Archive for the ‘life in the province’ Category

You’d think it is a review of the movie, right? Wrong. I just borrowed the title.

I saw this picture of a little girl walking with her old grandma and I suddenly thought of my grandparents. I grew up not knowing nor even seeing my paternal grandmother. She died when her youngest son was born (the seventh child- six brothers and a sister). What was sad about it my uncle Domie who is now around eighty-two years old was born with speech defect. He is the only one we call uncle and the rest of them we call Tatay. Tatay means father in the vernacular. I don’t know what happened, uncle Domie never attended school but he knows how to count, he knows the faces of our local money. His nieces including me are all called Bea (pronounced as Be)by him.

Most of my Dad’s brothers and only sister told me that I was a look-alike of my paternal grandmother, my height, the way I walk, the way I speak and the way I carry myself among relatives and friends. I wished I have known her.My older brother and I together with three cousins grew up under the care of my maternal grandmother. Mom was always with Dad when he was working here in Metro Manila until my eldest brother and I reached high school and we were all transferred here. My youngest brother spent his grade school years in a nearby public school when we lived in Quezon City. The four of us spent our high school years at the University of Santo Tomas, two of us graduated there in college.

Speaking of my baing (vernacular for grandma), she was quite strict with us but we grew up knowing how to pray the rosary every six o-clock in the evening. There was even a part there spoken in Latin but I already forgot all about it. I wrote in one earlier post here that I learned weaving mats through her. I learned a lot about life during the Second World War through her stories. That probably influenced me why I like reading about anything historical now.

Funny how sometimes, just a mere picture would trigger memories. Sometimes, you long for those days of old. You smile at the thought and you reminisce.

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Got a little nostalgic while weeding so early this morning. I have to harvest the young sweet potato vines for our sinigang. It’s just a small patch, a square meter space adjacent to my growing guava tree.

I remember those days when my oldest brother and I were in grade school in the province and my two younger brothers were here in Manila with Dad and Mom. We grew up in the province with my maternal grandmother until we transferred here in Manila when we were in high school. I loved our previous house, it was built on stilts with weaved buho bamboo for sidings and capiz windows. It has a thatched roof which my dad changes every four or five years I think with the help of some of our neighbors. It is usually done during the summer months and when the water reed is dry enough for arranging into mini batches then attached to long bamboo poles. Back then, bayanihan was the trend in our province. You invite neighbors to help for the day’s job but they don’t accept payment except for free lunch and snacks.

Our dining chairs were made of two long wood benches on each side of the table and two chairs at each end. It sits ten people. What I remember clearly was this very low table in our kitchen which we called dulang. It’s an Indian style seating but I loved it. I used to see furnitures like those in some Korean telenovelas.

An example of a dulang.

Given the style and designs of houses nowadays, it is quite impractical to have a dulang in your kitchen because it eats a lot of space. During those days though, they were used in so many homes in the province. I remember only using the dining table when we had guests.

We also had what we called banggera, an open shelf used for those plates and drinking glasses with a large drinking pot with a faucet. The large pot was was made of clay. It lets the water cool throughout the day.

How a banggera looks like.

I’m dreaming of having a small nipa hut besides our house in the province and with vegetables and ornamentals growing there. My brother who is an architect said it could be done but wood building materials are more expensive. I said only the comfort room and the kitchen will be made in concrete while the rest would be made of bamboo. Actually, there are now so many small/miniature huts which one could place in a garden but they don’t have the amenities of a bedroom, restroom and kitchen.

My mind wanders.

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