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KANGKONG


INALOK pa ‘kong makisalo sa kanilang agahan—bagong inin ang sinaing, umuusok pa ang tumpok ng pritong galunggong sa pinggan, nakanganga ang sisidlan ng asin na titiltilan sakaling salat sa alat ang ulam. Hindi pinaunlakan ang nag-alok na mag-anak.

Sambungkos na kangkong ang pakay sa kanila—P10 lang—at ilang umaga na ring nagsadya sa kanilang taniman sa gilid ng ilog na kanugnog ng Ciudad Real. May mayuming tamis ang bagong pitas na talbos ng kangkong, mayaman sa phosphorous and that’s something to spark, stoke a conflagration of passions in one’s belly.

Inihahalo ang kangkong sa pagkain ng mga alagang aso, nilugaw na mais na may lahok na ilang galunggong—nakakasumpong pa rin ngayong 2010 ng P60-70 sangkilo kahit sa Farmer’s Market at nadadaanan kong talipapa. Gadangkal ang haba ng nilalantakang galunggong ng mag-anak, ganoon din ang madalas na inilalahok sa lugaw na mais.

Maihilamos lang sa kimpal ng kanin ang patak ng mantika na nabahiran ng lasa ng galunggong at asin, nilalantakan ko na noon… hindi maselan sa pagkain lalo ngayong mga bahaging maselan ng dilag ang nakakagiliwang lapangin.

Iba nang mag-anak ang dinatnan sa taniman nitong huling dalaw doon. Iniwan na raw ng mga dating nagtatanim—nasiraan yata ng loob matapos ilublob sa baha ni Ondoy at Pepeng tigmak sa agas ng agos.

Sasagi sa alaala ang kakilalang pintor Gig de Pio na nagpatanim ng chrysanthemum sa kagayang lunan, gilid ng ilog na natatambakan bawat dumaang baha ng banlik o silt, as fine as sand but very fertile for growing crops, whatever crops you can think of… nang anihin ang mga pananim, hindi malaman kung saang pamilihan ipagbibili ang tala-talaksang bulaklak. Nakasubsob lang kasi ang paningin sa taniman, hindi gumalugad sa pamilihan.

Kahit naman habichuelas o Baguio beans, uunlad sa ganoong taniman.

Kahit arugula, asparagus, cauliflower, Romaine lettuce, pepino, sweet basil, gerbera, sweet peas o sitsaro. Kahit pinya, sampagita, luya, paminta, sili, kamatis at ubi. O malunggay na matibay din sa baha.

Muli’t muling tatambad sa paningin ang mga dati na ring pananim—kahit pa lumisan ang dating nagtatanim, kahit iba na ang nagtatanim… pero hindi maiiba ang itatanim. Iyon at iyon pa rin… kamote, balinghoy, mais, tanglad. Ni hindi nga naglaan ng kahit munting pitak para sa kangkong.

Pag-usapan na lang ang kangkang.

Whether it’s between your eyes or your thighs that I find both desirable and arable, I’ll sow with doting tenderness therein.

Iba’t ibang punla at binhi, ari-sari… Sabi nga’y gumaganda ang relasyon kapag ginagawa ang iba’t ibang posisyon.

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