Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Post Christmas Reflections: Family, Friends and Comfort Food

My Nanay Leony at 86 years old.
The three days before the New Year is a welcome break. Preparing for Christmas festivities, no matter what scale or magnitude, is stressful. I am glad that part of Christmas is over. For me, it was a time to strengthen family ties and friendships; to focus on caring for myself; and to look after my children's health as well. The stomach infection I had last month made me realize a lot of things. For one, I need to downsize on speaking engagements. I must select writing projects that I can realistic do given a time frame. I have to finish my book projects before jumping into a new endeavor. These and many more!

Boy, I really need to sit down and think things through. And yes, I have to keep my day job.

For the time being, my holiday break has been for family. The four of us went out and watched a movie before Christmas. I visited my parents and relatives on Christmas day. I cooked for a family reunion in my husband's side. I missed a great deal of reunions with friends before Christmas, but this week, I will be doing some catching up with them. And in between were the appointments and consults with doctors - mine and my children's. My kids' had their heart monitor results out already.  So far, all is good. My mammogram results will be out next week and I choose not to worry or else, I will ruin a good holiday break. I pray for this to last till New Year's and, hopefully, in the years to come.

Christmas is indeed a time of coming home.

One of my childhood's comfort foods: INUTAK
Visiting my lola last Christmas, I indulged in a comfort food of my childhood. Inutak with cheese ice cream! Memories of childhood came flooding in. After school, I would drop by Aling Loleng's inutak store to buy a cup and eat the sweet delicacy on my way home. I learned that Aling Loleng has died but her inutak lives on. It is just pitiful that I only get to eat inutak at Christmas time. I can buy one medium sized box, but the ice cream to partner it with has to be right. It has to be cheese sorbetes - the Pinoy ice cream that is sweet and salty. A perfect combination to the glutenous inutak.

As for my lola, Nanay Leony is 86 years old and she can still host the family get together in Comembo. The barangay is very near Pateros. I went to school there. I walked to school from our house in Comembo by crossing a bridge over Pateros river to the town proper. Yes, I grew up in a small town where everybody knows everybody. What stories I told my kids that made them draw up a family tree. The eldest, Nico, was very much interested that he made another one for my husband's side of the family. He seem to find answers there as to who he is and what he aims to become in the future. On the one hand, Zoe is still exploring her interests and choices.

I will definitely go through an inventory of my life in 2015 with the goal of pushing forward to 2016. That is another stressful endeavor, but necessary. I have always shared my life and my stories publicly with the hope that others may find inspiration from it. I know that doing this helps me amplify meaning in my own as well.

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