Friday, November 7, 2014

Back in my hometown

I spent a lovely time going back to my hometown in Sta. Cruz, Zambales last weekend.

Ruel, Toots and I took the six-hour drive from Manila to Sta. Cruz at dawn last Saturday.  I had forgotten how lovely the countryside was.

It was a trip of endless "oohs and aahs".

We left early so we could visit the graves of my grandparents.  If we left two hours later, we would have met heavy traffic.

I just love pretty skies!

On All Saints Day and All Souls Day, people in our town still follow the old tradition of visiting the graves.

There is always enough people at the cemeteries to cause traffic and they usually stay at the grave sites for hours.   Some even spend the entire day there. 

You're probably wondering how anyone can spend such a long time at a cemetery.  There's actually plenty of things to do, aside from lighting candles and praying.  This is the time when families and relatives would usually get together as they visit the graves of their ancestors and dead relatives and when you haven't seen your cousins for a long time, well, a day at the cemetery is not enough.  And since the cemetery is in a small town, almost all the folks are related by blood and it is but natural to go from one grave to another to pray for the souls of the dead and to engage in short conversations with those who are still alive.  Some people even bring food if they plan on spending the whole day there.  It actually looks like a fiesta and I am so sorry I was not able to take pictures around the cemetery.  I realize I should have so you could have a better idea of how the town cemetery looks like during this time of the year.

Going back to my hometown, seeing the graves of my grandparents, seeing the ruins of my grandparents' home brought back so many happy memories.  I miss my doting grandparents, I miss the innocence of my childhood, I miss the simple life in a sleepy town.  I miss everything about it that I already want to go back.

This used to be the stairs going up to the second floor of my grandparents' house.
Hopefully, with God's grace, we will again be able to visit our hometown next year in time for the harvest of our mangoes.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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