Sustainable It Is

These past months, there had been several instances when the poor, tiny dump truck supposed to pick up trash in our area would just pass us by, not even stopping to collect our garbage.

You see, by the time it reached our street, it was full, dangerously tottering on one side, without room for more.

I was angry. My trash heap was growing and I did not know what to do with it. How could they not provide a bigger truck? Surely, they knew the rubbish we were keeping were long overdue.

About three weeks ago, garbage sitting in our garage for about two weeks had begun to produce funky smells. It was terrible! Flies and other insects had begun to swarm and thrive in those bags. It was totally frustrating YUCKY!

Who is to Blame?

I was angry, yes, but a realization hit me. I am supposed to be angry with myself. I let trash pile up. I was not mindful of my consumption.

If I can manage my household’s incoming, I must be able to manage its outgoing! Sounds fair, isn’t it?

And just because the local government did not instruct me to segregate, it didn’t mean I may not do it if it’s for the best.

I can blame the truck all I want, and the town officials all day, but the immediate change I need must come from me.

I had an aha moment. Others have long done it, and I am catching up. I made a resolve to segregate and to recycle. And that’s what I’m doing right now.

A Change of Heart

My family began to implement a new scheme in waste management in our home.

Would you believe that there is peace knowing that even if the garbage collector will not arrive this week, my trash is good and manageable! Here are some of the things we do to lessen our home’s impact to the environment:

Lessen Waste Production. Paper bags are folded neatly, and so are plastic bags which are still clean and dry, for further use. We have made the resolve to continue using them again and again until they are no longer useful. Then and only then will they be thrown away… responsibly, of course.

These paper bags can be used for wrapping things and wiping oily surfaces in the kitchen.

Responsible Waste Segregation. Waste are segregated. Milk cartons, juice cartons, bottles are separated from vegetable and fruit peelings. The latter will go to our container compost for use as a fertilizer when needed.

Tote Bag Usage. We lessened the use of plastic. This tote bag mama is proud to have a tote handy whether I go to the supermarket or the fresh produce market. Tote bags can be washed easily in the washing machine or hand-washed. They dry easily, too. A cotton tote bag I’ve had since 2009 is still with me. It continues to serve me during those market visits or for carrying things around.

I saw this at an 88 shop at a nearby mall.

Supporting Like-minded Businesses. When shopping, I had begun to realize the impact of all those plastic to our planet. When shopping, I go for soap bars, not bottled body washes. I also replaced my plastic body scrubs with loofah sponges. Slowly, I will implement a no plastic rule in the house but it might probably take a long time. But at least a head start is here and I don’t intend to stop!

This loofah is organic, unbleached and earth-friendly! Truly sustainable!

Buying Thrifted Items and 2nd Hand. I now practice this principle — if you can get a good deal out of a second hand item, why not buy it? I find wonderful items made of wood, ceramic and stainless materials in thrift shops all the time so why not? I realized the more we patronize plastic products, the more businessmen will make them! And the more trash we will produce in the long run. We can no longer manage trash effectively as it is!

Composting, Composting, Composting. Clearly, this made my life a whole lot easier. Since fruit and vegetable by-products can be used to enrich my potted plants, I went ahead and imitated what many people do — make compost! It is easy, actually. There are various YouTube tutorials addressing this concern! This last one made my life a whole lot easier.

My daughter is covering kitchen waste with soil for composting.

That is my modest list, so far. I believe I will grow in this as long as I keep in mind that the sustainable lifestyle might possibly make our sad old earth filled with mirth. 🙂

How It All Began

So during (or simultaneous with) my decluttering adventure, which you can read from my previous posts, I slowly set aside my plastic items and opted for the wooden, glass, ceramic and stainless kitchen tools that I already have.

I did not buy new ones as I am also minimizing my expenditure but using to the full my old treasures. I also think I will continue using them until they are worn out. That way I can also save money.

And I began to do gardening and composting. Trust me, you will love helping the environment because simply, you are also helping yourself.

