Of course, I never did get brave enough to climb the strangler fig (balite in Ilocano; balitiyon in Isinay; balete in Tagalog). As I mentioned in a previous essay here in this blogsite, the balete is believed to be a haunted tree. Where I lived, I remember that even the most foolhardy among Ilocanos and Isinays in Dupax then did not dare push their luck too far insofar as this tree was concerned.
To feed my bird pets, I would scour the grazing grounds in Pitang all day to run after grasshoppers with a swatter. There were no plastic bags then, dear reader, so I put my insect collection in one of my shortpants’ pockets (another is always reserved for marble-sized pebbles for my slingshot), and pretty soon I would feel my leg (where my grasshopper pocket was) become itchy as the insect saliva seeped through the cloth.
- denatured alcohol -- We always had a bottle the contents of which I loved to pour on a small container with reed-thin tube that I used to light the Hasag.
- coconut oil -- Called lana in Ilocano; laro in Isinay; langis-niyog in Tagalog, we believed that the most effective ones for medicine are those produced during Good Friday.When in I-iyo, this was my first aid whenever I would acquire skin rashes or allergies.
- vinegar -- We often had the Rose brand of artificial vinegar sold by the roving Chinese grocer Ko Peng; but we found the suka ti basi (sugarcane vinegar; sukang Iloko) more effective.
Remedy from a Bird