When I speak about the clan in our family, it is actually more about my maternal clan considering that the families of the siblings of my late mother, Norma Rivera Tobias, are based here in Metro-Manila particularly in Quezon City and in the towns of Santa Cruz and Nagcarlan, Laguna. However, a number of second-generation, third-generation  and fourth-generation clan members are now nestled in Southern California. On the other hand, our paternal clan has two (2) versions, the clan of my father’s foster parents, Lolo Julio and Lola Genia Mariñas, whose members are mostly based in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and the clan of Daddy Max’s biological Dad, Lolo William Young,  with two (2) of his surviving half-siblings, Auntie Aida and Uncle Fred, who are both based in the USA, also in California and a bunch of its third-generation members still residing in the Philippines. Interaction/inter-relationship among the members of my maternal clan is better as we see, deal and relate with each much oftener.

My maternal clan is referred to as the Tobias-Young-Maximo-Pabale-Tolentino-Llorca-Aldana clan. My mother belongs to the Tobias clan of Santa Cruz, Laguna and her siblings were married to diverse personalities, namely: Tio Castor, the eldest among my mother’s siblings, married Tia Loling Castro, Tia Emang married Tio Jaime Maximo, Tia Mising married Tio Santos Pabale, Tio Peping married Tia Poning Villapando, Tia Gloria  married Tio Vic Tolentino, Tia Doring married Tio Gene Llorca, and Tia Aida married Tio Joe Aldana.

Among my aunts on our maternal side, only Tia Loling who is now 95 years old is living while all of my uncles have already passed away. By having outlived all of our maternal side uncles, Daddy Max at 93 years old, has now become the patriarch of the Tobias-Young-Maximo-Pabale-Tolentino-Llorca-Aldana clan.

Ever since, the members of the Tobias-Young-Maximo-Pabale-Tolentino-Llorca-Aldana clan (the “Clan“) have shown enormous degree of recognition to Daddy Max as the disciplinarian of the Clan. Every time, a niece or a nephew within the Clan’s domain would sort of act like a “maverick” (i.e. wayward or intractable or disobedient)  in his or her own family, more often than not,   the defiant one will be sent to our household to stay with us under the maternal care of Mommy Norma and the disciplinarian’s tracking by Daddy Max.  This was what happened when Kuya Boy Pabale was sent to stay with us by Tio Santos and Tia Mising, as Kuya Boy was sort of acting belligerently against his Dad, Tio Santos. Kuya Rico Maximo, also spent time with us as in fact, he stayed with us almost all through his bachelorhood until he got married. Kuya Rico was supposedly acting  as though he wanted to live independently, away from the maternal gaze of Tia Emang and the frequent castigation by Tio Jaime. On the other hand, Kuya Andoy Idos, who has been living in a countrified atmosphere in Santa Cruz, Laguna was sent to live with us, as Tia Tinay, Kuya Andoy’s mom, wanted Kuya Andoy to be prepared to face the real and urbanized world here in the suburbs of Manila.  One female first-cousin, actually a niece of Mommy Norma, Vicky stayed with us after she got orphaned by the death of Tia Gloria, her mom, and the sudden disappearance of her dad, Tio Vic. When Vicky, stayed with us, Daddy Max counseled us all to treat Vicky as our own sister.

As it is now, Daddy Max is acknowledged as the patriarch of the Clan while Tia Loling is regarded as the matriarch of the Clan. In August of this year, Daddy Max went to San Diego, California where he handed over and awarded plaques of appreciation to distinguished members of the Clan particularly on the distaff side. One plaque of appreciation which Daddy Max, as Patriarch of the Clan,   handed over to my cousin, Alma “Bebot” Llorca-Esconde, a nurse based in Mira Mesa, San Diego, CA, reads in part, as follows:

“For the exemplary fashion and the indomitable spirit shown in her efforts to raise her FIVE (5) children: Paolo, Christian, Aljer, Jullian   and Geno; into responsible adulthood, all surnamed ESCONDE;  amidst uncommon milieu and in an environment of despair and enervating tribulation in the face of the early disability leading to an eventual demise, which untimely struck her beloved husband Jerry…”

Another plaque given to Irene, my cousin-in-law, and mother of our most helpful, trustworthy and dependable nephew in Southern California, Archie Llorca, contains the following laudatory passage:

“For her exemplary and unflinching efforts in singlehandedly raising her THREE (3) children into responsible adulthood, namely: Cheryl,  Archibald and Lawrence Anthony, all surnamed LLORCA, amidst uncommon milieu (priorly uprooting themselves from  the Philippines) initially in Kauai, Hawaii and then in an environment of despair in Maui, Hawaii; and in an eventual atmosphere of loneliness and enervating hardships and tribulation in San Diego-Temecula, Southern California, with her own brand of motherly caring and disciplinarian ways…”

Finally, another cousin-in-law, Ate Mona, the wife of the Philippine Independent Church’s Bishop in the Diocese of USA and Canada, my first-cousin, and the son of Tia Loling, Bishop Raul C. Tobias, was awarded another plaque with the following adulatory commendation, by the Patriarch of our Clan, Daddy Max Young:

“For her exemplary and unflagging efforts in serving as the doting wife to a man of the cloth; the ever cheerful, persevering and sedulous Rt. Rev. Raul Castro Tobias of the Philippine Independent Church, who ignored territorial boundaries and diligently spread the word of God, leaping into America from their humble beginnings in their storied native soil in Santa Cruz, Laguna, the Philippines and of raising their  TWO (2) children  amidst tedious and overwhelming pastoral work, into responsible adulthood, namely: Julius and Janine…”

And those plaques of appreciation were awarded personally on August 18, 2015 in San Diego, California by the Patriarch of our Clan.  

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