I am writing this on an air-conditioned Victory Liner bus bound for Manila on a late Sunday afternoon. Most of the passengers are asleep, probably lulled to sleep by the music blaring out of their headsets.
It is raining when the bus pulled out of the terminal. As the bus made its way out of Baguio City I notice two kids, a boy and a girl, on their underwear playing in the rain in their front yard. I grinned.
I remember that age when you don’t curse the rain like the adults do but are overjoyed by it. You beg your folks to allow you to play out in the rain. When they nod their approval you shout with glee and you step out into the rain barefooted.
I have many memories of those carefree childhood days from where I grew up and that one summer spent in Bohol before I turned twelve. I, my brother and a male cousin would make boats out of paper, my mother driven mad hours later after finding out we had used her stack of bond papers. We would let them float, run after them, and gloat if our boat was the last one to sink.
Sometimes when papers were out of stock or placed in locked cabinets, we would use our slippers as boats, and when half of the pair falls down the gutter we would endlessly tease each other on how major scolding is in the offing once the old folks would know.
These are memories I cherish – playing in the rain without any care in the world and playing siato and half-moon and bato-lata (tumbang preso) and langit-lupa and making home-made kites and playing softball using slippers.
I draw close the curtains and allow sleep to own me for a few hours as Jack Johnson croons in my ear, as the bus speeds through Northern Luzon, as the wetlands of Baguio gives way to the parched fields of Pangasinan, as day turns into night, and as that image of a young Scud slowly takes the backseat in my storage of memories.