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(I’m still thinking about whether to continue this or not … hmmmm ….)

They came, almost everyday, at different times of the day, pilgrims of my mother’s cooking. They did not knock, because everyone knew that our door was never locked. And she welcomed them with a smile, a warm coffee and with the delicious smell of food that was always slowly cooking on our stove.

There was Aling Nita who seemed to be always fretting about one thing or another, that her once straight hair suddenly turned curly and white overnight. Then the group of glorious gay men working at a nearby beauty parlor who can shake our house with their laughter. And poor little lost Ada who was always playing hide-and-seek with love, while her sister Maya dreamed of flying to distant lands and seas where she said her life waits for her, and I could not help but wonder how she can walk and talk without the breath of life in her languid sinewy body. But they were not the only ones, there were countless others who sat in our small round kitchen table while my mother fed their hunger. Perhaps that was my mother’s tragedy, like the stew that was always cooking on her stove, her nose was too soft and her heart too open.

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