By Jay Bolusa

AUTUMN IN New York…the best season to see New York, the weather is good, the air is clear and the leaves sparkle in red, orange, gold and brown. There is no better sight than this, especially at sundown when the sky has the same colors as the trees.

It is breathtaking. I remember my first autumn in the East Coast, I lived then in Saddle River, New Jersey, I was in my writing desk and from a window just above the desk, it was around four o’clock in the afternoon, suddenly I saw very light featherlike objects floating down from above settling to the ground. I looked down and saw the ground was white then, it just dawned on me that it was the first snow I’ve seen.

The flurries are floating down from the heavens above with the background of the multicolored forest. It was a sight I will never forget in my life, my first experience of the snowfall.

Soon thereafter, it was time for Halloween, my first one in America. As customary here, we have a lot of chocolates to give to anyone who comes by for “trick or treat” but this was more of a treat for me. Here, those who come by are not children, they were teenagers dressed to the nines in their designer gowns.

There was this princess who came knocking on my door with long blond tresses and a lad saddled on a huge horse clad in a gladiator’s gown. Behind them were two pages and the princess court. With such a “royal visitor” I felt so embarrassed when I offered them the chocolates, but they were so happy to help themselves and thank me and happily they left. And those who came after them during the day were all regally dressed.

I retired during the night in wonder, mulling in my mind what a total contrast it was from way back home — “kalag-kalag night” was a total contrast. The boys then at night will go out stealing some of the “suha” from the lawn of a famous family of the old Puerto Princesa.

In the morning they will brag about it and share us some of the “suha.” It was a belief then that on “kalag-kalag” the ghosts or the spirits roam around and steal some petty things. There were no big time robberies. I guess the ghosts could not carry them, or Puerto was a small town back then. People knew each other and the mischievous boys get away with their petty crimes on “kalag-kalag.”

The girls were not “wild,” they just stayed home and helped “nanay” do the household chores. Those were my memories of Puerto say fifty years ago; beautiful ones when you leave your house open and not lock them behind, when our neighbors knew your life and you have no need for a psychiatrist because you have them to tell your days happening. I know it will not be like that anymore when I go home, but it will still be home for me. there is nothing like home.

‘Till next week folks. Ciao and God Bless!