Growing Up at the Beginning of the World #2

     When I was a very young child, I used to think the world was a straight line. I knew of maps, of course, and that the world was round, but my mind, which probably couldn’t fathom how large the earth must be for me not to see the land bend, pieced together its own — and quite literal — worldview.

     So I decided the world was a line. And it began, in the fashion of Garcia Marquez’s mythical Macondo, in my hometown, Dumalag.

     These are my early memories of that world.

     There used to be a payag — a little hut — in the middle of the fields, not far from my house. Nothing but a thatched roof sitting on four rough poles with bamboo slats for a floor.

     If it wasn’t raining, I would grab my teddy bear blanket, a pillow, a Sidney Sheldon novel, a bottle of Coca-Cola, some sweets, and head for the hut. The blanket would make up one wall, depending on where the sun glares the harshest. I would lie down, read my book, suck on a sweet or sip my cola until the warm breeze lulls me to sleep. Sometimes, I’d wake up to the cooling twilight and my nanny’s frantic calls cutting through the wind.

     Then I knew I was in trouble.

Photo by Jojo Gabinete. For more photos like this, click here.

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