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My First Trip to Lanang
Written by Diko Do  
Illustrated by Justine
      Lanang was really the place to relax and enjoy that time. I was jealous of the bigger cousins (Kuya Jr. and D.E.) because I was still too little to go to Lanang. Well, Tatay Tanda (Lolo) was quite a methodical and organized person. When you are not ready yet - I guess you are not ready.  

     Anyway, my first trip to Lanang was with Kuya Pat, Flor, Lolo and Lola Tanda. Flor and I brought our plastic flutes and we played all the way to Lanang. We were pretty good playing duet together. Upon arrival Lolo gave us an orientation tour - the batis (brook), which was very beautiful with fresh spring water, fish and susong pilipit (Lanang escargot); the balon (well) for drinking water.  

     I was examining the water for mosquito larvae when Flor told me, "Basta inumin mo. Lolo drinks from this well all the time and look at him - very healthy." Lolo was very proud of that land. He showcased the fruit trees and identified who planted what around the kubo. Flor and I were an inseperable duo. With our musical flutes blaring all over the mountain, the birds really got a kick from our music.  

     Cling, clang, cling, clang. Lunch call! Lolo used an old wheel rim as a bell. We settled for Lola's famous sinigang. You would not believe the size of the taptapan (soup bowl). We filled it up to the brim with white rice, and ate 'till we could no longer fill our tummy.  

     Siesta time! The bamboo sahig (floor), was very comfortable with nice cool air circulating from under. However, we couldn't sleep without a pillow. Their pillows were short and round logs with the curved-out middle that fits one's head. Flor and I climbed the big tree, laid down on one of the big braches and teased the birds with our lovely flute music.  

     Then the long trek home. It was a loooong trek home. D.E. thought it was just a mile. I thought it was more than 30 miles. Regardless of the number of miles, Lola, with her big bilao (flat basket made of bamboo slats) on top of her head and with her cigarette in her mouth (lighted end inside), didn't even mind the long walk. Here we were - hingaling very tired and gasping for air!  

     What was very surprising was we never went to work!  

     Years later we did work! Boy, did we work, picnic, and work! And we started riding the jeep only when the girls (Ate Fe, Girlie, Annette, Lit, Viv) made their first trip to Lanang.  

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