When our old house was demolished to give way to our new house right now, I took it pretty hard. Not the I’m-so-sad-I’m-gonna-bawl-my-eyes-out kind of hard. It was the I-grew-up-in-this-house-it holds-so-many-memories-that-makes-me-smile-but-kinda-teary-too-when-I-think-about-it kind of hard. I spent 22 years of my life rolling around and peering through its wooden and hole-y floors. When it rained pretty hard and there were strong winds also we had to cover our hole-y capiz windows with cloth or else we would get drenched. And when it was raining mad or if there was a typhoon we had to evacuate from the second floor down to the ground floor every time because we had no ceiling and the water would be dripping through its hole-y roof and hole-y walls.
It was a hole-y house but it was a very lovely home.
And now, I have to say goodbye to another house which was a big part of my childhood, my Nanay Iday’s house. Nanay Iday was the sister of my grandfather (Mamay Ute) and she never had a family of her own. She took in her care her nephews or nieces or grandchildren that needed a place to stay though. Sadly, she passed away on year 2014 and I have never stepped inside her house since then but I can still pretty much remember how it looked like inside because I had spent a good portion of my childhood in there.
So if you could please join me as I take a trip down memory lane in my Nanay Iday’s house. Lezzzgow!
It is a bungalow type of house and my Nanay Iday being the typical Nanay that she was, the house was always gleaming and spotless. She had a divider in between the “salas” and the “kumidor“. It was full of photos of her pamangkins and apos and there were collections of shells in there. She also had this lantern kind of thing made of seagulls.
In her “salas” a.k.a living room, you will be able to find this old thing – a cabinet with sliding doors which when you open TADAAAAH! There’s a television inside. It was not functional anymore though. She had this more modern TV placed on top of the cabinet where we used to watch MTV and MYX before. I remember watching F4 music videos in her living room. Lol! Her center table also has tons of photos of other people. It has a storage on the side that resembles a pocket and you will find random papers in there. And if you sit too long in her chairs, your ass and legs would be marked because her chair is made up of wood and “lala”.
In her “kumidor” is where you would find her old refrigerator with tomato ref magnets and her rice dispenser which I loved playing with. Haha. Since I used to hang out in her house a lot, sometimes I help her with cooking rice (pero minsan lang yon). On top of her refrigerator was an old radio which I actually never tried to see whether it was functional or not. You see, I didn’t actually mess that much with Nanay’s stuffs.
She had two cabinets in there. One had her glasswares. It had a mirror on top of it which was very unclear. You can barely make out your face if you look at it. It also had her sewing kit. She had tons of threads and needles and snaps and buttons. Typical Nanay. She was a seamstress by the way. She would sew her own pillowcases. She would make a patchwork of “katsa” as her “daster”. Which reminded me of how I used to play with her sewing machine. Since I was a small kid, I could easily squeeze myself under and ride the paddle. I swear masaya na ako nun!
Then her other cabinet had her encyclopedia and her huge dictionary. It was not exactly hers. I think it was actually my cousins’ stuffs (they lived with her) but left it when they moved away. But yeah, for me it was hers. One of the reasons why I loved hanging out in Nanay’s house is because of those encyclopedia. There was no Internet that time and encyclopedia was my Google. We have our own set of encyclopedia in our house but hers were thicker so there were more information in there. I used to spend my time poring over her books. Yeah, I was that kind of kid. I would usually go there in the afternoon to do my homework in her kumidor.
Her kitchen was old style kitchen. I was never a fan of kitchens so I never really paid much attention to it. But it has tons of pots (and palayok) and pans and there was a tapayan from what I remember.
Then her bathroom. I was always scared of her bathroom. I never outgrew it. No matter how much I loved staying in her house, I would always go home if I needed to use the bathroom. I don’t know why. (Kapitbahay lang namin si Nanay kaya madali lang umuwi. Garahe lang pagitan ng bahay namin. Haha.)
She had a basement and I loved it. I loved playing in there. It was a two-room basement, like connecting rooms. I used to stay down there with Nanay when she did her weekly ironing of clothes. It was cold down there so it was perfect. I remember that she liked to used banana leaves too while she irons clothes. Aaaah. I can almost smell it. My sister told me before that the basement was used as storage room for coffee beans. During my time it was just a storage room of old things. There was a bed in there and Nanay would sometimes sleep in there during her siesta while I pretend to sleep too. If I was not pretending, I was either busy reading books or busy playing with my imaginary friends. But what I remember the most from the basement was this little chair. I loved that chair. I would always sit there and ponder about things that children ponder upon. (Example: Totoo bang ampon ako gaya ng sabi ng mga kapatid ko?)
