I went to Bulacan for Deng’s mom’s 60th birthday. We spent the weekend there, along with Deng’s other friends from work. On the bus ride to Bulacan, Deng raked through my hair and said “MAGPA REBOND KA NA NGA!” (get your hair straightened!)
We spent that same night making shanghai rolls and arguing over the size and amount of meat to be put in. We also made fruit salad gulaman. I met Deng’s sisters and her twin nieces. I adore her family because they’re just so real. Walang kiyeme. Her mom also made an appointment with their neighbour Emma to get my hair done. It was farthest from the glamorous hair salons I had planned on getting my hair done. I spent 5 hours by the side of Emma’s sari-sari store in a make shift one-seater “parlor” facing hollow blocks and stray dogs. But my hair is fabulous and it only cost 700 php.
“Saan ka nagpagawa ng buhok mo?”
“diyan lang sa tabi-tabi” pero ang ganda ng lola mo!
Deng’s mom’s birthday was like a fiesta buffet. People came around any time of day and the food just kept reappearing. They also rented out a karaoke machine where we spent 3 hours belting out love songs from the 50s to the present. We even tried to ride the scooter but I failed miserably and gave up before I got myself into some serious accident.We slept in an unoccupied apartment unit beside their house. Laid two airbeds, hung our clothes. It was so humid, we had two fans in the room. The previous night while I was taking a shower, a lizard came out and I let out a scream.
On the next night Deng, Dan, Yeti and Jeremy had a few more drinks downstairs while I opted to hide upstairs because I wasn’t up for it. Not that I was being a snob but my hair was just rebonded and I couldn’t wash it so I was concerned about the smell of cigarettes on my hair, plus I had a headache and too much to eat. I was just browsing through Facebook on my phone when I drifted to sleep.
The next day we trooped to the city center and had street food. Isaw na baboy, isaw na manok (grilled pig and chicken intestines), buko juice (coconut juice), betamax (grilled pig’s blood), hotdog. I bought a few sweets to take home as pasalubong. I waved Dan and Deng goodbye and hopped on a bus back to QC with her couple friend Yeti and Jeremy.
And so at 5 pm I arrived at our door with two bags of chicharon, two boxes of pastillas and an extra two pounds of fat.