage of her husband's mother - Thai and Scottish, and his father, an Indian. 

I'm a year younger than her. Because we are more mature this time, we bonded by sharing personal things ladies our age experience. We talked about our love for food, the importance of staying healthy, and everything under the sun in between giggles and laughter. She too misses writing because everything is digital now. Admittedly, I am a person who is comfortable being alone. There are 101 things I can do at home. I have a job and the many interests that preoccupies me. Her exemplary ways of staying in touch is something I will try to emulate. May God bless her heart! 


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