Hike To Hudom

When I was a kid, I always looked forward to spending summer vacations in my grandparents’ place.  I love being with my cousins, going to the mountains, helping in the farm, climbing up trees, feeding farm animals, and going swimming.  It’s so fun!

I never went to Bicol without visiting Mama’s relatives. It has become some sort of a tradition for me. My grandparents house is located on the mountains. The hike takes 15 to 20 minutes.  For  those of us not used to hiking I knew it will take at least an hour to get there. We started our day early. We needed to be back soon anyway to help prepare for Papa’s birthday get together. At 7:00 AM, we head out to check on the ancestral house and visit Mama’s relatives.  We opted to walk from my Auntie’s house to the town. That’s another 20 to 30 minutes walk.

Our little Diva, Chinirah was very excited. This trip is her firsts in many things. First time to be in Bicol. First time to see ricefields, farm animals, ocean, sing karaoke, and go hiking. I was curious on how she’d do today.

Let the walk/hike begin.
The majestic Mayon Volcano serves as a backdrop to my Auntie’s house.
This friendly little dude smiled when I asked if I can take his photo.
Chinirah was ready to give up.  She told me not to take her photo when she’s hot.
Tough Nina. Everyone’s tired and sweaty yet she kept going.
After 40 minutes of walking with a lot of whining, complaining, screaming and a little crying (all from Chinirah), they made it!

A visit to my Mama’s relatives is always rewarded with fresh lumbod/buko (young coconut) and refreshing juice. 

Drinking fresh young coconut juice to her heart’s content.
This place brings so many great childhood memories.
First time to see and touch shy/shame plant, Mimosa Pudica aka makahiya. 
My favorite fruit, soursop. My Auntie and niece gave me this fresh from the tree. 
Smiling again.  Two stick-o’s made her happy after her most traumatic trek through the jungle/mountain. I asked her what she’d tell her Mom about her experiences and how it made her feel. Her reply, “I felt itchy”.

When my grandparents passed away, their house was left to the care of my Mama’s eldest brother and because he himself had been sickly too, the house was not given proper care. My heart sank when I saw the once beautiful house that my Grandpa built for his family, rotten and in very bad condition.  The recent typhoon also made it’s current state worse. I hope to rebuild it one day. I’d like to keep going back to it for as long as I can to reminisce all the sweet memories I had and be able to share those memories with the younger generations of our family.

Dirty kitchen, where all the yummy food my GrandMa served us were prepared, always with love.

Today’s hike was bittersweet. It brought happy memories of my childhood but made me a little sad too. I missed my grandparents. I missed my Mama. I still had a good time though and it sure was fun to see Chinirah wander around, enjoy nature and appreciate her experience.

“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.” ― Charles Dickens


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