My heart sank when I saw the old ancestral house of ours that used to house my grandparents from my mother’s side and my cousins. That house has been leased to a various families right after the deaths of my grandfather and uncle and when my cousins and auntie moved out.
I just overheard from my m0ther that the place was damaged due to the floods that Ondoy brought last year. The last tenant came in today and informed us that they’ve vacated the place. And after decades from the last time I was there (I think it was the wake of my grandfather) I set foot again of the place.
I had no strength to take photos for I have mixed emotions when I entered the place. The house held memories of my good childhood weekends. My lolo (grandfather) usually brings me there to spend the weekend with my cousins. I remember forced siestas (sleeping after lunch) imposed by my lola (grandmother) and fresh hot breads from the nearby panaderia (bakery) for merienda (snack). The house was my childhood haven. It was my playground.
I remember it being a huge place with high ceilings and big rooms. I have lots of hiding places to choose from every time me and my cousins played hide and seek. But today, the place is quite small and not so huge after all. though the old-fashioned frosted glass windows are still there, and the second floor is still held the hardwood flooring, the narra tables, chairs, cabinet and other wood furniture are not there anymore. My heart skipped a beat when I went upstairs. I was still hoping to see something upstairs which I don’t know what would that be. All I saw was space: a not-so big space that seemed to be wide space before. It was empty, but not that spacious as I recalled when I was a kid. I felt happy though, recalling my childhood as I went around the old place but felt sad too seeing the condition: chipped off paints, dried mud and bloated wood and other remnants of the recent flood.
I wish I have at least a cousin with me right now. It was nice to recall good old times though it’s unavoidable to bring back not so nice memories as well. I overheard from Nanay and Tatay’s (my parents) conversation that tomorrow they will look for a carpenter to fix the place and prepare it for the new occupant. The house will forever hold my childhood memories and will always remember it in my heart and mind, reminisce it by myself or with family members. I just exhaled a deep sigh as my father called my attention for it’s time to leave.