The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Melon Story

On October 29, 2004, Friday, a former high-school classmate of mine, Edward Dennis Enriquez, also a once-in-a-while chatmate, shared with me his excitement upon discovering that a watermelon plant suddenly grew in his backyard.

Edward and his family went for a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, and upon returning home found out about the watermelon plant. He said that what made him happier was the fact that his kid daughter was eager to see the watermelon fruit which they were hoping would grow soon.

I asked Edward who planted the watermelon seeds, and he said: "The birds must have dropped some seeds."

"What a nice way to have watermelons in your yard," I quipped.

"Yeah, my daughter's excited...," he said, "and she calls them pakwan. Ain't that great?"

"Wow, you just gave me an idea for a blog entry," I happily said.

"Oh yeah?" he wondered.

"Yes...about watermelons growing in the backyard of a friend's house, seeds brought by birds--symbolic--as in, seeds of hope and prosperity from the sky. How's that?"

"Cool. Thanks, aLf."


Talking with Edward I always find delightful, chiefly because, he being a high-school classmate, we can transcend each other back to our high-school days. We enjoy each other's anecdotes and memories about the good ol' days. In fact, Edward once in a while helps me recall some specific moments which without him reminding me of such would remain lost in the webbeddest recesses of my memory bank.

I remember Edward back in high school as someone industrious, friendly, and always active in boy-scout activities. And he could be crazy, too; always a participant in our class's goofiness.

The last time he and I got to see each other was months before I left Philippines for Canada. It was a chance meeting at the front of that fountain at Greenbelt 3. We were both in a hurry; so, short hi's and bye's were all we were able to utter.

Edward lives now in California, USA, with his family; and is working at IBM as a senior UNIX administrator. By the way he expresses himself in our correspondences, Edward doubtlessly remains the same person he was back in high school--very responsible, hardworking, and kind--not only for himself but more so for his wife and daughter.

Edward also shared with me about his lovelife, particularly the fact that he had to leave his wife in the Philippines when he had to relocate to the United States because of work. He said both he and his wife really sacrificed a lot, but after a few years they finally got together again, there in the US. This is the reason Edward's love story I now regard as another source of inspiration and encouragement--especially that I am currently in a similar situation--because my girlfriend, my future wife, is in the Philippines waiting for my return.

Three years we have to wait before we can finally get married and be with each other. But learning about similar stories experienced by people close to my heart, I continue to persevere.

With so much love and hope in my heart, and wishes and encouragement from people who care about me, years become months--months become days--and days become moments--moments that I would someday treasure--moments of waiting and yearning for something worth keeping for the rest of my life.

My heart is now overflowing with so much love and hope.


Here's a copy of an inspiring e-mail I received from Edward on June 15, 2004.

Alfie,

Great! Great! Great articles! Keep 'em coming. When you finally finish your book and publish it, please let me know coz I'll definitely get one. I always feel proud to have personally known people who publishes something; whether it's music, a book, or a website. And I'm sure it's gonna be great. Your stuff are really good.

I admire you for taking good care of your grandpop. I can understand how you felt during your first few months. I was here alone for a year until I got married and brought her here. And then it was her time to feel it. At first I thought she couldn't last cause she was terribly homesick. Y'know she has to stay home because with her visa, she's not allowed to work. But now, with a baby, she has her hands full.

I came here in March, 1999. I was in Atlanta for a year before I moved to California. I was really very lucky to have worked with the right people in the right company at the right time. I'm sure you know how bad the economy is, especially in my area of work. Hundreds of thousands of people with same skillset as I have have been laid off for the past couple of years. I'm really very lucky to be among the survivors, especially in Silicon Valley.

High school days? Yeah, I still remember some of that. I still remember how Sister Annie tried to rip off a piece of somebody's uniform because it didn't conform with the school standard. I remember Sir Boy cutting somebody's hair because it was too long. You were probably one of them :-) . I still remember hiding in the library trying to skip the flag ceremony, but ended up being caught by the vice principal and did our own flag ceremony.


Yeah, I had my share of fun moments :-) And do you remember Ms. Pines? Whew! That was something, hah!? And I still remember Mr. Pen-en-ink and Ms. Lugtu.

