“We used to play outside when we were young
And full of life and full of love” – Of Monsters and Men
I recently just posted about the land of my father, but now let us discuss my literal motherland of Vintar, Illocos Norte – My Childhood Home. Located far north of the main island, Illocos is about 6 hours from Baguio and 12 hours from Manila. This was my home for the first three years of my life. It’s far from modern and definitely one of the more remote locations I have ever traveled to in my adult life, but it has an old world, beautiful charm about it. You can’t help but fall in love!
I spent about 4 days in the area of Illocos, but I will definitely go into more detail in a bit. For now, let me take you on a very quick and personal tour of my family home. Located right next to the church and the municipal hall, this is the house my grandfather built in the early 1940’s and although the upkeep is difficult, it’s just as wonderful as I remember from my younger days.
“I don’t like walking around this old and empty house
So hold my hand, I’ll walk with you, my dear…”
Growing up in the house used to make me feel like a little princess. I mean, how could you not with a balcony to read off, vines growing up the sides and high ceilings to dance underneath?
“The stairs creak as I sleep, it’s keeping me awake
It’s the house telling you to close your eyes”
There were so many rooms to run through and different ways in and out of the house, but my favorite room was my grandfather’s study, and now with its air of abandonment and open wall, it has a beautiful yet eerie vibe. I like to think of this old house as the perfect combination of the past being preserved and coming into the present.
The house beginning to show its wear and tear of time, but my uncle is doing his best to upkeep the “Big House” as my extended family likes to call it. His hard work is starting to pay off too! There are starting to be inquiries for people to do their engagement photos in arch ways of our home and it’s not a bad idea! I think one day, I would like to do the same.
No matter where I travel in the world, Vintar, Illocos Norte will always hold a special place in my heart and a place I am so thankful I can call it home. Thank you for letting me share this with you!