Recently bought from the nursery. Oh, love it!

Check out my posts on Decluttering and Living with Less.

Embrace Your Space

When Stuff Kills

Should I Rush Into Decluttering?

Carve Out Your Creative Space

See you every Monday for my Sustainable Living articles as I explore what this means in my life and my home.

How about you? Do you have suggestions to a newbie like me?

Magandang Umaga

Isa sa mga mabubuting asal sa loob ng isang pamilya ang pagbati sa mga kasama sa bahay ng Good Morning sa umaga.

Sa sobrang aga kong nagising ngayon, wala akong mabati agad.

Kaya minabuti kong i-Good Morning si Lord.

Ikaw, nagu-good morning ka rin ba kay Lord?

Nasabi ko na dati na kasama sa aking morning routine ang paghello kay Lord.

Tulad ng isang matalik na kaibigan, binabati ko Siya araw-araw.

Well, higit pa Siya sa matalik na kaibigan.

Tumpak ang mensahe ng kantang “You are my all in all” sa aking buhay. Totoo — He is my all in all.

Good morning, Lord! Ahh, kaysarap bigkasin.

Marami akong narinig na hindi na nagisnan ang bagong taon. Sa aking tala, may tatlong tao akong nabalitaan na naatake sa puso nitong mga nagdaang araw.

Kung tayo ay may Good Morning, Lord pa, ibig sabihin tayo ay buhay pa.

Salamat, Lord — ang buhay ko talaga ay hawak mo!

At hindi lamang yung masaya tayo dahil humihinga tayo. Masaya tayo dahil may buhay tayong walang hanggan kay Kristo.

Yun naman eh. Yun naman talaga.

Hindi ko alam kung naniniwala ka diyan, pero yan ang paniniwala ko.

Sabi ni Kristo: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Via, veritas, vita.

At kasabay ng :Good Morning, Lord,” isunod na rin natin ang “Thank You, Lord!”

Ako masaya ako ngayon kasi maaga akong nagising. At dahil doon, nakapaglaga ako ng saging at mais.

Mura ngayon ang saging. At bagong pitas naman ang mais na nabili ko kahapon sa Parang Market.

Kahit medyo gabi na ako nakabili, okay naman, nabili ko pa rin ang mga kailangan namin.

Medyo natagalan kasi kami sa Hi Top Supermarket kahapon. As usual, sobrang haba ng pila doon. Marami ding good deals at SALE. Ang gusto ko sa Supermarket na yun ay yung mga good deals. Pagpasok mo pa lang sa store, bubungad na sa iyo yung mga naka-sale. May mga pa-expire na, yung iba matagal pa naman, pero naka SALE sila. Pipiliin mo lang yung kailangan mo, mahirap na, baka mabutasan ang bulsa mo.

Kahapon kasi nag-crave ako ng persimmon. Doon kasi ako nakakabili noon ng persimmon. Kaya lang kahapon wala. Huhu.

Pero marami naman akong nabili na talaga namang kailangan namin.

Doon din ako nakakita ng iba’t-ibang klase ng beans. May black beans, may red beans, may white beans, etc. Gustong-gusto kasi ng aking anak ang beans, lalo na yung munggo, na meron din doon. Sarap ng ginisang munggo! Of course, isa yan sa mga kakainin namin this coming week.

Lahat ng ingredients mo, makikita mo doon. Pero after our supermarket trip, ginusto ko pa rin pumunta ng palengke talaga.

Dati sa may Batasan talipapa, nakakapark kami doon sandali para bumili ng ibang prutas at gulay.

Kaya lang kahapon, pinagbawal na ang pagpapark doon kahit sandali. Kaya sayang, di kami nakabili ng itlog. Last week kasi nakabili kami doon ng isang tray, tapos melon, tapos saging at iba pa. 150 ang isang tray doon. Magdala ka na lang ng tray para di ka magbayad ng 10 pesos. 5 pesos sa ibaba, 5 pesos sa itaas, kasi tatalian yun eh.

