Up, down in CDO (First Part)-A A +A
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
UP: The recent Corpus Christi School Grade School Fun Run that was held in the Regatta Square of Pueblo de Oro. The event’s intention was to raise money for the Grade School Faculty Club’s observation tour of our country’s leading schools in Manila, such as Ateneo de Manila, Miriam College, UP, La Salle and Philippine Normal University. The trip is scheduled on the August fiesta holidays so class days would not be cancelled.
During the trip, the CCS teachers will take note of the latest teaching techniques and strategies used in the mentioned schools, so they may be applied in their work when they return to Cagayan de Oro.
The update, in addition to keeping abreast with the standards set by the Philippine Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities or PAASCU of which Corpus Christi School is a member (PAASCU is scheduled to make its routine inspection next school year, jitters, jitters), will definitely benefit the students.
This writer and CCS teacher is an indoor type of person, so the fun run was fun only on the plane of an onlooker. Most interesting to me was a bird’s nest which another teacher found along the path of the runners. We took it to safety just when the parents and students who participated in the fun run were on their way to the finish line.
After marveling at the wondrous craft of nature that was the perfect weave-work of the nest, we peered inside: There were three tiny eggs.
Since we had already done the heroic act of saving them from getting crashed under the onslaught of speeding feet vying for first place –the prizes were home appliances—we thought of upping the deed by seeing to it that the eggs hatched and not end up as boiled eggs, as desired by a sleepy, hungry teacher manning the water station: It was already nine in the morning when the run was in progress, and this mentor had dutifully been at the Regatta Square since 4 o’clock in the morning, the time all of us were supposed to report for work. Others, tasked with setting up signs, arrows and other needs, reported at 2 a.m.
At home, that’s the hour when I was awakened by a would-be burglar. But that’s another story.
Informed by a science teacher that the mother bird would probably not be able to identify the nest as her own and therefore abandon it—the nest having fallen or waylaid from its original perch—we decided to play mama bird. But how? Someone suggested that the entire faculty could take turns brooding over the nest till the eggs hatched.
A more feasible suggestion: incubate the eggs under a desk lamp, but no one volunteered the “martyrdom” of a raised electric bill.
And then a high school student happened to walk by when we had just decided to “let nature take its course,” meaning, leave the unfortunate nest where we found it. “Teacher, we use lamps a lot at home. I’ll make this a science project,” the student said. Writing this reminds me to ask her about the outcome of her salvific effort.
DOWN during the fun run: We received the shocking news of the bombing at Limketkai. One of the fatalities was a Corpus Christi School parent, Antonio Paredes. The gathered community paused to honor him and to pray.
UP: Mayor Oscar Moreno suspending Night Café in Divisoria.
DOWN: Putting an end to Night Café altogether. May it be revived in another location where its operation would not impede the flow of traffic.
UP: MacArthur Park in front of the Provincial Capitol building.
DOWN: Gaston Park.
UP: The Rose Pancit Malabon ‘turo-turo’ in Divisoria. This branch of its original hole-in-the- wall outfit in front of Xavier University in Corrales Street, is the best high-end ‘turo-turo’ in Cagayan de Oro in terms of service and quality of food. In addition, RPM’s pancit malabon is the best in town.
DOWN: The burger and ‘siomai’ stands sprouting all over the city that sell burgers and siomais so cheap you wonder what’s in the meat—is it just flavored fat? I gave one of these siomais to my cat; she snubbed it disdainfully after one perfunctory sniff.
UP: The best fresh lumpia in Cagayan de Oro and the best that I have ever tasted anywhere, concocted by foodie Joy Tan, co-owner of Kimshoppe, a needlework supplies store opened by her sister-in-law, Kim Tan, some time back when the cross-stitch craze was in vogue. Her other culinary specialties are equally excellent.
DOWN: Though many have suggested that Joy should be in the food business, she’d rather be a simple wife and assistant to her husband, Fred.
UP: Lola’s Gourmet Tuyo, fingerling dried herring bottled in canola oil which, nutritionists tell us, has the same beneficial properties as olive oil. The use of this oil rather than a cheaper cholesterol-forming kind, was what first attracted me to this product which is my favorite pasalubong gift: I can attest not just to its quality but also to its being an indigenously Cagayanon enterprise, because I happen to know the makers.
Tessa and Inigo Arellano are a young couple. If you see Tessa–she’s the niece of my Manila-based friend, Pepep Gano, who regularly returns home to CDO to recharge her indigenously Cagayanon spirit—you would think she’s a dewy-eyed high school teener rather than a very capable entrepreneur . So when I heard that she and her husband were behind the bottled ‘tuyo,’ I thought Doy, Pepep’s sister and Tessa’s mother whose passion is cooking, was back in town from the States to be the mastermind of the project.
Wrong. Lola’s Gourmet Tuyo—it has two flavors, sweet and spicy—is a purely Inigo-Tessa “baby” which came about around the time the couple had its first child. The recipe, a family heirloom from Inigo’s mother, was tried out in the couple’s kitchen, and it clicked immediately. One can say that key to the success of Lola’s Gourmet Tuyo is a piece of paper on which an ancestor had scribbled the tested formula of a preserved delicacy.
DOWN: People who would rather let a recipe die out and join them in their graves than let its tradition live one and fan out in a “multiplier effect.” They call the guarded recipe a “family secret” or even “military secret” to diplomatically ward off an inquiry.
I know of a recipe for ‘torta’ that died out when its inventor passed away, because she was not willing to give it even to her children, for fear that they would “reveal my secret” to their friends. She waited for the time when they were old enough to be trusted with the “responsibility.” Unfortunately, time did not wait for her.
And so, my biggest “UP” is for Joanne Dingcong. She perished in Emily Homes, one of the places hardest hit by the flood that came with Typhoon Sendong in 2011. Though unmarried and childless, this Cagayana has left us something of herself out of her generous spirit.
Have you seen those little angels made of beads strung together in safety pins? It was Joanne Dingcong who first taught Cagayanons how to make them.
I’m not absolutely sure if she’s the inventor of this craft, but she went out of her way to demonstrate its procedure to many groups looking for a livelihood project, including the non-formal education department of DepEd. It is now a thriving industry for many who need a “sideline.” The angels are a testament that generosity has a “multiplier effect.”
DOWN DOWN DOWN: The opposite of Joanna’s generosity: corrupt leaders who have kept for themselves the pork barrel meant to benefit their constituents. Cardinal Tagle shed tears on television as he pleaded for an examination of conscience. The accused were not moved at all.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 21, 2013.