Last year I introduced you to Teresa, Lina’s friend and former student who lives in Bugasong on the west coast of the island of Panay. Here are those posts:

Lina and Teresa had not seen each for 32 years when we visited last year.


Lina and Teresa in 2015, after 32 years


The new house, under construction last year

We returned in March and found the house closer to completion; their son Gospel working in IT in a big city on another island; and Teresa’s husband Jonathan returned from the sea.


Jonathan, Teresa and Lina at the beach, a mile from the house


Children play around fishing boats in the distance.


The sun sets over a ship that ran aground in a typhoon.

As Teresa came to Bugasong to care for her parents, Jonathan has left his career with a cruise line to take care of his father nearby. It is hard to make a living here from their rice field and the plots where they grow root crops and mung beans. Teresa prepares food for sale locally to bring in some extra income. They have both made the choice to give up jobs that pay well in order to be at home.


The fields in back of Jonathan and Teresa’s home

You may have noticed the theme of filial devotion through so many of my posts this year.   Thinking back to my first post, about Heng and Maida, I remember that the reason Heng returned to his home village was to dedicate a new tomb for his mother with a ceremony in the Buddhist temple. Maida and her mother supported each other through the horror of Auschwitz and came to America together.

In the post titled “Westminster”, you met Cao, who is determined to preserve his parents’ artistic legacy even as he deals with illness; and Belinda, who braved the odds to return to the Philippines to find her father’s grave and return his ashes to California. In so many of these stories, a child has sacrificed for parents and family, as parents have sacrificed for their children.

Another theme I see is that those choices, freely taken and not felt as burden, can bring great satisfaction and create new opportunities. Teresa and Jonathan are now together after years of separation.  They can share work, rest and worship.  Jonathan could not attend Gospel’s college graduation. Now he will be present at the important events in his family’s life.