Journeying to the past
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas () - November 28, 2008 - 12:00am

Years ago, our father Leoncio Cunado Piquero, moved on to be with our Lord. It was 1986, exactly two months, two days after our son, Karlo Emmanuel Leoncio, was born.

He left us with fond memories of his love for our family, especially our mother Materna, who joined him and the Lord some years later. Papa also had this gift of humor and speech. He always brought the house down with his stories and jokes. Our brother, Nong Joseph, inherited the same gifts as well but the son continues to be much funnier but just as eloquent as Papa!

It is our second brother, Nong Edmund, who looks like Papa and perhaps has Papa's temperament and habits as well. Papa would always laugh every time he told us he was very guapo. He was indeed tall, dark, and handsome and Nong Edmund, of course, until now, does not mind being told that he looks like Papa.

While remembering Papa takes us to days when he was with us, the past is really a continuing past. He still is very much with  us now and he lives on among his children and his grandchildren. May we also ask you all to join us pray together for eternal rest and peace for Papa, for Mama and for all your loved ones as well who have journeyed ahead and back to the Lord?

Last week, at the university, our class took a journey to the past as well. This time, we did a simple walk around the main campus of UP Cebu. I had labeled such a semestral activity of our classes as earth walk. For the duration of the class hour, we slowly went around various parts of UP, pointing out which tree, which plant could provide what benefits to humans in their midst.

It was a journey to the past as we recalled how early people had to move around, to even learn how to walk, to relate with the earth, in order to survive. A journey to the past provides lessons for survival as well for the present.

The lessons, however, cannot be appreciated unless one gives time and attention to touch base with earth, with nature. So many of our people, the young especially, hardly know our earth.

It comes as no surprise that a significant number of young people cannot identify an Ilang-ilang tree. Many are unfamiliar about the priceless scent of this tree's flowers. The Filipinos took this tree so much for granted, it is no longer a resource that we own. A foreign company had claimed ownership of the Ilang-ilang which is unfortunate given that these trees grow here rather in the foreign country that is now the Ilang-ilang owner. A small pinch of Ilang-ilang, according to specialists, makes the difference between quality and mediocre perfumes.

Many still know the tambis or what the Tagalogs would refer to as Makopa. This is different, however, from the kopa fruit that were abundant in Cebu in the past. Other food-providing plants in UP include the iba, the kaimito, the nangka, mango, papaya, lomboy and more. Even the Talisay nut is edible but how many stop to gather and enjoy munching these? There are even less who know about the mabolo fruits, how sweet the ripe ones are. The sweetness of the santan petals, however, is different and lighter but who cares to know today which plant is sweet or sour or which is edible or not or which is medicinal even or not?

A simple earth walk to take us around space also takes us back to time past and allows us to see our present as well as nature, our earth with more appreciation and respect. You should try to spare time to take journeys to the past and back to Mother Earth.

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