Timeless Thoughts is a monthly blog linkup hosted by Georgie and Tara, where bloggers would write about something from their past. Any topic from the past will do – it can be a place, an event, an item, or an old hobby. The linkup starts on the first Saturday of each month and runs for two weeks.
In 2006, the summer before my first year of high school, I finally joined my family1 in our present home outside Manila. Our house was one of the first houses in that part of the subdivision, so at that time we had no cable TV and internet because these services couldn’t reach our area yet. Two months of summer vacation without internet, cable TV, and phone signal just seemed unthinkable and I was sure I would get bored.
Good thing my cousins came to spend their summer holidays with us, and at first it was fun playing video games with them the whole day, but we soon got bored with it. With nothing better to do, we asked my mom to buy us the cheapest musical instrument she could find so that we could learn how to play some songs and become more productive.
My mom brought home a guitar.
One of my cousins taught us how to play it, starting with basic chords. Eventually, we were able to play some songs from song books that our mom bought from the local sari-sari store2 (we didn’t have internet, remember?). From there, we had nightly jamming sessions in our living room, where one of us would play the guitar and some would sing. This even turned to full-fledged concert nights, with the sessions starting after dinner (8 PM) and ending at midnight. We all enjoyed these nights and we were always excited to practice new songs in the morning, so that we could sing something later in the night. These jamming sessions also made me discover new things about my parents – I didn’t know they could play the guitar too!
One of the many songs we covered! Recorded 3 years ago during a family vacation in Cebu.
I think I can say that that summer started our tradition of holding jamming sessions during our holidays with our cousins. A vacation does not end without recording a cover or learning a new song. As we grew older, we eventually added more activities to our holiday agenda such as karaoke and drinking nights, but jamming with our guitars and other instruments never goes out of style.
Another cover, with one of my cousins on guitar!
My cousins and I don’t see each other a lot now because we’re spread out all over the world, and we’ve gotten busy with our respective lives. I also don’t play the guitar that much anymore since I’ve taken a liking to the ukulele, but I would love to meet up with my cousins and do this again!
- Construction of the house started in 2003 and was completed in 2005, in the middle of my elementary education. Since my school was in Manila, it made no sense for me at the time to move outside Manila and endure the long ride to get to school every day. 5th grade was also a weird time for me to transfer schools, so I just stayed in our old apartment in Manila until I finished elementary school. ↩
- These are small family-owned stores common in the Philippines similar to convenience stores, selling anything and everything such as groceries, school supplies, local magazines, and toys. The Filipino word sari-sari means “variety” or “assorted”, hence the name. ↩