Honoring My Mother | Oz Oy Oy all over again

MY FAMILY was at SM over the weekend to attend the culmination activity of Philippine-Australia Friendship Day and for a while, it felt like a nostalgic flashback moment. The program consisted of a hodge-podge of routines from local and Aussie artists which reminded me so much of our family’s interactions with many cultures, through the beautiful friendships we have developed in our brief two-year stay down under.

The Madayaw Dance Troupe for one, while they wowed the crowd with their seemingly-acrobatic renditions of Muslim and Lumad dances, had evoked a memory of how much I had missed the richness of Mindanao cultures and traditions at the time. I had been talking to a mix of Asian housemates one day and the topic somehow dwelt on how many indigenous groups were in the Philippines (in comparison to Australia). My take on the subject during that Oz evening’s drinking session had been a show-and-tell masterpiece.

It had also been 11 years since I last heard the haunting music of the Aboriginal instrument, the didgeridoo. That night at SM, it was masterfully played by a native Australian, who even jammed it up with an internationally-known local beatboxer. At that, they may have perhaps created a new musical genre of Aboriginal-beatbox. Definitely, their number, judging from the crowd’s raucous response, was one of the top faves of the evening.

Then there was Pilita Corrales, gliding like a lithe spirit onstage was timelessness personified. As she sang her favorites, I had thought of my mother, who passed away during our Oz sojourn. Pilita was one of her idols, and I wished (and later instinctively just knew) she was there watching each song number with me.

Though the program’s execution may have been unevenly-stitched and awkward at times, it had punched the right buttons, so to speak. My bittersweet memories of Australia, of our old friends, the loyal and beautiful Thai, Burmese,Korean, Indon, and Aussie housemates, especially the hardworking Filipino blue-collars, who all warmed our hearts with their tales of woe and joy. Of fondest memories of rolling hills, endless beaches, and its daunting outback; never forgetting its exotic and prettyful animals. All these, gingerly brought out again to the surface and lovingly peeled, like a fragile album of old photographs to share with wide-eyed present-day millennials.

Aussie Aussie Aussie!

 

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