Notes From Sison, Pangasinan Part VIII
The weather is fine. I am inside our fenced compound and, from where I stand, I see a lot of people of all sorts walking on the still unfinished road. There also are kids, a few of them are familiar to me now due to my frequent visits here, happily chasing each other in Manang Charing’s (the widow who loves gossips) backyard. Oh those funny, little kids! They make me feel quite better, and their innocent laughs and yells are like music to my ears. (Photo above: Coyet, my three-year old pamangkin sa pinsan)
I smiled, and for some unknown reasons which I later realized were my fondness to kids – naughty and funny kids to be precise- and my ‘being-a-kid’ sometimes, I called Tintin, our six-year old neighbor who at her age now owns a camera phone, and her playmates. When they reached our gate, I asked them in my not-so-perfect Ilokano, ‘Kayat niyo ti naluom na mangga?’ (You want ripe mangoes?). The kids replied immediately, almost in chorus, ‘Wen, Kuya.’ (Yes!) So I went to our kitchen and immediately snatched ten ripe mangoes from the wooden box. (This wooden box according to my Auntie was made way back in 1950s so she always reminds me and my other two cousins to always be careful ‘handling’ it.)
The kids were no longer exhausted and ’sweaty’ when I reached our gate, and they were delighted when they saw me carrying mangoes in a plastic bag. They were overjoyed even if they didn’t tell me that they were. I was once a kid so I know what it’s like to be gifted with something yummy. The feeling was like meeting Santa Claus on one fine Christmas Eve. So there.