Monday, May 26, 2008

Clothes On Tree

New way to hang clothes to dry.
Laiya Beach, San Juan, Batangas

Inihaw ng Isda

Simple, traditional, freshly grilled fish and squid on top of banana leaves, we used for placemats and plates. No utensils, no problem! The best way to eat this is with your hands, easier to take out the fishbones. Kain na po!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fiesta ng Lechon

Yesterday was the Fiesta here in La Loma, officially named: "The Lechon Capital of the Philippines". There was the annual parade, of what else, but lechons! Dressed in different, colorful and many times outlandish garments. The picture on the left depicting a santacruzan with the lechons as the sagalas. Others with a boxing theme, one with traditional Filipino costumes and one with characters from Winnie-the-Pooh.


There were some politicians and celebrity Geneva Cruz during the parade, with sponsors Tanduay and San Miguel providing some freebies. Jojo caught a face towel from the Tanduay float. Jollibee too was there, who was actually the biggest hit of all - the bee outdid those lechons! There was also a celebration last night with music bands and, I heard, free beer! Today, it was all quiet with the festivities being over. Many are probably trying to get over hangovers and heartburn.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Statue of Liberty

When in Angono, Rizal see the replica of the Statue of Liberty. Yes, you read and see it right - the Statue of Liberty, our own version in front of someone's house in the town of artists in the province of Rizal. Why? I wish I knew. I think it would look better with a different background and the house would look better without the huge statue in its frontyard.

Walang Utang

"Walang Utang", ("No Loan/Credit"), this sari-sari store's sign reads. A reminder to its customers that when you buy something, you should be ready with cash. Many a sari-sari stores have gone in debt because of utangs or the pa-lista ("listing of goods bought") system. People promise to pay, but some never do :(

Pamahiins

Mga Pamahiin (superstitious beliefs). It's become a part of the Filipino culture. Many believe in pamahiins and have made them a part of their life. I've come across many people with different beliefs, some who have shared them with me and even have tried to influence them on me.

I was reminded of this when I was talking with my husband's cousin last week. It was a Friday and she was saying that she was about to cut the fingernails of her infant son, when she remembered that you should not cut fingernails on Tuesdays and Fridays. She turned to me and asked me if I believed in them. I frankly said "no" and told her that I've heard about the pamahiin before but did not believe in them. I had first analyzed this - why tuesdays and fridays??? The only logical or maybe illogical answer was that these days are the days we pray the Sorrowful mysteries. What's the connection with fingernails? Who knows? But these superstitions like many others have their origins in the imaginations of people.

"Walang mawawala kung maniwala ka." ("You won't lose anything if you believe in them.") I've heard this many times too. And again, the answer came to me: "yes, you will lose something - your belief and faith in God. Because you believe in superstitions that have their origins in man, then you lose your faith in God, who made man and who is more powerful than any man-made superstition.

There are many more pamahiins that I could name and that we followed when I was a child. Like do not step over someone because they won't grow; do not sing when you're in front of the dinner table (not sure why); do not cut your fingernails at night and many more. I've left many of these behind and do not follow them, unless it disrespects someone who really follows them. But in my heart, I know what's right and if there is doubt, I will ask the Lord who is the source of Truth.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Binangonan - Our Second Home

We have two homes, our main one here in Quezon City and the other in Binangonan, Rizal, which I've mentioned several times in this blog. We should feel fortunate to have 2 homes, seeing others only have a cart or make-shift dwelling as their home. At times though it can be a burden - like maintaining and cleaning the house. For the most part, our home in Binangonan is cleaned and maintained by our relatives who live just steps away from the house. They manage the house, give us the bills when they arrive and help us clean and even take care of the kids when we stay there. It's a welcome change from our autonomous life here in Quezon City, where we do everything on our own - no household help for us at this time.

One thing I have to get used to though when we go to Binangonan is to always expect people at your door and in your home - almost all the time, unannounced. Like early Saturday morning, my husband's cousin opening the front door (with their own set of keys), and coming in to sweep the floor and the front of the house. I know that they were just following their regular routine, but I really do want some privacy especially that early in the morning where I haven't even had time to wash my face. My "good morning" was definitely for formalities.

On the good side, I am getting used to our home in Binangonan and am trying to find ways to really make it feel like home. I do feel that if our family was to put up a business, this place would be the best place for us. We can always leave the kids with relatives and my husband has more connections here. "Where everybody knows your name" (theme song to "Cheers"), is a song that came to mind when I was walking the streets. They don't know me, but are getting familiar with my face. My husband though is well-known in the area and knows almost everyone in the barangay. "Levers!", they'd shout to him. I still haven't found out from him how he got that unusual nickname. I'll leave that for another blog...