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Posts Tagged ‘life in the province’


Oh  my, July is almost gone.

It’s been raining since yesterday. We have these habagat rains again because of typhoon Gorio. Gorio is enhancing the monsoon rains all over Metro Manila and nearby provinces. One thing that I don’t like about rainy days is I have to clean our small pond afterwards. We used to have Koi fish  but one rainy morning, they were all gone flashed by heavy rains that saturated the garden.

The lazy day makes me  remember those days when my eldest brother and I were in grade school. Every rainy season, we would stay with my aunt  ( my mom’s older sister) the whole five days that there were classes. My mom was afraid  that we couldn’t go to school on time when it rained hard. We lived in an upper place from the town proper and we used to cross the river  through a wooden bridge wide enough for our feet to step on. When the water is high, the bridge sometimes disappears and we would use a raft made of bamboo poles. I was always afraid to stand and balance myself while crossing.  My aunt’s place was a bit near the school  and we just walked  to and from it.  We have a concrete bridge nowadays  where vehicles could pass through.

During summer months,  we go home every lunch break and we would have a run at the bridge most of the time. We would go home together with my  cousins, neighbors’ kids and some other relatives  and go back in the afternoon  for our classes. We learned to balance ourselves on the wooden bridge  when crossing.  Those were the days, part of our grade school life years ago.

When we started high school, Mom and dad decided to transfer us to Manila and we enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas where I finished college too. I had a hard time then adjusting to high school life in the city although we spent summer vacations with dad when we were young.  Bus and jeepney rides became a necessity. I could not imagine myself now riding on buses or jeepneys.  It was so different back then, pollution was not that heavy and commuters had easy access to public vehicles. Nowadays, LTFRB is so hot on the Grab and Uber rides unmindful of those colorum buses, jeepneys  and taxis on the streets of Metro Manila.  LTFRB is requiring those private vehicles affiliated to Uber and Grab to get similar franchise but they sat on those applications for a year. I must admit, riding a Uber or Grab is the most convenient way to travel aside of course from bringing your car to work.  Most traditional taxi drivers here are arrogant and  choose riders and places. It’s not practical to ride on jeepneys on longer routes because of pollution.

The rain has stopped finally and I am here…reminiscing.

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Back when I was in high school, I used to watch mom and dad assist my lola (grandmother) cook during fiesta in our place in Quezon City.  They would  prepare dishes and various menus all night long for  tomorrows’ lunch. My lola  usually had our town mates in our province as guests and sometimes some or one or two of my father’s office mates would visit us too  My lola was not my grandmother by birth but she acted as sponsor during my parents’ wedding. We used to live in their place  in a small dwelling at the compound.  Back then I was in awe of her. the way she prepared all those dishes without looking into any cookbook but through experience, doing the preparation and cooking all those years. I also wanted to be a cook too, the word chef was unheard of then.  I would watch them prepare elaborate Spanish and Filipino food.  My father was a good cook too. He taught me how to prepare easy dishes for dinner when he would bring home something from the wet market after office work. It was a case of “do your own thing”while he watched and instructed what to do. I learned somehow through all those afternoons spent in front of the stove.

During summer break when my oldest brother and I were in grade school in the province, Mom would prepare us to join Dad in Quezon City to spend our summer there. We would bring  cut wood to use for cooking. I do remember, our stove was a three-piece ensemble fueled by firewood.  It was only when we were in high school when we used gas stove.  We used to ride on a Pantranco bus to bring us to Manila. My  brother and I would usually count log posts along the way. There were no skyways and expressways  back then.  I also remember that we had black and white TV, a small one where we used to watch news.  My father and one of our neighbors would spend the rest of the night playing guitar and ukulele. Those were the times that  I still remember vividly until now, the guitar-playing days of my dad. None of us his four kids got into any musical instrument except my oldest brother who learned to play a guitar when he was in high school.  Although I used to buy music magazines out of my high school allowance with guitar chords to boot, I never learned how.

Remembering the days of old which bring that certain smile.

 

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