Catching up Part 4

I lived the first 22 years of my life in the Philippines. This means that I grew up amid plants, trees, flowers and somewhat fresh air. As young children, my sister and I would climb up the guava tree in front of the house and stay there picking the ripest fruit and eating them rightaway. We would stay and sit on our favourite branch until we couldn’t find any more fruit fit for consumption.

When the guavas are all gone, we’d move on the the next fruit-bearing tree, which is sometimes the ‘kamias’ tree. We’d bring a jar of rock salt and sit on the top of the fence and make faces as the we slowly bite into the unbelievably tart fruit which we dip into the salt. We have seasonal fruits around the house but my favourite has to be the jackfruit. It would give us no less than 10 large fruits every year and my mom would give each child a big chunk of the fruit and we’d be left to remove the fruity pulp on our own. What fun times!

Fast forward to a few decades later (not dating myself!) and I am here in Dubai which is a glass and concrete jungle surrounded by patches of sand and asphalt roads. Three of my four children were born here, all four grew up here and I feel that their childhood is not complete because they missed out on having trees to climb in the backyard. They didn’t get to experience all of that so whenever we go home to Manila I try to take them to places where they will see and feel and touch and sometimes even climb trees!

It is so soothing to be able to see so much green everywhere. In Dubai you see a bit of green but without the ripe fruits that make the branches sag down or the flowers that bloom all year round. Yeah you get marigolds here and others but they didn’t grow naturally, I mean they were fed lots of fertilizers and compost and desalinated water and sun. That’s not how you grow trees and plants and flowers. At least that’s what I think.

Anyway, enough waffle from me. Here are a few photos with all the green I loved and a few flowers from my mother’s garden (Sundara, I hope you don’t mind me borrowing that much-loved phrase!).

Yes, I am fascinated by droplets of water on leaves. Unfortunately I forgot to bring along my tripod so I must have taken a hundred blurry photos. These are not the sharpest but they are at least not that blurry.

My sister’s house, and come to think of it mine too, is right next to a big plot of land where trees and what-not grow. That’s my father on a mission. He needed a couple of banana leaves for something my mom was cooking up.
This is a section of the stretch of road that we drive in and out of to get to our place. It was raining that day. After the end of that bright spot in the background, the road dips to a crazy angle. feels like a rollercoaster ride every time.
This stretch of road has no street lights by the way, so we drive only by our headlights. So if you’re not a careful driver you could end up here.
Mom has a pot of what she calls butterfly plants. A few days before we left, these tiny flowers bloomed out of them. I tried to get macros shots of the inside of the flower but it was windy and I had no tripod.
And her roses started blooming too. Must have been all that rain!
I don’t know what this is but I thought the bright electric pink was nice.
We call this flower St. Joseph’s Staff. Suposed to bring in good luck when it blooms.
One of her prized orchids bloomed after 10 years she says so I had to take photos naturally. Pretty, huh?
This arev not flowers but these are from her garden. Vine leaves which is used as a vegetable in cooking. It was actually quite delicious too.
Again, don’t know what these are but they were growing in bunches around the pots.
Mom has a small patch of earth where she just sticks cut stems and throws seeds in. It’s like her little herb garden. let’s see what she has there. Oooh, tomato!
Pandan leaves….I can already smell it!
Mint! There’s always got to be mint in my mom’s garden.
Thanks for taking a trip back home with me. Coming up soon are photos of the family. I hope you’re not sick and tired of this yet!

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