Mando is selling the land he inherited from his mother who died many, many years ago when Mando was still a kid. I was not even born yet when Mando’s mother died.
The piece of land, a ricefield, is the share of Mando’s mother after her surviving siblings decided to divide the land because their parents have long died anyway and they are growing older too.
Mando wanted me to buy the piece of land. It’s 380 square meters and he’s selling it to me for only P900 per square meter instead of P1,000 per square meter, the current rate in the real estate market in our province.
First, I told him, I don’t have the money. I even haven’t eaten dinner today because I lost my last P200 in my pocket. Second, what would I do with a piece of land in the middle of nowhere and near a cemetery?
I used to roam those fields when I was younger. It was there where I hit my first tukmo and killed my first punay. It was in Mando’s piece of land where I learned to plant rice, plowed the field with my favorite carabao, played hide-and-seek when rice still grew up to two meters, and it was there where I hid to peep on Mando kiss Manay Timmy when they were still lovers.
Mando’s piece of land holds memories of the past. I would have wanted to buy it if only I have the money to pay for it. Mando said he needs the money to pay for her daughter’s college education. I don’t even have the money to buy a fake college diploma in Recto.
And I don’t want to spend money to buy memories. Like friendship, memories are supposed to be taken care of, nurtured and treasured. Like friendship, memories are not supposed to be recalled only when one needs it.
I may or may not buy Mando’s piece of land. I might just help him, in whatever little way I can, send Inday Fe to college. There’s no need for me to be reminded about the tukmo and the punay, about Tura and Tata, Junior and Yoyo Luis, and the carabao and the chicken in the middle of the field, the maya and the tirador. They have been always part of me. There’s no point missing them.