When I was about 8 years old, I remember we used to visit my “Lolo” Edong and “Lola” Tanching’s home. (Lolo and Lola are Tagalog terms for Grandpa and Grandma and Tagalog is the predominant dialect in the Philippines). Tanching was the nickname for her real name, Constancia.
Technically, per American lineage, they were more like my Grand Uncle and Grand Aunt, but in the Philippines, they were as real as any grandparent could ever be.
I vividly remember the many times they have invited our family over and how I remember the feeling of always being welcomed and loved in their home. Their love was genuine and unconditional.
I remember being in awe of the pretty things they had in that home. Lola Tanching had an excellent taste for the finer things in life and her children all took after her. She had 8 children – 4 girls and 4 boys. I was always in awe of how she managed a huge family with such grace!
In fact, I remember her oldest daughter, my Godmother Amy being a “beauty queen” in my eyes and I was her #1 fan! She has inspired me to pursue a degree in business. Then there’s my Aunt Connie, whom I would say is the wittiest and smartest Aunt I’ve ever known. Aunt Girlie, who’s really a “girly-girl”, always so fashionable and a smile that could melt a room and of course, Aunt Liza who I remember being very studious, kind and always so thoughtful. They were all beautiful and carried themselves very well.
My Uncle Ben was the “responsible” one as he was the oldest son, then there’s Uncle Dante – the outgoing and fun-loving uncle who loved giving us nicknames. Uncle Boyet – who was always kind and considerate and the youngest Uncle Hector – who was closer to us in age, who couldn’t help being “spoiled” but in a rather good way.
Why am I taking the time to write about my Lola Tanching? It’s because this weekend, while I was in Las Vegas, Speaking at Marketing Funnel Mastery, I heard from her grand daughter Joy that she recently passed away at a young age of 84 years old.
I was heart broken… this sad news stirred up many happy and influential memories. I was deeply saddened yet I set my feelings aside this weekend as I knew I had a task at hand which was to speak to an incredible group on the value of “Relationship Marketing“.
Now that I had the chance to sleep 5 hours straight, I am finally feeling the loss of a great woman – a woman who has had a tremendous impact in my life!
Lola Tanching was like a “Lola” (Grandma) to everyone she met! There was no stranger in her home. She would always cook extras of food so she can share it with whoever comes to her home. I remember she used to have cases and cases of Pepsi delivered right on their doorstep for anyone who comes to their home.
Pepsi then was an expensive indulgence that most Filipinos couldn’t afford so I remember walking appx. 2 miles to their house, just to have Pepsi! Imagine that… walking 2 miles for a bottle of Pepsi! Sure my parents could afford Pepsi but I guess I made Pepsi an excuse for me to visit and spend time in their home.
I enjoyed visiting her and their home. My Grandpa Edong was always so kind and generous and she has always served him ever so lovingly even at the dinner table. I remember her showing me her collection of perfumes, Spanish fans and jewelry. It was in their home where I fell in love with their collection of Encyclopedia Britannica and Disney Books.
In the eyes of a young girl, their home was a very safe haven – we had the best vacations there! It was the perfect home and family to model after. I would say that it was my experiences in the home of the Enriquez Family where I learned so much about simple elegance, reading, giving, generosity, love, kindness and so many things that are good!
In the late 70’s, her 2nd daughter, my Aunt Connie, was diagnosed of breast cancer and she was miraculously healed through prayer! It was through that miracle that led me to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We formed a small yet committed group, “God Is Alive” as our participation in the Charismatic Movement to share God’s love. I remember how we would go on outreaches and crusades in the rural areas and distant provinces and I was part of their music ministry. With a guitar strapped around me, I would rally the crowd and sometimes lead the worship singing.
The Enriquez’ home was our hub… our headquarters. Their home has become our second home and it was in their home where we welcomed everybody – there was no stranger in that home – it was open to the poor, the needy, the physically challenged and those who sought God.
Through the years, I stayed connected with the family until I moved to the United States in 1989. I rarely saw them except for when I would come home for a visit. For the past 7 years or so, our communication had been limited to just annual Christmas cards. My Aunt Connie has since moved to Florida to rear a beautiful family with her husband Randolph and their beautiful girl, Joy. She knew that without having a fellowship group, we would all go on our separate ways. She did her best to keep us all together but to no avail.
For the next 20 years, the fire and the zeal I acquired from being with them, greatly diminished. I stopped sharing God’s goodness and although I had utter faith in my life having a purpose in line with His calling, I put my personal relationship and intimacy with Him on hold until God knocked on my door again through a business conference in Florida in 2006. He reminded me of, “My words will not return void….”
My Aunt Connie passed away a few years ago and I remembered weeping the loss of someone who cared so much for so many. She truly was one of the most influential women in my life. She was a renegade… a pioneer… She was one of the first female engineers in a male-dominated company. It was bittersweet because I know she is now in heaven and she continues to hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come share in your master’s happiness…”.
I am mourning the loss of my Grandma “Lola” Tanching though in my heart, I know that she’s happier now, reunited with her daughter Connie and her husband Edong.
I guess in my long about way, I just want to encourage and remind you to take the time to remember those people who has had a tremendous positive influence in your lives. Subconsciously, we are in part who we are because of how they have impacted our lives. It could be your favorite teacher, neighbor, relative, friend.
My Lola Tanching will not be able to read this post to let her know how I truly treasure her presence in my life so it is my hope that this will reach the hearts of those she left behind. I trust that they will find a sliver of joy by reading this and find some comfort in remembering how their family was a catalyst for inspiring many generations.
I would like to think that you go about your business because you want to leave a legacy for your families and your future generation, don’t you? If so, I would like to leave you with this:
How would you like them to remember you by? What values are you instilling in those who look up to you? Integrity, honesty, respect, humility, perseverance… faith? Do you just want to leave a legacy of wealth with no meaning behind it? Do you teach on having a poverty mindset because by doing so, they are less likely to be disappointed?
I chose to pay forward the values I have learned from the Enriquez family… that of unconditional generosity, love, family togetherness and allowing God to live in their homes and their hearts.
You choose what legacy you will create, live and leave your future generation. I urge you to think about and commit to something that transcends now… something that will last years and years to come.
If this post has helped inspire you, please leave your comment and share this with those you care about.
Until we connect again…
I Am Cheering You On To Your Success!