Cha’s Selected, Sari-sari FB posts

My first long essay of the year:

Shanghai reminiscence
By Cha Monforte

Typhoon Agaton enters, but before the Yuletide Season exits after the Three Kings Day, allow me to reminisce Christmases during my childhood. That’s long backward leap of 45 years and its throwback years’ vicinities, that’s when my hometown in the province was much colder due to abundant green trees in the eastern mountains. It was really brrrr thickly foggy during misa de gallos in my childhood. In years later I served as sakristan. So, the timeline of this story is my elementary days. I’m early fiftysomething yeah!

Always the New Years would have the Tsinoy stores closed in the top commercial block in town where I lived in our former two-story wooden ancestral house and kids in the block feasted to light the leftover libentadors especially in the pavement of the then Shanghai bakery.

The bakery was the first big bakery in town established by early Macau immigrants in town. It was the first stop of dawn mass goers after the mass to buy hot pandesal. Its paved frontyard was our favorite venue to play holenay, lastiko, kids’ baraha, while at the back of the block we played tubig-tubig, shatong, dakpanay, balay-balay and others, with the Tsinoy kids- boys and girls.

I remember one Christmas Day when I launched a small kwitis from the bakery in vertical slightly up trajectory and when I lit it, it went straight across the road reaching at the Musliman and then it hit the round hat of an old man, just above his head. The hat fell down bewildering the old man. It was the little libentador which dominated the era.

It is always like this #TyphoonAgaton-brought drizzling, cool morning weather that dragged in days during Decembers then in the hometown. But we were not anxious on typhoons as the erstwhile undivided Davao del Norte was then a typhoon-free province. During Christmas Seasons the Philippine Archipelago, Magellan in Mactan were always recalled by Nong Periong, a Bol-anon businessman who played hit songs of Yoyoy Village and Max Surban amplified in his trompo with him doing a bisaya DJ bolantero to sell wares of his baratillo. He was unimitated.

The other character I don’t forget in the neighborhood is Chi Ning Pi, an old Chinese lunatic who was welcomed by all of the households in the neighborhood by his cleaning ways as elder person. He acted like neighborhood janitor, particularly cleaning all garbage sites in the backyard while he talked to himself in Chinese language and at times doing like he was preaching to people in raised voice. He had slept, stayed in several houses in the neighborhood with us sensing he was somehow kicked out from his co-Chinese in the block but his meals were provided by another Chinese.

I remember him praying in our Birhen and Christ the King at the doorstep by the stairway, and he put on a Tiger Balm on the images. Chi Ning Pi, in the end, was helped by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and he was helped to be back in his hometown in China and happily reunited with his family before he died there.

How did Chi Ning Pi and the rest of the early Chinese migrants came to reach my hometown not to work but to establish business in the interiors unlike our OFWs as they were really Overseas Chinese Migrants? (I’m still looking for funding entities to do research, trace and write on the Chinese migration in Davao Region while eldest children of earliest Chinese migrants are still living at old age).

Today’s Tsinoys manning their business flagships in our former neighborhood (former as our ancestral house was sold to our Tsinoy renter in 1994 or 24 years ago) are already of the 3rd generation while those in the 2nd generation are ageing, retiring and taking the backseat in supervisory role.

I got wide exposure in Chinese ways with our renter. I knew that early Chinese migrants in town continuously made attachment to their Motherland China through their transistor radio’s UHFwave channels. I slept often hearing Chinese commentators or songs below our floor. At one time when I was already in college I asked the late Nong Venancio Jao how he felt on Mao Tse Tung, and in stressful voice he said “without Mao Tse Tung millions of Chinese could have died of hunger” and he had more adulation to their great Mao.

We, the Martial Law kids had only heard of the jam sessions and discothèques of Baby Bloomer generation, those who idolized Frank Sinatra and his contemporaries, had seen Beatles not yet separated. But we had seen, observed and became errands of the Hippie generation, caught still their serenading, their long or afro hair, peace man symbols, jamming with guitar, singing Beatles, Bee Gees songs, and patotens for pulutans. (to be updated)

JUST A GOOD FICTION PLOT I WANT TO CAPTURE BEFORE THIS LEAVES ME DUE TO TOO MUCH XMAS PARTYING:

