When i was a little girl, one of the rules at home that I did not like at all was to be made to lie on the bare floor of our Sala after lunch. I usually lay side by side with two other children in the family. We were forces to sleep by my mother. She watched us as she darned old dresses, read an awit, or hummed a cradle song in tagalog.

She always reminded us that sleeping at noon enables children to grow fast like the grass in our yard. In this way, in most Filipino homes many years ago, the children were made to understand what the siesta was. Very often I had to pretend to be asleep by closing my eyes.

Once my mother was away, I tried to sneak out of the house during the siesta hour. I had not gone far when I felt something hit me hard at the back. Looking behind, I saw my father. He was annoyed because I had disturbed his siesta. I pick up a pillow at my feet, gave it to him, and went back to our mat. The two other children were fast asleep. The sight of the whip, symbol of parental authority, hanging on one of the posts, gave me no choice but to lie down.

During my childhood, whenever we had house guests, my mother never failed to put mats and pillows on the floor of our living room after the noon day meal.Then she would invite our guests to have their siesta. Hospitality and good taste demanded thatt this not overlooked.

The custom of having a siesta was introduced in our country by the Spaniards. Indeed, during the Spanish times, the Philippines was the land of the fiesta, the novena, and the siesta.

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