(Because May is the month of mothers, all four of this month’s Sunday/Monday posts will feature my Ma’s garden and all the pretty, lovely, beautiful, delicious things that grow there. Today, some flowering plants take center stage.)
I cannot remember a time when my Ma did not keep a garden. Wherever we lived, from the large house and lot that I grew up in to the tiny structure with the nipa thatched-roof that we had to build on borrowed land after we lost almost everything, Ma always managed to cultivate a garden.
As soon as she and Dad acquired the land where they now live, she started planting all sorts of fruit trees and flowering plants on it (even before they made plans to build the house). All that sowing has been paying off in large measures of gorgeousness. Ma chose tropical plant varieties that grow all year round but especially thrive during summer. So from March to June, which is summer in the Philippines, everything in the garden is either abloom or bursting with fruit or both.
I am not one to put my dogs in costumes. It’s already hard enough for me to imagine just how itchy it must be to have fur, hehe. But one time I bought a red tank top for Bruno and he looked cute in it in a canine Johnny Bravo kind of way but the husband saidhe won’t ever walk a dog in a costume (on the dog, not the husband). That effectively put the brakes on my non-existent up-and-coming career as a dog stylist.
Anyway, the book is a pleasure to flip through. Ms. Ngo obviously has a wonderful way with pets and however you feel about putting dogs in costumes, you have to admit she really upped the adorableness factor in these.
Because it is now officially Spring where most of you are but officially Summer where I am and officially Fall somewhere else (March is weird!), there seems to be a lot of busy-ness around. I recently found this excerpt from a collection of essays about gardening. For those of us who are busy preparing for the weeks ahead — spring cleaning! taxes! graduations! the obligatory ‘vacation’ with the entire (extended) family at an out-of-town beach! (whew!) — it’s a gentle reminder to take a breather.
Weeks before Christmas, bazaars (locally known as tiangge — pronounced “chang-ge”) become one of the more ubiquitous sights in the urban and town centers in the Philippines. A tiangge is a group of stalls that are set up temporarily in open spaces or sometimes permanently (and more conveniently) inside large, air-conditioned buildings. They are especially popular at this time of the year and during fiestas and festivals.
300 pairs of sneakers. That’s what a young actor recently claimed he already has in his collection. Not nearly Imeldific, of course, but it got me thinking: in varying degrees, most of us seem to be collectors of something. I don’t mean clutter or dustballs or cobwebs. I mean stuff. Things. Knicknacks.
Some of us may hoard books, old vinyl records, concert ticket stubs, movie posters. Maybe you have a thing for baseball caps, bottlecaps, figurines, vintage cars, show programmes or stuffed toys. Three women in my family collect refrigerator magnets. And who does not know at least one cousin who keeps a shelf-full of tsotchkes from every wedding, baptism and debut she ever went to?
When we were kids, my sisters and I collected stationery, preferably from Sanrio (or from Sanrio clones — I remember a notebook cover printed with “Oh my sadness. Lookiking out of those grey eyes.”). My eldest sister still has some of the Hello Kitty pencils from those days and they are part of a growing stockpile of colorful pencils. But her more showoff-able collection: tiny chairs. Continue reading →
Two years ago, we spent my birthday at a garden resort in Cavite called Balay Indang. We loved the place and thought N’s birthday last weekend would be a good time to go back.
The rain was pouring down in sheets when we arrived on Friday and someone met us at the parking area with an umbrella so wide it could have sheltered Maria, the Captain and the seven Von Trapp children.
We were led to the main house through a canopied walk.