It’s the end. Now she left him few days before Xmas 2017. It’s karma maybe that hit him. Maybe, I donno. He first left his wife and kids about 15 yrs ago and luxuriated his big foreign earnings with a pretty chubby woman who left him now. The woman just posted online she’s going for a long rest in foreign land. She said she’s giving him to his presumably relatives or maybe a forgiving ex-family after she took good care of him and since the other year as I watched their loving relationship via FB. Suddenly, this year he’s on cane or on wheelchair after he had a stroke. Maybe his savings have diminished that the woman left her. Where will he seek succor and refuge with his physical and financial state now? What now after all the loving with an ex-significant other and the abandoning of the better half? Life is maybe cruel especially when you made mistake that trouble your conscience and you fear that one day karma will strike on you, and really it hit you, maybe I donno, I wish you still to be strong and hopeful and I feel what’s in your heart dear friend especially this Christmas, and wish you cheer and merriness. (sentimental? or parang stereotypical ata ito …) —

another short story in the making (my 3rd) writing via online old cp:

throwback thoughts except the beer that tastes the same:

“petmalu lodi!” i think i heard this phrase 37 years ago. “petmalu lodi!” i heard this after “cathedral” of csn was sung by that band inside msu old gym.

it came to pass that we msu freshmen circa 1981 from rajah solaiman hall boys’ dorm heard ’bout concert at the old gym. so a three of us dared to go there at past 5 pm. and indeed we saw darangen cultural troupe pepz mingling with rich meranao boys led by a dimaporo scion.

“petmalu lodi!” someone yelled in the old gym. but it was actually “mataid aki”… (To be updated)

I just can’t dump her to FB oblivion. She’s using her hubby’s FB account in namesake of a town politiko and avid believer of a fraud of Marcos heir inheriting gold bullions and maharlika land. She’s been sharing and always I clicked angry emoticon. But she has no qualm over my FB terrorizing emoticon. She’s one who has a good ride on malawakang kampanya online to rehabilitate Marcos, the dictator. And looks like she’ll go all out for the hashtag#gorevgov. I donno. But because she’s no troll nor dds fanatic nor rabid apologist and she’s one innocent caught in the crossfire of endless online war between the turds and lawans, I love this FB friend whom I don’t personally know after I confirmed her request to be friend some 5 months ago. Right on friend!

 

Cha Monforte

Iligan City’s baboy sulop meat and tartanillas1. Iligan City has regular supply of baboy sulop (wild boar) meat which is superb delectable in pinakurat or adobo dish. It’s P170 per kilo. Three-four tiendas selling baboy sulop meat are still in Badelles St. , just walkable back of known Merry Muffet. A wild boar hunter said in an my interview that there are about 15 wild boar hunters hunting in the mountains of Marawi to as far as the mountains of Malabang, Lanao del Norte. It’s already good to them to capture wild boars every two days. They are using pingpong balls with explosives inside mixed in the lure of fertilizers, whatever food-smelling concoction attracting wild boars in the forests. The hunters will lay the dragnet before the evening. They will sleep on the forest, awaiting for explosion of the pingpong ball, which signals that a wild boar has been killed. In the early morning, they’ll find the boar already dead, face smashed, and would skin it on fire, clean and empty its belly of internal organs and intestines which they will bury on the ground. Once done, the hunter who failed to capture a boar, will do a labor for the fortunate hunter at P25 per kilo x the no. of kilos of the catch in going downhill. There a Tamaraw FX is waiting to transport them and the catch to Iligan City tiendas. “We earn more than a mason’s average earning, and for those unfortunate hunters who labor only earns more than a carpenter’s earning. Buhay buhay lang gihapon,” the hunter said. (Cha Monforte)

2. Iligan City’s tartanillas are still there running in Tambacan-Palao supermarket route. There are about 60 tartanillas ferrying passengers at present @ P5 fare.

