Exactly how do you say goodbye to a dwelling you’ve lived in for 50 years?
With a heavy coronary heart, my thoughts’s eye soaked up the empty rooms and halls of the place that nurtured 9 siblings. Now, one after the other, we’re changing into senior residents. Each may have tales of comedy and tragedy handed down to their youngsters and grandchildren.
From kindergarten to faculty, we grew up on this dwelling, and will probably be demolished subsequent month. It will vanish ceaselessly, but a wellspring of memories will proceed to move and ebb within the banks of our minds.
I believed I might die on this home, however when Tropical Storm “Ondoy’s” murky waters flooded it, I knew I didn’t need to stay right here anymore.
My dad and mom, choose Oscar and Rosemarie Leviste, properly purchased the property on the useless finish of a avenue known as Don Pedro, so the home was nicknamed Dompi. My father raised the lot an added meter and a half, so annual floods of the wet season wouldn’t go up to our home.
The space from Singalong to Osmeña Highway, bordered by Estrada and Zobel Roxas, was mentioned to be the primary experimental village constructed by the Zobel-Ayalas within the 1930s. Hence the names of the streets—Bautista, Conchu, Dian, Espiritu, Enrique and C. Ayala. There had been the gorgeous homes not destroyed by the battle: the Palladian Ledda home, the Escudero metropolis dwelling, and the Apostol dwelling that now homes Becky’s Kitchen.
Mom and pa additionally selected the realm as a result of it was strolling distance to St. Scholastica’s on Leon Guinto for my seven sisters: Regina, Elena, Ana, Teresa, Veronica, Carmen and Olivia. My Kuya Ikoy and I went to De La Salle Taft from prep to Grade 7, then to La Salle Green Hills for highschool.
On a 500-sq m plot and with P300,000 from a financial institution mortgage, Dompi rose as a two-story home. Downstairs was a enormous dwelling and eating room, outdoors a sprawling veranda. There was a den (my favourite room ) with an indoor backyard and narra sliding doorways that opened to a fish pond the place I raided turtles.
Upstairs was a grasp’s bed room with a enormous dressing space, walk-in closets and a beneficiant toilet for my dad and mom, and 4 bedrooms with connecting loos, two youngsters to a room. Our neighbor, instantly throughout us, was my Tita Nena, in her 1940s dwelling. I bear in mind a big mango tree on the property, and my tito raised fierce Doberman Pinschers with clipped ears.
Beside them was Gilopez Kabayao’s pink dwelling, from which got here the sound of stunning violin and piano concertos within the afternoon after faculty.
Our majordoma was Fortunata Canoy, aka Manang Unton, who took care of my father once they lived with my grandparents. My father inherited the property and constructed condominium townhouses, which had been offered a few years in the past.
Manang lived to a ripe previous age, being our most gifted cook dinner. My mother had her take classes from Sylvia Reynoso Gala, and we might eagerly await her dishes for the day—meatloaf wrapped in bacon, tenderloin ideas, beef stroganoff, paella, kare-kare, cocido, and our favourite sans rival.
Every Christmas, Manang would cook dinner a enormous vat of humba with banana blossoms, chestnuts, Chinese pickles and saging na saba. When she retired in Cebu, Kuya Ikoy would ship her cash, and he or she had a light of Ikoy as a smiling boy.
Manang might be a strict disciplinarian and threatened to put us in a burlap sack after we had been quarreling. Dad would pull off his belt and whip our backsides. Mom used slippers; as soon as my Kuya Ikoy and I put pad papers in our again pockets, so we had been whipped bareback.
Dad was strict, however he reared us effectively. When I entered puberty, it was dad who taught me intercourse training by the encyclopedia. Tall, darkish and really good-looking, he was a demigod to me, however all the time along with his personal childhood tales to share.
He was very affected person along with his brood. When we summered in Baguio or Malvar, the place his household was from, he would identify bushes for me.
But dad might be violently strict. Once Kuya Ikoy and I had been quarreling over pork chops, and he stood up and ripped off the tablecloth, sending dinner and plates flying.
“You will never fight over food, ever again,” dad screamed. Henceforth, Kuya Ikoy would all the time share meals with mother and me in Dompi.
Another time, dad was instructing us to eat okra, and proclaimed that none of us may depart the dinner desk till we ate it. Soon my sisters had been shedding tears and one threw up, however I favored okra, which I eat heartily up to now.
When I first observed I used to be homosexual, it was one thing I neither feared nor understood. I bear in mind powdering my face and making use of a few drops of Givenchy cologne, telling my of us I had to return to faculty. I might wander the massive faculty constructing, and at recess, I might admire upper-class boys and comply with them round like a pet. They would typically purchase me a chilly Coca-Cola.
After being fetched from faculty, we’d arrive dwelling, the place a hearty merienda awaited. Chilled cantaloupe and tuna sandwiches pressed like alien craft had been my favourite. There was banana turon, hotdogs fried in batter and watermelon slices.
Then we’d take our baths at four p.m. and begin doing our homework. A slender lengthy desk connected to the wall had overhead fluorescent lights good for studying and writing. We had Encyclopedia Britannica, the Books of Knowledge, the Atlas and a assortment of nice literature, from Shakespeare to Chaucer. My favourite was “Remembrance of Things Past” by Marcel Proust.
Mom reads pocketbooks to at the present time; she would inform us the plot, throw in some juicy tidbits after which cease.
Mom had a photographic reminiscence, and taught us to bear in mind the web page of a faculty e-book and see the information in our minds to reply our exams. Dad, in the meantime, had audio reminiscence, and will sing your complete soundtrack of “The Sound of Music” with us pretending to be the Von Trapp youngsters.
Dad additionally taught elocution and had a great talking voice, so all of us realized to modulate our talking with the correct enunciation. Later in life, as a result of I seemed like dad, down to his buckteeth, strangers would inform me, “Anak ka nga ni Oscar. Nagsalita ka lang, narinig ko na ang boses niya.”
Dad sang effectively, too. He hummed ’50s and ’60s classics whereas gardening. The day earlier than he died, I taught him the lyrics of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” the film we watched on Good Friday. On Black Saturday, he was in a coma due to a deadly head damage when he fell the night time earlier than.
Thus did an period come to an finish as we bid dad goodbye. And now, as we are saying goodbye to Dompi, we start one other section in life. —CONTRIBUTED