Homeward Bound

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We’re leaving in four hours for our annual 12-hour drive to our hometown for Lent. I’ve been busy preparing for the trip because unlike in the past, this is going to be such a major production — the dogs are coming with us.

It’s both ‘Yey, we’re bringing them to the beach!’ and ‘There’s going to be chaos inside the car! For 12 hours!’. Because I can’t share in the driving duties, I’m in charge of the little savages and I probably won’t have time for much else, including snapping photos along the way.

These are pictures I took this time last year of the usual roadside scenery just before we reach Sorsogon. It’s harvest time so the rice fields are green and gold and calming and, though not as majestic as other landscapes, really beautiful. 🙂

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I hope you all have a calm and peaceful week ahead. 🙂

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Fruits from a Southeast Asian Garden

My memories of childhood summers always include the tambis. One of the bigger trees  in our garden, the tambis or macopa (water/rose apple) was also the only one in our street and bore so much fruit that it gave us our version of a lemonade stand. Every summer afternoon, my sisters and I would set up a small table in front of our gate, arrange the tambis in pyramids and sell them to neighborhood kids for about ten centavos per three pieces.

We also had aratiles and guava trees and our playmates were free to pick a few from those. (I remember that guava tree. I kept peeling off the top layer of its trunk because it was always smoother underneath — a victim of my misdirected quest for neatness even in nature.)

The fruit trees in my mother’s garden are especially prolific now that it’s summer. Around this time, neighborhood kids regularly come around and ask if they can pick aratiles or hagis or tambis. Ma always says yes but also always with a warning for them to leave some on the trees or else, heh. Some things never change. 🙂

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6 Years of Cold Noses

It’s his birthday. Everything else takes a backseat.

Every morning, after he comes back from his walk, this dachshund goes to my side of the  bed and touches his nose to mine. He does not turn away until I reach out to pat his head and whisper “Hello, Bruno, good morning”. Then he pads off to his dog bed and goes back to sleep.

He’s been doing this since he was a puppy.

Happy birthday, my boy. I wish you knew that I will never tire of everything you do. Well, except for the barking part, but no dog can be perfect.

Collections, Collections

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

Rained In

“The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you’d just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency.”

~ Susan Allen Toth in England For All Seasons

Cozy rainy Sundays are best, I think. The Mr. made chicken congee and it was so good, I had two bowlfuls of it. Now, I’m nursing a cup of coffee and might start on ‘Elizabeth Street’ as soon as I get the dogs to stop barking, heh.

How do you spend a rainy day like this?

Better Than Bone China

I’m not one to like kitschy stuff, let alone attach much value to them. But I do have a favorite set of figurines. Cheap, mass-produced figurines which probably cost around 10 pesos each back in the day.

I got them during the late Eighties when my two sisters and I were in college. That was a terrible time for the Philippine economy and like countless other families, we lost everything — our house, the car, the small business, our savings.  I was aware that my parents were struggling really hard to stay afloat.

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