Leave no Traces

Since I wasn’t raised in Manila, I can’t give a particular place within its busy streets that I really know by heart. I’m very much aware that the instruction is to rediscover a place in Metropolis. But the responsibility of a student doesn’t solely lie on following instructions, but more so, in submitting a material that has achieved the objective of the activity. Hopefully, this reflection may give you a vivid picture of my life. Using few words, may you experience the same excitement I had when I first set my feet on this ground. And may you share with me the nostalgic feeling we usually sense whenever time brings us back to where we started to dream, of which I believe the prime purpose why I am writing this in the first place.

For a fifth grader like me, the best period of my class would be lunch break. It’s not because I love eating, well partly I guess, but particularly because my classmates and I spend the two-hour break walking around the village where our school is situated. A perfect way of escaping the noise of our campus. Yes, I have to say that St. Francis Village is really a quiet place. It only becomes earsplitting when we walk around it and fill it with laughter. Today, as I revisit my childhood hang-out, a lot of things have changed. But the thought it used to share remains—the thought of youthful freedom.

St. Francis Village in Cainta, Rizal is occupied by houses and healthy trees that which provide shade for students who want to finish their homework beneath its huge branches. The distinct characteristic of the village, as what I’ve already mentioned, is the stillness that no other place can give. The tennis court where we used to pretend as champion athletes is still the same, only that it is now full of players. Unlike before when we almost own the entire place. Going further on that street, a small retail store between two enormous trees is to be found. I tried to visit the store and buy some Hany bars that serve as my dessert during those days.  But my excitement fade when I discovered that the owner went abroad two years ago, leaving its gates closed and my favorite store abandoned.

One must enter a small street in the east side of the village to have a glimpse of an old creepy house which we used to call ‘haunted’. I can still remember how Randel would mimic the sound of a mad wolf and everyone will scream and ran back to Aling Delia’s store (the one I first mentioned). I am always left behind in which my weight is the reason. Our haunted house evidently became more dilapidated and plants surrounding it have grown so much that is almost looking like a jungle. Since the last time I’ve been there, I knew the house is not inhabited and now it’s older than before. We make stories that an old lady living inside its walls is wicked and love eating naughty children.

As I remember those days,I once again experience wearing the shoes of young Czesar. Full of adventures and minds nothing but fun. Amid my busy days, at least I was given the chance to revisit a place that painted a lot of good memories in my childhood. But one thing we should always remember in returning to our mischievous days: LEAVE NO TRACES.


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