When we were kids, my cousins and I would pick gumamela leaves from our grandparents’ backyard and mash them with a stone. We’d mix them in a little pail with some detergent and water. Why gumamela leaves? I think it was to make the bubbles last longer.
Then we’d take a stalk from the kamias tree, shred the leaves, then fashion the end into a hole so the whole stalk looks like a letter “P.” We’d dip this hole into the bubble mixture and have hours of bubble-blowing fun in the backyard.
When we reached our teens, we traded in our backyard playtime for girl talk in one of the private rooms at our grandparents’ house. Gumamelas and kamias leaves were traded in for bedroom gossip and giggles, Bazooka Joe fortunes for FLAMES and Love Code, rubber shoes for sleek heels, screams for whispers. I did miss the bubble-blowing, Barbies, watching That’s Entertainment together, summer night slumber parties and waking up early to drink Milo and catch Uncle Bob’s Lucky 7 Club.
I miss my cousins. It’s been a long time since we all got together; most of them are in the States now, while the ones here in the Philippines I hardly see. Thank goodness for email and blogs, we still keep in touch with each other. And during those moments when I’m not connected to the net? Not a problem. All I need is a whiff of the summer afternoon air, hearing songs of the ’80s (like The Sun Always Shines on TV which we requested on radio a lot!) or the sight of pretty pink gumamelas and I’m back to ten years old, right there in our grandparents’ yard, chasing bubbles with my cousins all over again.