By Kristin Macaraeg
This past weekend at Betula Lake was jam packed with food, family, and fun in the sun. Our family cabin has been the hub of our summer get togethers with families and friends for over 25 years. We have been going to the Whiteshell every summer since I was born. This was an extraordinarily special weekend as we celebrated my mom, Nora Macaraeg’s Birthday. Our extended families: the Macaraegs, Donens, Catris’ and Alexanders came together on Saturday to celebrate. Of course Mom was busy as usual trying to cook up a storm, even though there was plenty of food at the party. Although she always works tirelessly in the kitchen, I think she secretly enjoys knowing that she makes a lot of bellies happy and full of fine Filipino food. The highlight for her was being able to enjoy the festivities with all five of her grandkids who are four years and under. We hope you enjoyed your birthday mom. There is no shortage of love surrounding you.
The following day we celebrated Canada Day and each time I go to our family cabin I’m so humbled by how hard my parents worked to provide for their family. My dad, Cris Macaraeg, immigrated from the Philippines in 1973 with one piece of luggage and $200. My mom arrived soon after my dad found a job. Both my parents are now retired. My dad worked for Acres International, engineering firm, and my mom worked in Human Resources as an HR Advisor for Manitoba Hydro. My parents managed to put me and my brother, Michael, through many competitive sports and private school. As retirees, they still continue to work hard but in a different way now. My dad likes his projects and loves to build. He built our cabin, rocking horses, a floating dock and the list goes on and on. My mom loves cook nonstop for everyone. They do this all for their grandkids and kids. Their outpouring of generosity is mind boggling, in a good way. Very deservingly, it also makes me happy they do enjoy the good life, visiting with their friends and traveling the world. Thank you for everything you have sacrificed and done for us mom and dad. Mike and I, along with our families, appreciate you both and love you so much. We will never take for granted the opportunity to grow up exploring and enjoying nature and the beauty at Betula Lake. Celebrating Canada Day amongst the trees, wildlife and water with our family is as about as Canadian we can get. Cheers and Happy Canada Day!