Mama is packing the plates and the eating utensils into the basket, Papa is adding lime juice to the ceviche and Honey is changing into her colorful swimsuit. Sunday was my favorite day.
Sunday meant family day when I was still young. My parents woke up by 6a.m to buy fresh fish from Palompon and meat from APL store. As soon as clock hits 9a.m., we made our way to church to hear mass (typical Catholic practice which involved me dressing up) after that we changed into summer clothes and packed the food then head to the local beach.
Fresh fish is truly divine (luckily I am from a country where seafood is abundant) and Papa knew how to make good ceviche from Tanigue (local name for King Mackerel). The taste of lime juice, vinegar, coconut milk, ginger, onions, salt and sugar played an angelic symphony in my palate, one of my favorite seafood dish. He usually paired it with grilled pork that’s marinated overnight in soy sauce, black pepper, sugar and kalamansi juice (a.k.a. Calamondin). The sweet and tangy flavours were wonderful contrasts to the white rice. As a rice loving Asian, I consumed more than 3 cups specially when I ate with my bare hands. My sister and I devoured food like monsters while Mama controlled her appetite in fears of gaining weight. Papa never liked the idea that he would remind Mama that she looked good.
The memories of simple picnics by the sea never fails to make me smile. It reminds me of times when we were complete as a family, where everyone seemed happy, free from worries and resentments. I sometimes miss those moments but I know those times have passed.
My definition of family is broader now and to cope up with zero chance of reliving those moments, I take every chance I can get to have happy picnics with friends and even strangers.