Friday, February 24, 2012

an ode to my rustic life once

i don't know if i can put into words what's been hovering in my mind recently, well not just recently but i think this happens time and again when i often get lost in my own haphazard thoughts. i have been away from home, my real home where i have spent my first 11 years of existence, for quite a long time already. if you care to do a simple math, i'm a couple of years past the mid-20s mark and that means i have been away for more than half of my life. of course, i have been going home for intermittent periods within this span of time but nothing beats the idea of staying at home for most of the year so to speak.

remembering my young mind in the '90s era, i had high hopes and dreams then, making up stories on how my young adult life would be like and to my bewilderment up to now, i had even made up stories of my so-called love life! hmmm... or was it during high school? because during that time, i had engulfed myself reading almost 1 novel each day and most of these novels were my mother's mills & boon paperback novels that she acquired during her single years. oh well, i don't know. i sort of mixed up my old memories that had been put away in the dark recesses of my mind.

Home on New Year's day in 2011
to set my story straight, i tread now back to my 11 years of carefree and youthful rustic life! when i was a child, i had been awfully shy. during family reunions in my mother side, i instantly retreated to my own safe shell every time my aunts and uncles came to visit us. i remember this one instance when i spent an hour or so? hiding in the midst of the bushes that fenced my grandfather's ancestral house. it was one of those annual reunions. my parents weren't there at that time yet and i wasn't able to muster the courage to make a sole entrance, thinking every attention would be directed at me if i did so. apparently, the bermuda grasses where i was sitting on, pinched my legs and the itchiness somehow egged me to get on with it. i can't remember if mosquitoes were also part of the noble cause. so, i eventually emerged from my silly hiding place and greeted everyone, while doing the traditional blessings from the elders (putting the back of elder's hand on the young's forehead as a sign of reverence). to my relief, it happened swiftly, without the earth swallowing me in the process.

what probably attributed to my extreme shyness was my limited interaction to various people. back then, there were just less than 10 houses in our area. oh, what i mean near is some 50 meters away from our house. although, the exaggerated distant of houses in a country setting that movies commonly depict may add a bit of thrill to your imagination. to get the whole rural picture, you may even add a man shouting on top of his lungs to get the message across to someone who is on the other side of the mountain. ok, stop. i still have to try that one.

the irony of life hit me even i was still young. apparently, i wanted to feel what it's like living in the city, knowing that there are a lot of things that i could do there, the fancy food, the air-conditioned malls (because we only have the fresh air at home), and just to experience the midst of a buzzing place!  i was always thrilled when my parents planned to head to the city (cebu city), hoping that they would tag me along. i only realized now how hard it is to have a child in tow as you go with your business in the chaos of the city. most of the time, i got a disappointing "no" and even if i had to beg and promise to be good, none of it would ever do and the very rare instances that i got a terrific "yes!" were definitely some of the exciting moments in my young life!

my mother has always been hands-on to me and to my siblings by never failing to reprimand us when we went haywire. she intends to nag, like most mothers do when things don't go the way it should be, namely the clutter, the laziness, and other things that a child normally does wrong, in an adult's perspective that is. but i did not ever defy her when i was luckily tagged along to the city. in this foregone era, we didn't have much choices on how we commuted to the city. most of the time, we set off our journey in the wee hours of the morning, like 2 in the morning! how can a child drag herself out from bed at this ungodly hour? but my mother is so clever. she made us change our clothes before we hit the bed so that when she wakes us up, we only have to sleepwalk towards the bus. oh, it wasn't always the conventional bus but i also got to endure having to sit on a makeshift wooden bench, placed along the aisle of a jeepney for 4 hours! by the way, i slept almost the entire time. i could not imagine now how i did that.

i am grateful that i was able to get through those early dawn chills because i don't have motion sickness during long haul travels. although, i learned it the hard way. the additional perks during those bus rides were the songs of air supply, bon jovi, and other similar bands, loud and heart-pumping inside the bus. i even remember myself singing along francis magalona's epic song, "mga kababayan ko" while looking outside the window for a dramatic feel. i think it was an early morn. these songs are conveniently stuck in my subconscious and i'm not surprised if i'm familiar with the lyrics and unfortunately not on the tone because i'm merrily tone deaf.

there's so much that i would like to recall and i want this reminiscence to flow into words so that i can read it someday. i am most probably missing the laid back life in contrast to my fast-paced life in this first-world state. yes, i'm living in a busy city but now on the contrary, i have this longing to retreat back. oh well, the irony of life it is. i am actually cutting this post short because i'm afraid this will turn into a humdrum autobiography.

anyway, i reckon that this will be a series of retrospect.


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