The Transporter

Nothing transports me back to my past better than smelling something familiar.

A whiff of a former love/crush’s cologne.
A barbecue aroma in the center of my college quad.
A smoker’s breath after finishing a stick.

My memory is always strongly guided by my sense of smell, which in turn also heightens my sense of taste. This has been the culprit for me craving food occasionally from a certain fast food chain.

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Getting to smell Jollibee’s Chickenjoy (a meal consisting of fried chicken with rice and gravy) instantly transports me back to my childhood. And getting to finally taste it again will flood me with different stories to tell involving the family, major childhood events, and chickenjoy.

So, no matter how I seem to think I’m fed up of eating it, one smell and I’m already coming back for more. I know I’m not the only one alone in this. Ask Filipinos who were raised in the Philippines, girl or boy, rich or poor, we all have our own Jollibee and chickenjoy stories. And even kids today, they still continue to create their stories with the store and food.

**This post is not a paid ad or anything. This is in response to Daily Prompt: The Transporter.

Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood

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This is the street where I grew up in. My childhood home in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

This post is in response to Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood .

Fantasy

Daily Prompt: Fantasy

The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .) : a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?

Definitely a harmless fiction.
Well, in the Philippines, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are not popular fiction told to kids. So most kids in our country don’t know them, actually. All except for Santa Claus.

I will never ever forget the feeling I had as a kid during Christmas mornings. Having to wake up to presents that magically appeared overnight under the tree, all with the card saying it’s from Santa Claus. And previously empty stockings, now filled with candies to the brim. Also, days before Christmas, we would write him a letter asking for what we want and we would leave it by the window.

There was one Christmas that trumps all my memories of Santa. On Christmas Eve, my cousin got a present from her godfather. It was a complete set of cool pens and stationery. I was so jealous that I wanted one for myself. And I knew that it was too late to ask one from Santa because he would not have the time to buy or create one for me since its already Christmas eve. Plus, how will he get my letter on time? So all I did was cry that night. Christmas morning came, and there was a gift for me from Santa. I opened it and saw the exact gift set my cousin got the night before. I was so happy that I wanted to scream my thank you to Santa. Right then, I’ve always been so grateful to him and as an eternal thank you, I vowed to never be a naughty kid again.

After that everything was a blur.

I never knew how I got to know the truth about him not being real.
My parents never told me.
No friend of mine blew the whistle.
Maybe it was because of watching movies or reading stuff that I got to know.
But it was never clear.
I just got to understand that whatever my mama and papa did during Christmas was a part of a tradition that they did not want to break.

I do not even remember the first Christmas I stopped receiving gifts with the card written “From Santa Claus” on it. I never remember being heartbroken about it. May be because the other two Santas in my life– mom and dad– never stopped giving me their love and gifts. And those are the best Santa Clauses a child can ever have.

So maybe, it is a good idea to let children have a few good memories to keep with them. It’s the memory of having that feeling at least once in your life that is worth all the lies. Of course, you have to couple this with never-ending love, support, and proper candor (in time) from loved ones. Always.

Childhood Revisited

Daily Prompt: Childhood Revisited

Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?

I have no major complaints about my childhood.
I had the most amazing childhood memories of fun and inventive summers, coolest friends, and best parents ever.

Every time I go home for a vacation (however brief), my childhood friends and I make it a point to see each other. And every time, we reminisce all the fun, stupid, and weird things we did as children.

The silly fights.
The play houses, restaurants, schools, and games we imagined and built together.
The hatred for when school starts.

However, when school began, I started to not hate it all that much because I realized that I will get to have new school things, meet my friends at school, and join school activities we’ve been waiting for the year before.

Looking back, I really missed being a kid, which is weird.
Because when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up and finish school and have a job.
Now that I’ve done all that, I wish to be that kid again minus the dreaming of growing up.
I still feel like a kid, though. But it’s hard to keep those feelings of youth when you have to face grown up issues and problems.

*Sigh*
Kids don’t know how lucky they are to have just kid problems.
Life was so much easier.

(Well, minus the kids that have to work in a very early age or with similar problems. I think that is so unfair. Kids should experience to be carefree even just for a while, until they get to face the real world.)

Anyway, I’m digressing from the topic.

My childhood was pretty amazing but it wasn’t perfect.
If had to change some things, these will probably the following:

1. I wished we were picked up earlier after school.

These were really one of the worst memories I had as a child. I remember, my sister and I were always the last ones at the school waiting for our father. There was a time in first grade (my sister was in kindergarten) when I was so mad and convinced that he forgot about us that I dragged my sister out of the campus to walk home. Halfway, we were picked up by my classmate and her family and they brought us home. Of course, my parents were furious when we arrived. I took a major scolding that night.

I never really got to ask my father why he was never on time because this changed when we got older, which was already useless because we could actually go home alone by that time.

2. I wished we had the resources to take up after-school or extra-curricular lessons.

Some kids don’t realize how lucky they are that their parents sign them up for piano lessons or dance classes. When I was young, I envied my friends and cousins who got these opportunities but just wasted them. They were always complaining that instead of playing outside, they have to go get their lessons. If only we had the money, I would gladly take their place every time.

What my sisters and I did is that we studied on our own. We learned the things we wanted to do but never really proficient.

3. I wished I drank milk more!

One thing you should know about me is that I’m super skinny.
I am so skinny that people think I am sick or have an eating disorder or something.
I wish I had though, so that I can finally give them an explanation and I would know what to do to get myself fatter.
And what I hate the most is that people really don’t give a second thought at saying you look like an anorexic but it would be already be offensive to call someone chubby, let alone, fat! You’ve got to realize, people, that it hurts the ego and confidence just the same.

So anyway, I just wished I drank milk when my parents say to drink it. Maybe it would have made a difference (not that I think it would).

Anyway, what’s done is done.
Forget regret. And I did.
What we have is now.
I’m super thankful for the wonderful memories from my childhood.
It really did make me turn out okay.