Of all the places I have been to.. mind you, I haven’t been to many, just around the Philippines and once to Australia.. there is this one place I always return to. It is the home of my childhood, the place where I took my first steps as a baby, the place where I learned how to swim, where I went to grade school, where I learned that everyone was made equal, as long as you knew how to play the game. It is a place called Cawayanon, where one time or another, friendships are made to last forever.
Today my family (Mama, Edgar and I) celebrated Easter Lunch by the pool with the current residents of Cawayanon. I brought along my camera because this was yet another opportunity for me to remember… and tell the stories to my husband.
This jungle gym wasn’t as popular as the one at the school. In fact, I remember this was built much later when we had somewhat outgrown (literally) playing in a jungle gym. It’s also kinda boxy in shape, don’t you think?
Once when I was a tyke, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE between the age of 3 and 13) was invited to attend a birthday party. We all climbed onto this age-old contraption and it was spun around like there was no tomorrow. It was spun so fast that I lost my grip and flew into the air, did a back flip and landed on my stomach. The incident hasn’t stopped me from riding again, I’m afraid, though now I stay in the middle.
As part of the tolerant affection that the big kids ‘showered’ on us little kids, they would threaten to “sic the bats” on us just for fun. One late afternoon, they did just that. My brother, 3 years my senior, pitched a rock straight into the heart of the tree (right), disturbing the bats that lived in it. Not knowing that noise only made things worse, and fearing a bite would turn us into vampires, we ran home, screaming at the top of our lungs!
I don’t know what this game is called (couldn’t find the answer in Google) but I remember being very good at it. Well, I was one of the tallest children of my age group ever since Kindergarten… I also remember the bamboo rack being much wider back then… hmm
One of the few remaining icons of the Old Cawayanon as we remember it. Nang Saling (forgot to take her picture, sorry) will be retiring in August of this year and so it will just be Nong Pilo whom we will see and know. Gone are the days when Del Monte would hire people for life.
Which bore the biggest and sweetest mangosteens I have ever tasted… Probably because we were picking them and eating them against the laws made by Mrs. Perrine. Then again, we were taught respect and responsibility with those same rules which we tried so hard to bend.
Cawayanon Compound… a place so difficult to describe… a place to hold ever so dear… a place to be remembered, for always…