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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

entry arrow4:50 PM | A Place of Memory

I was coming home from my secret writing nook near Tugas when I found myself walking by my old neighbourhood in Tubod -- Springville, its denizens call it. And because I am currently writing a short story about it, culled from my childhood growing up there, I decided to visit it after many, many years.

There's a small road behind Kurambos that begin right off the highway, and begins as a claustrophobic passageway that stretches on and on, bordered on both sides by concrete fences that scale towards the sky. There used to be a field right beside this stretch, adjacent to a spring -- where the name "Tubod" comes from -- where the neighbourhood's women would converge daily to do their laundry and gossip. It's all concrete walls now, and the effect on the passersby is a squeezing akin to panic.

When it finally opens up after a few meters, I see the old house where we used to live. It is even smaller and more decrepit than in my memory, and I quickly wonder how we managed to live there for many years. There is a slight stench to the air, a mix of dirt and kanin baboy. The A-framed bamboo house after it, painted a dark brown, was where a young Peace Corps volunteer once lived, her greatest drama then being spied on at night by a peeping tom who turned out to be a young man who lived right across us. This house looked the same, if looking muddied more than ever. And the yellow bungalow that occupied the very middle of this narrow stretch, which terminated in the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses twenty meters away, is still bright yellow and is still a bungalow, with a towering structure in pink now behind it.

Kingdom Hall is no more, only a series of unremarkable flats crowded together, telling me that all I have left of this place is memory, and that the past is not a place to go home to, except in fiction.

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