Little Lessons On Becoming Filipino: Buko Juice
There are moments when I take a step back and look at our life here and I am caught off guard by the deep gratitude. One of these moments recently was watching my children make buko juice with our beloved driver, Lolo Jerrome. (I don’t talk much about Lolo Jerrome on here because it still feels uncomfortable to my American identity. That’s another conversation for another day!)
I never understood the threat of a falling coconut until we moved to Manila. It’s a real thing and people really fear coconuts. One way to take precaution of falling coconuts is by trimming the tree every few months. Our trees were due for a safety check and trimming, the boys went kookoo for coconuts. As I was inside doing some work in my mom space, Ozzie brought me one coconut, then two, three until eventually I had five coconuts all piled on my desk. I had to chuckle because this would not be a scene that would have ever happened in our basement apartment in gloomy Seattle. I wanted to pinch myself.
the giver of gifts, our tree
Lolo Jerrome teaching the boys how to strain buko juice.
My proud Pinoy boy with his buko juice
I wanted to pinch myself harder when I walked outside a few minutes later to find Lolo Jerrome and the boys making buko juice on our front entry way. All crouched around making audible ‘oohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ as Lolo Jerrome popped open the coconut and began straining the juice. After a few moments the boys were proudly sharing their buko juice from a small pitcher. And just like that, a wave of gratitude wiped through me. Manila, I love you and the life you’ve given my family.