The Ibalonian Reunion in Culpeper, Virginia

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Dr. Yasmin Paje-Banzon took time out from mentoring students in British Columbia, Canada and so did her sister Dr. Leida Paje who had to be away from her private dental practice in California. Dr. Vines Nolasco-Reis, a toxicologist from Indiana drove alone to Culpeper to meet Dr. Totie F. Mesia and Dr. Marietta F. Mesia from New York.

The Ibalonian doctors’ visit turned out to be off from what was originally thought by Min’s brother, warm-host Errol Paje with gregarious wife Coreen in their beautiful new home in 808 Persimmons St, Culpeper, Virginia on September 21 and 22, 2008. Dr. Ray Rayel of Wisconsin couldn’t leave his cardiology patients for a weekend getaway. Fems didn’t have the chance to separate from her WHO-Geneva group who were in CDC, Atlanta, GA for a conference.

For the love of her OB-Gyn patients in Naga City, Dr. Eden B. Fernando went home too soon from her visit in San Diego, CA without seeing us. Busy! Leida and Vines arrived earlier, but didn’t have the time to wait for Totie and Mariet who got stuck with the delays of air travel in JFK airport in NY. That was in addition to the irksome routine of security checks against terrorists and the malfunction of the GPS in that rented Hertz car.

The most endearing part of the visit however was being with Min’s mom Eusebia “Nanay” Paje whom I haven’t seen for more than 30 years. The last time I met her was in Naga Airport on my way to Manila. To give the mellowed but perky lady the big smiles before her vacation to Bicol, I had the piano too noisy with old favorites like Sarung Banggui, Born Free, Yesterday, South of the Border, Crazy, Londonderry Air, No Other Love, I Could Have Danced All Night and a few more which made me remember my own mom before we comfortably retired late in the night. I had the song-hits ready, but only Min, Mariet, and I remained.

The next morning, Coreen and daughter Megan was a delight as they prepared to go to school. Vines gifted me with something saccharin right from grandma’s kitchen. Just as the sun was up, Min, Nanay, Mariet, Errol & son Matthew and I happily drove together as a family to Dulles, Washington, DC to catch our respective flights for home. The experience was certainly perfect as the fond memories that went with it.

We thought it could have been better if other Ibalons were there. The chilly breeze of autumn’s onset was there. Under the pale sun, the cornfields of Virginia were fragrant with ripening bulbs from a distance. We certainly missed you all! =0=

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