“a trophy is NOT what she deserves!”
this could have been the line that i would be shouting in that hall, the night my older sister went up the stage last september 4, 2012 to claim her award for 20th year of service at philippine bank of communications (pbcom). if asked what, i would quickly demand: “give her a cape, a scepter, a sash and a crown, for tonight i declare cristy madrideo mediavillo, the queen of the night.”
obviously, i am feeling a surge of pride seeing the latest feather in her cap as her youngest sister. well, i am not just her youngest sister. for several instances, we had been mistaken for twins. the first time we were asked if we were twins, we had the loudest laugh of our lives. but not on the second, the third, the fourth and even the fifth time when people had a wrong notion about us sharing the same womb. we decided to accept the fact that to others, we might be a reflection of each other physically.
nano (born and baptized maria christina madrideo mediavillo but later on became cristy because it would take her time writing her long name when she was a katon), is no ordinary sister for me.
today is the first time that she’d know about this, but she is actually the very person who inspired me to use the power of the pen…
before i go on further, let me just give you a backgrounder about her sobriquet which is “nano”. in bicol and even in filipino, this word means “midget”. she hated this name when we were still young. given by our oldest brother, she would really be pissed off every time she was called by this name. to cut the story short, she learned to accept this name as she grew older especially when this word was already given a mathematical meaning by the dictionary. by definition NANO means extremely small and one billionth (10-9). its etymology is Greek nnos, nannos, which means little old man, dwarf, from nanns, uncle. hmmm…same meaning that we have in the vernacular.
now on with my story…
tina (another pet name of hers), is the original and very effective short story writer and scriptwriter in the family. bumping into her english short romantic story and a script intended for a high school drama (it was an adaptation of “God sees the truth but waits” by leo tolstoy in filipino language) while cleaning up old files when we were still in bicol, made me admire her. i was amazed on how she could think of those words. partly, i knew the reason why she was very good at it. ever since she was in high school, she was already a voracious reader. again, i tried following her footsteps in this aspect.
i know we were three in the family who were into novel reading when i entered high school. i wonder if olen, our eldest, is still into this for in my case, reading became a hobby which soon took a backseat as i had to allot my time in other things ever since i became married. in nano’s case, she has never stopped reading — a pastime that made her a regular client at booksale.
sister (this is how i fondly call her now), is also a talented artist which i am not. when she was in high school, she could sketch and design clothes. i even thought before that she dreamt of becoming an icon in the world of fashion designing. i thought wrong. she had a different goal in life, and it involved numbers…money…
she is also a sports aficionado having to play bowling, badminton and volleyball. despite being flatfooted, she proved that she could also excel in this field. i am sure, if our father were still alive, he would be surprised but be very proud of her, too, for he hadn’t had an inkling that she’d take an interest in sports.
among my sisters, i guess nano is the one whom i became very close to because she’s the only one who is manila-based. to add, she was given the chance to live with me for five years not by choice but because of circumstances. she is also the titang (tita-ninang) of my twins, and at one point of her life, she was also mistaken as the mother of my youngest son. interview my three sons and they will unanimously tell you who their favorite aunt is. my sister has been true in performing her role to them not only as their aunt, but also as a surrogate “nanay” at countless times. her every visit in our house is something that my children would always look forward to.
you know, this sister of mine prefers independence. this is her main reason why after my family decided to transfer to the south in 2010, she decided to stay behind and have her own pad. she has never been afraid to live a single life. aside from these facts, we clicked in a lot of ways especially our being humormongers. nano though is quicker when it comes to punchlines, taglines, and original quotations that are offshoots of her wits and wisdom. we are fashion-conscious though each of us has made our own identity when it comes to dressing up. we go for sensible and intellectual people. we are both brutally frank critics and would do everything to win an argument (fact is, these two mentioned traits actually run in the family). we are pro-aquino and have shared that leaning from the time we abhorred corruption.
am i hero-worshipping a sister? may be yes…may be no… i think what i am sharing to you now is an inspiring story about her. she has risen from the ranks and has achieved much in her chosen career. despite all these, she has remained humble.
what really makes me salute my sister now is because of something which i consider her biggest achievement—that of finally reaching her ideal weight. she is a living proof that discipline and determination really matter if you want something in life. that impossibility is just in the mind…that it is dependent on one’s attitude…