Philippines is my native land. I left her for a greener pasture, a land of opportunity called United States. So real. While a youngster, I dreamt of oodles of chocolates, M & M, and instant coffee and spam!!! and couldn’t wait for my airplane to land in LAX. First visit I paid was to a grocery store…and there I got drowned in shelves and bags of all these sweet and yummy candies and didn’t want to touch them anymore. The saying was: my eyes feasted, my stomach turned.
Brewed coffee was no comparison to instant, no ! you are not so American if you insist on Instant. Spam, I would not give that up but occassionally, sliced ham and pastrami were more delectable and can be more fashionable. Spam is great for making sushi or spam burrito, or pan-fry spam to crisp and complement it with steamed rice and eat con gusto with the most efficient 5-pronged chopsticks called “the fingers”…which is learned from childhood (watching the elders )…it is an art…we can teach you how to…only if you are willing to have fun with yourself and others, esp your dedicated guru. Imagine feeding your date on a formal dining using this ancient art…it can be stimulating. Can’t do this with soup, sorry…don’t push it.
Doing laundry was an exciting social event: free running water called the river ! and washboards called the boulders. The maids (oh yeah, didn’t tell you, we had lots of maids, they came in almost for free, I will tell you more about maids in a different chapter) they gather by the river bank on laundry days. They gossiped, chatted while doing the “Kusot” – scrub by hand – and made heaps of suds – the best maid made the highest heap..indicated clean wash – and beat the clothes with “palo-palo” to squeeze the water out. When done, they go home and hang the washed clothes clotheslines…the best smelling clothes are the sundried ones…no American product can copy that (unless somebody is getting this idea, formulate that scent and sell it to detergent manufacturers).