Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the good and good of it

everybody is just happy and welcomy about the real cool change happening ni houston for the past 2 days now.
when i went to have my morning hike yesterday, i finally was able to wear my New Zealand attire of jogging pants and the jumper as they call the sweater there. and my! it was so nice to walk with the fresh, really cool wind on my face..
i like it bec. it makes my cheeks red.
its really like im in america, ha,ha..

the good of it, is that people are calmer..
and the other good of it, is that its nice to reminisce on memories when youre calmer..
and i of course, reminisced about my Bohol.

i had fun last weekend with an old chum way back college days.
she is now a successful nurse here, with her engineer husband, they have this house in katy all to the 3 of them with many extra rooms for guests like me!
i loved the bed celeste prepared for me. it was like staying in Hampton Inn. bed was so soft, and i was surrounded by soft pillows, it was like sleeping in the clouds, ha,ha..
then, the shopping and the trip..
i experienced this rennaisance festival in Magnolia. it was fun seeing all those stalls and the people wearing customs..

i was laughing because i was thinking that if we had this in Bohol, we will look funny in those attires because of our colors.
but on the other hand, we can always remain as we are.. our simple selves. just happy to be such.

so what do i recall in association with it?
i remember trips in Cortes, going to the "market day" there on saturdays.
many many people with their wares and produce.
Rice, banan, young coconut, batong, kalabasa, alugbati, talong, sikwa, and of course, my favorite saging and the ginamos.. and i just love those puto they make out of rice that they mill, and the butong.. oh my..

so, the good and the good of it is that i get to meet my old friend and once more experience the benevolence of their kind boholano hearts, and then, i connect it with home..

its autumn, and Bohol shines on in their hearts..

October 12,2007
Good morning.
its one of those pretty cool early autumn weather morning.
just crisp, bright, fresh, again, the day would belong to the general happy description of a “beautiful day” and it is.
which is very apt itself to be the day i choose to start blogging my boholano in houston experience, which will be a mixture of present event and memorable past though recent events.
as i inhale the freshness of the air, hear the tweet of the bird near me, yet at the same time hear the hubbing sound of car’s engines somewhere, dulled by the foliage of the trees, nevertheless there, i smile at this merry mix of memory triggers.
the bird’s tweets places me in the country mind, yet the car’s engines puts me back in the city state.
Bohol my Bohol..
peaceful.. calm.. everything familiar. everything relaxed.. everything “secure” and warm, bec. Bohol is home.
and when you leave Bohol, its just like the feeling of pulling yourself away from the warm comfort of the bed you just were lying in, and going out into the shower on a cold winter day. you just dont want to leave the sheets, but because you have to, you try to linger on, try to tarry a tad bit. until you cant tarry no more, and have to go and seize the day..
good if at the end of the day you are welcomed back to the same comfort.
what if you dont even know when you can relish the same comfort again.
that is what you feel, when you leave Bohol , for “abroad”.
yet, at first, you are excited with the prospect of what is ahead. what is new. what is unfamiliar. what is “stateside” that you want to experience as you have read in the magazines, seen in the movies and televisions and heard from stories..
this will last for a couple of weeks to a month if you are on vacation.
but if you are coming to america to work, it can go away immediately, only to be replaced in a whammy by overwhelming feeling of inadequacy as you find yourself thrust into a new world you have to adjust to. the place, the envirornment, the people, the work, and not to mention the language. yes, the language, because even if you can speak english, you still find yourself repeatedly talking to yourself wanting to sound just like the way they speak around you.. ( i even felt a bit outcast in manila when my tagalog sounded so visayan).
so, Bohol suddenly evaporates..
replaced with the humdrum of the daily grind.. wake up, ride the car, go to work, work, go home, attend to chores, and the whole cycle repeats, and the only respite from the daily grind is looking forward to Saturday, bec. Saturdays means a break, and you are with friends, you are with your kababayans, and you completely forget the previous week and you immerse in today, Saturday.
and this is one of those days that has also “saved” me..
on one particular Saturday, after i saw somebody familiar getting coffee from a coffee table in a conference, one Boholano lead to another Boholano, and after nearly 2 months “surviving” somewhere in the Northern part of Houston, wishing id meet a Boholano, i finally “found” them.. God’s blessing extended. i call it. Jojo saved the day for me. Bless him.
they fetched me at the place i was staying. and i was so happy when they brought me to their house, lolong and fides, especially when after months of “starvation” for the Boholano diet, there was kinilaw and tinuwa.. i was in heaven.. and i cant begin to describe how liberating it is to finally talk to people in your own language! we spoke our Boholano language, and as we recalled old days and relished the familiar home food in this foreign land,all the misery i felt from being away from home evaporated.
and the manifestation of the Boholano Heart in Houston, Texas, USA started.. and im living it. Bless my friends..
i got sick one day. had too much of something in a party. my tummy was just gut wretchingly painful, they came, bringing sabaw nga tinuwa for me to eat, and medicines, and stayed with me for a while. they even called a friend nearby, and those friends, medie and nong boy, later brought me “puspas”.. or pooridge to eat. i got healed with their pure kindness.. i forgot to cry even if my tummy heart so much. my Boholona heart was cared for by my friends.
Pure Boholano Heart.. giving, extending help when needed most, knowing what to do most when the situation calls for it without being prodded, pure and simple extension of kindness, being a friend to a friend away from home, being a friend in this foreign land, even if these friends you only meet again, after years and years of not being in touch before.. its amazing.
i met lolong when i was in High School i think. that was 30 years ago! and Fides a few years after that i think. i have not met medie and nong boy until here. but its amazing how we connect, with friends from my grandfather’s school, and friends from my mother’s relative, nang monette. yet when they show their kindness and hospitality here, its manifested more than friends you meet everyday.
the saturday trips with them, the transportation, the invitation in their houses, the feeling they give of welcome, that is the pure Boholano Heart in Houston.
then i met my old friends. metchie and family, mercy and family, muse and family, Rene and family, lorlaine and family, the Antequera family, and others i met, equally showing the Boholano spirit. God bless them.
you eat together, sing together, dance together, chat,chat,chat.. and you feel right at home, sharing hearts with Boholanos with pure Boholano Heart in Houston, USA.
and the Heart beats on..

