Walking under the afternoon sun gives me this feeling of nostalgia. Everytime I go out for an afternoon walk, I always remember how I once hated the idea of “siesta”. According to Merriam-Webster, it is basically “a regular period of sleep or rest in the afternoon in some hot countries”, like the Philippines. I see, I was born and raised in the province. I can still remember how I snuck out of my parents and played with the neighborhood who snuck out from their parents too. We played games like piko, patintero, tumbang-preso, bahay-bahayan, tagu-taguan, tubig-tubigan, and agawan base. I was ten when I first experienced owning a cellular phone. Well, just one of the then-popular Nokia models. The simple joys of playing out of the streets had been added when snake, space impact, bantumi and bounce came into my hands.

Then adolescence came. I became aggressive and more hungry from freedom – independence. Fights between me and my parents became more often. But, I never compromised my studies. ‘Cause I know they will be proud of me when they know tht I actually did well in school. The next day I woke up, I was already in a big city, far from my parents. While working out on my degree, I became more exposed with real world – a bigger world. I explored on my being, my mind, I even went out into socials and tried vices. Good or bad, I still learned from them, definitely.

Now, I am working in a bigger city – bigger than that of the big city I once knew and farther from my parents’ sight. In this “bigger” city, I saw lots of rich people in their own vehicles and rich kids having their first loves – electronic gadgets – in their hands. While not-so-rich individuals rode on public utility vehicles and even on their feet – bare feet at times. Kids still play the games I used to play before, but not as common as it was.

My work includes travelling a lot. I have to some cities and provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. I experienced the worst and the best so far. To mention a few, I was sent to Tacloban City just two months after Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation, and when food crises were still rampant. But no matter what, I still have this feeling of fulfillment for experiencing such. I interacted with different kinds of people, heard different stories. But I always find joy hearing stories from kids. Sharing stories with them gives me the chance to revisit my childhood. Unlike the kids from the “bigger” city, kids from provinces live a simpler life. So simple that I even got envious with how happy they are with the simple joys they have. I once had these simple joys, but I chose to live a complicated life. Simply because I am more likely to appreciate simple joys having this complicated lifestyle. I before I once hated “siesta”, I am more likely to yearn it now. If before I hated my parents for being such a nagger, I am more likely to admit it that I miss them now. It’s really nice to reminisce our childhood days. Those days are not just part of your life, but part of your being. Embrace your past, feel it’s warmth, and go on with the days of your present. Truly, good things in life are free.

After all, this is just another thought under the afternoon sun.