Showing posts from October, 2019

Desalination may be able to help solve Cebu’s long-standing water scarcity, but...

Photo by Baudolino on Pixabay Water, to me, is very important. I don’t drink soda or tea or coffee or sweetened drinks, only water. There’s an occasional sikwate or fruit shake, but water, I drink liters of it each day. Somehow, there has always been a steady supply of it for me, which makes me happy.  Then I learned a new fear. A couple of weeks ago, where I live with my husband, there was no supply of water for several days. It was fortunate that we were able to store drinking water good for a week.  We do not buy from water refilling stations. We have our own filters to make the chlorine-smelling and slimy water we get from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) a bit cleaner and safer for drinking. And we have rainwater for toilet use.  It was a scary time. Around the neighborhood, when I went out for walks, I heard neighbors asking each other about their supply of water. Others were busy calling up water delivery services as far as Lapu-Lapu City. 

Another side of Agatha Christie

A long time ago, while scouring for new old books at a thrift shop, my eyes caught sight of a spine with the name Agatha Christie on it, in big gold capital letters. It is not a Hercule Poirot mystery, to my slight disappointment. It was a collection of her short stories, a matter I have never heard of before.  But I thought, the book is written by English writer Agatha Christie whose literary works I admire for their clear writing and stupendous weave of events. The book is not about Poirot but nevertheless I bought it. Years later, this collection of short stories titled The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories (published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of the Penguin Group), gathered dust on my shelf, beckoning me to read it. I finally did, recently.  And I was surprised and regretful after I finished--surprised to find a unique set of short stories that gave me a warped sense of incredulity, and regretful for not reading it sooner. The book consists of nine shor

Green love: How I started a garden

desert rose First of all, I don’t have a garden. Technically, that is. Not the kind you see in the Smithsonian Gardens or in the backyards of suburban homes. If you can call a congregation of 30 pots or so a garden, then I have one. More than half of these pots are not even mine. They belong to my mama and my mama-in-law.  Gardening did not interest me until three years ago when I was feeling very sad after a miscarriage. At the time, I did not want to work. I had wanted only to stay cooped up in bed, eat, and watch Korean variety show Superman Returns videos on Youtube until I was strong again. So I directed my energies to the things I have always enjoyed doing: drawing, doing embroidery, crocheting, reading, and arranging my books. I did not write for seven months.  One day within that bleak period, my mother challenged me to nurture one of my maternal grandmother’s pots of asparagus fern. A couple of pots were already in a pitiful state. I thought of Lola Vicenta wh

The Hunting Gun by Yasushi Inoue

(Please do not read this review if you do not wish for spoilers.)   My rating: 5/5 stars As a daughter, what will you do when you find out that your mother is having an affair with your uncle two days before her death? As a wife, what will you do when you find out that your husband is having an affair with your best friend? As a mistress, what will you do when you find out that your daughter and best friend have long discovered your...sin, sin, sin?  In his fictional novel, The Hunting Gun , Japanese writer Yasushi Inoue strives to answer these questions and presents an illicit love affair’s psychological impact on women. It happened at a time immediately after WWII in a place that boasts of exclusivity and popularity among monied families who can afford to study abroad and maintain a couple of houses.  The story is told from the viewpoints of three different women, who have connections to each other, through their letters addressed to the same man, the one who chooses to