Unquantifiable Love

Sixty long years ago a proof of an unquantifiable love was perched.  Sixty long years ago my parents, Nengkoy & Joe got married inside a church.

Nengkoy & Joe sixty years ago.  Happy anniversary Nanay & Tatay!

Today, I realized that my big moments, my little talks and even my silly laughs in the past with Nengkoy & Joe were all unquantifiably special.  I terribly miss both of them.  But June 9 this year is more than special.  It is because it is the first year that this gorgeous couple are celebrating their wedding anniversary together in a stunningly beautiful place called Heaven. 

Nengkoy & Joe may no longer be here but knowing that they are finally together gives me peace.  Nengkoy & Joe may no longer be here but they were my proofs that unquantifiable love does exist.  Nengkoy & Joe may no longer be here yet my unquantifiable love for these two beautiful souls will forever persist. 

Hold Tight

Some vivid childhood memories that I have with my mom are the situations when she would hold my hand when we cross a street.  My young brain was instinctively programmed by my mom that the starting point of crossing the street is by initially grabbing my then little hand.

Her grip turning firmer to my young little hand is the signal that we would have to commence striding a street no matter how narrow, busy or dangerous the crossing would be.  I consider this simple yet distinct memory as a symbol and representation of my mother’s care, love and attention.  Though the childhood experience of crossing a street with my mom seem too plain and too basic, I also consider her firm grip as a way of conveying that while crossing the street, I would be just fine.

one of the last two photos I took of me and Nengkoy

On the last day of my mom on her deathbed, I was the one who was gripping unto her hand.  It was me whom she was with when she crossed not a busy highway, not a narrow road and not a dangerous street.  And while she crossed over to Joy and Forever, as if to symbolically reciprocate back her care, love and attention, my hand firmly gripped hers.  I then gently whispered and conveyed to her in a reassuring manner that everything and every people she would leave behind will be just fine.  This too would be one of the most vivid memories of my life.

I’m Pretty Sure Nengkoy Is Smiling

It is exactly one month today and the weeks before that was the darkest, saddest and most sorrowful period of my life.  I never imagined that the circumstances of those fretful, flustered and worrisome weeks could be felt and experienced by a human being.  I was helpless, unhappy and perturbed.  Exactly one month today was when my beautiful, charming and loving mother passed away.

This is the reason that I have suspended my posting on this blog.  It is in fact taking me a lot of guts and audacity right now in trying to write and finish this post.  There was even a period in the past weeks that I have decided to end and cease posting writeups on this blog (named after my mom’s endearing nickname, Nengkoy).  But my mother for sure would not want that.

Nengkoy: March 03, 1937 – April 16, 2021

I decided to resume writing because I know I’ve got lots of beautiful stories to tell especially tales and snippets on how lovely and delightful a human being my mother was.  I know that my simple quiet life will never be the same now that my mom is gone.  But I will try my very best to adapt and get by in this new life’s setup.

I know that my mom is watching and got the best view up there in heaven.  And I am pretty sure that she is smiling now that I have resumed my silly writing.

Wishing Heaven Got Visiting Hours

There was a simple gathering at my mom’s house last night.  Me & my sister brought a cake while my mom cooked our family’s favorite dish.  It was my dad’s supposed 80th birthday. Had one desire though yesterday.  How I wish God allows visiting hours in heaven.

My mom & dad.

Happy 80th birthday Tatay Joe!

My Superhero Action Figure

Majority of the present male human specie – young and old – grew up playing with superhero action figures.  Every one of these dudes can gleefully recall which among these animated crusaders was their favorite.  I am part of the unfortunate, luckless and deprived minority.  I never got the chance to play with a mini-Superman, Batman or the Green Lantern.

that’s me! hahaha! had a pretty twisted set of toys yet with awesome childhood

Instead, I can clearly recall that I and my siblings would play with canned goods and variety of grocery items of Nengkoy (my mother) from her pantry storage at the second floor of our house.  We enjoyed rolling cans of Hunts pork & beans on the floor with the aim of hitting unopened plastic bottles of Jergens body lotions and Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoos.  We find excitement in stacking weighty tins of Spam luncheon meats. And we adored imagining fragrant boxes of Dove and Ivory bath soaps as mini cars. 

Miniature sports figures (not the Hulk, Captain America nor other superheroes) would be so infrequent to come by because we would have to wait for the next can of Milo or Ovaltine to finish because the free promotional mini-sports figures are buried somewhere within the cans of these powdered choco drinks.

Don’t get me wrong.  I actually had a balanced and awesome childhood.  But unfortunately, I could not contribute or share a fun childhood experience when asked which among the superheroes did I grew up having as an action figure. 