But how can I forget Mr. Jarder? Well, he was nice to me. He and Mr. Eduardo Lopez. And I can never forget how he disagreed to the definition of JARP. Didn't you have an argument with him? I think he said it made the rest of the class seem irrational. Well, I didn't really look at it that way. I thought it was cool. And I think he also didn't like it when we put the words "Psychedelic Christmas" on the wall :-)

Sometimes, I miss those days. I wish I can attend one of the homecomings. Do you get those invitations? BTW, do you have Larry's email? Or any of our classmates' ?

So, you're still an avid fan of Robert Smith... You know, when we were in high school, I really thought you looked like him. My brother knew you as well and he shares the same thought. I think your group was the reason he learned to play the guitar. I never really taught him how to play. I still like New Wave music. Well, I pretty much like everything, from classical to standard to slow rock to rock 'n roll to new wave to new age to metal. I have several new wave collections. I even have that 9 album new wave diaries. Lately I'm playing the Smiths. But when I pick up my guitar, I play Metallica and Nirvana music :-)

Please send me copies of your CDs. I would really appreciate it. You may send them to my address.

Well, you keep hanging in there. I know you are going to be successful. You have it in you. You take care....

EDWARD


Edward, thank you very much for believing in me and for being another source of hope and courage.

Melon Trivia

Speaking of melons, Jenny, a cousin of my cousin's wife, asked me about the difference between melon and cantaloupe. I said that melon is a group of fruits to which cantaloupe and watermelon belong. Unconvinced, she insisted that melon and cantaloupe are the same fruit.

Knowing quite well about the distinction, for I already reasearched about it back when I was still the editor of BatoBalani Science & Technology Magazine for High School, a scholastic-enhancement material published by Diwa Scholastic Press Inc., in Philippines, I simply told her that a dictionary is the best and easiest way to prove the veracity of the information I was giving her. So, without further ado, I took my Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary off my bookshelf, and showed her the following entries:

melon, n. - the fruit of any of various plants of the gourd family, as the muskmelon or watermelon

cantaloupe, n. - a variety of melon, Cucumis melo cantalupensis, of the gourd family, having a hard scaly or warty rind

honeydew, n. - a variety of the winter melon, Cucumis melo inodorus, having a smooth, pale-green rind and sweet, juicy, light-green flesh

watermelon, n. - the large, roundish or elongated fruit of a trailing vine, Citrullus lanata, of the gourd family, having a hard, green rind and a sweet, juicy, usually pink or red pulp

Jenny now asked: "What then are cantaloupe and honeydew in Filipino?"
I answered: "They are both referred to as 'milon' (with an "i") in Filipino," explaining further, "simply because honeydew became common in Philippines relatively recently, so the general name milon may be used to call both fruits; cantaloupe and honeydew are varieties of melons anyway."

"What about pakwan?" she asked.

"What about it?"

"Do you mean, we can also call pakwan a milon since watermelon is also a melon?" she wondered.

"Well, technically, yes; we may refer to pakwan as a milon, for it is a variety of melon. The dictionary made that clear for us. But since the name pakwan is available, why prefer a general term over a specific one?" I said.

"What! Niloloko mo naman ako eh," Jenny muttered, sarcastically.

I just smiled and thought: WHATEVER!


Jenny, thank you very much for disbelieving me, for this prompts me always to double check the veracity of the information I'm sharing.

aLfie

2 Comments:

  • At Sunday, May 22, 2005 12:51:00 AM, Blogger Ria said…

    this reminds me, i have to buy my own dictionary. i have been relying too much on www.m-w.com, so when i'm at home reading, i have no reference whatsoever since i left my worldbook dictionaries back in good ol' phil. ;)

     
  • At Sunday, May 22, 2005 4:40:00 AM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Riel,
    True. Good ol' dictionaries, which one can carry there in her bedroom or almost anywhere, are far better and more handy than the Web ones.

    However, when I'm online, www.dictionary.com is one of my faithful references.

    ...which reminds me, too...I'd be leaving my precious Webster here in B.C. It's too bulky to bring with me in Manitoba. Hay!

     

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