Ceres Busa Musings
Essays forwarded to the ZambalesForum
discussion group open forum
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2001 6:36 PM
Subject: [ZambalesForum] Blow-out in the Barrio
Friends From Afar,
"Apoooo. Rosie, addaak manen". (Apooo takes the place of a
doorbell. I am here again.) I loudly called from the gate. The dog
barked once and silently retreated to his corner. That is because he
already was used to me. Rosie opens the window. "Ahay, addaka
manen" (So you are home again?). "Wen Dona", was my
reply. "Ahay, (with a hearty laugh), sika a iti Dona" (It
is you who is a rich lady, she says.) The pleasantries go on and on
every visit. Before we part we both say, never mind being a Dona. It
is enough to be out under this shady Talisay tree and enjoy the
beautiful orchids that you keep blooming all year round.
week, Rosie's daughter passed the professional board exams to become
a pharmacist. The proud mother invited the whole barrio. Two pigs
were butchered and many fiesta cuisine sampled. From the ladies and
the men's committee on preparation, marketing. and cutting
vegetables, the making of the palapala, to the makeshift tent made
of the leaves of the palm trees for everyone to gather, the barrio
brigade was mobilized. They were busy for two days until the dishes
were put away and the last drop of gin consumed. That was the blow
Rosie had finally and properly done service to her daughter. The
daughter, as in the olden days, would later give her first salary to
her mother. She would also help in sending the next younger sibling
to finish school. She will only be free from this obligation when
the next sibling graduates and gives the first salary to the mother
and so on.
me trace back my story.
is an old friend. We were classmates in elementary. There were three
sisters who raised her. Two were teachers and themselves were the
"old way" type, ika nga. (As the saying goes). Nana In-syang,
as my Dad addressed her, was his Ninang sa kasal. I got to know The
Apo In-syang, (Apo) as I would address her, thru the many stories of
my Dad and also extended to Rosie as their taraken or adopted
Apo In-syang was very strict in her teachings of life. Her teachings
however were transmitted thru her actions. She was kind in words.
There was no nonsense talk as she would never entertain such. Apo
In-syang's cooking was also famous among the teachers. But what I
remember most was the sponge cake that was sold in the little
cantina. Rosie learned to beat the eggs and measured the flour and
sprinkled the pinch of salt just the like the Apo. Usually I return
to Manila with the sweet cakes I order from her.
would have not remembered formal school lessons, but what was
ingrained in her mind were the actions of the surrogate mothers. She
lived by example. Her yard is immaculate. Her orchids are blooming
in wide array of colors. She is frugal. She is religious as she is
gone to church even before the call of dawn. But most of all she
honored the push for education that her mentors tried on her but she
failed to grasp.
under the Talisay tree, we marveled the glorious day of a Mother's
pride. A blow-out in the barrio. Then she said, "I thought the
barrio did not love me". I said , why do you say that? After
today they adore you even more. "Well, Dona, I have to beg off
today. Have a grand blow-out. I must be back in Manila at one P.M.
because of previous commitment. A little pakarawa (a rolled money
slipped into her hand) is a barrio way of giving gift.
is a Talisay tree that give shade and coolness in that small yard.
Her oven is just like a small suitcase. Never mind the size of the
house, the oven, the garden... It is like a balay-balay (a play
house). Now you know that her balay-balay is the palace and Dona
Rosie is after all rich in the many blessings she and I enjoy.
From afar, I wish a Happy Birthday to our ZF Sari-Sari store.
Alusiis, San Narciso
Dream on Sari-sari Store Keeper
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2001 3:31 AM
Subject: [ZambalesForum] "Dream on Sari sari store
Willy and Friends from Afar,
Your dream is attainable. Who knows ,there might be some adventurous
people who would like to risk in investing in a Sari Sari store
owned by Zambales forum. ......
It is risky enough to adventure with me. But to manage the sari-sari
store, yes that is risky. I might get into a Bantay Salakay or
kabarrioan (barrio folks) who would come for a bottle of cooking oil
or vinegar and will pay sa a kinse (mid month payday). I will not be
surprised if the Cowboy will stop to buy a pack of Marlboro and say
"keep the change Inday" coupled with a wink. I say.
"Who is that big shot?". Or Carlos Bulosan to come at dusk
to buy a liter of gasoline oil for his lamp. I will not have the
heart to say, "Manong kulang ka pa ng dyis centemos".
(Sir, you are short of ten cents).
the end of the day, as I close the tiny windows and drop the wooden
bar across it, I will look who owed me the most. I will then say hay
buhay. But to think of who came by and by listening to the chatter,
I will be amused to reminisce the news of the day: who eloped in the
last fiesta, who got the most harvest this year, the promising
student and the proud mother, who just turned 91 years old, who is
the worthless sannama gun husband who is good for nothing, beating
his wife just because she put on a little rouge and lipstick, or
perhaps the new Balikbayan who can't drink anything but Coke. Tsk...tsk...tsk...
This is better than Larry King Live!
the end of the day, as I retreat to my quiet abode, the smell of
ylang-ylang and the dama de noche will pervade the surroundings. The
stars will light the sky and the kundiman can be heard somewhere.
Ah, harana (love songs of courting) for the young people. I will
then be lulled to sleep soundly with the rustling of the tamarind
leaves and a sound of the geiko. It is still dark but the sound of
the first trip Victory Bus to Manila can be heard. It is almost
dawn. Soon I will hear the sound of birds and the rooster. It must
open my store, sweep the yard and splash water to the dusty earth. I
will then cut sprigs of wild weeds, pluck some zennias and cosmos
and arrange them to a small vase. As I drink my coffee, the wild
chicken come around and wait for their share of pandesal crumbs. The
sun rises and the color of Paite mountain comes alive.
Alusiis, San Narciso