Friday, October 12, 2007

while waiting..

we are just about to go home now, but im still waiting for my friend to finish with her work, so while i do, might as well be here.
i am exactly now exactly 4 months and 24 days here in the US. most of it have been spent here in Houston, some of it in other states.
have i been homesick? depends on how you define homesickness.
if it means food, then im homesick for butong, real sinugba, puso, banana cue and camote cue that we eat at the office around 3pm, still piping hot, i also miss the saging nilung-ag, dipped in ginamos, i miss those mostly.
if homesickness means missing people, of course, its a given. i miss everybody back home.
if homesickness means missing the place, well, i just miss my dagat. but not the pedicab drivers. in fact, boy, am i glad im away from them. they are my daily "enemy", bless them.
do you want me to describe the pedicab, which actually is the tricycle?
well, you know it already, but for those who are not familiar with it, its a transport vehicle that is rampant in our place and in other places, with the motorcycle on the side, and theirs a small cab that is attached to the base of the motocyle by way of a soldered steel bar something, and the side cab is supported by another wheel. there is a seat inside, good for two people if the driver is kind, but if the driver is "superkind" but actually not kind, he will squeeze in 20 people inside, by the time you get to your destination, you are blue on the face..
im kidding of course..
so, the drivers, are of course, mostly just in a hurry with their driving, they forget there are traffic rules.
in fact one of my friends from here who went home last year told me he was nearly run over by a tricycle bec. he crossed the street on a pedestrian lane. he did not know that a pedestrian lane in the city of our place means "run fast". ha,ha..
so, what do i really miss?
just the feeling of being home.
being there.
just being in a place where everything is familiar.
you know..

welcome cool air!

i have an entry, done this morning, cool autumn morning.
everybody around was happy.
i am too. but are we all?
are you?
dont you miss bohol?
why is it that everytime people hear that im going home to Bohol,
they say " maayo pa ka.. mouli.."
kuyog ka?
i will post the autumn edition after this.
its nice here, but theres a but.
am i right?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

True Blue Boholono in Houston, Texas

wow! talk about the real Boholano spirit.
theres no better way to appreciate it than when you are away from Bohol, and then, when you are just about to "die" wishing you can meet Boholanos, out of the blue, the boholanos appear!!
you can only jump and shout yehey!!
so, i will share this with you, in my next issue.
it will be heart filling,
tummy filling,
and of course, tear jerking.
catch ya later.
save a big bucket, bec. as they say, "everything is big in texas.."