Plowman's lunch-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
BREAD and cheese. And for breakfast. I'm sitting at the kitchen table looking out at the driveway and the rain tipping down. Behind me fish and rice for the animals is cooking and, January 2, no newspaper to read.
Well, there may have been one published but there's been no distribution out here at Buhangin Mansions today or yesterday. Only the “Manila Bulletin,” which has its own little three-wheeler van for delivery to hotels which frown at rubber-shoed folks camping in their entrance lounge merely to read the papers and occasionally, gently and surreptitiously, tear out an item for further digestion.
So what to do with the rest of the day? Bicycling's out. De-frost the ref? It's a new one downsized from the family two-door we used to have which didn't hum but thundered. Sitting in the kitchen was like standing next to one of those engine-room vents on the old Samal ferry. No more roar but this new model does have some novel features - there's a “freezer room,” a “chiller room,” a “vegetable room,” “beautiful glass,” a bottle pocket and a “free pocket,” which I'm not sure what to do with. But it's quiet, doesn't thunder, doesn't vibrate its way across the floor, sneaking up as you turn an omelette.
Maybe, I'll clean out the laptop. That's a New Year thing right? Dump folders and files except the music files. I've discovered – when SmartBro honors me with some connectivity - how to borrow music off the internet - can't say download, that's illegal - and I'm catching up on theme music.
I've long collected themes - TV, film, radio - since way back when cheap gramophone labels like Music for Pleasure and so on issued compilation albums of movie music. There's some wonderful music out there written or borrowed for themes which we generally only hear a few seconds of.
There's so much that it's impossible for me to declare this or that theme is the best ever. I like music – the result, I suppose, of months spent in places where there was no access to music of any kind; a situation I imagine inconceivable to the modern youth or youthette with their iPods. But no music makes you appreciate it all the more when it is available.
Maybe, I should write a few bits about theme music - classical, conventional, TV, ads, music you thought was something else entirely.
Remember that all-the-rage Crazy Frog music from 2005? It originally featured in the 1980s film Beverly Hills Cop composed by Herman Faltermeyer and no slouch he - Herman also contributed to Tom Cruise's Top Gun. Or take the jaunty theme from Brit TV's shown in the Philippines Benny Hill Show - it's called Yakety Sax, written in the 60s, appropriately by a sax player, and died a death until picked up by record producer and guitarist Chet Atkins who renamed it, appropriately again, Yakety Axe. See? Fascinating stuff!
It's also a new month - how could I have forgotten although the New Year cacophony wasn't so great. Lack of funds? Enthusiasm? Oh God, another year to get through. Except of course for the no-volume-control-rented-for-the-day karaokes - and so it's time to leaf through the last month's newspapers, clip here and there and then pass on the bundle to one of my squatter neighbors who use the paper to wrap and protect fruit. This is an aspect of Filipino society I don't think I'll ever sort out - dig a little deeper into a squatter community and you'll find that quite a few have countryside farms in the family - that's where my newspapers go - and yet they choose to live hugger-mugger in communities of shacks.
There's no outright squalor - apart from the privies - but it’s obviously a struggle to send the kids to school and maybe that's the reason they're not out at the farm; the city does offer, for a price, opportunity. Give the kids a basic schooling, something the parents don't have. Give the kids enough of an education to become OFWs and flee the country. Wonderful.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 09, 2013.