Finding my way back home

Waking up and ending my day with this view always gives me peace.

Green fields. Cocking roosters. Fresh fruits and vegetables. Warm community. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. These are just some of the things that I could not never forget for my entire life.

Growing up in a countryside town was the best thing that happened to me. Everything seemed to be so simple and easy. Pandi, Bulacan is not your go-to destination for tourism for we do not have what others offer. We do not have beaches nor springs nor hills but only greens. We have abundant rice fields where our parents til over the years. These fields fed us and raised us as who we are today.

This 40+ year old tricycle that helped me get through education is still working until at the present and still fondly used by Tatay even though he has new one.

I am always proud of being the daughter of a farmer and a tricycle driver and industrious homemaker. My father whom I called “Tatay” always brings me to the fields. Teaching me the process of farming. How hard it is yet still fun. After farming, my Tatay will work as a tricycle driver for the entire day. And my mother, my “Nanay” will prepare meals for us. She will get fresh eggs from our native chickens. She’ll pick some fresh vegetables for our meal. We always eat three times a day. We never starve even if we are poor. I never felt poor because of them. I learned from them the lesson of valuing anything put on the table.

I had the best childhood. I always tell my childhood stories with pride. I do not have toys. I made them. I play with the things available in our neighborhood. I make kites from newspapers. Cars from tin cans and old slippers. Boats from old papers. Basketball ring made of the handle of pail and more. But what I enjoy the most is whenever my playmates come to play with me. It is not about the toys but the joy in every moment.

I got along with the elders as well. Walking in the morning to my elementary school is my favorite. I will always greet the elders who I meet. They are just warm and will always say, “Magandang umaga.” Every morning is so lovely because of them.

These colorful people revive the festive spirit whenever they are present in our home.

In my humble home, we also continue traditions that beautify our culture. Every May, Flores de Mayo will commence. We lay flowers to the Virgin Mary and say some prayers. By June, we are very much excited for the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Definitely, there will be a carnival or “perya” with other fun activities in line. We will also wait for the marching band that energizes our mood with their exceptional music. I really appreciate the art, music, and religiosity we have.

My hands get dirty to live decently.

We still dwell on agriculture as a livelihood. I remember that we raised ducks. Every morning, it is my role to pick the fresh eggs and put them on the tray. I will clean some of them before the buyer comes to our home. I can feel the warmth of the eggs and smell its rawness.

Things might have changed so much now. But it will always be my home. It is about how we cherish the memories. Forms, looks, beauty, the experience will definitely change but the memories valued will linger even we get old.

The smiles of these Mangyan and Aeta children will always be memorable to me.

If I will live again, I will still choose the life I have. It’s hard but worth living. Who am I today, started here. That is why I would like to tell stories about the simplicity of life we have before. The life of a promdi that shaped a beautiful person today. Let us not forget who we are before. Let us live for the rest of our lives with contentment, grit, and values that we get from the beginning of our journey—we called life.

Share your promdi story now and relinquish our beautiful young self.