Saturday, January 28, 2012

# 56 of pearls and middle age woes

silver.  pearl.  coral.  ruby.  sapphire.  gold.  this is how dear old mater distinguishes jubilarians. silver is twenty-five. thirty is pearl. coral is thirty-five. and so on. counted in terms of years after graduation from high school. 

silver.  check.  pearl.  check.  coral.  three years away from now. that is where we are.  do the math.  it takes just but a few seconds to know that we have had forty-odd years of life.  to be more exact, we are in the vicinity of middle age.  no one acts like it, much less look like it. we have will and grace. not the comedy show of not too long ago. the will to defy the ravages of time. the grace to face it with stubbornness, if not mirth.

batchmates get together for pocket reunions in between grand alumnae homecomings.  reasons vary.  someone comes home from foreign shores. birthdays.  milestones.  christmas.  all the happy reasons.  inevitably, the sad ones, too. these reunions seesaw in attendance from full-force to smaller intimate gatherings. any which way,  a grand time is enjoyed by all. a well-deserved break from the realities of middle age to relive the carefree high schools days.

the last get-together was of the small, intimate kind. by the time tea was served, everyone was ready for after-dinner talk.  updates on children, domestic affairs, vacations, disclosure of medical woes.  retirement got mentioned a lot, too.  

the flames of this fiery choco mousse is a cue to the evening's steamy revelations. the censored version without the raunchy details was enough to keep everyone riveted to their seats. 

yes, that is hot chocolate and no, we are not showing our age by ordering that instead of the more adventurous options on the menu.  we are, after all, working professionals with eight-to-five jobs out on a weekday.

let the hands do the talking.  any get-together is not complete without the spotlight on someone's love story. could be the unfolding of a brand-new romance or a rehash of last year's fairty tale.  chapter 1 of the story was ho-hum. lacking in tickle-to-the-bone factor. not a surprise as it happened some 25 years ago. 

 chapter 2 provided the oh-my-God-that-couldn't-be-true-shocker-of- the-night gasp.  the punch would have been enough to knock pacquiao down and out. chapter 3 was a love story so sweet, it would make the  ants troop to our table. 

 synchronized elbows on the table could only mean intense fascination with and absorption of the juicy details of middle age romance. the it-is-written-in-the-stars-i-can-wait-forever-fit-for-telenovela kind of romance.  ah, the joys of middle age!

back in high school, the batch was grouped by sections. four for each level. everything and anything was done by sections. from the first year to the senior year. it followed that friendships were developed by sections. rare was the bond that was formed outside of it.  over the years after graduation, sections dissolved. the whole batch is now just collectively known as HS8O.  

it is hard to notice the clock tick away when one is having fun.  a minute longer at the dessert place and the ladies behind the counter would have shooed us away. good times with old friends while cameras click away to capture those special moments.  isn't that awesome? 

Friday, January 20, 2012

# 55 fuel food!!!

fuel:  any material burned to supply heat or power
food : nourishment taken into the body
fuel food : nourishment to supply power to the body

when the road ahead is long (as in a procession, see previous post), well-meaning street entrepeneurs peddle food (with  jacked-up prices, naturally) to fuel the body. lest the kids feign hunger-induced wooziness and bolt from the line, several pit stops are mapped out to partake of the varied options on display.  food carts are visible every hundred meters along the whole stretch of the route.

 sweet corn on a cob a-boiling while you wait is a crowd drawer.  a brush of melting butter makes eating it quite a mess but its natural sweetness is a come-on.  

the kids had to stop several times for their favorite munchie -- peanuts!  the bike-mounted showcase had peanuts of different varieties - salted, coated, spicy or sweet.  they each get a teeny-weenie brown bag of their peanuts of choice.

this heart-shaped hanging oddity is locally known as pusô,  literal translationheart.  coconut leaves are weaved; rice grains are poured into an opening and cooked in the usual way rice is cooked. not far from the puso, one will most likely find an array of of the local version of the barbecue.  

what better excuse to ease the weary feet than a brief stopover for a snack.  isn't that awesome?

