Father was fond of planting fruit-bearing plants, while Mother was fond of flowering plants.
We had bananas, papayas, coconut, cacao, otia, guanaba, tomatoes, kamian, and arimas in our small yard. The use of fertilizer was unknown then except for those who went to school like me and learned gardening. Father used to pour ashes around his plants and that was all. Hence, the fruits of his plants were small.
Our “bangsal” (open bathroom) was full of flowering plants in pots, like roses, chrysanthemums, and zinnias. Mother used the chrysanthemums for flavoring the enema water. She always had a pot of KUTSAI (Kinchai), which she used to flavor the lomo lomo breakfast food.
The watery part of our yard was planted with Kamia flower and Bandera Espaniola. We also had a big bush that bore lots of white little star-like flowers.
On days for offering flowers to Virgin Mary in the month of May, several children asked us for flowers from our yard.
Sometimes some of our neighbors came to ask for some tomatoes or Arimas (breadfruit).
Our Arimas tree bore a lot of fruits all year round. It became the main source of our food, especially after Mother died.
The fruit can be boiled, fried, roasted, or mixed with meat or fish. It can be eaten like bread and it is good for LINOBIAN, that favorite mixture of soft rice, coconut, and brown sugar, pounded with a pestle in a mortar until all ingredients got mixed together like paste.
Young boys and girls used to hold linobian parties on weekends or moonlight nights at home because we had a mortar and a pestle and arimas.
The tree died during World War II when Bangued got a carpet bombing and our house got burned by incendiary bomb.
The common plants in Bangued then were tomarin, kamachala, sinigeselas (sarguelas), santol, guava, malunggay, papaya, and karmai.
Whenever I got hungry I would climb across the fence of our neighbor to pick us fruits of their guava trees, sarguelas, kamanteris, or tamarind. But my favorite fruit was that of the “mansanita,” a small berry, red or orange when ripe, and very much liked by birds.