Rain, rain, go away! It was a wet week. I remember chanting this when I was a little girl, as I watched the rain come down in sheets, nonstop, and wash away my drawing for piko on the sidewalk. Chalk is not waterproof.
On such days, my cousins and I played jackstones or a game of fiddlesticks. Old Maid was always fun. Chinese checkers was a last resort. If there was enough time, we brought out our Monopoly boards and learned how to become millionaires. In later years, my father taught me chess. I loved it.
But when the weather allowed it, we played outdoors. Climbing trees and pretending to be in a sailboat on rough seas was my favorite pasa tiempo. The late Junior Lobregat “sailed” with me. Our vessel was the sturdy guava tree in back of the Cabarrus kitchen overlooking the estero.
Children nowadays have different games. Their video adventures keep them indoors a lot, inside their rooms. Alone. That worries me.
It pleases me to see my great-grandkids playing tag, making mud pies, making noise, or roughhousing it with their parents. Together. There is fun and laughter. It may be rowdy but it warms my heart.
A great browse
On Facebook the other day I chanced upon some old family photographs posted on Manila Nostalgia, an online site dedicated to remind us oldies of times gone by as it gently educates the young with glimpses of how it used to be.
This recent find was a collection of pictures I had no idea existed. It felt like someone had just unearthed and opened an old musty baul.
There were photos of my cousin Pacita’s birthday party held outside the Baclaran houses our families rented when school was out. These were taken in May of 1941, a few months before Pearl Harbor.
Those were our “carefree days of summer” when all we worried about was if there were jellyfish in the ocean. Oh yes, and to better keep quiet during siesta time.
I could not understand then why they had such rigid rules for the kids.
But every day after lunch, it was like a pall of silence had fallen upon the entire compound. The four houses on that huge beach property would shut down.
As soon as the meal was over, the adults retired to their rooms and the yayas set up a banig for us on the veranda. We didn’t sleep much, but we kept our voices down.
Life resumed at half past three with merienda.
Today the law on afternoon naps rules in my casita. What once I thought was a stupid and cruel ritual is now my most welcome treat. I can no longer do without that brief respite of lying in bed just thinking and doing nothing.
It is a delightful break, a necessity for my physical and mental well-being. My doctor approves.
Hate crimes are again in the headlines.
It is frightening to imagine that you could just be minding your business, pushing your buggy in a store and some deranged character decides to gun you down. For no reason at all.
One minute you are peacefully shopping and the next thing you know, everyone is running for their lives. There is bloody chaos.
How are these automatic rifles or any firearm for that matter so available? I hear it is harder now to get a driver’s license than a gun permit.
A Los Angeles Times columnist writes about the “utter inability or unwillingness of leaders to heed the messages of gun violence and doing something about it.”
Is this about politics again?
We live in an angry world. Today’s rhetoric in all forms of media arouses resentments, foments hatred and provokes our baser instincts to surface.
Will it ever stop?
How can it end when our world teaches us to mistrust and stay away from anyone who looks or thinks different from us or stands in our way?
There is much anguish and sadness in El Paso and Dayton and across the US. The Texas shooter is in custody. His manifesto displays his senseless desire to get rid of Mexicans. The police shot the Ohio killer. One of his victims was his own sister. Both gunmen were white and in their 20s.
And as I plan my trip back to the US, a sense of fear and insecurity dampens my excitement.
Is there a safe place anymore? God help us.
Good news here at home
With a hopeful heart, I am watching the moves of our new Manila mayor.
Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso was raised in the slums of Tondo. He was a scavenger and ate out of garbage cans.
If I had a few minutes with this young man I would tell him:
“People are watching you, saying ‘sana.’
“Do what is right. It won’t be easy. But do it anyway.
“You will make mistakes. Be humble enough to admit it.
“Stay true to your goal! Like a wise man once said, ‘If the plan does not work, change the plan, but never the goal.’
“Pray! You may have to go down on your knees. But pray anyway.”