30 August 2007

Feeling nostalgic

I was looking at one of my brother's photo album and found a picture of the old Tan house in Baler. We'd always referred to it as "tindahan" (store) because it used to have a store at the ground floor, first ran by my grandparents, then by Ka Enga (who I think is my grandfather's nephew).

What do I remember about that house? Let's see, let me jot down 25 of them (this is not in any particular order):

1) the wide wooden staircase with the nice balustrades, where I remember running up and down with my brothers and my friends
2) the wall clock (with a silver face and black casing) with a scary (or what I thought then was scary) sound.
3) the old white bookcase with the Charles Atlas body building brochures, and some other books from I think even earlier than WWII, among other things
4) the beautiful floor, made with wide, long planks of narra; no need to polish it, just run the "bunot" or a cloth and it shone
5) there were two water tanks, one was a round, closed tank (part of which is still existing and used today), and the other a concrete rectagular box (my friend Me-Ann and I used to pretend it was our swimming pool
6) two gas pumps at the back of the house
7) the huge generator; i think my grandfather (fondly called Tatay) was among the first to have a generator in Baler, so we had electricity at night, long before electricity became available to everyone there
8) the pugon
9) the capiz windows
10) the big storage space in the second floor, where my friends and I used to hide when we played hide and seek. it was a scary place when i was a kid
11) the bats that hid between the roof and the ceiling and which came flying out at dusk
12) the wooden salt box (i don't know what else to call it) which is in one corner of the store, which we sat on and jumped down from when someone was buying salt so Ka Enga, or whoever was in the store, could get the salt
13) the dark warehouse which we had to pass to get from the store to the back part of the house
14) the big dining table (there were 10 kids in my father's family)
15) the Christ the King statue that was up on one a shelf on one of the posts inside the house
16) a small black/white photo of President Manuel Quezon under the wall clock
17) my father's case of classical music LPs (most of which were Beethoven material)
18) my uncle's collection of 48 rpm vinyl records, which sadly he just left lying around and allowed to get ruined
19) my uncle's bed in the ground floor
20) my uncle's office in the ground floor
21) an old yellowing refrigerator
22) the cabinet that housed everything from plates and "cubiertos" to my father's toiletries to leftover food
23) the nearly floor to ceiling cabinets in the store
24) the makeshift scoop (made from a long wooden stick with half of a plastic oil container) that was used to clean the gutter and also to mark the lines for our "bayato" ("patintero") games
25) my grandfather's b/w portait that was hung on one of the posts in the second floor; i used to always marvel at how much my father look like him

Actually, I remember a lot more about that house. I loved looking out the window to the mountains that looked so close. I loved climbing up those windows too and sitting there with my legs dangling down. The windows were encased with bars, and on there were planks in the bottom so we could sit on those). Sadly, it was torn down to give way to a new, concrete house, which I am sad to say doesn't evoke the same feeling in me as the old house did. When they were planning to build a new house, I keep wishing that they would just renovate the old house. But that wasn't what happened. I wished I had taken more pictures of it, but here's the one I found in my brother's album. This was taken at the initial stages of tearing down, and that's my brother Irip and my nephew Enzo in the pic.

Ah, those were the days...


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