I have mixed feelings when we went back recently to Hda. Pandan- a place where I was born. I can’t recall anymore , but I guess its more than 20 years already that I haven’t visited the place. Hda. Pandan is part of Bgry. Ma-ao, Bago City.The Place is approximately 1.5 kilometers from Brgy. Ma-ao proper. The landscape quite changed.Electricity had finally reached the place.I remember our black and white television before powered by a truck battery. We were the only one who has television in the place , so every 6 in the evening kids and adult would come to our house to watch television.Those were the days…now I can see antenna in most houses–sign of progress I suppose.
Pandan River. This small river used to be our playground. I used to cross this small river with my very first BMX Bike given to me by my father as a gift for my elementary graduation.This was also the place where I was taught how to shoot a gun. This river used to be rich with natural offerings which provide food for the people in the farm.
Life in the farm was abundant.I can’t recall people stealing chickens and animals then.All of our chickens (native) was never caged. Ducks just scatter their eggs all over the place… We used to have plenty of bananas (saba) planted in the periphery of sugar cane fields. I can vividly recall how my mother would make various dessert out of this fruit. Over ripped bananas are just being feed to our ducks.—that was before… Life in the farm used to revolved around sugarcane and rice farming. But I remember also my father tried corn and water melon ,but that was only for a while. Chewing sugarcane or “pang-us tubo” in vernacular is very common among the people in the farm. I can still recall losing some milk tooth while chewing sugar cane. I truly miss “pang-us tubo” , but I can’t do it anymore due to my blood sugar issue. I’m sure that many hasn’t tried playing in a river with a raft made of banana stems.Or riding in a carabao, or simply witnessing the actual rice planting during rainy days. I remember my father would slaughter a pig to feed people during rice planting time. Have you tried climbing a native guava tree? I haven’t tasted anymore those little aromatic fruits. Those were the days… Actually, I miss the life in the countryside: the simplicity, the peacefulness , I miss my childhood friends whom I wanted to keep as children in my memories, I miss my parents… The visit just gave me many insights about life. It also gave me answers to some personal questions . Indeed ,who we are today is because of our past. And who we will be in the future is because of what we are doing doing today. We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.