When I seven years old, my mother enrolled me at the
I must have been around 8 years old when my mother brought me to live with my grandparents on my father side. And that was in Banaong, in the
|Vicente, Godo Sr, Junior|
(Grandma is in the window)
I was informed by my cousin that during that time there were seven families living in the house. My Aunt Carmen’s family occupied one room and all of them sleep on the floor, parents and children. No privacy. They didn’t use mosquito net. One night on my way to the bathroom very late at night, I saw my aunt making love with her husband. I recalled there were also other aunts living in the house, but I didn’t know their social status. As a very young boy, their life situation was the least of my concern since playing with my cousins, going to elementary schools, playing hooky, and avoiding grandma’s presence was part of the game.
My grandma was a step and a good disciplinarian. Each one of us grandchildren had a separate 15 minute or so session with her in the afternoon and to go over the catechism and memorization of prayers in Spanish, using a pamphlet called “caton”. We knelt beside her while she sat in her reclined chair and we went over the lesson nervously, because, if we make a mistake, we get pinched in the thigh or got scolded. But if you knew your stuffs, you get a smile from her.
My grandpa, called Dr Vicentico by the locals was a pharmacist and then studied medicine but was not license as a medical doctor because at his time in order to be licensed to practice medicine, one has to go abroad to countries like
Life in this house was a picnic. We had nice meals prepared by servants. The house sat on a large piece of ground and fruit trees of different types abound and with a large flower garden that extended for several hundred feet from the house to the street. My grandparents didn’t have a car at that time, so transportation to adjoining towns and to
Occasionally, during school holidays Vic and I would visit the other grandparents on my mother side inAs it is with young children, I never keep track of the time or the year but I think I stayed with my grandparents in Banaong for one year and went to school for one year only at the
. While we were
there, we had the opportunity to be with our other cousins. I remembered that it was also nice
and carefree and we, including the cousins, didn’t have lessons with the caton
and recitation of prayers. We were free all day long. I didn’t remember
them having servants because my grandma would serve the food during meals.
Every morning someone would bring fresh fishes and shrimps harvested from the
salt-water fishpond by the sea owned by my grandparents. Dagupan
|April 7, 1941|
Godofredo is marked with an X
As with other kids in my circle of friends do, I also did what they were doing and that was shining shoes during Sundays when the town of