Monday, September 10, 2012

Barangay Molino, Naic, Cavite – Philippines!

I don’t believe there is anything in the web written about our beloved barangay – Molino in Naic, Cavite (not Molino in Bacoor, Cavite). I did make a quick Google search and I found none. There’s a Wikipedia entry about Naic, Cavite which mentions Molino to be one of the barangays but it’s no help at all if you want to know what Molino is really like. Who better to describe Molino than someone who actually lived in it for most of his life, right?

(I hope this article gets to the top of Google’s SERP (search engine results page) soon enough when you search for “Molino Naic Cavite”. Although the prospect of many people searching for it may be unlikely, I still feel the need to close this gap.  With that, I hope to put our barangay out there for anyone to know about.)

Molino and Me

I was born in Molino, Naic, Cavite in the year 1980. Ferdinand Marcos was still president at that time. But I have no recollection of martial law or any of the problems people in our part of town may have experienced due to martial rule.

My first memory of my childhood in Molino was probably around the time I was 4 or 5 years old. I remember riding with my father on a motorcycle. It wasn’t as common to have motorcycles then as it is now. But my father used to have one because he worked for a government agency which required of him to visit different locations.

Even with unpaved roads, motorcycles and tricyles were the mode of transport that I grew up with going from our home to the town’s business center – which we called the “bayan”.  But there’s no frequent need to go out of our barangay, really. I enjoyed the place as much as any of my playmates back then. We used to spend most of our time playing outside the house with kids living nearby.

Patintero

It was a typical provincial barangay where you knew your neighbors.  I believe it still is today. But back then, I was among those kids stubborn enough to insist playing on the middle of the road. Particularly at night, we occupy a stretch playing “patintero”. We drew lines by pouring water on the dusty road. Those lines served as our markers as two teams competed over who can better dodge opponents to win the game. The games can last for hours until parents start fetching their kids.

But I would be remiss if I did not mention those other popular games that occupied our time. We played syato, tumbang preso, langit-lupa, mataya-taya, taguan, teks, among others.

Bako-bako

Now the roads are paved with cement. It took some time to complete that work but it was a long-awaited development. No one wanted to struggle with commuting on a daily basis. The road was just so messed-up that a 10-minute tricycle journey always took 30 minutes at least.

I can’t recall which mayor helped made that happen but I remember it being a campaign pledge. Quite a few youngsters voted for a politician who promised to build a basketball court but, good for us, the candidate who prioritized the road won.

Tubigan

A significant area of our barangay was meant for agriculture. Planting and harvesting rice and other vegetables were the prominent way to make a living. Even when young people started working for factories elsewhere (such as EPZA – Export Processing Zone Area) leaving the rice fields, agriculture continued to exist.

You can still see farmers working on their fields even today. My father until now never tires with farming. I believe it’s something that he had to do to feel alive and enjoy each day. Although we kids were raised not to follow in his footsteps, I feel that I can understand the feeling of doing worthwhile work now that I have a job of my own. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you enjoy doing it.

Itik

When I was young, my father even ventured into “itik” or duck farming business. It was the type of business that made sense for people who had rice fields. Together with my cousins, we shepherded the ducks to stay and eat at newly-harvested rice fields. That’s because there were still food to eat for ducks in those areas which might otherwise have been wasted.

We were all excited to see the products of our toils which were the eggs laid by those ducks. Most of them laid their eggs at night and these were collected in the morning. But that activity was left for grown-ups to do.

Nevertheless, we felt the excitement over finding eggs a couple of times when ducks break their egg-laying routine. Instead of producing eggs at night as they sleep, they sometimes do so during the day. It would happen not as frequently as we hoped but that only made it feel like a “treasure hunt” achievement for us.

Sangha

One of the things I learned, and all the kids learned, at a very early age in our barangay was swimming. Everyone knew how to swim because we have had a mini-river just at the back of our houses. You can call it a stream but it’s too small to be called a river. We’ve grown up calling it “sangha”. I don’t know where that term came from or if it was even a valid Tagalog word but it somehow felt right for us.

Many of us came to a point when we were just spending too much time in the water. You know how kids enjoy swimming. We were unmindful of the time to the point when our nails felt soft and our skins sagged. It was crazy!

Katoliko

Most people in Molino were Roman Catholics. I was born a Catholic myself. We were not religious when we were still Catholics but we had images of God inside the house. We had a picture of Mother and Child, Jesus nailed on the cross and rosaries.

All of these we threw away when we converted to become “Born-Again” Christians.  We were told that we had to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior for us to be Born Again and so we did. We were baptized and we worship like our lives depended on it.

I don’t want to talk about religion too extensively. It’ll just be a long worthless endeavor. Suffice it to say I’m not a big fan of many self-righteous church leaders who have nothing to show for their faith other than religiosity.

Lutrina

As much as we hated it when it rained in Molino, I remember how worried we got when it didn’t rain. I sometimes joined a religious practice of asking God for rain. It was called “Lutrina”. I’m not sure if they still do this today.

But whenever we did this, we formed a line carrying candles with one person holding a figurine image of Mary (mother of Jesus). As we walked the street, we sang this Latin song, not understanding what the lyrics meant. Then each night a home was designated to be the resting place of the figurine image of Mary. That’s where the fun would start because this home would be obliged to prepare food for the visitors which I always looked forward to.

Sari-sari store

Being a small rural barangay that it is, Molino does not have big grocery stores. The public market is 15 minutes away that’s why small stores, sari-sari stores we call them, fill the need for retail.

My mother is a proud owner of one of these stores. She started it with very small capital but has been slowly and steadily running it over the years. This store was important to us because it helped my mother earn money to meet our needs. It brought food to our table and helped pay for our schooling.

Relatives and Friends

I had a couple of painful experiences in Molino such as when people close to me passed away. But overall it’s been a good place to have been born in and to have experienced a great deal of things.

But just to bring my sentimental side to the extreme, I’d have to say that Molino is nothing without the people there who I love and care about. They are my relatives and friends who gave and continue to give meaning to my life.

Barangay Molino is unforgettable to me. I hope it’ll continue to be so for many more people who will live in it in generations to come.


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