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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Of Summer Days, Nostalgia, and Nipa Hut

A resemblance of our ancestral house - which even until now still standing
it is that same house where we rest and relax during vacation.
Earlier, I wired my sister in Pinas to ask for an update about the documents I am requesting from her. Luckily, the progress is nice - at least it's not immobile.

Part of our casual convy touched a topic I so long desired to experience again. She enthusiastically told me that  John Howard (my eldest nephew who recently just graduated) will be going for a solo trip back to our province in Sibuyan Island in Romblon on April 6 - this coming Saturday.

My ate told me that JohnHo as I call him, wanted a summer getaway to accomplish his own wish of visiting his Lolo and Lola - (my parents who are still staying there) when he graduates and before he goes back to Manila to enroll again to continue his ladderized degree in Engineering. 

While we're busy exchanging funny conversations reminiscing our childhood days I begun to travel back in time and grinningly recall my early childhood until my teenage life back there. 

Just a perfect reminiscence for the occasion since it's summer time. And speaking of it makes my imagination runs wild and free.

The vivid mementos that I can recall in my hometown in San Fernando, Romblon- in the enchanted island of Sibuyan - once summer hits the town includes the unending merriment of  attending town to town fiestas, road tripping while under the scorching heat of the sun, recurring excursion at the famous Cantingas River - (FYI - declared twice as the "cleanest inland body of water in the Philippines" - for year 2004 and 2006), the frequent trips to the nearby forest to pick wild plums (duhat).  
Cantingas River Resort
A good shot of Cantingas River
Of course, being a 'beach bum' - an almost half a kilometer away beach 'SEA BREEZE' and a less than an hour pump boat ride 'CRESTA DE GALLO' are two of the famous beach attractions we can invite tourists to splash and dive. It's our own, it's our pride. 
A picturesque Cresta De Gallo 
Another shot of Cresta De Gallo
This islet above was featured as one of the pioneer segment of GMA's Pinoy Adventure hosted by Richard Gutierrez.

During childhood days, we always frequent the sea. Either for a seashells gathering session before sun sets, or simply to take a splash in its pristine and blue water. We also had this routine session whenever we finish gathering woods in the forest, we usually run straight to the sea to swim carrying with us freshly picked green, and almost ripe mangoes with the mouth-watering 'bagoong'. After a few swim, we get off from the water and feast with the mangoes as if we're eating something equalled to that of a restau's menu. So indulging mood.
During siesta time, I can still feel how relaxing it is to enjoy the hammock while reading. Ours was made of yantok. I can even recall our two rocking chairs - old and dilapidated but still the comfort of swinging to and fro can't be compared in today's comfort brought about by the different rides in a theme park.
This is exactly how our hammock looks like
I suddenly feel nostalgic - the thought that I can't even frequent the forest and the seas whenever I want to. I can't even tell my cousins to escape from our houses going to Cantingas River to splash and dive because each of us are so distant and had separate lives already.

Gone were the days? Nahh! Nope! Err not.. As long as we maintain the simplicity of our life in the province those memories can still be recreated in our modern times. We can always go back! Not as quickly as we can be. But at least the thought that we can still book a ticket and fly home we will never be deprived to enjoy the old us.

And going back would never be the same as before. Nowadays, while lying in a swinging hammock you can now read novels or inspiring stories using your Nexus 7 or Samsung Galaxy Note II. While enjoying the beach you can now wear the latest speedo undergarment. While collecting wild plums in the uphill forest you can now enjoy the music in your Iphone 5. While splashing in the pristine and crystal-clear water of Cantingas River you can now take the newly built "Zipline" and enjoy the hanging ride.

Everyone has grown up tall and fast. Amenably, the collective memories of our younger days seem a century old already. But nothing can beat the experience of growing up as a "promdi" in a place where earth, water, and sky joyfully meet.

Lots might have changed but we can still remain as the modest people we ever have been. 

Such is the vision of life I dream of, a better one but still celebrate and pay homage the old fun times. For me, I think it is and I know it is.


  1. Nice. I feel like I'm in heaven while reading this. I particularly like the part when you said, "collective memories of our younger days seem a century old already. But nothing can beat the experience of growing as a "promdi" in a place where earth, water, and sky joyfully meets." You got me there, especially because I've always considered myself a "promdi", a true blue-blooded promdi. Yun tipong bilang sa sampung daliri kung ilang beses nakatungtong sa siyudad, hahahaha!

