Saturday, January 31, 2009


For a few days now, I've had the urge, the craving, to feast on green, crispy mangoes (and I get that urge often, especially whenever my vehicle passes by near the market, and I see the mangoes stacked up on the shelves or still on the baskets, fresh from the farm). Mango slices dipped in fish/shrimp paste we call "bagoong" (ba-go-ONG), uhhmmm..yummy. Bagoong's taste and smell may be too strong or too different to the uninitiated. It may just be the Filipino's version of caviar. But just thinking and writing now about mangoes and bagoong (and seeing those pictures!) make my mouth water, as I imagine biting into the sour, juicy slices. Maybe I'll really go to the market tomorrow after Sunday Mass and finally get myself some mangoes (I already have bagoong at home).

Yummy green mangoes photo from Yummy bagoong photo from

Quite recently, my co-workers and I were on our way to visit a co-op out of town. We were kind of lost, and our driver parked by the roadside to ask directions from some bystanders. As we were parked, a woman crossed the street from the other side. Passing by our van which had tinted windows that were closed, the woman looked straight into one window and used it as a mirror to fix her hair. My friend who sat by that window was at that time also looking out to the street, and all of us inside the van had a good laugh seeing the woman on the street fixing her hair while my friend was looking straight at her from the inside. I remarked jokingly that the woman outside must have somehow seen upclose the image of my friend inside the van while fixing her hair, and must've thought to herself "How come my face is different?"

At a high school party early this January, I saw former classmates whom I haven't seen and talked to for more than 25 years (since our graduation, where we had our last communication). Although I've not seen these guys for a long time, and some changes in their features would've made me stop for a few seconds to think about who they might be, the eyes were the key. The hair might have changed in length, style, or color. The height might have changed, too. Even the body weight (although no one ever seems to want to hear remarks about body weight, heheh). But the eyes. A look straight into my friends' eyes, and I knew in an instant, deep in my heart, who they were. Suddenly, I feel that connection between us, for the eyes never change. They never hide the memories that I share with these former classmates of mine. The memories that have binded us together, even if time and distance kept us apart for so many years.

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