We all have them. Our childhood memories – the innocence of youth. The time when we just played or messed around, when we had to go to school or play in the street. When we were free of responsibilities and worries. We remembered our games, our playground, our playmates, the laughter, falling out with some of them but being friends again after 10 minutes and most of all, the fun.
And then they were gone. We were playing hide and seek and I was “it”. I closed my eyes, counted up to a hundred, opened my eyes and said: “here I come, ready or not.” I searched for them high and low, wondering where they could be. I first saw Beth, hiding behind the bush, then Venus and Janet chattering away, so I followed their voices. Soon I was able to pinpoint where they were hiding and the next “it” had to look for us. Before long we had to go back to our houses and ate our dinner. Other days, we’d play patintero (try to cross my line without letting me touch or catch you), tumbang preso (hit the can), piko (hopscotch) or luksong-tinik (lit. jump over the thorns of a plant). Sometimes we’d rent some bikes and circled around our neighbourhood.
One, two, three, you’re “it”
The innocence of childhood
Easter Breaks. The only time of the year when all of us cousins stayed in our Granddad’s house. The number of times we walked back and forth the house and the chapel for singing the passion plays. The afternoons we spent splashing in that creek while Granddad washed the carabao, the still warm fresh milk that morning and the mangoes we’ve picked on the way to the farm. We all slept on the floor, some snoring, some talking, and telling each other’s stories, jokes and secrets.
Dad and Tito (uncle) Pabling. They were more than brothers. They’d spent hours and hours tinkering with Tito Pabling’s recently acquired old jeepney. Just like good mechanics, they’d come home with all those black smuts from the engine. Sometimes, they’d spent their afternoons unblocking the canal in our street. They were the best hosts, too – the New Year’s Day party was always a blast – all our relatives, friends, neighbours and everyone on Halcon Street would’ve confirmed that – we had to close the street for our party!
Dapitan. Our house in Dapitan was small – for our parents, 4 children, Granny, aunts and cousins. It was constantly full of people and activities. Our cousins from the province stayed with us once they started college. There were 2 bedrooms, one for our parents and one for all of us with 2 bunk beds; the rest slept on the floor. My classmates and I loved hanging out there; doing our homework and projects; lunch and merienda (snacks) were at all times provided. When I needed to concentrate at college, I’d wake up in the middle of the night to revise or just to have some peace and quiet.
One of the earliest memories I had was the time when my sister was born. I was three, my big brother was four and we were waiting in the other room, my father was pacing up and down. Until we heard the midwife (my aunt) said: “it’s a girl!” We all rushed in the room, we saw some blood and the baby crying and my mom was on the floor. My aunt told us to “go away, we’re not ready yet.”
My sister was born
My brother and I waited
Then we heard her cry
Another memory was when our youngest brother was born, I was ten by this time and when we saw him, I thought he was the most gorgeous baby in the world. He had this massive black hair and his skin was all red, his eyes sparkling like diamonds, probably from crying. We knew we’ve got to spoil this kid.
Eyes sparkling like diamonds
Our youngest brother
Other “youth” posts:
Daily Prompt: The Youth of days gone by