lechon lola

To everybody else, she is Gilda, Tita Gilda, Gilds, GCF, gildabks, frend, mare, whatever. For me and my cousins, though, she was always Lola Mad. It didn’t really matter that we learned later on that “Mad” actually stood for “Mader/Mother,” the way Lolo Fad stood for “Fader/Father” and Tito Bey stood for “Beybi/Baby,” because for us, she was wholly, unavoidably, irredeemably, MAD.

At first, we thought that “Mad” meant “angry/galit.” She was always telling us off for one thing or another whenever we were at her house: No entering her room (go bother Lolo instead), no playing with toy guns (swords were okay, though; might as well actually hurt each other instead of making “bang bang!” noises while fighting), and so on.

There’s also the matter of her evil kurot, which is at least one cousin’s most remembered thing about Lola. When all of us piled into the car to go somewhere, we always argued over who would have to sit beside Lola (she always sat in the middle), because those unfortunates would be on the receiving end of most of the kurots. The worst part was when she tried to get us all to meditate. After all, it is next to impossible to get a rowdy bunch of ten year-olds to sit together, close their eyes, and clear their minds, when all they wanted to do was play and run around the house. Cue fart noises, and its chaos from there. Needless to say, everybody gets their share during those sessions.

Later on, we thought that perhaps “Mad” meant another thing: “crazy/baliw.” Chalk it up to her crazy fashion sense, which–before her current fascination with psychedelic shades of faux-fur–consisted mainly of mismatched animal prints: sitting on a leopard-spotted chair, while wearing a a tiger-striped top and zebra-striped pants. The last story premise I remember her narrating: a guy wakes up to find out that he’s the last person on Earth, and the first thing he does is shout to the people-less that he’s coming out of the closet.

Perhaps the craziest thing she does, though, is her repeatedly trying to convince others that she’s not talented or smart at all, just because she hated math. I mean, nobody gets to be talked about with that sort of irreverent reverence, puts up art shows for the heck of it, and ends up with that many achievements under their belt without being awesomely talented in one way or another, right?

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