Ponce Santigo loves his job.
He loves facing students and giving lectures on things he know. Things he experienced. Things he regretted. The kind of things that makes a sim look back on their life and reflect on it. Ponce is a simple man with a grand mission: to be a good teacher.
He may be the oldest teacher left in a faculty full of younger ones, but this batch is a friendly bunch. He has no problem fitting in, and is already well-acquainted with most of them.
Leslie Ramirez is a natural comedian; his jokes can even crack up someone as serious as Leah Barajas.
Though his powers aren’t enough to make a single crack out of Keith Umali, who spends the entire break reviewing his lesson plan.
Ponce is fondly known as the lolo of the school. The kids love him, the teachers humor him, but Claudia Coronel, the new principal, finds all this silliness a bit…well, silly.
It shows on her face, but she just doesn’t have the heart to say that to his face.
There’s only one person who can get away with it. His eldest, Melanie Talisay, inherited her mother’s absolute disregard for tact.
“You are older than the school, Dad,” Melanie says, exasperated. “If I knew you’d be this stubborn, I would have forced you to retire years ago.”
“I think the hospital would have a harder time forcing you to retire even at 80, Mel,” Ponce jokes.
With Mel being a workaholic, the joke might not be too far from the truth. She did not find that amusing though.
Melanie just wishes her father would stop being a fool and listen for once. If he won’t listen to her as his daughter, then he will take her seriously as his doctor.
She just doesn’t want anything bad to happen to him because of work, or worse, while he’s at work.
Having Sammy around to witness her lolo die at school is a scenario she wants to avoid at all costs. It would devastate her.
She is very close with her grandfather, which isn’t surprising considering how much Ponce has doted on her since she was a baby. Being the only grandchild to spoil around has its perks.
Being the only child has its downsides too.
With no younger sibling to lord over, who else would end up washing the dishes? Sometimes Sammy wishes her Mom and Dad could just give her a baby brother or sister, just so she doesn’t have to do everything by herself.
Having her mother’s undivided attention is nice though. Mel enforces discipline by sticking with old routines.
And trying out new ones together.
Sammy gives her mother a strange look. “Mom, haven’t you played chess before?”
“Of course, I have. What a silly question to ask,” Mel says as she moves a rook in a totally not wrong way. Sammy quickly puts it back in place and starts explaining.
Pillow fighting is an activity better suited for a child with a lot of energy to spare. And Sammy has a lot of it.
“Take this! And that! And…wham!”
“Okay, okay!” Mel starts to straighten up her aching back. “I give up, you win!”
Sammy just laughs before continuing to hit her mother with the pillow. Mel is forced to resume her battle stance to fight back. The fight must go on!
Sammy doesn’t seem to be any more different after her grandma died.
Though her parents can’t say that they didn’t notice the lack of scratches or scrapes on their daughter’s knees. Whatever she was doing before, it’s a relief she stopped doing it.
Sammy’s sticking to ground level recently. Climbing boulders and trees with JV and Jeremy hasn’t been as much fun as it used to, so she often visits other places where she can be alone.
There are lots of cool rocks and plants around the island. She keeps it all in her pocket.
Sammy goes home before her father realizes where she’s been all this time. She’s almost done with homework by the time he goes upstairs to check on her.
Lola Edna finished sewing this costume just in time for next week’s school play.
It feels weird to wear it now.
Weird or not, she still needs to practice her lines.
Though it doesn’t mean she always stays on script. It’s more fun to improvise!
She owes it all to her Dad’s awesome acting skills when it’s his turn to tell a bedtime story. He makes the coolest stories AND can do five different voices. That’s three times more than she can do.
He gives the best hugs too, and can raise her up higher than Uncle Dave can. He spins her around high up in the air until Mel goes out of her room to give them a look that shows them they’re being too loud.
“You already took a bath,” Eric notices when he puts her down.
“I already had breakfast too,” she beams proudly. Sammy gestures her father to lean in closer. She whispers, “Lolo promised to take me to the bookstore after school to buy the book I wanted.”
“Is it the new Jimmy Sprocket book?” he whispers back.
Sammy stares at him. “How did you know?”
“I have the power to read your mind,” Eric grins, tapping her forehead gently. She giggles and taps his entire head with both hands. “That’s silly, Dad.”
Eric is pleased to see his daughter loves reading, but couldn’t muster the same enthusiasm for journalism as much as Mel does for medical science.
It’s still nice to work in the company of someone who does. It’s more motivating that way.
Though Eric is easily motivated through other means.
Mel’s night shifts mean that the couple do not always get to sleep at the same time.
At some point, her husband starts staying in bed longer than he needs to, just so he could stay close to Mel while she sleeps. It helps him catch up on his reading too.
While Eric reads, his father-in-law is already up and tending to his garden outside.
Back inside, Mel’s younger brother is busy bruising his rear end just to try out this new workout equipment.
Maybe the home workout option isn’t for him.
Determined to live up to his athletic trait, Dave rolls a wish to work out at the gym. Unfortunately, one small slip-up was enough to convince him to never step foot inside the building ever again. For a while, at least.
He eventually returns to try the yoga lessons at the 3rd floor. That worked out better.
Dave’s forte lies in his inclination towards handling machinery, a fact he isn’t too fond of.
Ponce had asked his son to repair the sink, only to forget about it, call the repair service, and then remember half-way through their conversation. “Ah, never mind, my son is already working on it — ”
“Wait!” Dave quickly turns around to stop his father. “Don’t end the call yet! Tell them we need help!”
“Nonsense my boy, you’re doing great.” Ponce walks back to the living room, humming.
Dave goes back to work grumbling. He can hear the opening of his favorite TV show starting already.
This family can afford better plumbing and better gadgets, but do they invest on it? No.
Leave it up to Dave the handy man to be stuck working on it all night when he’d rather do something else.
Like chatting with a friend all day. (Never mind the phone bills)
Or pummeling his brother-in-law with a pillow.
He shares the same competitive streak with Sammy. It’s no wonder these two never pillow fight together.
Lolo is Filipino for grandfather. Lola means grandmother. I’ve been wanting to incorporate my native language into my writing for a while now!
The Talisay household is a pretty big one, with extended family. Ponce Santigo is the family patriarch, with his wife Edna Santigo killed off just because it makes things interesting. He lives with his eldest child Mel, who has her own family: husband Eric and daughter Sammy. Mel’s younger brother, Dave, also lives with them. He probably won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Rolls for this household are: Full house, Education, Medical, Journalism, Science, 1 child, opportunist, and homemade.