They Stole our Childhood-A A +A
By Max Sangil
Monday, March 11, 2013
SUMMER is coming. According to weathermen, the northwest monsoon (amihan) which brings the cold wind will be replaced by the easterly winds that will result to warm weather with discomforting humidity.
Expect families going to swimming parks to beat the heat, and to those who cannot afford the prohibitive entrance tickets on these leisure parks, they may spend their afternoons on commercial malls. A bibinkinitan and a lot of water can last anyone till dusk. A very wise move to beat the oncoming summer.
Those with money spend the Lenten Season in Boracay and other expensive resorts which were developed commercially over the years, and normally offer promo packages at this time of the year. But what about us and the others who are with limited capacity?
In my youth in our hometown of Porac, summer was no problem. We eagerly waited for its coming. It was always a break from school since classes ended in March. We were a group of more than 10 and we called our group as 'Archangels', for we had to be in our respective homes before the big bells from the belfry of the town church rang to signal the Angelus.
All families in our town adopted a code of discipline that no kids should be roaming the streets minutes before the Angelus. There was no defiance from anyone. Everybody observed it.
There was the beautiful Porac River that flowed from the Zambales mountain ranges that cuts through in the heart of the town and continuously travels and passes the channels in Floridablanca, then to Guagua and finally joining the Pampanga River.
On any day in summer, we kids brought picnic food and frolicked on its crystal white water. On its sides were springs where we got our drinking water, which was the real mineral water now being commercially bottled and sold.
We spent morning till late afternoon there and we conducted mischievous sessions common among young boys about to reach the age of puberty.
It was also on this beautiful Porac River where the rite of passage to manhood was done by Mang Takyo with his razor. In many early mornings of summer, young boys readied themselves for circumcision, done at the far end of the river, yet you can hear the shrill cries up to the town plaza.
It was also here in this river that now Senator Lito Lapid, a homegrown kid, harnessed his skills in diving and jumping. It became his ticket to fame. And no kid in Porac will ever drown in any river anywhere in the world.
But these memories faded in time because greedy people and an uncaring government stole a part of our childhood. All what was left was this song.
'King sibul ning Porac, karin ka mindilu
Ikit daka Maring, malutu ka baru
King lino ning danum, aplit kang tatabo
Kabang aku naman, kakarog ku salu.'
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 12, 2013.