| Lanang is a small
sitio in the barrio of Maybangkal, about five minutes away by tricycle
from the family house in Plaza. But as far as we were concerned then, Lanang
meant Lolo's orchard, Lanang was ours.
Lolo has two orchards
there - the small lot which is closer to the national road (assigned to
Tio Francing) and the big lot which is two low hills away. The big one
is divided into three lots. One area belongs to Tio Nick, and the other
to Kuyang, my tatay - the eldest of Lolo's three sons.
The third area
is the communal lot. It is assigned to all of Lolo's daughters (Young ones
please check our family register). This was where the rampa stood - the
family headquarters. It was the place where we would all gather after going
around the three lots plus Lolo David's orchard which is sandwiched between
Tio Nick's and Tatay's.
The 3M X 5M rampa had
woven bamboo strips for walls and had posts of knotted kakawate trunks.
The ground floor cover was leveled clay. It had a patchwork roofing of
used G.I. sheets. Adjacent to the bamboo slat door was a cooking/dinning
area with a wooden table. The bench was fixed to the ground. At the far
end was the kalan. Beside the dining area grew a bent bayabas tree from
which hung a metal rim used as a bell to signal "kainan na!".
What was nostalgic
about this rampa was that the roofing used for the dining area was an old
and rusty Raytranco Bus! The interior of the rampa had ground area - storage
and banggerahan stood a three foot high tree trunk, a pedestal for the
tapayan - clay-jar faucet for drinking water.
One side of the
ground area sa ilalim ng sahig is used for keeping tools, barbed wire for
fencing, kaings, panungkits, etc. The flooring of the sleeping area was
made of sahig na bamboo slats. There were two windows with bamboo slat
awning covering. A short bamboo tukor is used to hold the awnings up.
The rampa stood
there until mid-70's, the time when Lanang was seldom visited. And so the
rampa that Lolo built slowly gave way and crumbled, beaten by the weather,
eaten by anay and bukbok. Some materials and tools were stolen. All that
is left now are stubs of what used to be posts and the memory of good old
summer days, picnic, work, Lolo's pride and joy Lanang.