One of my earliest clear memories was when I was five. I was introspective at an early age, when I didn’t understand the English in cartoons yet. I was a bookworm, “voracious” as my mother called it. Years later did I only learn that the term is reserved for food lovers. I am that as well. I literally was “Napabayaan sa kusina,” (left alone in the kitchen).
In the compound where we used to live, there was a small yard where I played with cousins. There was no lawn, only damp earth and rocks. Out by the “labahan” (laundry area) where big stones were strategically placed, we used to overturn the small ones to search for worms. I blame these moments for my early interest in the sciences. See, we used to do “science” experiments to these creatures. We have And no, I rarely touch them by hand (because I was told not to touch these dirty animals). I get used “barbecue sticks” (bamboo skewers used in street food) to pick them up like chopsticks. We have matches, bottle caps, salt, disposable razor blades, and a smuggled bottle of alcohol as tools and material.
Fast forward to 1998, when I was a second-year high school student. I was living with my cousin in the city because our house was too far from my school. We were left to our devices most of the time, and the lack of TV, internet and magazines led us to other pursuits: cockroach killing.
During the especially cold months, we still woke up early. Three in the morning provides plenty of time for two Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn archetypes to cook a pack of noodles (with egg), take a shower, dress up, catch up on homework, and talk. Lots of talk. We share a single bathroom and we kill roaches to pass the time. During one of these mornings my cousin got out his plastic (spring-loaded) pellet gun and shot the roaches. I found that a good idea and we took turns until the balls ran out.
That was when my usual ingenuity kicked in and I got used barbecue sticks and loaded them in the gun, muzzle-action like, and speared the jokers to their deaths.
Pardon me for not posting pictures this time. 🙂
– In other news, I watched TV and found the biggest commercial siopao. It is a 2 kg. baby, sold at PVL in Mandaluyong by one Mrs. Norma Lim,
who also looks like one who is also famous for her house decor during Christmas. It is called the Double Jumbo and it feeds four to six people. Why a double? Because PVL already has a Jumbo, weighing 1 kilo. Elsewhere, I found out that the Jumbo is priced at least P120. Not bad, considering the people who will down this monster.