Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Double Meaning of “Mahal”

 “In the richness of its diversity, the grandeur of its scenic attractions, and the excitement of its visual contrasts, this place is unique and beyond compare.”

I have used this phrase to describe different beautiful places that I have been to. But the truth is, I know that in my heart, the place that I always think of every time I use the description is California.

Currently, I reside in the Washington, D.C. area where winter is never fun. It always reminds me of California Dreaming and its lyrics,

“All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey
I've been for a walk on a winter’s day
I'd be save and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreaming on such a winter’s day”

Most recently, I was in California again as I was in June and July. My June trip was sad because I had to attend the funeral services for my youngest sister, Mila Maynigo Denton Goldberg.

My July trip was both nostalgic and memorable. It was also joyful as I attended the 50th Reunion of my Huntington Beach High School Class ’64.  Then I proceeded to San Diego to fulfill a family and legal obligation re the Estate of my sister.

The latest trip (October) took me to both San Diego and San Francisco. It was a very productive and fun trip both for personal, professional, and business reasons.

I went to San Francisco in order to attend the Dreamforce 2014 Conference being held at the Moscone Center. It featured as Keynote Speakers former US Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former US Vice President Al Gore, Salesforce President Marc Benioff, and other CEOs of several successful innovative companies.

Entertainers Bruno Mars and the Beach Boys were at hand to perform while Musician and Technology Entrepreneur Will.I.AM launched a new wearable product and technology.

I must admit that I almost canceled my San Francisco trip. Although the registration fee costing over a thousand dollars was waived for credentialed members of the Press like me, hotel accommodations turned out to be “mahal” in hotels near Moscone Center – site of the conference. It went from $400 -$800/night.
Judith and Lino Yoro

A call to my favorite cousin Judith Miguel Yoro, married to Lino Yoro suddenly changed the meaning of “mahal” to something more agreeable to my liking as an Ilocano. I was invited to stay in their residential home, which is not too far from Moscone.

“Uber will just take care of my daily local transport needs,” I thought. Well, Judith and Lino were off at the time and happily drove me to Moscone. How lucky can one Ilocano like me be?

While previously, “mahal” meant expensive, it’s meaning became “love” because free accommodations were provided with love. :) 

Author with sister Nellie Maynigo Rabara

Attending the Dreamforce 2014 conference was really a joy. But joining the birthday celebrations of two relatives of mine was even more fun. My lone surviving older sister Nellie celebrated her birthday in a Buffet style restaurant. My niece on my father side, and cousin-in-law on the mother side, Lydia Miguel, celebrated her birthday at her beautiful home with two guest rooms available for me next time I go back.
Lydia Miguel

Indeed, “mahal” signifies a different and deeper meaning as relatives offer their homes to accommodate your needs for a brief period.  High in value materially, but much higher in value spiritually and emotionally.

A big thanks to Judith and Lino! I enjoyed my stay at their home in San Francisco.

No comments:

Post a Comment