Tadpoles, Tela and Where Did Time Go?

I took the afternoon off from work to take care of my daughter’s school uniform. She already outgrew her old uniforms (obviously!) so even if it’s her last year here, I can’t let her wear tight old rags, can I?

The place to buy quality but affordable tela in Elbi is Mang Tino’s, that unpretentious little stall in front of Lopez Elementary School. Strategically placed around it were some patahians so I was able to wrangle a deal with Mommy Yolly, this lady at the first tahian I went to. I didn’t have much time nor patience to go tahian-hopping since I just went straight from work and the 3PM afternoon heat was doing nothing to ease the perpetual headache I’m carrying around these days. I just hope this lady Yolly is a good seamstress and keeps her word. I don’t want to relive the patahi-nightmare I had a couple years ago where I had to practically fight with the seamstress because she didn’t start sewing Ging’s uniforms until the last minute, hence the quality was really poor.

Blockbuster ang pila sa Mang Tino’s kanina, as there were new stocks coming in and a lot of teacher’s were queuing to get their orders. This is the only pic I managed to shoot before someone nudged me and almost knocked my phone off my hands. Anuber. Image

So anyhoo… a colleague and I were just remarking yesterday how times flies so fast. Seems like yesterday I was still busy making my Christmas shopping list, getting fired up about the coming year, yanking my hair off at turning 30… and now, it’s almost mid-year! Wooh!

Just this morning, while walking to the jeepney stop, I noticed the fish ponds at the Carabao Park. For non-Elbi peeps, the Carabao Park is located near the University entrance, right behind the “UP LOS BANOS” signage. It’s called such because of the – you guessed it – statues of a carabao and farmer and several carabao heads. It’s a popular hangout for students, couples and sampaguita vendors. There’s also a popular urban legend that if you climb and ride the carabao or take a picture there, hindi ka makaka-graduate.  Same goes for undergrads taking a picture with Oble.

I can’t remember the last time I saw the pond filled with water. When I was younger, it was filled with fishes (I forgot what kind. Carps?) and we would buy bread at Jericho’s and feed the fishes. (Another popular fish-feeding spot of my childhood was in front of the IRRI cafeteria).

Back when I was in second grade, we would spend afternoons there bearing plastic cups and catching tadpoles for our science project – life cycle of frogs. My mother and our labandera would often wonder why my school uniform would be muddy and smell malansa.

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I wish they’d fill it up again. For some reason, feeding fish is such a calming activity. In Palawan, we fed fishes while snorkeling. I’d hold out a soggy piece of bread and they would come swarming at me. Yiiii!

So that’s one weird childhood stuff I did with my friends back then. Someone (who I’ll hide behind the name Urikya) even decided to take a swim there when he dared himself to jump to the plant box in the middle of the pond and missed it. He attended our afternoon classes dripping wet and smelling of pond slush. Nice.

I guess I wish my daughter also get to enjoy these simple, outdoorsy activities. Kids nowadays are more into computers and Candy Crush and Youtube videos than “sports” like ten-twenty, shato, moro-moro and such. Of course, aside from the proximity issue of her school from these places, there’s also the more pressing issue of security. People my age can reminisce about being left in the kalye playing until evening, our parents secure we are with other neighbors’ kids. Now, news of local crime (and good old parental paranoia, I guess) prevents us from giving our kids free reign to roam the streets.

Oh well, good old days. And you know what, this is one of the best reasons I like living in Elbi. After battling with city crowds and traffic jams, I can go to any corner of the campus and be instantly calmed and revived by its sheer natural beauty, serene surroundings, greens and greens everywhere and of course, memories of simpler, younger times. 🙂

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