Monday, July 06, 2015


I first visited this magical place in the Summer of 1982, when I was still 7. Even at that early age, I already remember so much - the late afternoon swims in the pool with my Mom's good friend, Mrs. Baclig (who I eventually started addressing as 'Lola Fe'); the distinct pine smell in the evenings, picking Mangosteen by the lake, fishing on Tuesdays (or was it on Wednesdays?), the occasional duck pin bowling and movie nights.
I came back here every Summer since, until Mom left the service in 2001. Until now, I distinctly recall the dark wooden panels of the houses, the roughness of macramé wall décor, the heavy groan of Ford Broncos plying the perfectly asphalted roads, visiting the community garden on Sundays, that creamy fresh milk in the mornings, the immaculate white walls of the school, the smell of freshly baked cinnamon bread by our cook, the very strict Manang Lucing from Bohol with the surprisingly dainty giggle (she would even let me play with the various cookie cutters, making patterns on her dough); the annual fuss over the Christmas ham (stewed in pineapple juice and beer for hours!), home-made corned beef, the ghost stories, and Sundays when the house is filled with music by Perry Como, Dionne Warwick, and Elvis Presley.
Ah, the flowers! I've always believed that my appreciation for flowers started here. Mom kept a garden beside the House which had Cattleyas, Dahlias, Daisies, and a lot of Tropicals. I made sure to water those every morning before the sun became too hot, and I was always in charge of sprucing up the rooms with plants whenever we had guests over.
Last April, 8 years after I lost my Mom to cancer, we had the chance to return to this place along with some friends for an engagement shoot. Amusing enough, the Groom was my Mom's student, making this more like a trip down memory lane. I guess Mom found an ingenious way for me to finally have some closure.  
As I write this, remembering all the happy Summers Mom and I spent together in Cawayanon, I feel sad that those won't happen again but thankful still for the memories that have helped me become who I am now. And thank you, J Lucas Reyes, for capturing this place's beauty with so much honesty and emotion. You do know how much this homecoming of sorts meant for me. :-)



Glaiza Binayas said...

Omg. Such a beautiful place! Great shots! ;)

Vatel Manila said...

Super! Everyone should have a chance to visit Bukidnon. :-)


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