Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Remembering Summers from Years Past

I miss spending summer as a kid. My cousins and I used to sleep in our granparents house for as long as we want while our parents came to see us every Sunday.  There are about 21 of us grandchildren now and before, there used to be about 9 - 11 of us sleeping in the family home in Mandaluyong all at the same time. 

We played all sorts of stuff everyday from traditional Pinoy games to something as weird as catching a cockroach, putting it in a jar of mayonnaise along with about 5 watusis, sealing the bottle and watching it die inside.  Sometimes, our wawa, a nurse, would ask us to help with household chores -- the boys would do vacuum cleaning and the girls would water the flowers in the garden and pick out dead leaves.  She cooked really well and she'd ask us what we want to eat everyday, and believe it or not, none of us requested for fried chicken, pizza or spaghetti then. We'd always ask for the likes of sinigang, adobo, lengua, kare-kare, cadios, callos, tinola, crispy pata, inihaw na baboy, hamburger (it had to be grilled in the house, not bought from Jollibee or McDo), chorizo and all kinds of sausages. Our wowo. a doctor, was a big gourmet eater -- he loved to eat steak (medium rare), different kinds of salads, and cheese.  He also made awesome crepes then and we loved the ones with mangoes in them. But you know, then again, as kids, anything that wowo made was awesome to us probably not because it's really irresistably delicious but because we felt that it's super extra special because we saw our grandfather's effort in making it for us.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings, our wowo would take us out for breakfast.  We loved going to Luk Yuen, Pancake House, Dulcinea, and of course, McDonalds.  While everyone else ate it for afternoon snacks, my cousins and I learned to eat churros for breakfast. We put soy sauce on our ripe mangoes. We all ate balut even before we realized how other people get so grossed out by it.  In the morning, we'd all wait for the taho vendor. If you didn't wake up early enough, then you get no taho. At 3 p.m. we'd all anticipate the Yakult guy to get our lactobacilli shirota strain fix.

Throughout our childhood, our grandparents saw to it that my cousins and I spent time with each other every so often and that's how we've all grown to love each other like brothers and sisters.  We'd go out of town as a big family together with our parents. From Tagaytay, Matabungkay, Batangas to Subic, Zambales, Baguio -- our five/six-car convoy would hit the road and the journey, long or short, was always one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip.  We rode horses in Baguio and instead of staying in the Burnham area, our wowo would ask the horse guys to take us to the streets and allow the horses to run if we requested for it.  We also went biking and that's where I had my first major accident where the sidecar I was riding overturned because I was going too fast (no one else was riding but me. It had to have a sidecar because I couldn't balance on two wheels). I had big bruises but I was laughing the entire time because I remembered my aunt's face so panic-stricken -- it was really funny. My dad was laughing, too, which made everything funnier because we all couldn't stop laughing.  After falling off the bike, we roller-skated and of course I fell off again. I was the crash-test dummy. We are a family of doctors (well, at least most of us) so first aid was always there.

Guess what I miss most about those summers is the company of my cousins. The times have changed and so have our priorities that we don't see each other as often anymore. Looking back, we really owe it to our parents and grandparents for ensuring that we all had a happy childhood.

And most of all, I miss that as kids, we went to places and bought stuff without having to pay for anything. Haha.

P.S. Thought of recoloring my blog and when I reviewed the archive, I realized I've been blogging for about six years now. Wow. This blog and I have established a really strong bond, eh.