And What it means to me
It was a long time ago but it feels just like yesterday when my Papa used to come home tired from being chief of Police. He would whip up a simple dinner which would become staples of my childhood. Fried fish, then sinigang which is sour soup using pork as the protein, tamarind or just native lemons, then tomatoes, radish and kangkong (water spinach), or kinunot which is malunggay leaves and flaked stingray meat cooked in a beautiful broth of chilies, tomatoes, and coconut milk. Mmmm. I can literally smell it right now.
It was always 2 food items in our table. Not just one. He would say to us, when you have more than one food on your table, it means he did good, it means we were not starving.
I have learned a lot from my father. I learned the value of good food. Good company. Good laughter inspite of distress. I learned that you you work hard to put good food on the table. I learned that you need to work for your family and for yourself and not for anybody else.
And sometimes, I cry, remembering my father. Because I am proud of the woman I’ve become. And he would’ve been proud. I can see it now. That slow nod and curt smile which is rare, you see, because I have more than 2 food items on our table…