photos and text: (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

 
Baboy sulop for sale in Iligan City

Baboy sulop for sale in Iligan City

Cha Monforte
The scene of a public market at 2 PM is so blissful. That’s the time when vendors have taken a recharge and little drowse off, with few loitering buyers to call on. That’s the time most silent in the palengke. Remember, they are dawn risers. At least that time they have known their earnings, how they fared in half day’s vending, and they brace for the next hours ’til 7 PM. It looks like they have reached the “boundary”. In the banana cue section along a narrow road, there is ease and glee as woman vendors bake the sweet cardavas and plant small bbq sticks across the middle of freshly baked ones. They shared their laughs and smiles as a youthful mother in one corner is busy doing a hasty laundry while her naked toddler makes a container her own swimming pool as the hottest sunrays of the day are set strike at a time when Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross more than 2,000 years ago at the Calvary. A shirtless man, aged about 25, is standing clutching a baby beside the swimming toddler whom he teases. The stockpile of his teeth reveals each time he teases and tells something to his wife washing besides the odorous sewage and the jigsaw of water meters. The father has no belt to fasten his checkered shorts, sagging its crumpled reams infront at his bulge. The savior to shed the market folks is the division wall of a commercial establishment as when the hottest temper of the sun in this brownout-plagued summer is tamed. In the narrow alley are haphazardly parked multicab carrying bags of coco charcoal, a wooden kariton where another shirtless laborer, an aged man, is sleeping on his back with freely spread legs on rubber shoes and stretched arms in X formation while his tattered shirt and towel are hung at the cart’s push handle, and in the other side are steel cage where native chicken, roosters for sell are herded, and bags of wood charcoals where two senior citizen women with covered mouths and in jackets are silently repacking the charcoals in red plastic bags. While eating a bananaq I see a blissful, uncomplaining proletariat setting.#mydiaryonposttravel
Statue of St. Michael The Archangel atop the roof of the St. Michael Cathedral, Iligan City. The patron saint has been known to be the protector of Iliganons. An Iliganon says St. Michael crushed the bridge in Hinaplanon so rampaging floodwaters could pass through the bridge unhampered by trees and debris that clogged up during the height of typhoon Sendong. If the bridge wasn’t destroyed, high floodwaters could have devastated Iligan poblacion similar to what was destroyed by Yolanda. “Siya gyod to may pako morag kanang naa sa atop sa Katedral,” said the Muslims who saw the figure. The Iliganon said many Muslims wearing ordinary attire would then come to the Cathedral to pay respect and thank St. Michael The Archangel for saving them from the wrath of Sendong. It was St. Michael who spared the city from Jap bombing during WWII. #mymobilediarywhileoncurrenttravel
Photo: Statue of St. Michael The Archangel atop the roof of the St.  Michael Cathedral, Iligan City.  The patron saint has been known to be the protector of Iliganons. An Iliganon says St. Michael crushed the bridge in Hinaplanon so rampaging floodwaters could pass through the bridge unhampered by trees and debris that clogged up during the height of typhoon Sendong. If the bridge wasn't destroyed, high floodwaters could have devastated Iligan poblacion similar to what was destroyed by Yolanda. "Siya gyod to may pako morag kanang naa sa atop sa Katedral," said the Muslims who saw the figure. The Iliganon said many Muslims wearing ordinary attire would then come to the Cathedral to pay respect and thank St. Michael The Archangel for saving them from the wrath of Sendong. It was St. Michael who spared the city from Jap bombing during WWII. #mymobilediarywhileoncurrenttravel
The videoke place we entered last night in Linamon has putrid smell. The place is damp at its sky blue wall that has unattended dirt markings and scratches peeling off its paint. It’s about 6 steps by 8 steps in space. When we entered 2 of the 4 tables were occupied. A young girl in brown skinny jeans welcomed us. She is the server, cashier, manager combined. There’s a table turned upside down on another table at the corner beside a cushion bed made to stand on its side. Beside our table and fronting the stairs is the babe’s hammock out of a twisted white cloth. The hot air inside is unmoved by the 2 small ceiling fans brought from shang- shang store. There’s an old disco lights ball at the cellar. What comes flickering is a leftover of Christmas lights. The place is reminiscent of the dirtied lounges of brothels or near brothels in Iligan City during the heyday of NSC in the 90s, but less the prostitutes and drunkards who abounded then. I and Danny V joined the throat stretching to release our hoarse vocals at 2 songs per P5 coin. Two gays entered the scene replacing the 2 drunk workers who billed out. They are funny with their male voices can’t be mutated into sofrano even when they claimed to be women trapped in men’s bodies. Later, fourTagalog-speaking men entered. There is military camp or detachment near somewhere, I thought…(to be continued) #mymobilediarywhileoncurrenttravel
Heavy rains pound Davao City’s northern parts. It’s this type of rain that had me gone out naked on field of Assumption school, adjacent to Sta. Teresita Church in my hometown Nabunturan 4 decades ago during summers. During interludes of heavy rains on hot summer days I and childhood friends-boys n girls- played dakpanay so naked n without slippers on green, wet lush grass onfield without a least fear, malice. What obsessed us was d partaking of a pure fun of gettng washed up by big continuous rainfalls while at play in free-for-all catch-me game in communion wid yet prestine nature. Afar at d porch on d convent we saw nuns n white attire sending mixed hand signals to us. Some waved us wid smile, others wanted us go home. We savoured under d falls n flush of cool rainwaters from d gutters of d school n slid n rolled our flesh on d pool dat appeared on d sunken parts of d school hallway before we left so happily. Heavy downpours interrupting long hot summers in d 70s weren’t frequent n flood carrying than wat we bear wid angsts n worries now n on d next lashing; they r treasures etched especially in our memory n a joy forever from our true throwback age of innocence.
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