The Plastic Straw Rug.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 Jonette 0 Comments

As I begin typing out this entry, I just thought it would be right to say this: comfort food, enough rest, funny shows, and the one you love -- perfect combination for a lazy weekend. Let the glowing begin. ^__^

Last Sunday, James took me home to Project 8 to celebrate his Ate Aimee's birthday. ( ate [pronounced AH-teh] in Filipino is what big sis is in English, and what onee-chan [pronounced ohhNEH-chan] is in Japanese. New vocabulary! Yay!) My boyfriend got her a funky Death Note tome-shaped bag and a writeable replica of the series' pivotal and infamous notebook. I brought her two kinds of cakes from my kitchen. It was the best thing we could think of, knowing the show was once on her to-watch list, and that she loved chocolate.

Still life, with cake.

After watching a few anime episodes ourselves, James and I were called to the dinner table. We enjoyed a hearty spread of pork roast, caldereta (spicy beef stew), chopsuey, embutido (philippine-style meat loaf), and Tita (Auntie) Espie's signature papaitan! (um... a bitter-spicy stew of goat spare parts and accessories, best eaten on cold, rainy afternoons. ^_^") James' mom makes one mean tureen of the dish, and has coaxed many a picky eater to return for seconds. This is what James grew up on as comfort food, and has very much become mine as well.

Sunday meals with James' family assure me that life is good, all is right with the world, and I am home.

As dinner ended, Tito (Uncle) Vangie beamed at the rest of the room and presented to us a project one of James' aunts had been working on for the past few weeks.

Tito Vangie (left) and James (center), holding up the rug.

The rug was about six-and-a-half feet long -- maybe more -- , about five feet wide, and made entirely of plastic drinking straws. Drinking straws readily available by the pack in the nearest wet market, at a very modest price. Tito Vangie said the rug had been finished in just two weeks, the colors and blocks weaned through idle moments and TV time.

James holding up the rug, with Tito Vangie behind him, looking on in glee.

A closer view of the colors.

The colors were bright and arrestingly cheerful, and they left a tangy taste in my mouth, the kind I suck on and relish as an afterglow to snacking on sour gummy worms. ^_^ A closer look at the details of the weaving and the straws leaves room for more wonder.

A closer view of the straws' individual stripes.

...And another set of colors.

This gem was the handiwork of Ate Nieva, a petite lady seemingly lost among the pots and pans and the washing in the kitchen. We called her out to take a snapshot of her, and she dried her hands on a towel.

Any piece of art has a story to tell, a story that can be read in the artist's face.

Ate Nieva and her work.

The rug is quite a fascinating piece made from the humblest of resources. "It's a mark of true Filipino ingenuity!", Tito Vangie exclaimed. I couldn't agree with him more.

My boyfriend's father went on to weave great plans of global enterprise and marketing, sending Ate Nieva and the other girls who lent a hand blushing and giggling. It does sound like a plan, and plans can be quite do-able if planned right. For now, I was quite content to marvel at the plastic rug. Anything that inspires wonder is something that deserves another turn to be wondered over.


Care to leave a comment? I'd love to hear what's on your mind. :)