30 April 2010



Reyes Express: servicing El Salvador and Guatemala.

Uniting families (by way of moving goods and money around).

29 April 2010


Could be the Philippines, but is actually in a Hispanic community of San Francisco.

23 April 2010

Carboy Gardening

Roses in used carboys outside a basi (alcoholic cane juice beverage) workshop.

20 April 2010

Lightning Shields

Palaspas or palm leaf vendors in Makati.

I do know the basics about palm arrangements for Palm Sunday. That they are hung outside doors or windows, that they are burned as forehead fodder for next year's Ash Wednsday. But what I didn't know was they are generally (even elsewhere in the world) believed to protect your household from lightning.

Seaside home with nondescript leaves.

Palm leaf manipulation for the occasion is a widespread craft in the country. I tremendously like it, as your resource is produced efficiently and cycles back as soil or spiritual nourishment. The small-town Ilocano version of the whole exercise involves a bunch of unidentifyable local leaves, unceremoniously snapped off, blessed at church during Domingo de Ramos (the local term for Palm Sunday) and left to dry at a strategic, bolt-deflecting point. So simple and nondescript do they look that I mistook them for instruments to shoo flies away. I like that too.

Protecting a pigsty from lightning.

Palangganas and A No-Slip One

A no-slip palanggana and a scrap aluminum bucket beside, with scrap aluminum cans inside.

How do you like your batya or palanggana (shallow basin or wash basin)? I am partial to stainless steel-- a slightly higher investment in terms of pesos, but the durability compared to plastic ones is tremendous. I have yet to buy a large one, mirroring my scale of manual labor at home. I should, really.

I use mine for gathering leaves, emptying out the paper shredder, but mainly for washing underwear and small articles of clothing. Because my house is not built to release laundry water out into the garden, I use it to manually maximize water use and plant joy (while getting a tan and some arm exercise).

Some rubber has come off.

I have never, however, required a no-slip feature. What for? Bathing wiggly babies? Brushing jeans against a plank of wood rested against the lid? Children dragging it along and thinning out the frail aluminum?

19 April 2010

Sand Is Not Dirt

A dustpan for a coastal areas has holes to leave larger debris in (leaves, etc.) and let sand back out.

Scrap wood and scrap aluminum.

Holes made with persistent hammering with a nail.

02 April 2010

Religious Car Ceiling

Overhead altar.

The disorienting right-hand-drive setups inside Thai taxis are compensated for by the familiar presence of religious paraphernalia inside (albeit on the ceiling, at times). Though not a mishmash like the Filipino dashboards (Buddha-Jesus-bobbingheadcat), some proved to cram as much as possible into a small space.

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