CEBU

The Pack Gang

Sira-sira store

EVERY year, around this time in June, the Pack Gang is activated. The gang lies dormant for a few months, then after their short hibernation, they wake up to terrorize the common household. I hope this paints a humorous picture of school opening.

Mothers or guardians are the human entities regularly surrounded by the Pack Gang. Each time The Grand Institution opens its rusty gates, the Guardians of the Pack Gang double time on everything they do to keep the House Kingdom in order.

The Game of Hones (to hone or to refine over a period of time, in this case, the children) is led by Guardian Spirits, a general term for whoever is in charge of the welfare of the children. It is mostly mothers or grandmothers (also called The Stark Alter Ego of Parents or “Tsaep”) who have to squeeze out the last drop of blood from the meager budget that the Head Earners hand to them once or twice a month.

The Amazing Miteras or mothers do an amazing job at apportioning every centavo found at the bottom of the family coffers.

In honor of Amazing Miteras and the Tsaep, I created this Provisions for the Journey (PJ) guide. The Guardian Spirits are the chosen beneficiaries of my genius, I mean, generosity.

The offspring of beneficiary families will bring with them nutritious food for the long journey across dangerous roads overrun by monsters that have wheels for legs and horns that make a loud sound.

These little ones march off to the Great Mountains of the Unknown Knowledge. They come home tired but triumphant. They bring home game from the hunt: better knowledge of the history of their kingdom, stories from the ancient Pilipino and English scrolls, magical skill in transforming one and two into three, to the delight of their loved ones.

Without further ado, if I may be archaic about it, here are some suggestions on how to present the PJ.

PJ. You cannot go wrong with PJ or peanut butter and jam sandwich for snacks.

COLD. The night before, freeze a box of chocolate drink. It will be nicely thawed by the time your child needs it for his snack. You can also mix your own chocolate drink and freeze as usual.

LIKE BENTO. Make a “bento” version of his lunchbox. On the main section of the lunchbox, pack rice and press two pieces of fried longganisa. On the other section, place sauteed veggies.

VACUUM IT. Fill a small vacuum bottle (popularly called thermos bottles) or thermal bottle with arroz caldo or pospas. The rice gruel is flavored with chicken and spices. It makes for a filling snack or lunch.

Ah, the exercise has made this Farmer of the Letters very tired. I need some shut-eye.


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