My family and I used to spend our annual two-month summer vacation in Padre Burgos. Our house was right next to the train station. In the early days, you could only reach the town either by boat or by train. Naturally, the town’s economic activity revolved around the train’s coming and going. My grandmother used to have a store also next door to us, and she had two huge warehouses as well.
But for us kids, much of our activity revolved around the sea. Whether it’s high tide (taib) or low tide (hibas), there was always something to do. Of course, during high tide, you go out on the boat. And during low tide, you look for shells, clams or snails. Shells we used to dry out in the sun. We collected them so we could play jackstones. Playing jackstones with the right size sea shells is almost a guaranteed win. However, I don’t recall ever eating the clams or the snails that we collected, not being very fond of them, especially snails.
Our grandmother didn’t really approve of this past time, however. She believed girls’ proper place was inside the home, either sewing or cooking, which was what my aunt did most of the time at my grandma’s house. That meant we always had a lot of food on the table, although we usually did not have dinner at my grandma’s house, we would always end up eating snacks at her house since I played with my cousin most of the time, or further down the road, my uncle’s house, since his only son lived in Manila so we became his surrogate children in the summer.
I tried looking up the word hibasan on the internet; I couldn’t find it, except for the root word hibas. My guess is hibasan must not be a real word, made into a verb by the townspeople, like google and googling.
If you ever get an opportunity, try mag-hibasan. Your child may not remember spending her time in the mall with you, but I am sure she will remember mag-“hibasan” with you at The Tamarind Tree.