But now that I am old, people would seem to start contemplating whether they had a cool childhood as I did when I dare answer such question because my reply now would no longer be a boring “none”.  It is only lately that I figured out that I actually grew up having a superhero action figure! It’s the supreme crusader in bright red imperial regalia that would beat even the chief, topnotch and paramount superhero a human animator has created.  Nowadays – though I did not played with it, I actually prayed to it – my simple answer to this question is the little Santo Niño (translation: the image of The Child Jesus).

My very own Santo Niño in green imperial regalia was gifted to me by my mom more than 25 years ago when I decided to live on my own and be independent.

Smells Like Grandma!

Have you ever wondered what you actually smell like? Do you know what object when smelt will be reminded of you?

During college, I learned through lectures, readings and studies (Psychology was my major), that olfaction or the sense of smell can harness evocative power towards a person’s emotion.  I personally believe that people can fall in love towards a food, a location, an animal or even a person because of the odorant organic molecules that these objects of affection diffuses.

Just imagine the aromatic smell of coffee that relaxes you in the morning or the joy you feel when you smell freshly baked bagels?  Have you ever wondered why some stunningly beautiful and well-mannered lady can be so head over heels towards a rude dude who only takes a shower once a week? It must be the odor!  Furthermore, multiple journals in Psychology asserts that memories and recollections as evoked by smell are usually localized to the childhood period.

this reminds me of lola teray… ow i wish you can smell this.

All these stance and viewpoints about olfaction were further reinforced when I and my younger sister bought a buy-1-take-1 Japanese-made charcoal soap from a grocery store!  I of course paid for the “buy one” and she took the “take 1”.  Hahaha!

On my initial use and as soon as I lathered it on my hands, a vivid childhood recollection was evoked by the subtle fragrance of the soap!  The scent clearly reminds me of how my Lola Teray (my mom’s mom) smelled like.  On an impulse, my brain suddenly replayed some of the beautiful childhood memories I had when my adorable Lola Teray was still alive.

my lola teray… she smells so good…

lola teray’s photo when she was a chosen subject for a photography session

My family lost my Lola Teray more than 30 years ago, and I could not imagine how an object now can actually trigger and remind me of my long-forgotten scent of my grandmother!  How amazing is that?!  And as soon as I finished my shower, I messaged my younger sister telling her that the scent of the soap reminded me of our sweet and gentle grandmother, Lola Teray.  She agreed!

Now, I wonder how I smell and what odorant chemical compounds that I diffuse?  I wonder what crazy object do I smell like? Hahaha!

Nengkoy’s Preferred Sea Salt

I have always believed that not all salts are equal.  Varieties of this important yet often neglected flavoring abound.  Popular ones are the ordinary iodized salt and sea salt while the chic, hip and pricier array would be Kosher, Himalayan, Fleur De Sel and Celtic salt varieties.

But Nengkoy (my mom) prefers a different variety of salt.  Afraid to run out of stock, it is the seasoning that we never miss to buy and bring back to Manila every time we are in Alaminos, Pangasinan, a province north of Manila, tagged as the sea salt capital of the Philippines.

a gorgeous morning site of sea salt beds in Pangasinan

And unlike the strong, robust and concentrated variety, Alaminos Sea Salt seem subtle, calm and pleasant to the palate.  I don’t know why but this salt never overpowers and would seem to simply let the flavors and taste of the food standout.  It has some strange way of accenting the flavors of the food. 

Alaminos Sea Salt variety is really good.  In fact, the extra one sack that Nengkoy has in her house was actually purchased by a Korean guy who makes and sells home-made Kimchi.  Upon learning that Nengkoy got an extra high-grade sack, the Korean dude never hesitated on offering a good amount so as to buy my mom’s reserve/stock.

Online Sea Salt sold by Winner Joe’s

Good thing though, Alaminos Sea Salt can now be ordered and available online through Winner Joe’s Facebook page.  Thanks to Winner Joe’s, Nengkoy nor my family need not travel to Alaminos, Pangasinan anymore so as get hold of this exquisite seasoning.

Now, watch the beauty and magic in the creation of this pleasing flavoring.

Try this sea salt variety.  I am so sure your taste buds will do a standing ovation and definitely thank you for it.

I’m Back

First, I would like to apologize to all the followers of this blog if I went missing and went kaput without saying my interim goodbye.  My simple explanation for my being into disappearance from blogging was because I simply do not have the energy, motivation and impetus to write.

But now that I am back, please expect more posts that are non-sense, reckless and silly write-ups from yours truly.

Give a warm round of applause because Nengkoy is back!

Happy 2020 Everyone!

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365-page book.  Write a good one! — Brad Paisley

Let me take this opportunity to thank all the people who has been a part and made the pages of my year 2019 complete.  And to all those who I am to meet next year, please take it easy on me.

Happy New Year! — from me and Nengkoy (my mom)

I wish for more love, happiness and success to every one of us.  Remember to believe in yourself, be an inspiration to others and have an awesome New Year every one!