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Getting Clarified on the LA Tenorio Familial Connection

Image credit:  http://www.interaksyon.com .
Visiting the wake of an uncle in Nasugbu last Monday, I found myself in the company of a cousin who is the first-degree uncle of the Gilas Pilipinas and Giñebra basketball player LA Tenorio. We apparently met once before when LA was still with a PBL club and there was an engagement at the SENTRUM, the arena my office managed at De La Salle Lipa.

That was so long ago and there were a few of them relatives from Nasugbu who had come to watch the game. Thus, apart from LA’s mother Lumeng, who had gone to my office to meet me, I had no recollection of everyone else.

When my first-degree cousin – a son of the deceased – introduced LA’s uncle at the wake, I drew quite an awkward blank. He was quite chatty, though; and they do say that blood runs thicker than water. Before long, the initial awkwardness was gone, since we had common things to talk about.

That will be, but of course, family – including the rather vague relationship with LA. I say ‘vague’ because I, in all honesty, had not heard about him until he was ripping the Green Archers apart while he was playing with the Blue Eagles.

My first cousins in Nasugbu have nothing but the fondest thoughts of LA. They said his feet continue to be firmly planted on the ground despite his current status in Philippine basketball.
I used to comically swear at him while watching Ateneo-La Salle games and was shocked to subsequently learn from my older brother that LA is, in fact, a second-degree nephew.

That mystery was due to several things. We used to go to Nasugbu ever so often when we were kids. We invariably socialised with first-degree relations and a few others who we would chance upon when we went there.

Last Monday at the wake, I had a chance to clarify relationships with my first-cousin and LA’s uncle, my second-degree cousin. LA’s grandfather Casimiro Vasquez is the son of the brother of my grandfather Ricardo Vasquez. Casimiro is the father of LA’s mother Lumeng.

I have a fairly good recollection of Casimiro Vasquez, my mother’s first-degree cousin who she used to call Kuya Miroy and of whom she was very fond. He was based in Nasugbu – still is – and would come visit us in Lipa every now and then.

I might have met LA’s mother Lumeng before that PBL game at the SENTRUM; but I was probably so young and had forgotten about it. Besides, she had married and raised her family in Manila.

She and her family naturally came home to Nasugbu every once in a while to visit with relations. This is why my first-degree cousins know her and LA matter-of-factly. I was in Lipa all those years, of course.

The fact that she had married and changed her surname helped to cloak the relationship. Had LA been born to a Vasquez, I would have been more curious.

They do say that it is a small world. LA and my brother’s son Rikko played elementary basketball at Don Bosco-Makati. If I remember correctly, the two were not even aware that they are cousins until one day when Ate Lumeng saw the Torrecampo printed at the back of Rikko’s uniform.

The cousins parted ways when LA went to San Beda for high school – and played varsity basketball, of course – while my nephew Rikko stayed on at Don Bosco.

If only LA had gone on to play college basketball for La Salle and spared me the ignominy of having sworn at my own nephew; albeit one I did not know I had at the time.

Laugh out loud!

My first cousins in Nasugbu have nothing but the fondest thoughts of LA. They said his feet continue to be firmly planted on the ground despite his current status in Philippine basketball.

This nephew of mine, however, does have a knack for playing for teams that I do not support. I do not watch the PBA as often as I once used to. When I did, I was – and still am – a San Miguel fan. I do not even watch Giñebra if I can help it.

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