Chilly Mornings

kutitapCrisp chilly mornings. It feels good. We see the the pallette of colors of lush yellow, red and orange. I say, enjoy its beauty while it lasts for soon they’ll be gone with the promise that they’ll be back. And after the last leaf falls leaving the lonely silhouette of trees, comes the sweet scent of pines permeating in the air. This dramatic change in landscape suggests that joyful celebrations are just around the corner.

Autumn is my favorite season not only because of the calming effect of the temperate climate on me and the aesthetic beauty of my surroundings, but it brings about excitement in our home looking forward to family gatherings. Children come home in November for Thanksgiving celebration and come back in December for Christmas, not forgetting the family traditions. The warm, but spirited celebrations take the center stage.
The mom is in-charge, making sure that all the children’s faves are served on the dinner table. I tell my children that what makes the food special is the fact that they are cooked with mother’s love. This is the reason why the children could not really duplicate the taste when they try to cook the same dishes on their own. This my secret.

I love to hear, “What’s cooking, Mom?” I know they are associating my cooking and food to our family chatting over dinner. We normally don’t hurry up eating. We stay long at dinner table even after desserts have long been consumed. Topics to talk about just keep on coming. This is plain and simple bonding. To my children, the food that I cook is their “comfort food.”

The Community is Mobilized
The Filipino Americans’ response to extend relief assistance to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy was spontaneous and rapid. Fund drives were immediately launched mobilizing different organizations to act quickly manifesting the benevolent spirit of the Filipino people. There were dozens and dozens of fund drives circulating in the Metro Washington, DC area. Many people had expressed concerns and sympathy to our countrymen, vocally expressing “how lucky we are here sleeping on dry beds and have hot foods on our table while many of our ‘kababayans’ are crammed into makeshift evacuation centers waiting for food to be rationed to them.” With the magnitude of the disaster resulting to numerous deaths and leaving a great number of peope homeless and without food, we cannot be callous to the call for help.

It is a relief to know that donations of money and in kind can be coursed through reliable agencies like the National Disaster Coordinating Center, the Department of Social Welfare and the Philippine National Red Cross. Ambassador Willy C. Gaa has issued a statement encouraging the Filipino community in the United States to help our people in the Philippines and naming above agencies to send donations to. The spirit of true volunteerism is again at play. It was heartening to see our community in action, giving their time, energy and money to help. Each of us played a role in the fund raising movements, direct and indirect, active and passive. No one expected any awards or honors for their noble deeds. No one. There are no discussions nor opposing opinions. There’s only one solid goal, only one sentiment.
The Swine Flu Scare
In the past couple of Sundays in our parish church, the priest had been announcing that due to the prevalence of the the disease, we must exercise precautions in public places including church. Last Sunday, after the homily, the priest strongly instructed the parishioners not to shake hands anymore during the “Peace Be With You” offering. He suggested that we just nod our heads or wave our hands to show acknowledgement. So, when the time came, my husband by my side automatically tried to give me a peck on my cheek. Being a good church listener and follower, I stopped him and waved my hand and said, “Peace be with you.” He did not like it and gave me a forced kiss on my cheek, anyway. He whispered to me, “silly.” I guess he was not a good church follower. Next Sunday, I will watch and see what the other husbands and wives in front of us will do.

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