Floods of memories are sometimes unlocked by a mere sight of a place that reminds you of childhood. They come at the most unexpected time when you are vulnerable enough and you recall the days of old, the happy days when everything was right in your world.
Last Saturday, we attended the wedding of my niece held at the lovely Sweet Harmony Gardens in Taytay, Rizal, a two-hectare garden with several function rooms for all occasions. On our way to the car park, my nephew commented, “Oh, I could smell mabolo” while I was busy taking a few shots of the garden and admiring the flowers growing there. I sighed. If only I discovered it earlier, I could have explored the place while waiting for the wedding to begin. True enough, when I looked up, there were so many mabolo fruits hanging from the kamagong tree right above our heads.
Some of you may not be familiar with mabolo. They also call it butter fruit or velvet apple. Seeing those red fruits brought me back to the early years. I grew up with three brothers and a few cousins (from my mother’s side). We grew up together in my lola’s ancestral home until I graduated from grade school when we transferred to Manila for good. That old house was surrounded by fruit trees – kaimito (star apple), sampalok (tamarind), suha (grape fruit), kasuy (cashew), guava and mango trees. And yes, we had that lone kamagong tree where we picked ripe mabolo fruits. I remember waking up to the lemony scent of the suha flowers right outside our window. I remember those mornings when we used to climb guava trees and eat them right there and then.
Growing up with three brothers had its advantages though. I was one of the boys, always tagging along, playing holen (marbles) and any such rough games that a child of the 60’s did. Back then, television or any electronic gadget was unheard of. What we had was a small transistor radio that ran on batteries. There was no electricity and life was simple. I remember those times when we used to find beetles by using a long stick on mango trees and they fall to the ground. You were lucky if you found the green one with a very shiny body, more beautiful than the rest. It was such a joy to play with them by tying them with a string and letting them fly.
Simple joys of childhood that all the modern gadgets and electronic toys nowadays can’t replicate. Here are the shots I took that afternoon that made me linger on childhood memories.