The district of Sta. Ana Manila is known to have many really old houses. During the liberation of Manila from the Japanese at the end of World War II, the district was spared from the American bombs and the Japanese suicide attacks. This was truly a blessing because pre-war structures were kept intact. This includes a house close to the Pasig River. That house is my grandmother's home.
This old house is where my lola and her siblings grew up. She died a couple of days ago and for her wake, her family decided to have it in this house. It was actually her request since prior to her death she wanted to be taken back to her home.
When I was growing up, they told me that this house used to be one story. When one of the older brother got married and my grandmother's parents passed away, the whole house was lifted and the first floor became the brothers' family's house. The second floor - which is the original house became the home of the single women and eventually the widowed sisters - including my grandmother.
A very brief part of my life was spent in that house. I think we lived there when I was two years old. As a child and a teenager - we lived in my other grandmother's house which is on the same street. In the afternoon - I will visit my grandmother and her sisters. We will play "sungka" - all afternoon - I never got tired of playing Sungka.
As an adult - I've always recognized that the house represents a big part of my ancestry. I knew that if I am a Millionaire now - I will buy it - get it preserved, maintain it and have it used as one of the heritage houses of Manila. I'm not a Millionaire - so I was not able to buy it - and the house was actually almost destroyed by a fire almost five years ago.
For now - I took a number of pictures of the living room. The living room where my grandmother's wake is. It's also the living room where I played numerous sungka games with her and her sisters. It's odd that this house represents happy childhood memories of games and fun. As an adult - it now represents the sad memories of the last few days we have with our Lola.