Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Memory of Somewhere

Three years ago, my family and I went to my mother's province in Tarlac. We spent our Christmas there. But the pictures suddenly disappeared. But recently, during our house cleaning which I told you last time, I just discovered it along with other old CD's. I was delighted about this and I can now see again the places we went to. And I'd also like to share to you some of the pictures and the memories from our vacation then.

One early morning, when the sky was still dark blue, we packed our things and started our trip.

We passed by the mountain that I always see every time we go there. And that is Mount Arayat. I've never been there before, and I only see it in the far, far in the horizon.

By noon, we had reached our destination. And interestingly, almost nothing had changed since I set foot on our ancestral house several years ago.

The three decade-old fan that was bought for Grandpa to relieve the scourging heat of the afternoon sun is still there, and it still used by my Aunt Rosalinda, the current resident of the original house.

The window and the old wooden cabinet at the upper room still haunt me. The window is of a style that is very common of ancient houses; you can see that it has shell panels, which allow light to pass through even when the windows are shut. This was popular since glass was not yet widely used. When I was younger, my aunts usually told my siblings and me that beyond the window is a lot where a dwarf lives, and other creatures that will bite us when we dared to come there. The lot is a bit small and abandoned and nothing is there except some plants and old rustic roofs that were stacked from a long time ago. The cabinet has no particular story, but when I used to stare at the large mirror, I can’t help but think that something, or someone, might pop out from behind me.

The religious statues are still there, covered with dust, almost long forgotten. Most of them had been removed and distributed amongst my uncles and aunts, here are the few remaining ones. Often did I draw them when I was younger.

And the picture of grandparents, Mercedes and Eulogio Tanglao, unchanged. It is still hanging on the walls, together with other old pictures with people I couldn't recognize. Perhaps some of them are still alive, and are the elders within the family's compound but were still young in the pictures. I have never met them personally, but my older siblings and my mother said that they are very, very kind in person.

After Christmas day, we requested Uncle Antonio to accompany us to the fields. We managed to convince him, but we must at the crack of dawn since he always goes there when the whole town is still sleeping.

It was early and a bit hazy when we set march towards the hilltop in the middle of the rice fields. It was a lovely scene! Walking in the green landscape and air is cool, and also the sky is quite vast that you can clearly see the gradient in it from the glowing east to the dark blue west. We passed by a rugged trail with flowers that bordered the way.

After a long walk we reached our destination at the top of the hill, where a nipa hut sat, and it looks like a straw hat for the hill. We had our lunch there, with my cousin cooking some wild greens and young ferns that I was not so familiar with. But it was delicious.

I saw this bird’s claw on the doorway of the hut. Uncle said that it is placed there to ward off evil spirits. Well, I guess that is not so effective because, on our last night at that time, a robber broke into the hut and stole the casserole dish. After our rustic lunch, we went to the outskirts of the hilly field (that I realized was a set of them, but the one hill where the was hut is the highest I guess.

We saw a muddy pond there where the water buffaloes usually take a bath during the hot afternoons.

And there you go, the water buffaloes! Since I seldom go to our province, seeing a huge carabao is still an unusual sight for me. Randomly, a funny old tale about them just passed into my mind. A long time ago, they said, carabaos were white, and he had a friend, the Brahman bull who was black at that time. One day they decided to take a bath in a pond, perhaps just like the one above. They took off their clothes and laid them aside. When they were called by their masters, they quickly went out from the pond and put on their clothes. In their hurry, they exchanged clothes unconsciously. And so that's why the Brahman calf has loose, white skin (or clothes :)) and the water buffalo had tight, black skin.

Back to the trip, my sister also took some pictures of plants, flowers, and a mushroom within the hill.

We also met a cat that belonged to one of my uncles, but I can’t remember her name right now, or is it that Uncle never mentioned its name to us or any of my cousins?

And here is she in close up, I can't help petting her. We gave her some food since she didn't eat in the past night.


Anonymous said...

Your world is a whole world away from me! I feel that most of the people around me have lost touch with nature - but not so with your family!

I am glad to see that laziness in cats is a universal trait ;)

ruthie said...

Wonderful images & memories, so glad you found them! Thank you for a fascinating peep into your world.