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Friday, 2 November 2012

A Visit to the House I Grew Up In


     Early this afternoon, I visited the house I grew up in, along with my eleven-year old daughter and my husband, Lex. This is the first house my parents built, a testament to their perseverance and hardwork.

     The two-storey house is still painted white, the wooden window panes are still intact, the steel mesh fence is now covered by concrete hollow blocks.  Lush plants were planted around the fence; they somehow improved the facade of the house. I remember the dama de noche flowers planted by my mother around the fence: I also remember their lingering fragrance at night.

Photo credit: Amy Muga
      Our kasambahays (house helpers) do not tire of telling us children stories of hauntings and the lady in white seen near the dama de noche plant. Much as I am not sure if they indeed saw such "visitors", their stories made us, their wards, eat our rice meal faster and clamor for more stories from them. 

     I  remember playing with gusto, along with my sister ,inside the small garden. I made mud pies and other imagined delicacies. I imagined having my own bakery where I made chocolate pies. I planted seeds  in the soft soil and watch them grow. We played habulan (tag) and taguan (hide and seek) with our care providers. It was such a blissful time of laughter and play for us children and  hopefully a respite for our care providers. 
                                            ***

    November 2 is All Soul's Day in the Philippines. Many people trooped to public and private cemeteries to visit the tombs of their loved ones since October 31. I lit a virtual candle in remembrance of my father and two brothers who passed away years ago. I pray that wherever they may be, they are at peace. I missed them so much.

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