#Ice Candy Goals

Summer has landed … It has arrived!

We’re already feeling the heat, but I still can’t get myself to sleep with the a/c on and good thing is we still have the fresh breeze coming through the windows thanks to trees around our old place. Living in the hills of San Pedro still has its perks except its more crowded now and our neighbours are noisier.

My family’s old neighbourhood had changed a lot since we settled back here early 2000 when my dad retired. There are more people from other places, and kids had grown, but I still see familiar faces. Families that were there when we first moved here when there were only a handful in the mid-60’s. We didn’t grow up here my three other siblings, and I was born and raised in the capital city of Manila, but we spent summers here until we all went out separate ways.

Now that I am back and will be here for a while I made something of my time. Well, I have a lot of that lately, and I am not getting very far yet, so I decided to do what we loved during summer… eat ice candy!

These are handcrafted cold treats made from scratch of my favourite tropical fruits and vegetables … beans are vegetable, right?

So far we’ve made mango – our best seller, chocolates and buko-pandan (coconut-pandan) flavours and now we have a version of iced buko with monggo (creamy coconut mixed with brown beans).

We only make small batches and sell it for nothing – five pesos (10 cents) each.

It’s not for profit after all … it’s for fun! Of conjuring flavours… those lovely tropical flavours and selling them mostly to kids and see their eyes lit up when they start sucking on the cold flavoured ice tube of candy delight!

This is what summer is for me … simple joys! Brings me back to the days when we are the ones buying ice candy from our neighbours. Now I am paying forward to my neighborhood kids 😄

DP Glimmer

Meet My Roommate … Saint Mary Magdelene

Our family owns a life-size statue of Saint Mary Magdalene. We acquired her to be part of my village procession tradition every Holy Week. My family keeps her in my room 360 days and 5 days in the church each year.

Every Holy Wednesday, she’s taken out of the house to be cleaned, dressed, perfumed and put in her carriage to be surrounded by fresh flowers for the first procession. After that, for 5 nights, she will stay in the church among the other Saint statues that joins in all the parade until Easter Sunday.

Today is my Mom’s birthday too, forgoing a visit to the cemetery because today is also Holy Wednesday, our focus is on Magda, she’s gone to the church being prep for the evening processions. This year we made new gowns for her, after all, she’s been wearing her old dresses for over 10 years, it’s time for a change. Later in the night, after all the exhausting procession – pushing and carrying her “andas” people will flock to the house for a Thanksgiving dinner before fasting until Sabado de Gloria.

 

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Magda being prepped by my Aunt for the evening procession — the yellow dress is for Holy Wednesday (She will change dress for the Good Friday procession)
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Saint Mary Magdalene minus the fresh flowers, her cross and skull

But what do my family know about Mary Magdalene? We talk about her casually as if she’s a living person. We fondly call her Magda short for Magdalena (well as Filipino we’re fond of nicknames so living or not living she got one) when we’re planning for the Holy Week or about her new wardrobe. Regarding whether we know more about her life, I am pretty sure my family don’t know much 😊 just like me. So, I took the liberty to seek out information about Magda so my family and friends will know more about our in-house Saint whose been sharing my room for quite a while now.

 

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Saint Mary Magdalene feast day is on July 22nd, and she is believed to be the patron saint of women, of pharmacists and those fighting off temptations (and more).

Here are more stories about her St. Mary Magdalene HD and Smithsonian put together a clear description of her life in the article Who Was Mary Magdalene?

Saint Mary Magdalene, Magda to my family, is the perfect example of tolerance and inclusiveness amidst the persecution. Her story is very much real then as it is now.

She’s a Jewish woman living with the Gentiles that’s why they labelled her as a prostitute. But that is according to the interpretation of scholars because in the bible her not being with her fellow Jews ostracised her and tagged her as bad.

Much like today’s xenophobia, intolerance and discriminations happening all over the world. We separate people according to religion, race, and skin colour and we persecute people because one set of people feel superior to the others … a perfect example is the decade-long tensed situation between Israel and Palestine, which I witnessed first hand when I was there for a year.

It is true history repeats itself, and the worst part is we never learn from it. Many people use religion as a way to separate rather than to come together. The assumption that one race or colour is better than the others. When will we ever learn? I hope, that when we do we will achieve lasting peace everybody so desire especially in countries where religion is used to the extreme and uses the name of God, Allah, Buddha in vain

I guess we should as a family commemorate her feast day and pray for tolerance and peace and continue including her in our litany every night after the rosary. Afterall, Magda lives with us all year round and never complaining.

