Today, I saw a blog talking about all the shitty things our country and its people have. He expected Filipinos to serve his food the American way. Local food joints are trained to serve hungry customers, period. Anyway, there are many observations there that might hit hard, as in sad and complete truth but still I believe that no one has the right to tell someone they are stupid, and telling someone stupid does not make one a lot smarter.
The blog talked about this old street in downtown Cebu City, Colon. It brought memories of childhood and adventures. I used to love Cebu City for its laid-back lifestyle until modernization clogged up the narrow streets with too many vehicles, garbage and illegal grabbers(snatchers and pickpockets). Problems rose here and there. I can complain all I want but until such time that I have done something or come up with a solution myself, I do not want to. Yes, it is a sad truth that our government officials are way too corrupt, but we voted them, riiggghhhttt????
Anyway, I wanted Thursdays as a day where I can remember how I was and the few good things and bad things that made me what I am today- all confusing and insane.
Colon is just few meters from where I was born, I was born and raised in a slum area. We were informal settlers; though around the time of my grandparents, they belonged to the more dignified ones. They have businesses and income. They had a big house and can afford good food, pretty dresses and trips to movies houses. Until drugs penetrated our place, and some uncles became pathetic drug lords, drug users, runners and were killed of drug abuse, we lived a good. We were a happy community until population spiked up and more informal settlers arrived. My mother decided to better live in the province. She feared for her kids future, but not all mothers are like her and not all mothers were married to someone who has a province to go home to. Most of my childhood friends were not lucky enough- and I was not lucky that way, too! My childhood was also fucked up especially after my mother died few months after my 8th birthday.
How I learned to swim.
My grandparent’s house was situated on a body of water. Cousins and neighbors gather around for a swim everyday! We had a beach party everyday. I remembered me mostly naked than actually wearing clothes. Our uncles, who did not have the proper training to teach swimming would throw us to the water so we learn how to swim. I was 4 or five years old. Yes, it may sound barbaric but it was the only effective method they know. They would only save us if they think we are drowning and are near death. My uncles were the most fucked up people I know but they would tell us not to drink on their drunken days and not to smoke after they sent us to buy them their packs of cigars. They are nice, that way! 🙂
I turned out to be a very good swimmer, thanks to my barbaric uncles. Today, their grandchildren can no longer swim like we do because the water is all mud and full of garbage.
That is how I learned to swim, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. If I actually died, I wouldn’t be able to write about it. And because I did survive, it became a little interesting.