It was Sunday the 31st of July, and we are a hop and skip away from August 1. We normally visit on Sundays to have lunch with my family in our house in the uplands, as it was unthinkable to even travel on a Saturday.
We did it once 2 weeks ago and the travel time was horrendous. It took 2 hours coming from Makati and at least 3 hours on the way back. To think that we spent only around 4 hours home, it was, for the lack of better word, traumatic. Thus, I made an arrangement with Mon if we could always just visit on a Sunday unless we can’t help it.
It was a very cloudy day and it was obvious that it would rain hard. It may be because of the continuously rising oil prices that there were not too many vehicles on the road, but it only took us a bit more than an hour to reach home.
Despite being the actual homeowner (as I am still in the process of transferring the title under my name), the guards at the gate of the subdivision still usually ask where I am headed to. They don’t recognize me at all. That was not the case whenever my father would fetch us nearby as they obviously knew him/them, as they are the ones living there.
One of the first things we usually do as soon as we arrive is check on the 2 dogs and the cat. While we were smothered by the dogs, our cat, Miso is the eternal ambivalent lady of the house.
When I was informed she was at the veranda, I headed straight to her. She was about 2 months when Mon gave her to me on my birthday 9 years ago, two months after she was born. It has been also 9 years since I left the nest back in 2013 as I began seeking experience in the development sector. She was barely 2 months with me at the time but I had to get a place in Makati closer to the workplace, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, she had her quirks and there were times she would be approachable. Surprisingly, she chose today.
She was lounging behind the woven swing when I approached her. She would usually just meow at me but won’t allow me to bother her that much. But she was in a good mood today. She even allowed me to carry her for almost a minute, leaving a lot of cat fur on my black shirt.
She also grew very fond of these Ikea chairs and table we had bought from MOA a month ago and had them delivered straight to our home the same day (I think it cost us Php 1,900 for the same day delivery).
She reportedly uses them more than any other person in our house.
When we had the house renovated last year, we kept this area open. We, however, eventually had a tempered glass roof installed so people can still chill. I also added these warm LED lights from True Value, which looked really lovely in the evening.
As it was drizzling a bit, Mon and I stayed at the veranda to work and just be happy it was a relatively cool day. We are normally unable to loiter during early afternoon hours because the house was facing West. Also as long as it did not rain hard, we could stay without getting wet.
Whenever I visit, I normally tinker around the house. Move the plants, install something, or even do some light cleaning. For today, I had no agenda in mind until I remembered how deeply bothered I was by the Energy Guide sticker plastered on our refrigerator.
We got this around October 2021 and it has not been removed since then. Even with a divider blocking the view to the kitchen from the main door, I somehow always managed to just see that bright rectangular sticker from afar.
I contemplated whether it would be best to just leave it there.
Of course, I did not.
I found myself slowly trying to remove it from the lower lefthand corner when it got torn. At that point, it was already so unsightly compare to if I just let it be. It became so messy.
I searched for tips in one Facebook group and funnily, another person had the same issue. One member advised using cooking oil, which I followed (my father asked: ‘Are you frying something?‘). Then it got too unsightly and had reached the point of no return that I was just in front of the fridge for the next hour.
I eventually removed every bit of it, no remnants left. I could not bear the idea of finishing it next week when we come back.
Going home, we hitched a ride with Papa as they were to pick-up Mama in Marikina. It was my first time to go home with that kind of weather and barely passing Robinsons Antipolo, we were debating if there was a fire head.
It was not. Those were just clouds. I forgot that we were by the mountains that it was normal to have low lying clouds during rainy season.
(In)conveniently, as we reached the winding road going down around Cloud 9, it rained very hard. The waters were rushing down the road and it was a wonder how some cyclists and motorcycle riders were able to keep up with the roads. I was also slightly disturbed by how strong the downpour was.
I am still dealing with how I respond to heavy rains, but I am eventually getting better with that.
Nevertheless, we were hoping that hopefully by the time we were dropped off, the rain would have mellowed a bit. We had umbrellas but we did not wish to be wet either.
Travel going back to Makati was around 90 minutes. That was a record. It was no longer raining that hard in Metro Manila, or the mountains had their own microclimate?
And as it is July 31st today and it is Harry Potter’s birthday. We decided to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was bittersweet having to watch something I loved so hard before. I just could not reconcile how J.K. Rowling became a total transphobe.
Anyway, July 31st should be a watch-a-Harry Potter-day!
And I am ready for August as well. Just get past this month and it is already Christmas Season (!) in the Philippines.
I just changed my banner to incorporate Bami. That was from a photo of him when he was just a month with us after we had contacted a Facebook group here in Makati. =) He was soooooo little at the time. Now, he’s the biggest of the three. So yes, #adoptdontshop!
And speaking of #adoptdontshop, we had the surprise of our lives when we found out that Mama adopted a stray kitten, perhaps the same size as Bami when we first had him, as she has been staying in Marikina to oversee some minor house renovations. She was a white kitten aptly named, well, Milky.
Mama saw her outside the house, very frail and small, with her eyes not fully opened. (Guess where I got this tendency to get strays from the street?) She took Milky in and went as far as bought her kitten formula. Milky also eventually learned how to hold her milk bottle!
She is a ball of energy. At times, too much. But she is still so small so that was kind of expected. Only thing we need to constantly watch out for was, for weeks, she has been traveling with my mother from Marikina to our home. This makes it tricky to properly introduce her to Miso who is, at her age, practically a get-off-my-lawn grandma.
Hopefully the renovation finishes soon so they can hang out together. Crossing our fingers that Miso does not only tolerate but also accept her.