Memories are made of these

Sundays are made for going on trips down memory lane.  On the radio you’ll hear music from way, way back.  The golden voices that sing lyrics about love won and love lost, of life’s story, of passion, of happiness and of sadness, of yellow brick roads and of taming the wind and smoothing the waters.  It’s all about memories.

I have always been fascinated by old photographs, and lately I have realized that what I have been doing is capturing scenes that take me back in time.  I can relate to these photos, and despite the randomness, there’s something about them that stir the memories.

woman buying bread from a local bakeshop

Hot pan de sal is by far best thing ever made, better than sliced bread.  It’s a breakfast staple and can also be an afternoon snack.  There are many ways to enjoy it – dunk it in coffee or in piping hot native chocolate, slather with butter or margarine sprinkled with sugar, sandwich an egg  or cheese or corned beef or ice cream.  The list goes as far as the imagination goes.

kid sitting on a manhole cover holding an empty tin can

What’s the best ingredient for a great Sunday morning?  An empty tin can, an alley and our flip flop wearing friends.  It’s play time!  “Tumba Lata” is what the game is called.  It means topple the can. I’ve played this game hundreds of times on sidewalks with friends when we were kids.  Our sidewalks weren’t that crowded then.  We also rode our roller skates on the sidewalks too.  Now the city sidewalks have become too crowded, but most kids nowadays will only need a place to sit and play with their electronic gadgets.  Too bad for them.

man counting "moron", a native delicacy made from sticky rice and chocolate

Counting morons.  No, not the two men.  Moron is a native delicacy made from sticky rice, chocolate, peanuts and cheese.  It’s a favorite “pasalubong” or homecoming gift for anyone visiting Tacloban.

Before there were fast food chains there were cozy refreshment parlors with wooden tables and long wooden benches with tall back rests.  There were no large coffee mugs then but instead only small glass jars that used to contain the powdered coffee.  Sugar was served in a bowl, halo-halo on a tall plastic tumbler, and moron, siopao (steamed meat buns), puto (rice cake), and biko (sticky rice cake) were served on small plastic saucers.  And there were no noisy coffee grinders nor blenders, no air-conditioning, only ceiling fans.  Soda came in 8 ounce bottles and we sipped through paper straws.  There were treasures to be found in the bottle caps, most notably free Coke.  That’s probably why soda bottle caps became known as “PREKOK”.

a girl with an umbrella sits on a wooden cart pushed by her father

The princess on her limousine.  It was market day and she watched over the goods while her father made the deliveries.  This reminds me of my childhood days.  My parents run a dry goods store and every now and then there will be deliveries to the bus terminal just across the street.  I would accompany the delivery boy to watch over the goods so they don’t get stolen and to and from the store I would get to ride on the handcart, which was a real treat for a little kid like me.

peanut vendor

Remnants from the past – the shot glass, the tin can, the paper bag and peanuts.  Peanuts have been sold this way since the beginning of time.  Hoy! Mani! Mani!


Today was the first time somebody joined me in my photo walk.  Some time late October Michael Westermann sent me a message on FB asking if he can accompany me since he is in the country on a vacation.  Sure, I said, but it would be a short photo walk as I am attending a workshop at 9 in the morning.  And so we started our walk at 6 in the morning, chatting most of the way.  I think this is the longest walk I’ve done in recent months as I showed him the places where some of the my photos were shot.  Here is his account of the experience:

November 18 also happened to be his birthday.  Michael, I hope you had a great time and enjoyed your stay in Tacloban City.


13 thoughts on “Memories are made of these

  1. Honestly I can say that this walk was one of my best experiences so far. I really enjoyed every single step of it as well as – of course – the moron. And the bananas. And… (so much more)

    Thanks again and all the best. Hope you will keep this very special spirit…

    • I’m glad to hear that, Michael. I guess you had too much food for breakfast, but that is because your stay was quite short, not even having time to visit our famous landmarks. Hopefully your next trip will be longer.

  2. These pictures are beautiful! I love the one of the princess on her limousine. In the background, it looks like a little boy is riding a motorcycle by himself! You pick up great detail with all of your pictures.

  3. what a heart warming photos and narrations. . thank you for taking us back along memory lane. nostalgic indeed. love the ‘moron’:) those music esp. the oldies, love them.
    I am sure Mr. Westerman enjoyed the walk and the moron as well:))) another WP/ FP contender!

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