Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Guiguinto A Century Back

It was almost 38 degrees yesterday when we went to Guiguinto to visit our ancestral property. The blazing heat was almost unbearable—I felt like collapsing. We decided to buy several icy bottled  water to prevent getting a heat stroke. Later, in the news, we learned that it was among the hottest days recorded this summer of 2010. We went on with the visit, however, because we had to see the site and take some pictures.

It was the site where my grand grandpa bought a hectare of land about a century ago. It used to be farmland where a clear waterway from a natural spring flowed to water the fields. The waterway was said to have supplied the folks there with fresh water fish and shrimps. But going there the other day, we saw nothing but mud and polluted water. While gazing at the place and the waterway, I transported myself way back in time, about a century ago.

I smelled the fresh rustic air of yesteryears and heard the footsteps of folks walking with their wooden shoes or "bakya" on. The main road was paved earth and the mixed stone and hut dwellings were scattered along the waterway. Everywhere were giant mango trees dotted with fruit--or decorated by full clusters--overshadowing most of the place. Back in real life, the sun was blazing hot, ugly row houses and shops occupied most of the area, the noise of complaining motorcycles was irritating, and the waterway looks black from misuse. But transported a century back, it felt cool and refreshing. You smell the abundance of pure oxygen, and the waterway looks clear and immaculate. I also heard my grand grandpa's voice calling out to a servant: "Odeng, how are the mangoes?"

From somewhere nearby I heard the strumming of a guitar to the tune of an unheard of song, to my ears that is, but was probably popular back then, mixing with gentle laughter from old-fashioned young people. "They're all harvested, Don Francisco!" Odeng replied to the earlier query. I was smiling, being able to relish in a century-gapped scenario, being here and also there simultaneously. It was a great way to escape the tormenting heat and imperfection of the present. After a while, my cousin and wife shook me awake back to reality. "What's with the silly smile?" my wife asked.

Colour Map 1959 Philippines Bulacan Malolos Angat Monte"Nothing important."

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