Friday, May 29, 2009

Ang Tunay na Banana-Q

I was majorly shocked when I discovered that not only are bananas in Manila sold per piece at P1.50 (it was 1989), they're also deep-fried with brown sugar, skewered and marketed as Banana-Q!

Growing up in a province where saba (plantains) were practically free with my lolo's vast plantation of different variants, I contemplated a revolt against my family's decision to move into this absurd city for good! But as malleable as young minds go - I eventually adjusted to the urban snack of junk and fast foods driving memories of my daily banana meriendas (seriously in all versions possible - maruya, canchi-canchi, rebusado, dulce saging, bayu-bayo, name it!) deep, deep down my subconscious.

I have this theory that as we get older, we revert to the food that we grew up with even the ones we hated. Not only do they bring back memories of more innocent times, we also start refining our tastes as to how our parents appreciate buro, kinilaw etc.

And so it happened, my banana yearnings surfaced at a period when my appetite is at its most insatiable - maternity!

I'd have Dole cavendish in the office (P12 each at 7-11 and Ministop) and plantains now at P3.50 each which I would slice in half, pop in the toaster for 15 minutes, slather with salted butter and sprinkle with a generous amount of muscovado sugar on top. It's weird to the people at home and to my officemates when I bring some for baon. But I don't care coz it's delicious and this my friend is the real McCoy... ang tunay na Banana-Q!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Honeys

I’ve always been surrounded with very strong women; my lola, mom, sisters, friends, colleagues – sometimes I conclude that females are generally full of character… except that once in a while I come across really “DUH” ones, but that’s another story.

This one is about the most significant men in my life. I last saw my father when I was around five years old so the first one is my lolo who taught me how to read and cut my hair to look like a boy. He died when I was 11.

I had a stepdad who was not really the paternal type but a good man nevertheless. I remember us eating Chinese every Sunday after mass and my little sister would always steal the generous tip he would leave behind. He was stricter than my mom so when boys started visiting the house, he would lie down on the couch and watch TV until the visitor left.

I’ve had boyfriends but always found them immature, not because they were but because I was too old for my years. I swore the next one should at least be 10 years older… but then I met Tats.

Not only is Tats 50 days younger, he also wore the most absurd outfits like checkered golf pants with basketball jersey in one of our early dates, then a French maid dress with lacy apron when we had coffee after his mom’s birthday costume party. He had thinning hair but his megawatt smile can light up a stadium. My first official act as his girlfriend was to shave his head and he’s been bald ever since.

He didn’t like reading until I introduced him to Dan Brown. He uses chopsticks at every opportunity after I taught him how regardless if he’s just in Chowking. I designated him balancer of our credits which he claims to have aged him. While he taught me to be at my actual age 10 years younger than how I was. We’re very different from each other so every day is a work in progress.

I’m going on the 32nd week of my pregnancy and we’re having a boy. We’re calling him Nacho from Jack Black’s “luchador” character. It’s actually Javier Ignacio, the first name after my former boss Xavi who made our Punta Fuego beach wedding possible and who has the chubbiest cheeks challenging the strongest restraint for a pinch.

Two men will be the most significant in our soon-to-be-home... of which naturally I shall be Queen! =)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Hive of Our Own – Finally!

It was supposedly the natural order of things – you get married, have a house then kids. But nothing came easy to Tats and me.

We were both part of middle management me for a small company and him for a medium-sized company. I supported my mom while he provided for his parents and three siblings. There was no way I’m ending up with this guy – or so I thought. After two years of dating we decided to get married. It helped that his brothers started working and my mom decided to move to the province with my sister. And so a modest yet chic wedding by the beach we had, everything paid for in cash from our very own pockets followed by a sponsored honeymoon to Boracay.

Afterwards, we stayed in the apartment I shared with my mom on weekdays and their house on weekends. We explored the real estate market but there was simply nothing good within what we could afford.

We decided to be practical and moved in with his family in his expanded bedroom with bathroom. Life is convenient with good food on the table (his dad was Kapampangan and his mom Cavitena), trusty househelp and respectful privacy. We didn’t have to pay rent so we got a car on a 3-year loan. We did our own laundry and contributed to the house budget. I had less responsibilities than when I was single and I almost forgot the difference… then I got pregnant.

As my tummy got bigger the more I realized that our little world won’t be enough. As luck would have it, my mother-in-law’s friend was selling her townhouse at a good price. Tats and I applied for a loan right away and since we’re done paying off the car with the same bank, we got approved!

Again, the forces seem to be on our side that our ninang from the wedding is in the build-and-sell business. With her contacts and resources, she’s personally overseeing that our small renovations budget goes a long way.

Our little house will be ready for occupancy in a few months, perfect timing with the baby. Modest as it may be, I love it coz it’s our very own =)