by Diane Guison - Clutch Vol. 4 participant
On the night of September 15, 2011, Catherine Hernandez was once again welcomed to the stage of Kapisanan to perform her one woman play Eating with Lola as a fundraising performance. The play portrayed a beautiful and inspiring story of a Lola and we, the audience, were all lucky enough to have seen the play where it all started, at Kapisanan. Catherine Hernandez presented a very convincing performance which definitely caught the audience’s attention.
The play starts off with Grace waking up her Lola who is bedridden. Grace was feeding her Lola but she didn’t like the food and started feeling sad because she can’t cook the food she likes. Feeling like she was being a burden to her granddaughter, she just went back to sleep and then began a flashback of her life when she was young, when she used to be the “best cook in town”. The flashback was all about the challenges and the events of her life, from doing everything to provide food for her family, meeting the love of her life and losing him, up to when she decided to start a new life with her family in America. The play has both humorous and poignant moments which really brought out everyone's emotions.
Watching the play brought back stories my Lola used to tell me while I was growing up. I’ve always been interested in stories from the past and stories of how people lived during the war. The Lola in the play reminded me so much of my own Lola. I was so into it and found myself feeling emotional. I was actually trying so hard not to sob but failed. I suddenly got the urge to get on the plane and visit my Lola in the Philippines even though she probably wouldn't remember who I am. It made me realize how much I want to turn back time and spend more time with her before her Alzheimer's disease started eating away her memories.
When I was very young, I didn't really understand much of the stories and lessons she shared with me, but as I get older, I'm coming to realize now, how much I'm starting to grow so much like her. I'm proud of my Lola and I aspire, just like her, to live a very long life devoted to nurturing those around her.