Thursday, February 24, 2011

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In our little backyard, there's a patch of moist soil where the ferns thrive. They've always been there, as far as I can remember, and I learned about spores by looking at their leaves closely. The ferns are part of my mother's armament when she volunteers—as she always does—to do the flower arrangements for Sunday service. She likes to see flowers on the pulpit and would often comment on how bare the podium looks without them.

My mother tends her garden each morning. She wasn't exactly born with a green thumb, but she's trying real hard. She has a habit of stuffing our yard with her newest acquisitions of ornamental plants—from plant expos at the nearby Protech Center, from her friends in the hospital, or from our neighbors. Plants give her a different kind of joy.

When orchids were popular in the 90's, she had logs of dead wood installed. There was also a fishnet of sorts, and I remember asking her what it was for. "Orchids die when they get a lot of sun," my mother told me. Her orchids weren't as prolific in flowering as Auntie Elsie's, our neighbor, but she kept tending them religiously anyway. She got excited when she saw buds of soon-to-be flowers, relishing them with delight when they were in full bloom.

The orchids eventually died because of the ants. That was about the time when the orchid fever in the St. Gabriel neighborhood disappeared.

When I was in high school, she became particularly fond of euphorbias. A couple of semesters ago, she planted vines with yellow flowers. We could never guess what she'd plant next.

I don't know what has gotten into me to write this. The lack of greenery along Taft Avenue, perhaps? Or the mere thought that on this day, more than half a decade century ago, the woman who would give birth to me—and to two other wide-nosed boys—was born.

Happy birthday, Nanay! May the Lord bless and keep you all the days of your life.


  1. More than half a decade=a century? Haha hi Lance!

  2. No, Kay. My mother is six years old. Haha.

    Kidding. Thanks for pointing that out. Haha. See you in Neuro tomorrow!


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