Back in the day, school cafeterias were occupied by two kinds of students during recess and lunch: the ones that were given monetary allowances and bought their food at the canteen, and those who brought their own ‘baon’ packed in neat colorful cartoon character inspired lunchboxes. I belonged to the latter.
My baon was always painstakingly thought of and planned for by my mom, who never settled for just the usual grocery-bought cookies or biscuits, pastries, etc. Nope, my mom always made sure she personally prepared rice meals and sandwiches for me and my siblings, complete with sweet little notes ready to surprise us once we open our lunchboxes. Every day, for all the years we spent in grade school and high school, she woke up way ahead of everyone else to help us prepare for school and everything we needed.
I am now 38, and my mom still volunteers to prepare my baon for work, so I won’t have to go down to the DAR canteen and buy my food. She still writes short sweet notes despite having difficulty seeing what she writes. Even if I’d prefer for her not to wake up too early and cook my food, I dare not ask her to stop because I can see that preparing my, my dad’s, and my siblings’ food makes her happy; taking care of us makes her happy. I know it. I am blessed with such a thoughtful, caring, and nurturing mom.
Today’s breakfast: rice sprinkled with spring onions and leaks, topped with sunny side-up egg, squid rolls, and my all-time favorite and the only kind I truly eat, mom’s homemade longganisa. All prepared by mom, just the way I like it. ❤