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Our Lolo Tanda
Written by Kuya Junior & Diko Ennie  
Illustrated by Nickie
          Stories about Lolo Tanda are not complete without mentioning Lanang. To the third generations, Lanang is not Lolo's bakasyunan. It was his hobby! He worked weekends and after retirement worked everyday until his rayuma flared up.  

     He always managed to "escape" from Lola Tanda's watchful eyes, jump into a tricycle, and go off to Lanang. He returned back in the afternoon with the usual answer to Lola's, "Saan ka ba na naman nanggaling?" inquiry.  

    "Kow, eh binisita ko ang halaman kina Uling, Ansang, Luning at Nitang. At nag-upo lamang ako sa parlor." Sinagot ang tanong. Gumaling ang rayuma. And I bet people sa kabila knew all the time that Lolo was in Lanang. Something in that place magnetized Lolo to the extent that Lanang almost became his obsession - he got to be there.  

     His dedication to the place made me (D.E.) look forward - dreaming that someday I will retire and really feel the enchantment of Lanang - the peace and tranquility of the place, the kubo, the rushing sound of the water sa sapa, birds chirping in between human voice from far away in the mountains blaring..."Haya, haya, haya, mga lintik na kalabaw at sinira ang maisan ah...haya, haya..."  

     Now back to Lolo Tanda, and here to give us the first of the many stories to come (from other apos) are D.E. and Kuya Jr. - the first two apos to set paa sa Lanang. Lolo's ways when it came to Lanang was by-the-book. We learned a great lot from him.  

     When planting banana plants always spread your fingers to scoop the dirt from the hole so bananas will spread out sa buwig. And never look up to the plants while planting because the puno will be bang-taas ay mahirap anihin. We also learned to make good ulam - that is sinigang out of one small can of sardines with sahog of all vegetables you can find around the kubo.  

    Everytime we took a rest from planting or mending fences he would say, "Junior, Ene habang kayo ay nagpa-pahi-pahinga ay hawanan ninyo ang mga puno ng mangga." (While resting weed-out the mango tree). What a break!  

     Lolo was proud of his pananim sa Lanang. He always showcased his plants. Everytime he felt the Lanang itch he will tell Lola, "Hoy Masang (Lola Tanda) pakaon mo na nga mga apo mo at magpipiknik sa Lanang." Weekends were Lanang time for us. Armed with "itak" very proud to have our own, straw hat, maluto of matamis na bao, off we lakar for miles and miles.  

     I always complained, "Masakit na po paa ko Lolo." His reply? "Malapit na tayo, maglibang ka sa mga ibon sa raan, mga bulaklak sa bakuran at hindi mo mapapansin ang sakit ng paa mo." His motivation worked! Pero tagaktak naman ang pawis ko. Kuya was cool - lakar ng lakar, tabas rini, tabas raon at kayas ng sanga na may kasabay pang susot (whistling) maski na kaliwete ang musik (oops! Sorry Kuya).  

     After arrival ay maghahawan (clearing) muna ng mga bagin around banana plants, dalanghita, atbp. Then mamimitas na ng sinegguelas - isang pitas, dalawang kain! One time D.E. almost burned down the kubo and the whole of Lanang. He was not palo. Oh boy did he get mura all the way home. Here is the story.  

     It was a hot summer and DE threw the baga (embers) outside the kubo. It landed on some dry kugon and started a flash. The fire gapang very fast around the kubo burning small trees, grass, old and dried logs, etc. With Lolo's katiwala, Totoy Sto. Domingo, the fire was put under control at sunset. The small bal-on helped a lot. If I am not mistaken that bal-on was dug by Tio Nick and Tato, another cousin whose property is adjacent to Lanang.  

     Many years later Lolo told me, "Alam mo ba Ene nang sunugin mo and Lanang (not intentional) ay nakabuti sa isang bagay - nagsilbing fertilizer ang mga abo ng mga puno at damo. Luminis pati ang mga sukal."  

     Gathering firewood was another chore. Lolo always inspected our bigkis. It should be tight and the firewood cut in the same length. He was a perfectionist. You either do it right (his way), or not do it at all.  

      In 1985 Raymond and I balik-SM. He heard the word Lanang and asked what it was. A brief pasyal to Lanang impressed him. "You mean to say my great grandfather owned this whole mountain?" Yes, Raymond, Lanang was Lolo Tanda's legacy to the members of the San Miguel clan.  

    Lanang. One special place for us. Let us keep the Lanang Spirit burning (Ooops aray, hindi na po!) - the San Miguel way.  


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