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SANLINGGONG GAWA-BATA



Crisp-fried elephant foot yam or pungapong.

PITO ang kanyang naging anak, kung saan-saang panig ng bansa napadpad. Isa-isa niyang dinalaw, inalam ang kalagayan.

Gano’n lang ang takbo ng nahapyawang nobela… na talagang payat at payak ang ubod at buod—isalin sa sariling pamumuhay ang mga nalaman o naunawaan sa buhay.

Pulos pobre pa sa daga ang kalagayan sa buhay ng mga anak na dinalaw… kaya humihilahod sa buntong-hininga, hikbi, hapdi at hapis na hinagpis ang usad ng binabasa.

‘Kakapika talaga kapag namihasa na sa maliksi’t rumaragasa… humaharurot, bumabarurot na musika nina Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi at Van Halen… sabi nga’y the quality of your movement determines the quality of your life. And there’s broad hint of rape in rapid, rapids, rapine… ave de rapiƱa. Hindi tinapos basahin ang nobela.

Sanlinggong gawa—pitong anak natiyanak pawang sa dalita nasadlak. Ni hindi nagpahinga sa araw ng pangilin… sa Diyos ang awa, sa tao ang gawa-bata… kaya dumadanak, sumasanaw pa rin ang laway ng Simbahang Romano Katoliko at health care professionals hinggil sa reproductive health bill sa Kongreso.

Nemo dat quod non habet—hindi mo maibibigay ang hindi mo taglay.

Aba’y tumpak pala ang payo ni Lao Tzu sa Tao Te Ching, “in family life, be completely present.” Such doting presence nudges the gray matter, recent findings indicate, to turn up more neurons in both parents and children that makes them keener, sharper, brainier… need we say better equipped for life’s challenges?

Chew that, including the Bruno Bettelheim notion on life-script that parents can sink—read: hardwiring, software programming-- into the character and kismet of their offspring.

Or the proverbial Solomon counsel— train a child in the way he should go and when he is old, such train will not be derailed, fly off its tracks… or something as far-fetched as hurtling off into space.


Sambuwang barukbok—30 dilag na dinilig-diligan, gano’n siguro ang mas magandang paksain kung susulat ng nobelang katakam-takam namnamin. Isa-isa silang sasadyain, aalamin kung ano ang kanilang kinahinatnan matapos tinalikdan… no, that last word simply means turning one’s back, it doesn’t connote rear entry.

T-teka, binabalik-balikan ko noon ang isang abuelo… sapak talaga ang kanyang nagliliyab sa anghang na ginataang tagunton o freshwater shrimps na may talbos ng pako o fiddlehead fern, saka sinigang na kanduli o crucifix fish sa bayabas at pungapong (Amorphophallus campanulatus).

Pumanaw na siya, naisalin sa ‘kin ang lihim ng kanyang lutuin… pero ‘hirap talagang maghagilap ng mga sangkap sa pamilihan—tagunton, kanduli, pako, pungapong…

Reality check: Sa halip sumagap ng alimuom ng hinagpis, hinampo at hinanakit sa buhay ng kaanak o kaibigan na sinasadya saanmang lupalop, patuloy pa rin sa pagsisinop ng mga sangkap at pamamaraan sa lutuin.

Pati luto ng Diyos.

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