She actually had two rooms upstairs. I know I said it was a bungalow but it has a raised platform like about 6-steps high and there you’ll find the bedrooms. One was hers of course, the other was the one my cousins used back then. I never liked being cooped up in those rooms (there was nothing to do in there and Nanay always kept the doors closed too) so I was just always at the salas or the kumidor or the basement. Sometimes I would creep inside when I bring friends with me because we would play hide and seek. But that’s pretty much it. I think I only slept in Nanay’s room once. Her bed was huge and it was covered in “banig”. When I said I never messed that much with Nanay’s stuffs, I really mean it. I never even opened her closet. I don’t even remember if she had a closet. Lol! (My sister said there was. One was always locked and the other was where you would find the curtains and the bedsheets.) She had a table though and I remember seeing tubes of lipsticks which Nanay never used. And that’s everything I remember from her bedroom. My sister was usually the one who stays with her at night when we were young so she had a better picture of it in her mind. Me? I’m a kumidor and basement girl.
I’d really like to take photos of the interior just so I would not forget it but it’s full of my Umpe’s stuffs now. And the interior I remember was before my cousin had a family and stayed with Nanay. Actually, ever since they lived there (I think I was in high school that time) I rarely stepped inside of it again. It felt intruding already. Like whoops, there’s a new family there already. I would still hang out by Nanay’s little terrace sometimes though and play with her cat while Nanay tended to her plants. Then she would give me rambutan. Or whatever food she had inside. It’s one of the things I actually miss about Nanay. She would make something to eat (tsamporado, ginataang saging, minatamis na saging, binurong mangga) and she would never forget to share it with us.
Huhu! I miss you Nanay.
If I ever got lucky, I am planning to build my own house. I’ve talked about it with my mother a thousand times that I will build a bungalow house in the future. Now I’m thinking of copying Nanay’s floor plan. With a few revisions of my own liking of course. And maybe minus the basement because excavation would cost so much. Lol! But hey! That’s a plan.
Anyhoo, here’s a photo of me and Zach with Nanay Iday in her little terrace back in year 2012 (I think).
I am fortunate enough that I grew up having Nanay Iday. I have never met my grandmother from my father’s side and my grandmother from my mother’s side died when I was just about 4 years old. Nanay Iday became my ultimate grandmother. Do you also have wonderful memories with your grandmother? I wish you guys were able to spend as much time as you possibly could with your Lolos and Lolas too!
*Meanings are my own words. Please bear with it.
Nanay (n.) – literally it means mother but we call grandmothers Nanay too, or any old woman at that. In this case it was used to refer to my grandmother.
Mamay (n.) – used to refer grandfathers or any old man at that.
Salas (n.) – living room, more like area because it’s basically an open space where you receive guests and where you will always, always find the television.
Lala (n.) – weave
Kumidor (n.) – dining area for guests. Yes for guests only because we Filipinos treat guests with so much hospitality. On normal days, we just used our table and chairs in the kitchen.
Pamangkin (n.) – general term for niece and nephew (we don’t really have a word for niece or nephew)
Apo (n.) – general term for grandchild (just like pamangkin we don’t really have a word for granddaughter or grandson)
Katsa (n.) – the material that a sack of flour is made of
Daster (n.) – a dress worn by Nanays in the house
Palayok (n.) – a pot made of clay which one usually use in cooking over charcoal.
Tapayan (n.) – a water jug made of clay
Banig (n.) – a handwoven sleeping mat
Umpe (n.) – a godmother when a child (mostly at age 10) gets confirmed
Tsamporado (n.) – sticky rice cooked with cocoa
Ginataang saging (n.) – banana cooked in coconut milk, sometimes it was cooked with jackfruit too which I never liked. Lol.
Minatamis na saging (n.) – banana cooked in a syrup made from brown sugar
Binurong mangga (n.) – fermented mangoes. It’s yum I swear. When some of our cousins visit us here in Batangas and Nanay happened to have some binurong mangga she would always make them bring home some.