Monday, January 16, 2012

# 54 viva pit senyor!!!

Senyor is Senyor Sto. Niño, patron saint of cebu. 

in a predominantly catholic country such as ours, the patron saint is the most revered figure.  over the weekend, the city of cebu celebrated the feast of the Sto. Niño with the annual observance of the sinulog festival. amidst chants of 'pit senyor' and 'viva senyor', the crowd took to the streets with merrymaking reaching fever pitch. while some may argue that the feast has become a convenient excuse for commercialism, the solemnity of some traditions is not lost on the faithful believers. the procession held on the day before the grand parade is one tradition that continues to uphold the sanctity of the feast. on this day, the image is brought out from the church and carried around major thoroughfares for all to see.

this year's procession route covered 6.8 kilometers. any other time, the kids would have balked at that distance.  they managed to do it without any complaint at all.

perfect weather (clear skies, no blazing sun) prevailed as close to two million people paid homage to the Sto. Niño.  

tradition calls for offering candles for personal intentions.  just outside the Sto. Niño church, large tin cans are lined up for people to lay their candles on.

balloons in fiesta colors (red, white and yellow) are released as the image of the Sto. Niño atop a flower-bedecked float passes by.

one of many Sto. Niño-laden altars along the procession route.  this one had fruit and flower offerings.  other altars had elaborate decorations while some were beautiful in simple trimmings.  the images came in different sizes.

this photo taken by a professional photographer captures the multitude of devotees with hands outstretched in praise and glory (photo by a. suralta).

it is hard for people outside the faith to fully comprehend the profound devotion to the Sto. Niño.  it was already dark when His image passed by where we were. everyone greeted him wholeheartedly heedless of the long wait.

that one day when alienation is unknown; the city is one in its faith.  viva pit senyor!!   isn't that awesome?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

# 53 baby turned big sister!!

truly wonderful the mind of a child is, says yoda of all-time favorite star wars.

very true especially when the kid is in no hurry to grow up. our wawa is in no hurry. she basks in over-indulgence always accorded the youngest in the family.  she has always been referred to as the baby. never mind if she has become too big and too heavy to carry. close to nine years, wawa held that title. held on to it until the newborn baby made her grand entrance and claimed the title.  a few hours after the baby's birth, wawa wrote in her diary - 'i am not the youngest anymore.' not grudgingly but tenderly.  in no time, she switched roles from being the baby to big sister with  enthusiasm. our baby-turned-big sister is nine years old today.

the most affectionate of the brood, she would cuddle up and hug and sit on the lap. she relishes playtime with her dolls and toys as much as her electronic gadgets. her enthusiasm is not exclusive to her new big sister role. it also aptly describes her toy collectibles that she has amassed through the years. for a time, it was her pokemon figurines. now it is her littlest pet shop collection.  if she continues collecting at the rate she is doing now, she will have to give up her bed space for her toys. of late, she has assigned herself as the family's newscaster. she would watch the early evening news and  broadcast the latest happening at the dinner table.  

wawa has had a keen interest in the arts very early on. it was no surprise that during her graduation from kindergarten, she was named the most promising artist of  her batch.  i am holding on to her early works; it would be worth a fortune someday.

yangi and gugud would tease wawa no end, annoy her to tears and order her around but they love her enough to give her the princess treatment in the pool.

postcard-pretty picture of wawa as she goes fishing

mamam would have been amused with wawa's antics. mamam would have been proud of wawa's school achievements, too.  unfortunately, they both did not have the chance to know each other as wawa came into this world seven months after mamam's passing.   she is not lacking in mamam and popsie stories, though.
happy birthday, my dear wawa. i love you. you will always be my baby. nurture your passion for the arts. someday, my walls will be filled with your masterpieces and my heart will burst with pride each time i look at them. sustain that ever-questioning mind and discover the world outside.  it may not be all pretty and fair but it's okay.  treasure your toy collections. continue collecting even when you have reached adulthood. by that time, you will have to buy the toys yourself. you might just earn a guinness record for your collection.  

truly wonderful the mind of a child in no hurry to grow up. .. isn't that awesome?