I noticed a bunch of mp3s that I got from somewhere. It's a collection of Kundiman songs. I listened to it just for kicks, and got transported back in time. You see, I'm a child of the barrio. Back in my childhood days in Cavite, I could still hear these songs from a musty radio/cassette player in a barber shop in Silang where I get my haircut. The old timers there (the barbers) were a gentle group of souls, who could sing well themselves, with the same characteristic coolly-tinted voice fit for a harana piece.

Kundiman songs are basically all full of romantic, selfless, and sometimes tragic, love. Not sure if that's the technical definition though.

Going back further in time, I could still recall my old elementary school, where there used to be relics from the rustic and easy era -- cotton bedsheets made yellow by time, metallic bedposts, even a coal-powered iron. I could almost imagine how these songs were being heard complete with the rough opulence of a culture long gone. The air must've been more chilly back then, and the scent of oils used to soften the strands of locks must've permeated the cathedrals and gatherings.

The fragrance of night-blooming flowers must've also thickened the air during the summer and maybe during simbang gabi. The classic guitars with their nylon strings must've made the air sweeter, and the kundiman songs just color the night with flowing velvet.

Ah, things that cannot be anymore ...