Aki’s summer vacation is about to end. Huhuhu.
Before the school year starts, lemme tackle the oldest draft in my head — our summer Elbi vacay 2013.
If you remember, Aki had his first vacation without us last year. All cousins stayed in our anscestral home in Bayog because my UK-based relatives were home for a few weeks.
What happens when you put 5 boys and 1 girl with ages 3 to 10 in one roof? Chaos! Clutter! And lots of laughter and happy memories.
Muscles muscles muscles
The newest Go Go Balls addicts in town.
We love going home to Elbi. Whenever we are in my hometown, we practice the art of doing nothing. Laziness at its best. By doing nothing and by not having a plan at all, we get to enjoy every bit of the vacation and end up doing a lot actually.
Some highlights of our Easter weekend
Bonding with my favorite niece and nephew. Here, they are singing a song for Aki after making him cry.
Waiting for our favorite sorbetero
Read Archie comics. The second edition of the Best of Archie’s was not as good as the first.
We practiced Aki on how to make phone calls whenever he’d miss us. He was about to have his first official summer vacation without us. I thought that 5 days would be difficult for him. Boy I was wrong. He only called us once, on the first morning without us. After that, he was too busy playing with his cousins whenever I called him up.
While the city folks were stuck inside airconditioned rooms, we were enjoying the cool breeze of Bayog
We enjoyed watching the sunrise and the sunset
Aki and I collected sea shells from the Laguna de Bay shore, which is just a few meters away from our house. The picture above is the view from our gate.
We made an impromptu trip to UPLB
and to Mio Cucina. Thanks Dew for the reco!
Speaking of food, I told my mom that we need new utensils. This is what she gave me. A chest of unused utensils and boxes of starter sets — all gifts from her own wedding some 30 years ago.
First of all, ask Kuya Vendor if you can help. If he says yes, put some taho into the cups.
Growing up, I thought my mom was my complete opposite. Now that I am a mom myself, I see a lot of my mom’s key traits in me. Like her, I like to read on topics that affect or may affect my family. I have grown to hate clutter although Mom’s tolerance is much much lower. I hate eyesores but that ends there. Mom would proactively look for clutter, clutter that I don’t even recognize, and fix the place up. Like Mummy, I would be happy to stay at home rather than spend Friday nights with friends. Lately, Mummy and I developed a special interest in gardening. We have been interested in plants for quite sometime but it was only last April when we started to take care of plants that will give us food eventually.
Look at what I saw in her container garden. Oh wait, let us define container gardening first, shall we? Take out your dictionaries as this definition might be too scientific for you. Container gardening is gardening in containers. Haha. Instead of planting the plant directly into the land, plants are planted in containers. When space is limited, but enthusiasm is not, container gardening is the way to go. Mommy actually has a vast lot behind her house but she prefers her container garden, situated right beside the house, in the then-piggery, now parking space slash sampayan.
In Los Banos, the local government supports gardening by giving free seeds and compost. I wonder how the local government of other towns and cities support urban farming. Whenever I pass by a squatter’s area or see a beggar, I can’t help but wish that the container-gardening bug would bite them too. Instead of asking people for money or complaining about how poor they are, if they get into planting their own food, they would be self-sufficient. Malunggay, one of the most nutritious plants ever, needs almost zero maintenance.
Anyhoo, I would like to share images from my mom’s veggie garden.
Ginger in a used plastic box
Seedlings in styropore
Seedlings in taho plastic cups
Cranberry in a jumbo laundry soap container
We spent the Holy Week in the most relaxing resort, my mom’s hacienda.
Mother does not have a pool but she does have a lake. Hehe. While the aircon in the houses of the city folks were in full gear, we were happily enjoying the strong cool winds of Bayog
Franco and I always make plans of going out like a date night in Elbi Square ( I am not even sure if it is still open. The first and last time, we were there was in 2004) or eating in Isdaan, but none of those ever happen. It is always more fun to chillax in Dorie’s mansion. So what do we do in my mom’s house? Nothing! Just how we like it. Aki was far busier than Franco and I whenever we are home in Elbi
Here are some of his regular activities
Enviously watch the neighbors’ kids play with old rubber tires. I asked the kids why they have so many tires when they are only four in the group. One kid said they bring extras for those who would like to join them
Feed the chicken. Later on, chase them.
Marvel, inspect and take a bath at the poso
I have been looking forward to Halloween even when Aki was still inside my tummy. I have been hoping to get the crown from my officemate who have been winning the best costume award for her daughter for 5 straight years. In fact, I have had sketches of Aki’s first costume even before he was born. Unfortunately, he has yet to attend our office Halloween party or any Halloween party for that matter. October is a busy month for me because it is Aki’s birthday month. It is also the month when we often have balikbayans on both sides of my family. Last month was especially crazy for me because of the sudden departure of Cheryl and Franco’s business trip.
This year we finally got to celebrate celebrate Halloween but in a non-Halloween way with 3 non-halloween activities. One of them is the pizza party/contest
My sister and I prepared the toppings:
Store-bought pizza sauce, ham, sauteed mushroom slices, onions, pineapple, meat sauce (left over from Aki’s party, it was frozen right after the birthday party btw), white sauce (left over from my sister’s lasagna), 3 types of cheese (parmesan, mozzarella and processed chedar)
We gave each kid a half pizza and let them top away
After they were done, we asked each kid to name their pizza. We baked the pizza for 10 minutes and voila! Yummy homemade pizza!
Jyl’s Pizza – Jyliana Extravaganza
I have posted before that growing up, I was somewhat ashamed to be living in our fishing village, Bayog. Fast forward 20 years later, there is no other place more relaxing to me than the beautiful barrio I grew up in.
There are so many things that I have come to appreciate about Bayog.
Whenever there is a typhoon, especially if it is major one, we can always always expect to eat bangus for one week. The winds cause the fish pens to fall apart, causing bangus overload in our shores. I remember when I was young, there were so many excess bangus that the fishermen were already giving us their catch for free!
I am not sure if the Nestle caritos have reached our barangay. What I know is that binatog vendors riding bikes are always in business.
The elders have silly nicknames like Daga and Uling. My guess is that those were nicknames that stuck until they got old. My greatgrandfather is Tatang Gata which is why sometimes I hear that we are referred to as “lahi ng mga gata”l
When I go home again, hopefully next month, my project is to learn how to cook “Sinigang sa Bayabas na Tinapa na may Gata”.
Let me end by sharing pictures of the most common plant in our baranggay: