love is all that matters

August 13, 2012 at 6:15 am 8 comments


nipa sunset by fernando amorsolo

what is it about my childhood home in the philippines that it keeps coming back in my dreams? it doesn’t matter that the dream could be about a present situation. it has a way of insinuating itself.

take my recent dream. it was morning. i was getting late for work, but i couldn’t leave because i misplaced my cell phone. frantically, i found myself looking for it in boxes of used clothes that my mother kept in the little room of our old house.

the house belonged to my maternal grandparents. they gave it to my mother when she married my father. it had a porch on the right side that led to the dining room. to the left of the dining room was the living room and to the right was the kitchen where my mother cooked our meals in clay stoves. the kitchen led to an open washroom where dishes and clothes were washed.

at night, the living room served as our sleeping quarters. my mother would clear it of our meager furnitures and spread a mat on the floor where the family slept together under the mosquito net. in those days, we slept together as a family. there wasn’t enough space for separate beds. such would be the case until we moved to a bigger house.

the roof was made of galvanized iron sheets and nipa leaves. during the rainy season, it leaked. my father used to hang tin cans on the ceiling to prevent us from getting wet.

at the time of their wedding, my father was unemployed. he quit school when he was in his junior year in college in manila. it must be tough for him to live under those dire conditions because he came from a well-to-do family. from their parents, he and his siblings inherited many hectares of farm lands that they wouldn’t sell out of respect for their mother’s dying wish. my father was cash-strapped and property-rich. it must be tough for my mother, too, for she never learned to do household chores until she married my father at age 20.

to support his family, my father raised chickens. he went into a deal with a company that gave him baby chicks and feeds to raise them. once they grew up into adults, the company bought them back to him.

things got a little better when my father found a government job. by the time i was eleven, he was able to save enough money to tear down the old house and build a bigger one for his family.

was it a happy childhood that keeps the ghost of my childhood home recurring in my dreams? if you look at my photos taken during those days, you wouldn’t think so. you could either see me crying or my eyes swollen for crying. but looking back, i’d say it was a happy one. what i lacked in material things was compensated by a lot of love. if for anything, the photos just showed my displeasure of having my picture taken.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, filipino, personal. Tags: , , , .

bring me close sorry, but my car isn`t for sale

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. AC  |  August 15, 2012 at 2:48 am

    i like this post and i believe it was a happy childhood. because you were together (family). 🙂
    .. i miss our nipa hut back in the province.

    Reply
    • 2. plaridel  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      ac:

      looking back, no regrets here. life was so simple then. it wasn’t difficult to define what happiness meant.

      Reply
  • 3. Ashley  |  August 15, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Your dream is calling you home…

    Reply
    • 4. plaridel  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      ashley:

      you may be right.

      Reply
  • 5. Jofelyn Martinez Khapra  |  August 19, 2012 at 6:14 am

    My sister and I have dreams like these too! My parents moved to a new house and we visit there once in a while but that the new house doesn’t appear in our dreams at all only the old house where we grew up even if the dreams were about the present.

    Reply
    • 6. plaridel  |  August 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      jofelyn:

      i think we’d always be bound to our childhood home because our memories, good or bad, found their roots there.

      Reply
  • 7. dianewrites  |  August 21, 2012 at 4:20 am

    “what i lacked in material things was compensated by a lot of love.” priceless! i suddenly remembered my own parents too.

    Reply
    • 8. plaridel  |  August 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      diane:

      it’s a blessing to have good parents.

      Reply

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