her name is “Ginhawa”

her name is “Ginhawa” – it’s a filipino word deep in meaning: comfort, freedom from pain, freedom from want, solace, relief.

all these she provides in abundance. she raised six kids and an infinite number of grand kids and great grand kids. her house was a fortress from the world. she was strength and compassion personified. she loved her family so fiercely.

my uncle anas was in the merchant marines and sailed the world most of his adult life. ginhawa, tiang ging to all of us, stayed at home to take care of everyone and everything. she did it with devotion and love without condition.

my tiang ging passed away last week. today is her birthday. i celebrate it with fondness. i loved her. still do. forever | Samuel Sereno Simon SerenoLorenzo-Renee Sereno Jun Santiago Sereno PamilyaMatulis

My mom’s morcon

I made morcon for the first time this Christmas. I wanted to learn how to make this since I started cooking and this time, it’s personal.

I grew up eating morcon every Christmas and I associate its smell and taste with happy family memories. The round shape, by the highway, is supposed to bring good luck to the new year so I madapaking expect next year will be kick-ass (at this point, I look up to the heavens and give the gods of fate, the evil eye).

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This version of morcon is my mom’s recipe. Her dad, who is a cook, taught it to her. I also got a few tips from my sister Emmy, who learned how to prepare morcon from her husband’s mom. Between my mom and grandfather, my sister and her mother-in-law is over a hundred years of cooking. This dish has been served in my family for many generations and people whom I love dearly sat down in tables through the years and ate this food.

I learned the very meticulous steps of making morcon via Facebook. I gave my 92 year old mom an iPad this year and she and my two sisters, Emmy and Ester, have been chatting via messenger for the past couple of weeks. In between family gossip, talking about the weather and asking about how we’re doing, they gave me the steps and technique of how to make morcon.

Thank you mom. Thank you Emmy. This Christmas is special because this is when I learned how to cook your food.

Dilaw na Magaling Sumisid

dear mang boy,

di ko maalala kung ano ang pinakauna kong kanta ng beatles na narinig kasi walang patid ang pagpapatugtog ng pamilya namin sa musika nila simula nung ako’y musmos pa lamang.

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ang naalala ko ay ang pinakauna kong paboritong kanta ng beatles at siyempre galing ito kay ringo, opolpeepol

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“so we sailed into the sun, till we found the see of green” – the Beatles

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nagmamahal,
unkyel batjay

BUS! Magic Bus!

pinakauna kong pag-gunita: dalawang taong gulang, pilit binubuo ang laruang bus habang nakapalibot sa akin ang pamilya sa silid tulugan ng aming munting bahay na bato sa kalye villaruel, lungsod ng pasay.

Magic BUS

hubad-hubad

3574638555_b3a3a423df_onung bata kami ni Dennis Dalusong, parati kaming nakahubad (oo mang boy, once upon a time, lumakad kaming hubo sa mundong ibabaw). mainit kasi sa pilipinas at sa tingin ko, gustong ipakita ng mommy ko ang katawan naming pang romansa at ang kili-kili naming may libag.

naalala ko pa nung kinuha ang larawang ito. kung di ako nagkakamali, ihinatid namin sa airport si tiyong anas, ang uncle kong matulis. pupunta siya sa barko niya.

merchant marine si tiong anas. pogi, matangkad, chick boy, nakakatawa. siya yung tipo ng lalaki na lapitin sa mga chicks at kung ika’y lalaki, gusto mong kaibiganin. malapit siya sa daddy ko at idol ko silang dalawa.

kakamatay lang ni tiong anas. kung may dako pa roon, siguro kasama niya ang daddy ko ngayon. nambababae siguro  ang mga matutulis.