I came across this program early this morning on PTV4, a government-owned channel that featured ASEAN member countries. It made me quite nostalgic seeing those features on handicrafts and hand-made products using materials which are locally grown. I remember the early years of childhood when I was growing up in the province. Back then, my mom used to stay a lot with Dad here in Manila so my older brother and I were left to the care of our maternal grandma until both of us graduated from grade school and we transferred to UST to spend our high school years there. Growing up having a simple life made me appreciate simple things and embraced what I learned early on.
A friend posted a prayer in our group accompanied by this beautiful painting of a mother and child. Coincidence? Maybe. I planned earlier to blog about mat weaving which I learned from Baing Cion (Bai or Baing is the local equivalent of a grandmother in our Pangasinan dialect).
This is called Mag-ina sa Banig, a 1960 painting done by Nestor Leynes. I thought this is a perfect capture of the simplicity of provincial life forty or so years ago. No aircon to speak of, no TV disruption to idle your time away. That bamboo flooring was enough to enjoy an uninterrupted sleep. It was always cool to the touch and so easy to clean. Buffing it with semi-dried banana leaves was enough.
My grandma taught me how to weave sleeping mats ( like the one you see in the picture) made of buri palm which we had plenty of back then. We would gather buri palms, dry them in the sun then remove the middle portion when they are dried, roll them one by one into as big as a plate then when it is time to weave a mat, we would cut them into long strips by using wood-mounted razor blades for uniform width. More than learning the art of weaving, I enjoyed those endless stories which would usually start during the 2nd World War and how they survived as a family and always ends with how she raised her kids with the emphasis on Mom being the brightest of the four girls.
Oh, I almost forgot, today I celebrate my 4th year at WordPress as a blogger. The first two years were mostly about my journey as a cancer patient/survivor and the next two were random entries about life, faith, gardening, photography and such. Life is good and I am well. Thank God for all the wonderful blessings.