ESCAPING from the congestion brought about by the Panagbenga float parade, we drove down to the beach side with my husband and Brother John. By mid day my sister Marlene and husband Sammy came down too.

While driving down, John and I were reminiscing the time when mom had a farm in Parian Este, Bauang sometime in the late 1970 to the 1980s. Parian Este is a place reached by tricycle from Bauang poblacion and takes the main highway going south towards Caba. From the highway we would take a rough road fork going to the west towards the seaside. It was always refreshing reaching the farm as rustic as it is, without sounds of motor engine and we would be able to hear the birds sing the whisper of the wind and experience the various smell of hay and the earth. Earth that is dry, wet, freshly turned, showered on and other conditions that would emit a different smell.

We do not clearly remember how that property was sold but, we recall that Uncle Pablo, the brother of mom had to leave to take care of the farm they have in Tuba. But we also do not know what happened to the farm of Uncle Pablo in Tuba. Maybe his children Herminia, Noel, Manuel would remember.

When we had the farm in Parian Este, after my work on Friday I would commute by bus and tricycle to the farm. Sometimes, I would bring any of my siblings. There were times that Jaime Cuanguey (bless his soul) would be there with his father, Uncle Pablo. We had time of fun as we rode the carabao, harvest corn, peanuts, cotton and other produce. John remembers that he was the one who drove up to Baguio the brown Willyls jeep, full of rice or other products. It was always fun when we were there, as we also have a two storey farm house where we sometimes sleep in the bangsal/porch as it was too hot during some days or nights.

It is still vivid in my memory a photo of the Weygan Accounting staff having a weekend there and we were taking turns taking a bath beside the well. I remember we picked mangoes then and had a picnic there. Two, Rodney and Emilia, are already gone to the Maker, but maybe Norie Alingbas, Edwin Gutierrez and some others can share some memories too.

After several decades, we repeat the farm experience but on a different side of La Union. We come to the Cabaruan farm and experience picking mangoes and other produce. This time Brother John climbs up the mango tree and sukdal the mangoes and my husband John gets the mangoes from the sukdal and puts in the table that was later packed. Sammy gets the mangoes and we would eat them and most of it, Marlene packs them to be shared to people when they return to Baguio. They would get paragis, mallungay, katuday, camote tops and other vegetables that grow in the farm.

For the past four months, groups of people have been coming and they would bring home something from the farm. They would call and arrange that they were coming. We thought maybe just a couple, but most of the time they come in groups. December we had the family of Gloria Timpac, children from Canada, Baguio and New Zealand. Then the IPC youth group who joined us for the Christmas party. New year it was Marlene, Sammy, Jenny, Jay and their two dogs.

The latest was the family of Manang Cora Mina. The families were in two cars and a van, bringing with them meat and fish that they grilled, cooked rice, pancit, cassava cake, fruits and others. They cooked and we ate then they went to the beach while John and I took a nap and Manang Cora cooked the guinataan which was for our snack. After swimming in the beach they came and we ate again, the extra food was either packed or left with us.

It is fun in the farm; the experience of long ago comes in a different place and a different form. In a few weeks we will harvest the peanuts and the camote, we pray some will come to share the rustic experience.