Childhood Reminiscence

Today we celebrated my youngest cousin's 15th birthday. We used to have pool party for the last two years but this time we opt to celebrate at home because of money matters. No frills whatsoever. Just food and swimming on a large inflatable pool my aunt brought home from Kuwait more than eight years ago.

Nevertheless, it was one of the most fun-filled family celebrations for me (every family celebration is actually fun-filled for me). Aside from the all-time family's favorite foods (ibos, creamy macaroni soup, chicken with ubad), what makes this celebration fun for me is the way it brings back my childhood memories. First of all is the inflatable pool. I can remember swimming in the same pool with my deceased grandmother and brother. Then the quiet afternoons under one of the mango trees beside the rice field. I can sit there the whole afternoon without feeling bored. The place also reminds me of the time when our folks used to cook chicken adobo in the makeshift stove and eat kamayan style (not using spoon and fork) or the time when we are helping (or so we think) harvest corn, sesame seeds or other crops during summer. We also flew kite on a nearby rice field that is not ours since ours was turned into a mini banana farm.

But what makes me really happy today is the time I spent with my beloved family considering that my maternal uncle whom I respect so much is home to have his eyes operated/lasered (he seem to only want medical treatment here in Iloilo). I am happy that my mother's siblings are almost complete! I can feel so much love and support. If only my other Tito is also here, it'll be one of the happiest days of my life. I haven't seen them complete for as long as I can remember since my eldest Tito lives in Zamboanga and the other is in Canada. It's just difficult to have them together.

I know I need to make the most out of spending time in the place where we all spent our childhood because in a matter of time, the farm will be turned into some sort of subdivision or village for the family. I will no longer see the golden coconuts nor the indian mango trees. The bananas and the nipa hut will soon be replaced with private road and houses. And the house, older than me, that reminds me especially my mother of the unfortunate events of our lives will soon vanish forever.

My time is running out! I need to take pictures of the farm so that someday, I can brag to our next generation what it feels like to fly kites, to watch people harvest rice or other seasonal crops, to let our banana-trunk-made boats float in the canal during rainy days, to eat mango right after we picked them and so many other childhood activities me and my cousins used to do. Indeed, development is good but it makes me feel a bit sad because of the consequences.

I may have written much but my childhood memory is more than this seven-paragraph post. Right now, I will just enjoy being there while I can and thank God for giving me a not perfect but loving family and the opportunity to spend my childhood in the land my grandparents love.

I will be off to dreamland after publishing this. Thanks to the wine I drank late this afternoon for making me sleepy as early as 9:00 pm.

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