I’ve always considered myself to have been lucky to have had the childhood I had. It was not a perfect childhood but I can say it was a happy one. We were not really rich, but we were comfortably well-off. Enough for my siblings and I to have gone to some of the best schools back home down to college, and for us to count summers in Baguio and trips elsewhere among our fondest memories. We never went on vacations overseas unlike our really rich peers — but we never really wanted for anything.
For me to write and describe 3 significant memories from my childhood is not a difficult thing to do, but choosing only three is the tougher task, but let me try.
1. When I was in kindergarten, we were invited to dance on Channel 5 after someone (presumably one of the parents in the audience) saw our group perform a dance to “Jesus Christ, Superstar” in school. I remember dancing and being the “star” among around 10 dancers, so dear old Auntie Lydia dressed me differently to stand out. Picture midriff (sp?) and shorts complete with bandana on the head. (I’m trying to find a picture…) My first taste of performing… which sort of gave me stage fright but which I really enjoyed. Also my first taste of feeling like a “star” — which, thinking back now, did a lot to boost my self confidence, even as a child.
2. Father – Daughter date: Ten Commandments. I think this was when I was 7 — I just remember that Dad and I were the only ones who went because he thought my sister (then 5) and brother (then 3) were much too young to sit through the three-hour grown up movie. We bought pears from a fruit vendor outside (my first time to taste them then…) and we sat there, just him and me. Quite a departure from our usual family movie dates. I liked those times dad and I went out on our own. We did this a couple of times more and each one was special. It was during those times I truly felt I was a Daddy’s girl.
3. Summers spent in Baguio. I cannot remember when we started going on long vacations in Baguio, but I would say it was probably when I was around 5. Mom and Dad hauled us off to Baguio and left us there in the care of Auntie Lydia, returning during the weekends. We would usually stay for three to six weeks, returning to Manila just before school begins.
We went on picnics, spent nights huddled in bed sans the airconditioner, just enjoying the summer days before school began again.
Not that I don’t have any jarring or mind-blowing memories but “significant” to me would mean something that meant a lot to me or had somehow laid the foundation for who I am today.