[Photo above shows the GLEEFUL GARCIA family with their signature INFECTIOUS SMILES most especially ADRIE, who is shown at center, sandwiched by her sweet and cuddly son JEREMY to her right; and her endearing and romantic husband IVAN to her left. With ADRIE’s long locks, alluring pose and seemingly playful pout, she could  easily be deemed as a dead ringer for a petite version of Angelina Jolie.]

Adrienne Llorca Garcia aka Adrie is my niece being the daughter of my maternal cousin Arlene “Beth” Lever. Beth served as our host together with her hubby, Steve Lever, when my family stayed in their Oxley Park home in Sydney, NSW in the 2nd week of September 2016.

During her toddler days, Adrie was alternately called as either Bombom or  Pompom. These names which evoke merry-making (i.e. in the Philippines, “bombom” would denote a musical instrument actually a drum for some kind of festivity; while a “pompom” is an instrument used in cheering up teams in a contest), perhaps is an extension of the legacy of happiness which has endured in the Llorca household where Adrie spent her infant and nonage years. That household is located at No. 69 20th Avenue, Murphy, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro-Manila, Philippines. Personally, I was more attuned and comfortable then, at referring to Adrie as Pompom instead of Bombom.

And more often than not, when Adrie was growing up, that place called home by Adrie was a virtual happy house where evenings and nights would feature Adrie’s uncles and their friends — singing, barbecuing, drinking, feasting and merrymaking.

First and foremost, the patriarch of the Llorca clan, Tio Gene Llorca (i.e. Adrie’s grandpa), is of Visayan descent; and the Visayans are known for being exponents of a happy and carefree life; a life of singing, merrymaking and carousing. In fact, the province of Negros where Tio Gene hailed is deemed as peopled with fun-loving folks and its city was even considered and named as the City of Smiles.

A pompom actually is a loose, fluffy,decorative ball or tuft of fibrous material, made from a wide array of materials, including wool, cotton, paper, plastic, and occasionally feathers; and they are usually shaken by cheerleaders, to arouse jubilation, merry-making and enjoyment.

And happiness seems to have not left the psyche and persona of Adrie though she has migrated with her Mom Beth to Australia in 1988. Indeed, happiness may have attached and latched on unto Adrie’s very character. Moreover, it would show that happiness is contagious,  nay infectious, just like the infectious smile of Pompom (i.e. Adrie).

On October 7, 2006; Adrie’s infectious smile ( a kind of smile which engenders a smile from another) and her steady stroll to find lasting happiness reached its fruition and zenith when she married an equally gladsome gentleman named Ivan Paul Santos Garcia (“Ivan”).

Ivan, who from his dapper looks could even be considered as a Philippine version of Aussie’s  Russel Crowe is currently studying Nursing and will be graduating in October of this year, while he continuously works at a leading medical, surgical and research facility in Sydney, the St.  Vincent’s Hospital at Darlinghurst, NSW. Ivan also has roots in the Philippines particularly in Lubao, Pampanga, the hometown of two (2) distinguished Presidents of the Philippines, the late President Diosdado Macapagal and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Adrie, on the other hand, is employed as a Premium Personal Banker at the Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia’s first bank, where she has been working for over 10 years. The Garcia couple is blessed with a son, Jeremy Austin, who is currently in Year 10 and studying at the Champagnat Catholic College located in Maroubra, NSW. Jeremy zestfully enjoys Art and Photography, and as he will be starting Year 11 in January 2017;  Jeremy has graduated into tinkering ways on the art and science of  making music videos which he intends to resoundingly upload in Youtube.

Innately animated perhaps to always trek the happy path, Adrie and Ivan chose to live near the beach at Hillsdale in the eastern suburbs of Sydney; where they enjoy in gay abandon to take conventional coastal walks from  Coogee to Bondi Beach through a coastal trail. And the coastal trail is a well-marked and well-maintained path; indeed a HAPPY PATH.

And Adrie’s trek to lasting happiness continues, as the Garcia family has made it a habit to go places on holidays particularly in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, USA and into their native land, the Philippines. This December, the Garcia family is planning another holiday to go around places in Hong Kong, Macau and the Philippines; for them to gel and bond together as one happy, jovial, blissful and fortunate family.


[This group photo taken on September 9, 2016 with the Sydney Harbour Bridge as backdrop shows the Mom-and-Son tandem of Adrie and Jeremy (5th and 6th from left). Others in the photo are: (L-R: Beth Lever, my wife Dang, my daughter Cheska, Steve Lever, Adrie, Jeremy and myself).]

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