Two Handmade Baskets Essay

1877 words - 8 pages

Camat PAGE 1
Maria Teresa Camat Dr. Rowe English 2336 MW 9:30 a.m.Personal Memoir Essay 3 December 2003 Two Handmade Baskets In 1990, my family and I visited my maternal parents in a Philippine village called Evangelista from our house in Baguio City. I was only seven years old, innocent and naive. It was a year that began full of observance and learning. It was May of the new year, and the weather in Evangelista was hot, yet breezy in the afternoon because my grandparents' house was surrounded by mango trees and their house was in a large area near rice fields. That same afternoon, we arrived at their house, and all the elders were outside playing bingo under one of the mango trees: my ...view middle of the document...

I was shocked and speechless because I didn't know that I still had a living great-grandfather. I asked him for his name, but he did not respond. It was then that one of my cousins, Carol, came inside the house and told me that our great-grandfather had a hearing problem because of his age. "Just call him Amang (great-grandfather)," said my cousin Carol, because she did not know his real name. I found out from Carol that Amang was the father of my maternal grandmother. While my aunts and my grandmother were preparing dinner that night, I asked my Lola (grandmother) why I did had not seen Amang when my family and I arrived at their house. She told me that her father usually rests in his room during mid afternoon and he comes out during sundown to watch the children play outside on the front lawn. She also told me his name: Glacerio Castres. After her response to my questions, I began to observe Amang for the next few days to see if he really did the routines that my Lola had described, and she was right. I observed that Amang would sit in his rocking chair around six o' clock every morning and wait for the bakery man to deliver our pandesal (bread). He would only eat his pandesal with coffee for breakfast, and then he would go out in the backyard to feed the chickens. After he fed the animals, he would go back inside the house and rest in his room until lunch was ready. Soon after lunch, Amang usually made baskets under the mango tree outside. He would then return to his room to smoke tobacco, followed by a nap until sunset or until he was awaken by the loud yelling and giggling sounds of the children playing in the front lawn. I did not know why I decided to observe Amang's daily routines, but I had a feeling that it would impact my life someday. Soon, the month of June came, which started the beginning of the schoolyear. Since we no longer had a maid in our house in Baguio due to a shortage of money, my parents told me to stay with my grandparents and attend Evangelista Elementary School with my cousin Carol. Every day when school started, Amang still managed to do his daily schedule. He was the first person in the household to wake up early in the morning. He was always the one who made our coffee by boiling the dark, dried coffee seeds that he harvested in the farm. After making our coffee, Amang would go outside in the backyard to feed the chickens and roosters by scattering the grains in the ground. When he finished feeding the animals, he would return to his room and go back to sleep.Each school day around eleven o'clock in the morning until one in the afternoon was our lunch break. My cousin and I would walk for fifteen minutes from school to our Lola's house to eat lunch. Each time we reached the house, Amang would be in the bamboo bed near the dining table. He would smoke dried tobacco leaves in his pipe before eating lunch with me and Carol. A few minutes after eating lunch, Amang would walk, holding his cane in his right hand, to a...

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