Of old things and new
BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Girlie Garces (The Freeman) - April 26, 2018 - 12:00am

Driving through the inner streets of Consolacion, I missed home. Home is the quiet, unassuming Dumaguete City, where life was simple and joys, easy to find.

Early mornings had me trudge to our local sari-sari store, to buy pan de sal and tinalay. Then, Nang Lily, and Nong Momoy, would count the pieces and place them in a brown pinuntil or paper bag twisting the package in the air to seal the bag. I recall walking home hugging the warm package, the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through, whetting my appetite.

On hot summer days like these, the smell of grass would pervade, and we would enjoy kicking the mounds of dry leaves from the acacia trees that lined Silliman University’s campus, as we would walk home. Everything seemed near. School, downtown, and even the beach.

Silliman beach was the weekend hangout then. There was not much of resorts except for a few prominent ones which we visited only on special occasions.

April and May at home was time for mangoes and sambag or tamarind as it is better known. The boys would climb the tree of the tamarind and shake the  branches so the ripe fruits would fall, and we would come picking them in baskets. For the mangoes, a kuhit or pole with a hook attached to it and a basket securely underneath, would been our main instrument in picking the fruits. After having our fill of the tamarind, we would peel the rest of the fruit and prepare them for sweetening. My mom’s tamarindo was awesome.

When we wanted to be more adventurous, we would ride our friend’s chevy and go to Siaton, a town that boasted of its sweet sineguelas and lomboy. They were just out in the wild and we would pick them and fill plastic bags with them and take them home. Sometimes we would go on a long trek to Palinpinon hot springs and waterfalls. I recall having to catch my breath to reach the clear where the waterfalls dropped its veil of water. It was exhilarating. You could hear the birds call and at times catch them making their nests.

We could fly kites in open spaces, play siatong, kayokok, and tubig-tubig. Games that children of today hardly know. There was bagol, and Chinese garter as well as footjump, skipping rope and takyan or sipa.

When rains came, we huddled at home over the card games where ungoy-ungoy was a favorite, then there was the game of chance in sungka, bingo, monopoly, scrabble, boggle, chess, snakes and ladders, and as we grew up, we took on to mastermind,  trivia, Pictionary, win-lose-or-draw, charade, uno, cranium and the list of games go on.

All those games, adventures and experiences, somehow made us sensitive to our environment, the people around us, our own abilities and those we could work on. Until now, I would still buy my nephews and nieces and their children those games. Chinese checkers, dama, dominoes. And insist on their playing them instead of the games in their gadgets. 

I still appreciate doing a 2000-piece puzzle with family and enjoy taboo with friends. For there is no better pleasure than to be in touch, with nature, with people, and with life.

Take a break from business and live.

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