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The Rampa That Lolo Built
Written by Kuya Mike  
Illustrated by Meggy
     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.  

     I wonder now why I never saw Lolo take a nap in the rampa. To him Lanang was a dream project. It was paradise, his realm and the cottage, his castle.  

     Lolo's rampa saw three San Miguel Generations. Someday one among us SMs will go up there, follow Lolo's footsteps and rebuild his castle our rampa - right in the original place. And maybe then laughter and sigawan of the new San Miguel generations will again be heard across the three lots and bring back the glory of Lanang . . .  

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