over lunch last week, an officemate who lives in pasig mentioned that his lolo used to be a rice farmer. it took a while before it registered in my mind that pasig used to be very provincial, and that far from how it looks today, the pasig river used to be a place where people could swim, fish, bathe, and do their business (i.e., feed the fish. he.he.). anyway, that remark started a discussion with him on how province-bred kids seemed to have a better childhood because the whole neighborhood was their playground, and that he wished his children could experience the same — climbing trees and picking fruits are top of mind.
“probinsiyano” used to be a derogatory term (for some it still is), but with the recent phenomenon of professionals moving back from manila and abroad to the countryside, i think it’s time the term became the badge of honor that it should be. as in all things, there are the good and the bad, the funny and the sad, but here’s a list of some shared memories as probinsiyanos. (of course, you can add to this too) 🙂
you grew up in the province if you know that:
1. the rainy season means backyard fishing time
2. “batyas” (wash basins) can be used as food containers during birthdays and holidays
3. “malapit na” (“it’s near”) means half-a-day’s travel on unpaved roads, across rivers, sometimes over mountains
4. frogs, snails, snakes, lizards, and insects are gustatory items
5. markets don’t mean malls
6. ice cream can be made at home, in a tin container spinned for hours in an ice and salt mixture in a big wooden barrel
7. coconut milk comes from pressed coconut meat, not from coconut-fed cows
8. wood can be used for cooking
9. you can fetch water from a well or hand-pump it from the ground
10. the sky is blue.