fototazo 116: Stella Kalaw

Stella Kalaw
Lola's Kitchen, from the series "Cubao"

Series Statement
I saw my grandparents once since migrating to America years ago. It was right after I graduated from school in California. My heart ached as I sat next to Lola (grandmother). I held her hand. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease and diabetes for years. Before I left, she was still vibrant so it was difficult to see her in this condition. Then Lolo (grandfather) came out from the dining room. I stood up and greeted him with a mano (I took his hand and pressed it to my forehead). I don't know if he recognized me, but I asked him how he was doing. All he could mutter was "Ha?" He was hard of hearing. My Lola died in 2002 and my Lolo passed away a week before I took these photographs. Even when I was a child, I hardly knew them despite having spent many birthdays, holidays and vacations together. My memories are few but visiting Cubao resurfaced many that I had forgotten.