Yes, our dear brother Jeremy, our Mano, being the firstborn, was named after the great major Prophet -Jeremiah.
January 4, 1958 must have been the first most exciting day for our beloved parents then when their Firstborn was born.
Like our late Dandy Joe (Dandy instead of daddy as Mano Jeremy can hardly say the word daddy) whose green thumb has greatly sustained his big family of 8, our eldest brother is also a pro when it comes to planting.
He takes pride in his planted fruit trees that have been taking turns in yielding fruits each year. His vegetables and ornamentals are flourishing too.
I was pleasantly surprised when one day, as his daughter Jam brought me her merchandise, my big bro also sent me beautiful green babies.
When it comes to cooking especially for big groups, he also does it marvelously, exactly like our late dad, who was one of the cooks at Brokenshire Hospital.
Our big bro had the chance to work then in a restaurant in Manila and upon coming home, he taught us some ways in food preparations. I learned from him that the vegetables in pansit don’t always have to be mixed as they can be cooked separately then just mix when everything is already cooked.
Upon his arrival from Manila, I really exclaimed in great happiness and gratitude as he bought me some stuff that I really loved and treasured. It was so sweet of him to give each one of us mga pasalubong despite the meager income he had had then,
If not for my big bro, I would have drowned and gone in the depths of a river. I was in grade 1 then when I joined my older bro and sis in doing the laundry in the river. Our parents warned us not to go to the “lilo” whirlpool part of the river as besides the fact that it’s deep, I can still remember the sight of the “swirling’ strong current on the left side.
Big bro was peeling papaya nearby where I was literally enjoying “threshing” the poop out (to the running water) of the cloth diaper of our months-old youngest Jerome.
My older siblings preferred to do the laundry in that space as there are no sand in the hems that go home with our laundry because of the depth of the area. Very tiny at 7, I never noticed that I was already inch by inch slipping down the deep water right in front of me. As Mano saw only my fingers held high for help and my entire body totally submerged in the river, he rushed to my rescue.
Thank God for my Aquaman Mano Jerry who pulled me up quickly to a safe rock. I was trembling in fear, shock and cold water down there and the fresh air from the river. I was crying also for fear of being reprimanded by our parents.
Since then, Saturday laundry days were spent on the shallow part where the sand served as our bleaching area and at times playground as we wait for our laundry to dry on the rocks or grass by the side.
That’s a clear narrative of my growing up years. Upon coming home from the river, we would call ourselves “negra” and “negro, skin so dark as we still had to walk 4-5 kilometers, passing by 4 cemeteries -one way only.
Life in our childhood years was incomparably grand. We used to live in Davao del sur for a year, in the house of our late mom’s sister. With our big bro leading the way, we carelessly enjoyed swimming after laundry time in the river. We would go to the farm carried by a balsa, Mano Jerry was always there to protect us and lead the way.
Whether there’s a moon or not, we loved to play bulan-bulanay with siblings, relatives and neighbors.
We had joys, fun and laughter and we also had fights, amongst ourselves and other playmates—-typical kids at that.
In his younger years, Mano Jerry has always loved to play the drums and sing with all his heart!
His marriage to a nurse-Ate Ambleth has been blessed with two great daughters, Jethra and Jam and four grandchildren.
Grand time to walk their second daughter down the aisle.
It was attended by family and relatives from Manila
Big bro’s first granddaughter Nicole is now a blooming HS student.
The second granddaughter talks smartly like a pro. Never runs out of questions.
Our big bro’s family has ever been increasing with Jam’s union with KIm.
Like any other grandfather, big bro loves the privilege of being able to serve his first grandson in bringing him to and from school.
Just met again his youngest grandson who speaks in British accent, super lingaw!
On the other hand, life has never been that easy for our big bro. With life’s twists and turns, I salute him despite everything that transpired in his life, both good and not so good, likely and unlikely, he remained steadfast in his faith in God. Shaken but not crashed, downtrodden yet continually standing up for himself and family.
Far from perfect with all his setbacks, he manages his life in perfect shape. I love his biking and jogging spree.
This must have continued to boost his energy as his ornamentals, veggies and fruit-bearing trees are lushly flourishing as well, sustaining the family in many ways than one.
Surprisingly and unbelievably, he is not afraid of snakes, even cobras.
He is more than happy to be of service in Barangay Toril. May every life you touch be blessed by your light.
Our dear big bro just celebrated his 63rd Birthday last January 4. Wish granted as he was able to gather all of us- his siblings, in an Australian-inspired cozy nook near their house.
Despite my physical challenge that time, i still decided to join the celebration as I said “yes” to him (to share a message) weeks before his recent birthday.
To our dear brother Jeremy, continue to live life to the fullest. The prayers of our forefathers, especially of our parents must be effective as you still have the opportunity to be of service to your family and everyone in your vicinity.
Cheers to a life of love, joy, peace and wisdom.
I would like to leave you this song “He who began a good work in you shall be faithful to complete it IN YOU”
My love and APPRECIATION to you Mano!
Cheer up, God in you AS YOU will lead you continually to who you truly are- a divine being having earthly experiences.
Photos grabbed from Jam & Mano Jerry’s Fb acts