Remembering my LOLO, Honorio Castro Sr.
Back when I was in college, being home for the weekend is like being home at the nothingness of our ancestral house in the Philippines. I don’t know why I ever went home. My family is in Riyadh. I go to the province on weekends because my cousins do and we carpool homeward bound. I realized our situations were different because my family was not around, theirs were. I am just to go to an empty house. So whenever I go back home, I stay at my grandfather’s who was a semi-recluse. At that time, I thought that he didn’t care if I was there. But later, I realized that he did care for me at some level but he was just not showy. My mom’s family was so patriarchal and they basically lived under his rules alone. He appeared to be strict & cold. I know he cared because he cooked meals for me all the time — random fish meals, for sure! I am beginning to miss him again as I am typing this message. He died 20 years ago. Time had gone so fast!
Being almost as old as their youngest daughter, Mai, I experienced being bullied all the time into being at fault. That aunt of mine caused my grandfather to always scold me as a child. She also caused me to be reprimanded several times as a young adult for covering for her mischiefs! One time, he was so mad at her and then turned to me right after! I have never heard him curse so badly until that time when my aunt dragged me into an all-nighter without telling him our whereabouts!
So one weekend, I was watching a late night TV at the living room. It was around 1 am because the thing I was watching just ended and the National Anthem just played indicating closure for the night. There was an ominous vibe because I heard nothing but crickets. I was feeling lazy to move to my room so I decided to sleep at the sofa. My aunt (Mai) was with her husband sleeping in their room. My grandfather was feeding the hogs at the backyard (that’s a routine, every 2-3 am). My grandma was living with my uncle back then in San Rafael. There were only four of us in the house.
A loud humming erupted. Almost as if someone was using megaphone. I don’t know how to react. So I ran towards my aunt’s room and we bumped into each other by the hallway. They were running towards me. The humming was louder. Then my grandfather was screaming my name telling me to stop the loud humming (why was I the suspect and not my aunt?) I told him it wasn’t me. The humming continued for about 2 minutes while we were all together.
Whenever I re-tell this story to my husband or to my family, they’d say they believe that I believe it happened. My husband’s condescending reaction caused some huge fights between us. I hate that they were making me feel like I only imagined it. How can we imagine it all together? I was also pissed at the couple for acting like there’s no horror story there, like we weren’t there hearing that noise all at the same time. They all acted like there’s no other creepy stuff other family members experience in that house over the years.
That was the last time I spent overnight there excluding my grandfather’s wake. And that’s a story for another time.