Nissa came home last night with an armful of purchases and pasalubongs. She spent five days on a food trip to Pangasinan together with her best friends, Rhea, JJ and Marisse. Days before that, she was asking me to teach her common words which might be of use when she gets to Dagupan City, so we had some sort of lesson in Pangasinan dialect, complete with the hard pronunciation and emphasis on some syllables. We were laughing so hard that I ended up making a kodigo (list) of words commonly used when haggling on the price of goods which they might like to buy. Both my kids understand the dialect of course but they are quite shy to speak it. Some say that it is the hardest to learn, with some mixture of Spanish too. Yes, that’s right, pronounce the words as you read them. Some people mistakenly think that the people of Pangasinan are called panggalatok but there is really no such term in our dialect. Both place and the language are called Pangasinan and the people are Pangasinense. I digress.
What I really want to share are the loads of books she purchased at Caleb’s Book Market and Cafe in Dagupan City. And I initially thought, why would you need to purchase books in such a far away place like Pangasinan. According to her, Caleb’s is a quaint old place selling unique book titles which you normally can’t find in other book sale or at NBS. And here are her latest finds, Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. I started reading the preface, a vivid description of a place in Italy and I am beginning to love it. Frances Mayes is a widely published poet, gourmet cook and travel writer. She also bought three novels (still in their original box) by Alexander McCall Smith, The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. I never heard of the author but the book was translated into a movie starring Matt Damon and Jude Law, so it must be worth-reading. James Patterson’s Honeymoon, co-authored with Howard Roughan, another scary espionage plot, and Candace Bushnell’s Trading Up, another chicklit which she is so fond of completed her purchases. An hour ago, she came home with another bag from National Bookstore and she greeted me with “Look what I’ve found for you Ma, just a guess”. So I readily blurted out, “Richard Paul Evans?” And she was grinning from ear to ear. True enough, there was a hardbound copy of Grace, one of RPE’s books that I haven’t read yet. Grace is a story of a young runaway girl and the boy who hides her from a frightening world too large to comprehend. As in every book he has written, there is a quote in every chapter, culled from a journal or something. How’s this for a start, “To truly forgive is to accept our own part of each failure”. And have I told you that Richard Paul Evans is my friend at Facebook? I have been in his mailing list for a number of years now.
I hope I will be able to read all these books this year. She also brought home hardbound copies of Robin Cook’s Critical, Helen Fielding’s Cause Celeb and Danielle Steele’s Toxic bachelors. Robin Cook is a doctor and deals on different topics in the medical world. He is also one of my favorite authors. Remember the movie Outbreak? He is the author of that one. Helen Fielding is of course well known for her novel, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Danielle Steel is – so sorry, I don’t read much of her books but I remember one which was also made into a movie, The Promise. That movie made me cry from start to finish. And of course, another two Cirque Du Freak books which I think she is beginning to collect. Our a-ha moments are of course about books and more books.
Will surprises never end?