Fond memories of my childhood

I grew up climbing camachile and saresa trees, chasing white and yellow butterflies in the afternoon when I am suppose to be napping, I picked sampaguita flowers to make garlands, catch fireflies at sundown, put it inside mason jars, watch it glow in the dark and then freed it afterwards. I blow bubbles made from gumamela buds and leaves mixed with laundry soap, I played hide and seek when the power's out, and tug with my sibling to bath in the river. Ate green tomatoes by the hanging bridge, chewed freshly harvested sugarcane, and fetched water for the laundry and the dishes for my mother. It's all childs play and I am ecstatic that I still can recall them. I also played tumbang preso, chinese garter, sipa, habulan, harangan taga, piko, bending and many more of Filipino games with other kids in the neighborhood.

We lived in a stilt house native to our country that my grandfather helped my parents to build. It stands near a swamp that connects to a river where my dad sometimes put crabnets to fish. Our house was surrounded with fruit bearing trees and vegetables. My mom has a small flower bed in front of the house and the gate was made from scraps of wood. Apart from the small vegetable patch to tend, my father have ducks and hens from where we get fresh brown eggs in the morning, once we had hogs and a cow who gave birth to a calf which I actually witness coming out of its mother's womb. We had too many cats and dogs but muning and spot was my favorite. Muning was a sweet fat cat that looks like Garfield (I think) and Spot was our ever loyal stray dog who always gives birth to ten or twelve pups, some puppies are given to friends, some to neighbors, and some sold in the market. Almost every morning, my dad gets us fresh carabao's milk for breakfast. The milk is poured into hot steaming boiled rice sprinkle with little salt. We co-sleep with our parents because there is just one room, no soft beds but we had a large sleeping mat and a huge mosquito net.

This was memories of my early childhood, when  I turned grade five my parents send me to another school in a different city under the care of my aunt. I had pleasant memories there too but that's another story. I love that neighborhood, I have lots of time for play and I roam free. I came once for a visit, I think when I was in college or after college, as I look around, I feel the familiarity of the place and I see myself at every corner except for our own house. Some other family was already occupying the lot and with a bigger concrete house. In my heart I was meaning to see that old nippa hut that stood there once to bring back old happy memories but it was all gone. I'm glad that even the physical part of it was gone, all the fond memories are here in my heart. I can always go back to that place and I wanted to.

Now that I have the capacity to build my own home for my family, I wanted something like that just like what I had before. Something more decent, a place where my children can roam free and be a child, a place to build their own dreams.

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