Of childhood homes and sinigang

here's a picture of my adorable self
here’s a picture of my adorable self

The house I lived in when I was twelve is the same house we’re living in now. So I’m not going to write about that. I’m not too crazy writing about something that’s still exists in the present. I like writing about and romanticizing the past; there’s something that’s so therapeutic for me when I resurrect things, events, even people that now just exist in my memories.

Anyway, my childhood home.

In reality, the house I grew up in is smaller than our current house but, in my head, it’s a fucking mansion. Maybe it’s because I was the only child back then. Anyway, we lived downstairs from a private clinic-slash-home of an old doctor. I didn’t know much about her, it’s just that she’s the doktora and she knows my mom’s family very well.

Our house only had two bedrooms. I slept in my parents’ room–on the top bunk of a white double decker. I had a Spice Girls poster taped on the walls which had a long tear that starts from the corner. Every time I got angry with my dad and right before I burst in to tears, I always tear the poster a bit–a childish act of defiance. It was seven year old me saying: I HATE YOU AND NOT EVEN THE FACT THAT YOU BOUGHT THIS SPICE GIRLS POSTER FOR ME WON’T MAKE ME FEEL BETTER.

My grandmother slept in a room across the small (and a bit dingy) kitchen. It’s quite fitting for my lola to live so near the kitchen because she was the one who always whipped up the delicious home cooked meals I’ve grown to love.

Although my love for Jollibee’s Chickenjoy is unparalleled, when it comes to lutong bahay, it’s Sinigang that takes my heart.

Sinigang is a sour tamarind-based stew. My lola usually makes it with pork or beef (I absolutely hate sinigang na bangus [milkfish]) and with kangkong (water spinach), and okra. My dad’s version includes tomatoes, sitaw (yardlong beans), and eggplant.

[thank you, wikipedia for the english translations of those vegetables]

Sinigang is my comfort food ever since I was that fat but cute little girl. It was my comfort food even before I knew of the concept of ‘comfort food’. It was on the dining table when I graduated second in kindergarten (fun fact: the valedictorian didn’t even reach college HAHA), when my dad bought a second-hand car that would last until my college years, and when I went home crying because Kevin Morales stole all of my Mongol Number 2 pencils.

However, there was this one time sinigang betrayed me.

I was sick. Can’t stand straight sick and can’t even watch the TV sick. I still had my appetite though so my lola cooked sinigang to make me feel better. In my mind’s eye, I can still see my younger self going for a third round of sinigang and then finishing it off by lifting the plate and slurping the soup off as if it were a bowl. My younger self probably thought: I’d love to be sick all the time if it meant getting sinigang as delicious as this!

After dinner, I went to sleep on my parents’ bunk. There isn’t a lot of things you could do when your sick. The next thing I knew, I was throwing up everything inside my stomach. I can remember my puke being extra disgusting because it left this sour flavor on my throat. I was crying. I don’t why I cried. Looking back, it’s probably because of the whole throwing up thing but I’d like to think that I was crying because it was such a waste of good sinigang. All of the okra, kangkong, and pork that I ate was in a gooey mess on my parents bed.

Good times, good times.

Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)! Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.

Writing 101, Day Eleven: Size Matters Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.

It irks me that I’m a day behind the Writing 101 challenge so I decided (and tried!) to fuse days ten and eleven in a single entry. 🙂 I tried doing all of the twists and I’m pretty pleased with what I wrote. 😀

If it seems that my thoughts are jumping from one to another it’s because it really is how I talk. I tend to talk about things that are seemingly not connected at all but, in my head, they are. I imagine the whole system as if all of my memories are tagged by certain trigger words. For example, if we were talking about mirrors, I would automatically remember that time when I saw my parents getting funky on the top bunk (I was sleeping below, for a change) on a mirror. It was horrifying.


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