We used petroleum lamps or candles at night to eat our supper, then went to sleep early under one large mosquito net or a wide buri (blanket-covered) mat. Father and my brother used one blanket while Mother and I used one blanket together. We slept on the bamboo floor.
Before sleeping we prayed Our Father, Hail Mary, and one Hail Holy Queen. Then Father or Mother related scary stories or told riddles or their past experiences. When the Angelus rang we had to go upstairs. When the eight o’clock church bell rang, we had to put off our light and go to sleep.
We woke up by the five o’clock church bell and took our breakfast when the sun was up. Our breakfast consisted of rice with dried meat we call “tapa” or dried fish we call “tuyo.”
At times Mother would cook eggs from our hen’s nest under the house but most of the time we only had eggs following our recovery from a fever or sickness.
We were often sick with fever following our exposure to the rain when we took advantage of it to run in the streets and took a bath with other kids, all naked.
The usual medicine was purgative or castor oil forced into our mouth, followed by caramel and a coconut cup of water.
The whole day we were wrapped in a heavy blanket to sweat and then have forced enema in the afternoon. Usually we got well on the third day.
Then Mother would roast a chicken wrapped with banana leaves and serve us soft boiled rice to restore our strength.
We continued to sleep together even though one of us was sick. Why? We had only one mosquito net and one buri mat to use. Lots of mosquitoes!
The time we had our separate beds was when we transferred to our new house following the death of Mother’s mother and Grandpa needed somebody to take care of him before he died.
With ₱50 loaned by Mother’s brother, Lt. Antonio Bravo, we were able to have a bigger house across the street from Fina’s grandpa’s house or mansion.