My childhood memories of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro were composed of time spent in my grandparents’ old house in Nacoco.
As a child, I was in awe by “big” house that used to be my playground. My cousins and I played hide and seek, dropped coins at the small water well and cemented drum used for storing water.
I remember days in my father’s ancestral home how my cousins and I spent times just staying at the bahay kubo or the bamboo house.
Like a beautiful princess, I placed in my ears calachuchi flowers that fell to the ground from the tree at the front yard. I may had also used the white calachuchi in making necklaces.
The two-story house, once adjudged as a model residence for government employees, is still standing. It had survived the test of time.
While the paint that surrounded the entire house have faded and the trees withered, the foundation, which my late grandmother, Lola Pacing, imparted to her four children became stronger through the years.
As many probinsyanos, my father and his siblings chose to leave home and live the life in the fast city in Manila.
The great old house, now dubbed as “Kamahal-mahalan” because a religious group rents it, stands tall amid the busy City that Calapan has become through the decades.
Life in the old Calapan has become different. My father got older, same with his siblings, kababata and cousins.
My childhood memories are now packed like the air-compressed packaging of suman sa lihiya which have become Mindoro’s specialty, apparently along with the other types of suman my late great grand mothers cooked using their charcoal-fired stoves.