See those lamps above? Those are real working lamps made of glass that sadly, we do not use anymore these days (understandable, I mean who would want to use them when the electricity is just a switch away, and in case of brownouts - there are rechargeable lamps). But they must have been used as bedside lamps before... Very romantic.
That little table above used to be a sewing machine (which probably did not work anymore). Instead of throwing it away, my Aunt kept the wrought iron stand and transformed it into a coffee table (changed the top with glass). Very ingenious...
Lola Gracing turned 84, and her children decided to throw a small party for her. But there were a few more well-wishers who came (more than what was expected), and we thought the food wouldn't be enough. But it was just right after all.
Just to remind you folks who are already based outside the Philippines, here are some of the food you might have missed - on the foreground are Balbacua (to the left) and Pasayan (to the right). Behind is Kaldereta (sorry, forgot to take a closer shot), at the center is - I forgot the name but it is Breaded chicken fillet with some stuffing. Behind the Pasayan is Sweet and Sour Lapulapu which is mostly covered by the carrots and its sauce. There was Bam-i, Dinuguan and fruits such as Mango, Watermelon, and a Baked Lasagna (not a Pinoy dish but among the favorite fare).
The crowning glory is of course - the Inasal! It was filled and cooked with lemon grass and dahong sibuyas which made it quite aromatic. The skin was crunchy and the meat was tender and juicy... And the celebrant was asked to blow her cake amidst happy well wishers!
She used to knock at our gates at around 7 - 8 a.m. everyday, one pail full of fresh fishes on each hand. One time I asked her how she could carry those weight, being petite and all, she just smiled and said "no choice...".
I found out that she is just 26, but she already had 3 kids in close succession. Like most stories we hear, she comes from a poor family, and had to stop schooling (after 2 years in high school) because her parents could no longer afford to send her to school. It was not surprising when she decided to get married early. She tried working at first in a factory but her income could not sustain her family's needs. That was why she decided to try selling fish. Instead of getting a spot in the market, she chose to carry her stuff and knock on doors. The strategy paid off because she was able to get regular buyers. That was how I came to know her...
Actually I was not too keen on buying from her at first because there is a slight difference between her prices and those from the wet market near our neighborhood. But what's a few pesos difference if I could help her find some means of earning. Beside I have to admit that I like the state of her fishes. Lately however, she has not visited us. In fact I found out that she has not made her usual rounds in our neighborhood. Why? Nobody seems to know... I just hope that whatever the reasons for absence, should at least be something for the better. Her grit to stand the heat and burden is admirable. But then her story is our story too, in fact every mom's story. I believe that there is no mother who is not willing to make sacrifices and go an extra mile to secure a good future for her family.
After leaving the corporate world. I thought I heard a click, as if a door closed. Okay, no more blazers and high heels. Welcome T-shirts and rubber shoes! No, it was not such a welcoming idea at the start. Life has been structured with schedules, even vacation leave had schedules. Panic attack sets in. It was frightening to have a lot of time on my hands. But , ask me now! I would say, Alleluyah! But the story would come later. For now, hmm, let’s just say that we will be having a lot of talking about a lot of things. Promise, I won’t ramble.
Welcome to the world of a work from home gal from Cebu!