Reminiscenses


A friend’s post made me feel nostalgic. Suddenly, a rush of memories came to the fore.

I’ve always liked dolls with which I pretended to be a mom, a doctor, etc. No, I never then thought of my babies having a dad. Oh, for the innocence of a child. I usually played with a younger sister of one of the HHs. And my sister who was three years older. We had this bahay kubo with a balcony, a kitchen with a banga (jar with a faucet), a big room with cabinets and a baul of our dolls’ clothes, and a small room that was supposed to be a toilet but had no fixtures. I think our in-house carpenter made that bahay kubo. We called it “balay-balay” and play in it “ma balay-balay ta.”

Some time later, another nipa and bamboo structure was made. This was of a tindahan (we called it tianggue). It had a selling area in front and a room at the back with a bamboo bed. My sister and I always “fought” to be the tianggue owner. IN it we’d sell flowers that were supposed to be vegetables, flowers picked from the garden. Leaves too.

Gumamela leaves were made into cooking oil. If I recall correctly, they’d be soaked in water and the liquid squeezed out to resemble oil. We used clay pots bought in Guinhalaran to cook on. we’d drink cold water from the banga as well. Sometimes, we’d cook real rice in one of the clay pots.

When we’d tire of playing balay-balay, we’d go to the lemoncito tree, a short one, pluck out some fruits, open these, squeeze it onto the index finger or thumb, press both against each other and make a weave on our tiny finger.

While my sister would eat blackberry from our tree, I never did.

Sometimes, instead of going to the balay-balay to play, we’d just stay in the house and pretend to be a mom or doctor.

I tried to play badminton with my sisters and HHs but failed miserably. We also played baseball – one base only and more often than not, I’d be out. I could hit the ball but not far away to go to base.

Played hide and seek and sometimes be shouted at by Papa because we’d be so noisy while he was taking his siesta. the “save” post was under their room. Oops. Dumb choice but I don’t know why we always chose that post.

We’d pay pityaw – that’s siato in tagalog. We’d dig a hole on which to put a small guava stick and hit it with a longer stick.

Also played tubiganay – in Tagalog that would be patintero.

Or we’d bike in the driveway to the basketball court and back. Several times. I liked the wind on my face, which was why I enjoyed playing in the swing too. Sometimes, we’d turn the swing around several times and get a thrill when it unwound itself.

I mentioned some posts back about how I enjoyed playing teacher-teacher using books bought whenever we’d go to Manila, usually buying books from Philippine Education. There was one book I particularly liked to teach – Weather. I still remember how its cover looked. I’d also buy workbooks for the Hhs to answer and spelling tablets. Oh what fun-filled times I had. If the HHs refused to come to be taught, I’d gather my dolls. They came every time I asked.

I also taught my playmate how to play the piano. Later when we were older, she’d tease me and cover a few measures of the piece I was trying to play, hoping to catch me not knowing what notes she was covering.

At times my sister would teach us ballet, I think she choreographed one dance for us using music from Dorothy or Carmen.

Sometimes, we’d sit by our fish pond and fish for tilapia using improvised bamboo poles. Or using a net Simeon the carpenter made, we’d catch tadpoles in the fishpond. And oh, they were so many. We also liked walking barefoot in the fishpond. The water was blissfully cold.

We had a swimming pool made of cement that was perched above ground. The floor and sides weren’t smooth so sometimes we’d cut ourselves. Possibly, this was Simeon’s handiwork as well. While there, we’d sometimes eat pinasugbo that were in paper cones so these would get soaked. Or sometimes, guava would be thrown at us and we’d try to catch them. Me, I never succeeded. So I’d just pick a wet guava from the floor of the pool. It was a small pool, maybe if one kicked hard enough, one would reach the other end very quickly. But we had a lot of fun in it.

On lazy afternoons, we’d go to the maids’ house where my sister would open their cabinets and take a peek. I’d be too lazy to do that, preferring to sit on the concrete bench around the tamarind tree, listening to the drama on the radio with my yaya. Or listening to her read the comics to me. When I was older, I’d read some stories in her Bulaklak, Liwayway or HIligaynon magazines.

i miss those days immensely, playing with paper dolls, attaching clothes on some paper dolls by sewing/inserting yarn in holes on their bodies.

Oh so many fun memories.

Thanks, Arlene, for sharing yours. You made me pause from now to go back in time to such happy days.

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