Yabo River in Pili, Camarines Sur
Some of my happiest memories as a child happened in the river that passes through our barrio. It’s where most of us come to wash our clothes, clean our used pots and pans and take a bath. Sometimes we forget the time, so we’re usually scolded by our mothers when we come home past lunch time. All these happy memories still linger and keep coming back especially when I see a river.
During the 90’s in our barrio, there were only a few households with television and betamax, it’s a consumer-level analog-recording and cassette format of magnetic tape for video. It was developed by Sony and was released in Japan on May 10, 1975. These households were like movie houses that you need to pay PhP1.00 per viewing. We watched movies there. I can still remember, the movie Titanic, which we dramatized when we play in the river. Someone would play Rose and the other Jack and we would swim long hours after, until our eyes become reddish, our hands wrinkled and our lips paled. Concerned of us, our neighbors who were there with us would shout and scold us.
Fast forward to the present, some meters away from our house is the Yabo River. It has the same sights and activities just like the one we have in our barrio when I was a kid. Having been working at home for months, I wanted to breathe fresh air. I was delighted to come to the river and remember my childhood days. I would say, kids now don’t experience playing outdoors because of the technology and the pandemic, swimming in the river and doing traditional games like taguan or hide and seek game, tumbang preso or knock down the can and so many more, even riding on the back of the carabaos.
They say rivers are a symbol of how far we’ve come and of selfless love. Its crystal waters symbolize purity. Rivers continues to flow until it reaches the ocean as its final destination. I wish that I’ll be like the rivers, pure and selfless, until I reach my own final destination.
Whatever circumstances we’re in, from my country to yours, we pray for you and your family’s safety. Like the rivers, you’re a precious gift to be treasured.