    I flaunt the fact that I'm a promdi because I still uphold the values of the old, the principles of my people who tilled the land. And of course, the fragrant smell of earth and leaves of the province. Minsan amoy ebs ng baka, hahaha!

    I never thought that you lived in paradise. Well, that's how i see it. Such a beautiful place! I guess you miss it terribly.

    I think I know how it feels to miss the ancestral home. Your earliest memories of worry-free days are of the ancestral home. How can one possibly erase that in mind?

    And the hammock! My goodness, I would love to be there. You really defined exactly the "hammock experience". Ah, relaxing is more fun in the Philippines!

    And may God preserve this little piece of heaven on earth until He comes.

  2. no amount na kayang bilhin ang childhood days natin mas lalo naman if meron talagang we called a home in the province. swerte to those na meron kasi ako i grew up in the city and i appreciate it sobra yong mga lugar na malayo sa city. kaya para akong nganga at bata to run in the middle of a rice field, jump in to the water like mauubos na talaga siya, kung pwedi lang 24 hours akong nakababad sa dagat why not kaso i also have problems with water kasi walang ligtas kapag naliligo ako, ayon nalulunod pa ako sa lagay kong to hahaha ewan ko ba all i know malapit ako sa disgrasya kapag sa tubig promise kaya ginusto ko nalang ang nature trip na madaming kahoy at bundok doon i feel safe. hihihi

    kaya we will encourage the little generation to enjoy their childhood kasi hinding hindi na talaga babalik ang pagiging bata. ang sarap na tuloy magbakasyon haha

  3. Listing this down on my travel list. :)

  4. ang ganda pala sa province nyo daddy Jay.. yung kubo katulad din ng kubo namen sa batangas minus the hagdan.. at yung Cresta de Gallo at Catingas River ang ganda.. gusto ko mapuntahan yan!

    iba rin talaga ang childhood sa province nakakatuwa balikbalikan at hindi ko ipagpapalit yun :)

  5. Mr. Trispter - Thanks for a very nice comment. Yes, I miss it so bad. Iba ang feel kapag nasa probinsiya ka lang. It's like everything is so calm, still, and smoothly flowing. And growing in an ancestral home so called 'nipa hut' was an experience untradeable. I still miss the hammock and the two rocking chairs though. I'm not sure if they're still there even to these days. Indeed, nothing can beat the feeling of growing up as a promdi.

  6. Lalah - Wala talagang makakatalo sa experience na lumaki ka sa isang remote island and remote place. The place itself humbles you and make you realize that indeed "heaven is just around the corner".

    Kaya when baby Caleb grows up, I will make it sure that he'll have a taste of what it is in the province. And the joy of cheerfully playing with those improvised toys we usually make when we can't afford to buy the plastic ones. Priceless!

  7. Michy - Nice one Mitch- prepare for a hike in Mt. Guiting Guiting too, it's one of the hardest climbs sabi ng mga mountain climbers.

    Plus, you have to really visit Cresta De Gallo= the scenery is awesome. And of course in our Cantingas River where water can still be drunk.

    Looking forward na makarating ka one of these days sa lugar ko.

  8. Arline - I won't ever trade to anything the fun and the care=free life I have had in probinsiya. Iba ang feel. Ang fresh ng surrounding - all fresh. Nature tripping is at your palm. And the most humbling experience is to modestly grow up having simple things in life.

    When opportunity is ample once I get back, we can go there. But the best time for that is summer time. Thanks

  9. daya ako wala kong province! cavite city na ko ever since, pati familty ko!
    hmm naun palang ganto kaaga dame ko na namimiss sa childhood ko! at nakakalungkot din minsan mag reminisce pero ayun nga,
    life goes on no matter what all we can do is to take a step forward, the good thing is we can always look back

    ganda ng lugar nu Jay

  10. ang ganda naman nung cresta de gallo parang story lang sa bible na nahawi yung tubig sa gitna, gusto kong mapuntahan yan. :)

