Barlihem

The Story Behind the T-Shirt Design

The title Barlihem took from the two important places in the hearts of the Beringuela family. It all started here…

Barli is from Barlin, a street in Naga City (named after the first Archbishop of the Philippines, Jorge Barlin), where most of the early years of the Beringuelas were spent beautifully. The Hem was taken from Bethlehem, where the strong faith of the Beringuelas is centered–on Jesus Christ. Inspired by the Bethlehem and the lives of St. Joseph, Mama Mary, and the humble beginning of our Lord Jesus Christ, Papa Joe and Mama Vacion migrated to Naga City from Telegrafo, San Jose in 1954 with their four children, bringing with them a small amount of money to start a business. Thus, the Beringuela’s Sari-sari Store was created with a sense of high hope and services dedicated to the neighborhood of Barlin. After several years, Papa Joe and Mama Vacion did not think of any family planning to control their children. They did stop, only at their middle forties and happily raised a family of twelve, five beautiful girls and five handsome boys. Being the seventh and the cutest among the children, hehehe, the writer spent most of his time as a tindero sa tindahan when he was still in Naga.

Manay Josie being the eldest among the children, migrated to Manila after graduating from college in 1969 to look for a brighter future. The rest of her siblings followed as Papa Joe and Mama Vacion allowed them to seek greener pastures just like the shepherds of Bethlehem. Every Christmas, Papa Joe and Mama Vacion used to come and spend the Christmas season with their children and relatives in Manila. Every Christmas, they gather at uncle Jess for his birthday and subsequently proceed to Manoy Glenn and Ate Ting’s for dinner to celebrate their wedding anniversary. New year’ eve is a big day for the Beringuelas as they gather at Manay Josie and Kuya Manny’s house in Meycauyan, Bulacan (originally in Vicente Cruz, Manila) for yearly salubong ng bagong taon with a big bang of enjoyment as the family prepares presentations and costumes, exchanges gifts and pleasantries. When uncle Mike was still alive, we go to Marulas, Valenzuela, for a whole day celebration of the new year at his residence. As the Christmas season is nearly ending, which coincides on the day of the three kings, Papa Joe and Mama Vacion go back to Naga, as excitement lingers for the other younger children who stayed behind to manage the Tindahan during the holiday season, as they receive their gifts and pangungumusta from those in Manila.

Unfortunately, the Tindahan, which we considered the pillar of the success of the Beringuelas did not live long. After thirty years of existence, in 1984 the Tindahan burned down in a great fire. The Beringuelas will not forget the great memories left by the Tindahan as the family continues to grow in harmony. They moved to nearby street of P. Diaz, in an owned lot and constructed a new house but this no more Tindahan.

Years have passed, and all their children have married. Papa Joe and Mama Vacion now have ten manugangs, 38 apos and 22 apos sa tuhod. Most of papa Joe’ s children now have their manugangs, a total of 14. Nene Lalaine, who passed away a few years ago, is always remembered as she spent most of her time as Tindera, which I think more than any of Papa Joe’s children did. Now the Beringuela Family comprises of 94 members and still growing, not only in numbers but in faith, love, and happiness.

The Meaning

The light blue background signifies the sea at Telegrafo and Joroan, Tiwi, Albay, known as Lagonoy Gulf.

The Mamang Kutsero, the mamamg sorbetero and siklesta represent the three Kings that played an essential role in the lives of the Beringuelas. The karetila, as the early means of transportation in Naga, brings the paninda back ang forth from Saud to Barlin. Mamang sorbetero (Migs) was a regular customer, taking time for merienda of iced cold coke and a cracker of Saltine daily while the children of Papa Joe buy ice cream from him -a sort of exchanging benta just like many ahentes who do business with the tindahan. The Siklesta signifies the suki of the sari-sari store not only from nearby kapitbahay but also from neighboring streets, with all the churchgoers and school children from other places of Naga that pass by every day.

The blue from light to dark signifies the improving closeness in the family. The people in front of the store represent the families in different colors. The rays of the star mean pinagpalang pamilya.

Our entry for the T-shirt design competition in the yearly celebration of the new year in 2013, won the second prize.

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