Sunday, July 13, 2008


Whenever embroiled in some arguments with playmates when I was a kid of no more than seven, on very rare occasions, I'd resort to challenging the annoying culprit to a fistfight, "Suntukan na lang!"

And whenever the other boy agreed, wait one second, I'd tell him. I would then fetch my sister Inday (a year my senior) from the house and tell her that someone outside was challenging her to a fight.

She'd immediately drop whatever she was doing -- usually reading a comic book while chewing a bubble gum -- and hurriedly run outside. And with her hands akimbo and head held high, she'd yell, "Which one?" Sure enough everyone would scamper and clear out of sight.

Yes, Inday was a tomboy; encouraged as such by my older brothers so that no boy in the neighborhood or school would ever take fancy on her, or ever intimidate her. This, however, was frowned upon by our eldest sibling Fraulein who wanted Inday to be a dainty and demure little girl. But Inday got to like acting butch.

On the other hand, with the protection of five older brothers and Inday, one can only imagine how invincible I felt. However, I was never a combative kid; I actually got along rather well with all my playmates, including the couple of pesky ones. Hence, all that muscle wasted on the affable and agreeable bunso.

These days, although Inday enjoys doting on her six grandchildren, she doesn't appreciate being called a lola. No grandchild would dare do so lest he or she wants to face the dire consequences. Mama Inday is just fine.

* * *

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posted by Señor Enrique at 9:12 AM


Blogger luna miranda said...

This is a poignant photo, Eric---'ate' as the surrogate mother, the self-appointed protector of her younger siblings.

Ako naman baliktad...I am the 'ate' but once in 4th grade, a bigger classmate pushed me to ground during a game. I had scratches on my arms but I was ready to forgive my classmate. When my younger brother (in 3rd grade) and my sister (in 1st grade) saw the scratches, they accosted my classmate. My tiny little sister pulled my classmate's hair, bit her, and it took 3 teachers to break up the fight! :D To this day, we still talk about that fight, and yeah, nobody messed with me after that! Hahaha

July 13, 2008 11:48 AM  

Anonymous jhay said...

ah the joys of looking back on our childhood years.

The last time I was involved in a school fight, I was in my freshman year in highschool.

I didn't start it but got involved when I stood up for a classmate of mine who got picked on by a group of seniors.

I ended up in the Principal's office and a 3-day suspension after wards. All because I used my Tai Chi to defend my self..and ended up breaking one of the offender's arm.

Even I was surprised I could do such a thing. :P

Oh well, since then our section earned the fear or respect of the seniors and my classmates calling me "Kuya" ever since. LOL

July 13, 2008 3:56 PM  

Anonymous Traveler on Foot said...

A beautiful story. Thanks for sharing a story from your childhood.

July 13, 2008 5:09 PM  

Blogger JayAshKal said...

Nice photo and story to go with. My two grandkids, Aiyee and Kallen attend the same day care center. Obviously, the older Aiyee take care of his younger brother, Kallen. They have lots of practice in martial arts while watching Power Rangers (SPD)!

July 13, 2008 8:01 PM  

Blogger EM said...

So nice to think about how blood ties work. In one way or another, those that are connected to us by blood seemed to be the most important people. And it amazes me how they will defend each other in the most trying times.

Somehow..the more sibling you have, the more secure you feel. I sometimes think how an only child feel having no brothers or sisters to brave the outside world. Must have been scary right? But when they do go out, i would expect that they will grow to be the bravest of all.

thanks for the story Senior.

July 14, 2008 12:10 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Lol ... awesome, Luna! You had your younger siblings as your protectors. Tough little cookie your little sister was :)

July 14, 2008 7:10 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Good for you, Jhay! To date, one I can never stand is the bully. I wish everyone a friend or classmate like you!

July 14, 2008 7:13 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

My pleasure, Traveler :)

I guess you can say we're a bunch of characters ... hehehe.

July 14, 2008 7:14 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Those Power Rangers! Every little kid I know loves them, Mario.

I'm sure Aiyee and Kallen feel safer by having each other :)

July 14, 2008 7:16 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

My pleasure, EM!

As the youngest, I always wished for a baby brother or sister. But when I realized that none was ever coming, I treated my baby cousins and later on nephews and nieces as my younger siblings.

Yes, I can imagine how lonesome it must be for being the only child in the family.

July 14, 2008 7:19 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

So, you are the youngest! In my family, we don't really address each other as ate or kuya so the protector role is really a matter of who is more feisty. I had usually confronted bullies my siblings encounter (moreso my brothers!) But then, my youngest sister is feistier and would face up to anyone who would bully us or her. Even among us, she was the ate. Then as time went, my middle sisters would play the "ate" roles and give advises to all of us respectively. Being the biological eldest didn't make me the "queen" of the jungle (heehee)!

July 14, 2008 8:36 AM  

Blogger Lola said...

Ako din bunso, Eric. But with me, my mother was ready to punch or scold anybody who messes with her daughter kahit na mga bata. I was so protected and kept cleaned all the time, that if I come home from playing no matter what time it is, I was put in a big batya and given a bath right away, a habit I carried through my whole life with my own kids, grandkids or even with other kids. I carry a box of wipes all the time and when I see dirty kids, I try to wipe them up too to the horror of my husband. I noticed that the kids feet and legs in the picture are dirty and if I was around then I would have wiped them up first before you can take their pictures. Ha, ha, ha, some peculiar habit I have.

Incidentally, no relatives died during the storm but a lot of damaged houses. Tinangay ng tubig yong isang ancestral home. Bulok na kasi eh. Nakakaawa talaga!

July 14, 2008 9:38 AM  

Blogger the donG said...

another one of the really good piece from senor. in my case we were all boys and im the youngest but i never got into fight coz if i did, i think they need to meet my three older bros that time. hahahaha....

July 14, 2008 1:03 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I think the artist in you makes you laid back and not at all preoccupied with power struggle ... hehehe.

In my family, the eldest sibling was the disciplinarian; thus, we called her "fraulein" behind her back. She was indeed so Nazi-like in her determination to make us (the boys) as docile as humanly possible.

And despite the iron hand she wielded, she turned out to be an incredibly loving and doting mother with her own children :)

July 15, 2008 8:19 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"I carry a box of wipes all the time and when I see dirty kids, I try to wipe them up too to the horror of my husband."

Lol ... hilarious, Pat!

As a kid, I had an aunt who carried a folding fan all the time. She'd snap our head with it if we forgot to greet her her and place her hand on our forehead, or if we smelled of dried sweat. She was too much!

July 15, 2008 8:22 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Lol ... the privilege of being the "bunso," right donG!

There was a time when my older brothers pitted me against another neighborhood boy for a boxing match, but mom saw us and my brothers got my father's belt on their butts ... hehehe.

July 15, 2008 8:25 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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