    Madalas din kami magreminisce magpipinsan nung mga bata pa kami, yung saya namin tuwing magbabakasyon from school kasi siguradong uuwi kami sa probinsiya. Ang simple lang kasi ng buhay sa probinsiya tapos hindi lahat ay may bayad. Yung mga prutas tsaka gulay pag hindi galing sa sariling hardin, may nagbibigay na kapitbahay. Tapos naglalaro lang buong maghapon. haha hayyyyy sarap lang balikan

  11. Wow such beautiful paradise. I hope I can visit that place. magyaya kanan kua jay. I do have Province in Isabela but its a valley - perfect place for planting rice.hahahha

  12. Mecoy - Full blooded Caviteno ka pala parekoy! Di bale ang Cavite naman ay both a province and a city rolled into one. Masarap talaga mag reminisce hehehe. Thanks for the compliment sa lugar namin. Sana one day makapasyal ka sa amin.

  13. Hartlesschiq - Yup, maganda talaga diyan sis. White sand beach and napaka liit lang na islet yan.

    Indeed, ang buhay province ay laid back lang, tapos ang mga food super fresh - you just can pick from your own backyard. You can play games and be care-free all the time. Sarap talaga balikan ang mga memories ano? Thanks sa pagbisita ha

  14. Jei Son - Well, pwedeng pwede kapag nasa Pinas lang ako...hehehe...cowboy ka lang naman ata di ba? Kasi patutulugin kita sa nipa hut namin..hehehe. Kami rin we used to plant rice before. Iba talaga ang buhay probinsiya di ba? Simple lang at masaya.

  15. We were so lucky Dad we grew up in the province. Yung na experience naten how to live a simple life. To get dirty and enjoying the summer days under the sun. KAhit mangitim na at lahat. MAmulot lang o mamitas na kung anu anu esp niyog o manga. and most esp manuod ng buwan at bituin.. I'm so GRATEFUl for all these experiences. Choosing a life to be away from home was the only option I can take today, but I swear I'll to go back to where i truly belong..and that's my province.. Hope you as well Dad. Wanna visit your province.

  16. reading this makes me think that you had such a fun childhood! living so close to the beach - ang saya saya siguro!

    nice to know nakatayo pa rin ang ancestral house nyo :)

  17. June - Yeah, living and thriving in a province is the best ever. You'll get to experience things which a Manileno wouldn't experience in their lifetime. We're lucky we have those memories. And for sure when we'll all come back to where we truly belong.

    Wanna visit our province? Sure y not? and immerse in our culture as well.

  18. Zai - Thanks. Yes, my childhood is awesomely wild and fun. We're both close to the sea and to the forest. Imagine how is that? hehehe. The best of both worlds.

    Yes, I don't think I'll built a bigger house pa. Enough na to see where I truly came from and I'm proud to say I came from modesty.

  19. cresta de gallo is heaven .....

  20. daddy jay kumusta na po kayo dyan? miss u pow

  21. Nag flashback sa akin ang takbuhan noon bata ako. At namimitas din kami ng mangga at buko, yung buko eh yun tito ko ang kumukuha kasi mataas, tapos langoy. Simple pero masaya. :))

  22. Umuwi ka muna... Definitely aabangan ko next mong uwi

  23. Josh - Yeah, it's like a paradise in the middle of the sea.

    By the way, I'm good. Everything is fine. Hope you're good too. Thanks for checkin' on me.

    June - Hahaha! Of course, with my company noh. Am sure you won't brave goin' there alone unless your that extra adventurous. See you soon.

  24. Anthony - Iba talaga ang experience ng lumaki sa province di ba. Sabi mo nga simple pero masaya. Kasi di ba in life, those little bundle of joy is what really matter. Thanks for the visit sa blog ko. :))

  25. wow! ang ganda naman sa lugar nyo. So happy that you have nice memories. Nakakaingit tuloy. wala akong ganyang kagandang memories as I grow up kahit na nasa probinsya din ako noon. All I did was to work and work. Buti na lang di lumaki mga muscles ko sa kasisibak ng kahoy at di ako naging negra sa kakatanim ng palay sa init ng araw:) But anyway, God has blessed me with other things naman and I am blessed now.

    NIce knowing you more. Impressed akong masyado sa yo kabayan. Ang galing mong mag English. Nakakahiya tuloy ang aking trying hard na English. Hi hi.


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