Pero sa Parang Market, gaya ng sinabi ko, nabili ko naman lahat ng kailangan ko. Yun nga lang, sa mga stall, mahal nang konti — parang presyong Hi-Top na rin eh. Yung mga kuya at ate na may kariton, doon, mura sa kanila. Nasa sidewalk sila. Narinig ko lang na pag gabi, malaya silang magbenta sa sidewalk kasi wala nang nanghuhuli.

Tipid tips ko everytime I go food shopping:

  1. Have a budget.
  2. Have a menu planned.
  3. Base your shopping list on your menu planned for the week.
  4. Buy what you need.

Yun lang. Ikaw, ano mga tipid tips mo?

As for my nilagang saging and mais, snacks yan ng aking pamilya for the week. Yung iba, pambaon ni Mister sa work. Pinagbawal ko na ang fast food kay Mister eh. Hehe.

Mamayang gabi naman gagawa ako ng baon niya for the entire week at ilalagay ko yun sa ref. That way, hindi ako araw-araw nagluluto ng baon. Sa umaga, handa na ang baon niya, ilalagay na lang sa bag niya.

At kami naman ng aking anak ay mayroon na ring ready meals na papainitin na lang.

Mabilis, matipid, may sistema. Yang tatlong yan ang gustong-gusto kong matutunan nang maigi. Mas relaxed ang atmosphere sa bahay pag handa kami eh.

Siguro alam niyo naman na hindi maganda ang mood ng mga tao pag gutom. Personally, ayoko din maging hangry.

Good morning! Happy Lord’s day! Bye for now.

Of Traitors and Criminals and Bibliophiles

I feel like a traitor, peddling books from outside my country to my fellowmen. I sell preloved books you know, and I get them from thrift shops. And here’s what’s worse — it’s what parents are looking for. There are people like me.

You see, I love classics, living books and other books that are excellent but are not listed among booklists as either living or classic (or what have you). So I stock up on such books. I also hoard workbooks like those from Evan Moor. And quite recently, I’ve been scouring titles written and illustrated by Racey Helps, Hans de Beer, Shirley Hughes, Arnold Lobel, Leo Politi and Jill Barklem, to name a few.

At a time when people are suffering from a different kind of identity crisis never before experienced in the present magnitude (Are we Kapuso or Kapamilya; Red or Yellow) and more children in the private schools speak English confidently while their public school educated counterparts smart-shame them (I have evidence) for their funny tongue, my action is treason.

I do believe though that a healthy balance is not atrocious to the cause of my nation, although I feel like I am not doing anything to do my part as a Filipina mom. I look at my shelf, and lo and behold, so many books are by those wonderful writers from the West that if there were a war between titles in my house, my Filipino books will suffer bitter defeat in their homeland.

How Are We So Far?

So what to do, what to do? I have to address this issue once and for all! But first, the reasons why I sometimes find it easier, or more practical and convenient to get imported books more than the books of our Filipino authors. These are my observations as a bibliophile with regards to workbooks and textbooks ONLY and if you don’t agree, enlighten me please.

  1. Aesthetics – Imported books win in this regard, generally. Yes, I say that with sadness.
  2. Content – We are doing great here but some books are still low on the quality so no, we don’t win here yet.
  3. Price – Hmm, well, I saw a newsprint textbook that costs 1,300 pesos and I couldn’t quite get why. Do you have any idea why? Booksale, Chapters and Pages and Books for Less have good books as cheap as 30 pesos… 😦

So there, that’s just my unsolicited and amateur assessment. But wait…

I was looking for good textbooks for my child last weekend when I saw a workbook made by a local publisher and it just blew me away. A spark of hope was lit. Yay! So I’m looking forward to more books that are big on aesthetics and content while easy on the pocket.

