The local crepe is called the "hotcake." It is lathered in margarine, drizzled with sugar, and is best eaten while hot. I remember accompanying my father during this February afternoon. We were about to go home from the mall, but he wanted to surprise Nanay with fresh bananas, so we walked to the nearby market, recently razed by fire. Going to the palengke never felt like chore for him; he liked the back-and-forth of kind words and niceties, the extrovert that he was. He had a community there. In his mind was geographical map of his suking tindahan—separate stores for green leafy vegetables, fruits, and other miscellaneous things. There was, as far as I knew, nothing extraordinarily special about these stalls: he just wanted to the tindera to be warm and smiling. Whenever I joined him, which I liked because it made me felt at home, he'd always take me to the stall of Junie Puada, my classmate from elementary who shared with me his baon of fresh fruit, so I could properly say hi to Junie and his mother.
Our fridge was never full. Unlike other households, we never did groceries to last the week. I guess this was Tatay's excuse to leave the house and visit the palengke.
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