My Angkong (grandfather) passed away the other day. I’m flying back to Manila tomorrow morning – the soonest I could wrap up work odds and ends. He was the only grandparent I had left. He tolerated all of my quirks and sarcasm with an affectionate shrug when everyone else in the family were raising their collective eyebrows. When I was younger, we spent many happy hours watching basketball on TV, screaming at the referees for real and imagined bad calls. I will miss him so much. I’d already planned to spend the holidays in Manila anyway (where many members of my itinerant family still live), but this homecoming will be bittersweet.

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