Little Dynamo had been making the rounds of houses of relatives. Barely two weeks here in the Philippines and he had slept in four houses already. First was in parents-in-law’s house in New Manila. After one night there, we flew to Iloilo and spent some nights in my parents’ house until after Typhoon Ondoy left the country. We then packed for a one night stay in my brother’s house in the same city. We went back to our base, my parents’ house, to bring back our laundry:-).
The sun barely settled when I packed up our things again for a two nights stay in Guimaras. My aunt and my cousins had been waiting for Little Dynamo to spend some days there. Unfortunately, we needed to go back to Iloilo so I could meet my friends tomorrow. I had never met a friend since I arrived. It had been days of just texting and calling because 1) of the weather; 2) my health; 3) lack of TIME.
Guimaras is a small island 15 minutes away by motorboat from Iloilo. It’s an undeveloped paradise to this day. Although various undeveloped beaches have been teeming with Koreans, the whole island is still virtually unaffected by the demands of tourism. It’s a beautiful, homey place.
My cousins have the privilege of calling this place a home. It’s conveniently accessible to the city and yet it cannot be easily developed by way of sprouting infrastructures and other pollutants in the guise of progress. Yet, they have the perks of internet access and a safe environment in an environment where houses are cozily built large enough to accommodate family entertainment. The surroundings have ample space to boast of well-manicured lawns (at least my aunt’s house because she is very fond of plants) where children can play and run around. In their close-knit community, gates are not made of steel or painted cement but of bushes and trees. My son had a grand time watching from the veranda while coconuts fell from the two coconut trees safely positioned on one side of the house. It was an experience alien to him which his Lola (my aunt) made sure he experienced.
A hammock was set-up on one side of the veranda over-looking the street. My niece (my cousin’s 2-year old daughter) loves sleeping on the hammock for her afternoon naps. Little Dynamo invaded her corner for two days while his Lolo (my aunt’s husband) patiently rocked the hammock. Needless to say, he had very relaxing afternoon naps lulled by the sounds of the drizzle and the cool afternoon fresh air.
This morning, while we he was on my lap, he pointed to the lawn and said, “Mommy, I had a lot of fun on that ground with Tito Ninong and my playmate”. He calls my brother “Tito Ninong” and my cousin’s daughter his “playmate”. My aunt asked him if he wants to leave already and he said, “No”.
When I told him we needed to go back to Lolo Daddy and Lola Mommy’s house, he asked, “We are going to another house, again?” His innocence made me smile. “Oh, yes. We are on a long vacation, remember?”