This post is inspired by an article in the Daily Post by Robyn titled: Five Posts to Write Right Now. It’s about nostalgia based memories as inspiration and I’m using her questionnaire as a guide to make my own trip down memory lane. Originally, I just wanted to place my answers as comments on her blog but I realized to do it decently, I will need so much of her space and I don’t want to do that. Palming and cluttering someone’s page is never been my goal in writing; so, I ask her kindly if I can write my own related to her article instead. Luckily she said yes. Thank you, Robyn for the inspiration. Here it is…

  1. The place where you felt happiest or safest.

That would be airports. Or any other transit area like train stations or even a car on the road. Part of the explanation is here and here, the other part is because I love travelling; I love the feeling of anticipation, the thoughts that I’m moving and on my way to yet another adventure, places I have never been before or going back to familiar ones and hopefully able to recreate the magic of previous experience.

Robyn asked:

“If you had a time machine and could go back to any place, at any time in your life, where would it be? Did you ever return to that place as an adult? If so, was the magic still there?”

The time in my life I would most want to go back to is my childhood. Strange because it was a difficult turbulent moment in my life but that was also the time I was still innocent and able to enjoy it to the fullest. When one is young, one does not worry too much. Daily woes and turmoil don’t bother a child much. Going back to that… how one can go back to the past?

  1. An antiquated item like a pay phone you had to dial, penny candy, or your Charlie’s Angels lunch box.

Robyn said: The older I get, the less value I put on objects. But, in childhood, I didn’t have “things,” I had “treasures.” Did you have a talisman? Was there an object in your childhood home that brings up emotion for you when you think of it? Is there something you wish you could get your hands on now…but isn’t manufactured or attainable anymore?

I never have baby pictures or any photographs when I was growing up. Come to think of it, we don’t have family photos either. The little we had was lost in floods or typhoons. I would like to get my hands on graduation pictures, Christmas parties, recognition days and class photos. Anything that spell memory of my younger years.

  1. A food that reminds you of your youth.

Is there a food that evokes memories of your younger days, of a relationship you had, or of a major event in your past? Have you eaten it since then, or was it a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Relive it, improve upon it, or recall a memorable meal.

I was born and bred in a fish pond. My father had always been a caretaker of such properties across the country, which by far the only decent job he was able to hold being an unschooled wandering gipsy.

Being feed by endless supply of seafood could make someone easily conclude that my favourite meal would be anything that contains any of these delicacies, and that is mainly true; but__ and it is a big but __ they are not the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted me and has deep roots in my memory. Hold your breath, here it is… pork chops (or any type of meat but in particular pork chops) are the one I (we, siblings) associated all those happy feelings.

We cannot afford to buy meat during those times. Seafood is there for the taking, but meat we eat only on Sundays. My father was paid weekly, and my mother always shopped after the mass, bringing our supply for the whole week; and pork chops were always on the list together with ripe mangoes. Sunday was the only day we were allowed to have desserts, and it was always ripe mangoes.

I will still not consume them daily but every time I sit at the table and I have pork chops before me, the meal becomes a feast. It never failed to bring back sweet (and not sweet) memories, sights, smell, sounds included… (the rest of the story you can read here if you wish)

  1. What you thought you were going to be when you grew up.

How about you? Did you know what work you’d do as an adult? If so, was it because it was your family business, or because it would get you out of your hometown, or because you’d be able to change the world? What happened…did your dream become a reality?

I always wanted to be a Pirate (before that I briefly entertained the notion of becoming a nun or a dressmaker) I would like to be Sinbad, sail the seven seas and embark in adventures after adventures. I remember drawing endless images of lady pirates on every available surface including wooden stairs and tables. Then I decided to leave piracy alone and be FBI agents like Mulder and Scully. Chasing and solving paranormal activities and aliens seemed to be a very exciting occupation.

When I was in high school and been handpicked against my will to perform on stage for some school plays and with success, suddenly I found myself dreaming to be an actress on Broadway or silver screen. I remember rehearsing in the front of a broken hand mirror of my mother, standing on the bow of a stranded old boat wearing my mother’s clothes which I transformed into costumes. I have been beaten badly by my parents for doing these acts. My father said why I cannot think of real careers that guarantee me a sure income. I never tell them this but I thought those are boring.

Needless to say, none of my dreams becomes a reality. I followed what my father wanted and that’s it. End of the story.

  1. Your childhood fear.

I have none. I thought I was indestructible and immortal that time. I ran over by a car, broken my fibula and spent an entire month including Christmas and New Year in a hospital bed; almost drowned three times but it never stop me from sneaking away from the house in the evening to swim alone because I saw that the sea was wild and wanted to know how it was to be beneath those crashing waves. No, I had no childhood fear.

Do you often delve into the past to inspire your writing?

Yes and yes. The past is my main source of inspiration. I find myself always going back there to search for materials to write. I am a product of my past. That’s who I am.  

What about you?