Great Read-Aloud

Meanwhile, let me just share that Mr. Robert Magnuson’s Duck and Croc series from Anvil are great. My daughter loved them to pieces that I had to actually rescue them from impending obliteration because she took them to her bed and literally slept on them for like a week.

The rhyming words of Magnuson’s book are especially appealing to my beginning reader and the illustrations are awesome too, that I wish there more of Duck and Croc’s crazy adventures to see print in the near future. An added bonus is a character lesson tucked in every book which you can discuss with your child during a teachable moment.

By the way, let me just share that I dislike Filipino authors’ titles landing on bottom shelves almost hidden from view, like you can actually see them only when you bend to pick up something you drop on the floor.

The Big Reveal

What follows is a big reveal, you know, and I’m sharing this to prove my point that I am still very loyal to my Filipino writers and illustrators whom I look up to.

So anyway, I saw these Duck and Croc books displayed in NBS on the bottom shelf and since I already have the latest three from Mr. and Mrs. Magnuson I didn’t buy anymore. I just helped myself with the hero complex and dislodged other books at the middle shelf and put the Duck and Croc and other books from Hiyas and Lampara and the like where they are supposed to be just so children can see them at eye level and parents can check them out without straining their backs and necks.

Well, I hope my love for my country is a justifying circumstance, if my activism is a crime!

***

Here, let me show you the wonderful autograph Mr. Magnuson made especially for my daughter.

Duck and Croc’s Magnificent Race by Robert Magnuson

 

 

 

 

Ang Kangkong

 

Kangkong Image
Agahan_Setyembre 24, 2017. Beef tapa, nilagang kangkong, ginisang bagoong, nilagang itlog at kanin.

 

Ang Kangkong

Ang kangkong sa palengke ay piliing mabuti —

Mabuti pa’y tanungin ang ale kung saan ito galing.

Pagka’t ang kangkong na parang Pilipino lang din

Ay uusbong, dadami, yayabong saang tubig man dalhin!

 

Noong ako’y bata pa, madalas kaming kumain ng sayote dahil sa aming bulubundukin at malamig na lugar ay maraming sayote.

Bihira kaming makatikim ng kangkong, dahil ang kangkong ay manggagaling pa sa “baba”. Samakatuwid, ang mga kangkong ay magbibiyahe pa mula sa malayo bago maiparada sa mga palengke.

Nakilala ko ang kangkong noong nasa high school na ako, at nagustuhan ko ito dahil si Mama ay magaling magluto ng adobong kangkong. Siguro noon din mas naging madalas ibiyahe ito mula sa mga karatig-prubinsya.

Sa mga panahong iyon, kapag ang kangkong ay may halong giniling, para bang napakayaman na namin. Tuwang tuwa ako sa pagkain ng niluto ni Mama na ginisang kangkong, adobong kangkong, o bilang sahog sa sinigang. At hanggang ngayon, masarap pa rin ang luto niya.

Una kong natutunang lutuin ang adobong kangkong ngunit ang bersiyon ko ay may konting asukal. Konti lang. Si Mama kasi ay hindi mahilig maglagay ng asukal sa aming mga pagkain mula pa noon. Ito na rin ang minana niya sa kaniyang ina, ang aking Lola Ana.

(Nitong huli, paminsan-minsan ko na rin siyang nakikitang naglalagay ng asukal, pero patago.)

Adobong kangkong — mura, masarap, masustansiya, at higit sa lahat, madaling lutuin!

  1. Igisa ang sibuyas, bawang (ang iba’y may kamatis) sa mantika.
  2. Isama ang pork giniling.
  3. Isunod mo ang kangkong kapag luto na ang karne.
  4. Lagyan ng toyo, suka at asin.
  5. Dagdagan ng asukal, ayon sa iyong panlasa.

Ngayon, bilang pag-alala sa mga panahon na nakilala ko ang kangkong, at minahal ko ito tulad ng sayote tops, naisipan kong isulat ang tula sa itaas.

Ikaw, paborito mo rin ba ang kangkong?