by Walden Rene Matthew & John, 11/25/17 at the Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
A simple poem in dedication to Papa on Thanksgiving Day.
Missing You on Thanksgiving!
Browsing over our album today
Simple pictures, worn and gray
Something caught me by surprise
As teardrops fill my heavy eyes.
Father, mother and my family
Around the lake so peacefully.
This Thanksgiving we will be missing you
Deep in our hearts, if you only knew
Though hundreds and millions of miles away,
Forever in our hearts you'll always stay.
Queen Mary Thanksgiving Weekend
Day 1 - Queen Mary, Nov-24, 207
Two years in the making! We have been planning to go for our cruise trip aboard Queen Mary, and finally, here we are. John John excitedly ask. "Where is the ship taking us?" and Rene answered "It's not going anywhere, the ship is not moving", of which John jokingly says, "Oh, then this ship is useless..."
Leaving home at 3 pm taking I-710 towards Long Beach. I had a very odd feeling that the stay may not be as smooth than I wish it to be. The freeway exit leading towards the Queen Mary was under construction for what looks like a massive addition of several layers of freeway to the exchanges. After missing several exits and turns, we finally found the Queen Mary. Got a good parking spot, and yes, a golf cart driven by a Filipino (Ilocano-Bicolano) drove us to the hotel entrance.
The hotel registration went smoothly and by a little past 5:00 pm we got to our room, M038. The AC seems not working, and I called the front desk, and the clerk said they will turn on.
The room is very old, smell old, feels old and odd. Yet, it was clean, with fresh sheets. We got 2 small beds.
We left the room, and proceeded to get tickets for the Queen Mary Tour. The tour started at 6:15 pm and lasted for an hour. The tour was well worth it. $10 per person.
Going back to the room, the AC has not been fixed, or perhaps not even turned on. We proceeded to the front desk and was told that they will turn on the A.C. now.
After the Queen Mary Tour, at 7:30 pm, Rene asked the counter for what to do and where to go around Queen Mary, and was informed that we should to the Shoreline Center. A free shuttle can take us from Queen Mary to most popular stations. We did, and took the nice, new and fresh shuttle called PassPort for FREE to shoreline.
The Shoreline Center is nice, however, for a Friday night, it looks quite empty at 8:00 pm. We walked towards the end of the center, and found a nice Louisiana Restaurant. The food is super, and HUGE! $60+, the baby back rib Rene ordered can be had for 5 people. John John and Rene can only take around a fourth and the rest → bring home. :) At the restaurant, we gained a friend by the name of Bing, the waitress originally from Mintal Davao, who used to shop at the Datu Bolton.
Returning to Queen Mary at 10:04 pm still using the Free Shuttle called Passport, we arrived at exactly the time promised, 10:15 pm.
Everything seems to be perfect, until we entered our room M038. It was still warm or as Matt Matt would say, even warmer. I called the Front Desk and was told that he will move us to another room and was told to bring all out things. However, arriving at the Front Desk, the lady clerk did not know anything about the move, and was informed that she will turn on the AC, which at that moment, I must have raised my voice, for Matthew was reminding me to not be “suko”. Finally the clerk gave us another room, B468, says it will be a bit farther to the end of the ship if we agree. I readily says it will be ok as long as the AC is working. We went, and I called in to confirm that yes, we will take the replacement room. It was a bit smaller, one window, and 2 tiny beds, and a 24" diameter round post sticking out diagonally from floor to ceiling. Oh well, still this will be good for the night. Everyone went flat-tire in a few minutes!
Day 2 - Queen Mary, Nov-25, 2017
Matt woke up earlier than Rene and John at 8:30 am. Yes, it’s late, but considering this being a Saturday, it is not too bad. We explored the Queen Mary and was amazed at the size and beauty of this enormous luxurious 1936 -- 80 year old ship! The top deck looks to us more like a standing in a ten-story building. After taking very nice pictures of the Queen Mary, we had brunch at the Cafe Promenade by 11:15 am. Definitely expensive, hehe, well it is not the food, but the view. We have a good full view of the entire Long Beach shoreline, this while having breakfast-lunch at the Cafe Promenade.
We departed Queen Mary at 2:00 pm. Both Rene and Matt slept all the way, and as usual, that left John John and Papa awake.
Today, we have a wonderful time, and had a good chance to talked about Angkong, about his life, his time. About his final wish for cremation, about committing Angkong to God and finally into the seas. I discussed and talked about Angkong's writing "Walk Gracefully, But Once -- Live Life but Once, Walk Graceful, Walk Free.
Papa once said, "Wherever you are in LA or in Old Manila Bay, there I will be with you."
This is a ballad dedicated to our Papa, our Angkong. I wrote this poem a few days in time for Papa's Passing Anniversary. I then ask a good friend from London, Deri to put it into music. He made the melody and I rearranged the poem into lyrics for the song. Deri did vocals, piano and violin.
A year has passed since you sailed the seas,
Bruised and burnt, my head down to my knees.
Along the beach, Los Angeles shores,
You bade goodbye, walk pass my doors.
The days grow cold, and nights turn slow.
"Let go my son", but my heart says no.
Dear Mother, she flies up and away
Above the clouds, with you to stay.
I forced a smile, with my teary eyes,
Sorrow and sadness in strange disguise.
Ashes to ashes, owhhh, dust to dust.
Lord one more day, is that too much to ask?
Remembering Papa, as you took my hands,
Along the ocean of water and sands.
Twas yesterday, those great stories you tell,
Of the Kings and queens, that I loved so well.
The songs you sing, the river and the tree
Over seasons, in my heart you'll always be
"Live live but once, walk graceful, walk free"
Footprints you left, for generations to see.
Life is a circle that goes up and down
For better, for worst -- for a crown or a clown
Your knowledge and wisdom, pure and sincere
Forever in my heart, so warm so dear.
A year has passed, a new day just begun
Dashes of hope with the morning sun.
Hong Kong in China, and the beaches of L.A.
Smilin' sailin' by the old Manila Bay.
A new breath of life, from the Heavens above
"Let go my son" Go share my love.
I'm with your Mama, we're up high and away.
Above the clouds, with me to stay.
A Year Ago