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Kalaguyo ng apoy


INABO nitong Setyembre 28, 2010 ang labi ng kusinera ng isang angkan sa San Juan… higit sa anim na dekada siyang naglingkod.

Natipon sa isang aklat ang mga nilikha niyang lutuin, hinalaw at sininop mula panlasang Samtoy at Español… angkin pa rin ng angkan ang lihim ng kanyang mga sangkap sa pagluluto.

Naiambag niya ang ilang putaheng mula hurno sa bawat kaarawan ng apat na musmos noong supling— pawang may kani-kaniya nang larangan ng kabuhayan sa ngayon.

Higit anim na dekada—over three lifetimes spent mostly in alchemies of the hearth playing with fire, nourishing souls.

Sa bawat kabanata ng pagluluto—lalo kung kahoy ang gatong na katumbas sa paghitit ng sangkahang sigarilyo—natatalbusan ang buhay ng nagluluto…

Pero tila dulo ng halamang baging na kahit talbusan, paulit-ulit na mag-uusbong, muli’t muli may ililiyab na phosphorous sa murang usbong, laging lalagablab… ganoon ang gawi ng halaman sa pagsasalin ng phosphorous sa mga dulo ng usbong. Sa katiting na sangkap, may itutustos na liwanag.

Kukulubot talaga sa pagdaloy ng panahon ang punong baging, mananatiling mura’t maalab ang ibubukadkad na usbong.

Sa 3-4 o higit pang kabanata ng lutuan sa araw-araw, higit sa tatlong kaha ng sigarilyo ang katumbas na nahitit, nagsalin ng samut-saring kamandag at lason sa katawan… nahihitit ng mga lutuin ang buhay ng nagluluto.

The upside: the mind stays young and sharp, as findings show… it’s likely the firing of neurons is touched off by odd chores entailed in cookery…
lumiliyab ang nakasalang na isip habang nakasalang sa liyab ang lutuin. Ito ang tunay na kawanggawa… gawa sa kawa.

Ah, quod ferrum non sanat, ignis sanat—ang hindi malunasan ng bakal, malulunasan ng apoy.

Ganoon daw ang paraan ng paglikha, kailangang ligisin ang himaymay ng sarili upang isangkap sa nililikha… lutuin, sulatin, sining, kahit payak na gawain o tungkulin na lalagdaan ng sariling pagkatao.

At sa ganoong paglikha, tila phoenix na muli’t muling masisinop, mabubuo ang sarili sa liyab ng sariling apoy… magkakamit ng panibagong buhay, malawig at maliwanag na buhay.

Kaya marahil isinalang sa apoy ang naiwang labi ng kusinera… inabo. Patungkol sa phoenix na higit na nagiging marikit ang mga bagwis matapos magliyab.
Upang paulit-ulit na maghasik ng mga butil ng init at liwanag.

Ay, may naiibang katangian ang labi ng apoy… kahit hindi lubusang nasunog na kahoy. Hinihigop nito ang mga sansang, amoy ng bulok, alingasaw… kaya nga naging kasabihan na kapag hindi nalunasan sa lagok ng gamot o sa talim ng tistisan—quod medicamente, quod ferrum—kailangang padilaan, tuluyang ipalamon sa apoy, ignis sanat. (That’s how corruption is dealt.)

Kaya naiiba ang kariktan ni Cinderella… naglalagi sa kusina, nababahiran ng uling… sangkap- pampaganda ang activated carbon.

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