Aling Pepay, My Mom

A fitting tribute having this first post about my mom.

229387_1952967353539_4151167_n.jpgIt’s her birthday tomorrow. She would have been 82 years old, and pretty sure would be rockin’ it with her ballroom buddies had she not passed away eight years ago.

It was hard to see my mom succumb to the big C knowing how high-spirited she was. When I go to my therapy sessions, my friend who’s driving me often recalls how we are always on the road with her. She would say that Nanay would have loved to go places, and I couldn’t agree more.

When she got sick, my sister was the one looking after her full-time while I worked (again) overseas. 6-months after she was diagnosed, my sister called us to say “if we want to say our goodbyes to Nanay we have to go home soon”. I was in Bangkok, Thailand when I received the call, attending training. Without thinking twice, I dropped the 2nd week of the training and changed my ticket to go home.

From the airport, I went to the hospital even though it was almost midnight when I arrived, thinking it was the wise thing to do, to surprise her and we will all be happy. But I was the one who got the surprise of my life … she doesn’t recognise me! I was shocked, I cried but then again I knew, that her memory started to go. There are days when she doesn’t even recognise my dad, but when she’s lucid, we can’t stop laughing and wishing the moment would last.

Exchanges between Mom and Dad, while he’s carrying her off the wheelchair to the bed …

Mom: Who are you? (Sino ka?)

Dad: Your husband. (Asawa mo)

Mom: Really, why do you carry me? (Talaga? Bakit mo ako binubuhat?)

Dad: Because I love you (Kasi mahal kita)

Mom: Che! (an expression when you try to dismiss someone because you don’t  believe)

Growing up years … 

I grew up with only my mom raising four of us while my dad works overseas. She raised us by showing us that in spite of our standing in life — meaning not being wealthy, it should not stop us from helping others in dire situations than us.

She would bring all four of us to the church to join the Legion of Mary, we each have our own group and forced to be in the church attending meetings on weekends, forced to mingle with people while trying hard to show I am my moms good daughter (but hey, who am i kidding *wink). Those weekend church work plus being educated in a Catholic school opened my eyes to the reality around me in my young adult life.

My neighborhood is not the first class gated neighborhood in the city of Manila. Yes, we lived in an enclosed compound, privately owned, but there was nothing posh about it. We are like an enclave in the middle of the slums, and a dirty creek divides the poor from one of the first class university in the metro – DLSU Taft.  So when mom asked us to join the church organisation, we were sensitised on how people lived around us by going house to house, praying the rosary and talking to them about life and faith. It was very humbling (but in the beginning I was grumbling a lot), as a kid, I didn’t take notice of that until I grew up and started working for people in difficult situations too.

Last moments …

In her hospital bed, mom kept on praying the rosary and our bedtime prayer – Angel of God. She has forgotten everyone, my dad and us, her friends and other relatives, but not her prayers and Andrae (the little girl we took in as our own).  My sister said that is because the angels are enveloping mom with their graces and love preparing her for her time with God.

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Through and through my moms a Legion of Mary.  Her tombstone was etched with its logo, announcing to everyone that Aling Pepay, as she’s fondly remembered by the kids in my neighborhood growing up, and Sister Josie, to her church friends and the people she visited in the slums, the prison and even to the seafarers in Kalaw, Ermita where she gives out the rosaries she lovingly assemble while watching her favorite afternoon shows, that she truly is one of the Legionaries of Mary until the end.

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I miss Nanay every day, but I know as my brother, grandfather and other relatives with her in heaven, she’s looking out for us.

THE CATENA LEGIONIS

Antiphon. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

(Make the Sign of the Cross) v. My soul glorifies the Lord.* R. My spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour. v. He looks on His servant in her lowliness;* henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

R. The Almighty works marvels for me.* Holy His name! v. His mercy is from age to age,* on those who fear Him.

R. He puts forth His arm in strength* and scatters the proud-hearted. v. He casts the mighty from their thrones* and raises the lowly.

R. He fills the starving with good things,* sends the rich away empty.

v. He protects Israel His servant,* remembering His mercy, R. The mercy promised to our fathers,* to Abraham and his sons for ever.

v. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.. R. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Antiphon. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

v. O Mary, conceived without sin. R. Pray for us who have recourse to you.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, our mediator with the Father, Who has been Pleased to appoint the Most Blessed Virgin, Your mother, to be our mother also, and our mediatrix with You, mercifully grant that whoever comes to You seeking Your favours may rejoice to receive all of them through her. Amen.

Happy birthday Nanay. You’re much-loved and never forgotten.