Quite possibly the most verbose 13 list ever. However, I felt like divulging what to me are the highlights of my childhood.
1. I once kissed a hot kettle on the stove because I didn’t want to get my fingers burned (I wanted to see if it was hot, you see). I went around with toothpaste on my burned lips for a week.
2. My sister kissed the frozen ice in the freezer because she was feeling hot. Her lips promptly got stuck (runs in the family huh?). What followed was pandemonium as my parents and Lola tried to figure out how to break her lip lock with the freezer. My youngest sister came by and while everyone was distracted, suddenly pulled my sister from the freezer. After the screaming, we all looked (fascinated) at the chunk of flesh from her lip that was left in the ice.
3. My grand-aunt has lived with us since I was four months old. She’s still with us, together with her older sister (my grandmother), and they have a grand time teasing my kids.
4. There are currently four generations of women living in our house: my grandmother, my mom, me and my daughter Faith. One of these days, I will get around to taking a photograph.
5. (Whisper) I have a goofy dad. He used to wear a makeshift grass skirt (made out of coconut leaves) and dance the hula in the street in front of our house. Now he’s a goofy grandpa and the kids love it.
6. My sister once fell naked from the guava tree in our backyard (she wasn’t hurt) because she was hiding from our maid who wanted to give her a bath.
7. Remember the infamous brownouts that plagued Manila years ago? My sisters and I spent the hot and humid evenings up on our roof, looking up at the stars and daydreaming for hours about who we were going to marry.
8. We were at the top of a mountain where my grandfather grew dalandan trees; I started running to catch up and couldn’t stop because of the incline. I was going faster and faster, screaming for my dad and in desperation, I grabbed my sister as I sped by. She was picking her way slowly through the trees and she got dragged with me – we kept going until my legs gave and I stumbled on the wet grass. She ran smack into a dalandan tree. I laughed my head off while she was (understandably) furious at me.
9. My cousins and I loved to swim in the river whenever we visited our grandparents in the sleepy small town of Sta. Maria, Laguna. One time, after swimming for more than an hour in the river we noticed this huge mound of carabao poop floating in the water.
10. Favorite past times in the province – playing shatong (which I was never good at), catching dragonflies, racing up and down the baboy kural, and when we were older, endless games of pekwa and pusoy dos by the light of the gas lamp.
11. At the height of the manananggal scare in Manila, my sisters and I got hysterical when we saw a shadow move across the bay window of our room. We ran screaming from the room only to be blocked from opening it by my youngest sister who got squashed across the door in our rush to open it. So there we were, alternately calling for my dad (who couldn’t come in because the door was locked) and trying to shove each other out of the way until we could drag our sister from the door to open it. I think we all slept in my parents’ room that night.
12. Weekend mass and dinner out afterwards is a sacred family ritual that we all look forward to. Boyfriends allowed. :D
13. If I don’t post anything after this one, it means my sisters have killed me.