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Lola Paro

This is my Lola ('Grandmother' in Tagalog) Paro.

I visited her 3 times over the course of my one week in the Philippines.

The first time, I asked if I could take her photo. She asked to see them after I snapped each one. "I look so old!", she exclaimed. She's 94.

The second time I visited her, she was prepared with lipstick, and had her hair styled in what her helper & I jokingly called the "Justin Bieber" to hide her forehead.

The third time I visited her, she was decked out in a new pair of earrings. "Are you going to take my picture again?", she asked.

We talked a lot. She forced me to eat pusit (squid). She lamented about how her sister and father would not let her study past 6th grade, and how proud she is that her 7 kids, and 13 grandchildren are educated. She ruminated about what it was like to leave her small province town of Malvar to come to Manila. She told me I was kind and beautiful.

My time in the Philippines was filled with turtles, tigers, wonderfully affordable shopping sprees, and a cinematic jaunt to a galaxy far far away, but these three visits: the photos, the conversation, the pusit, were my highlight.


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