When I taste honey, I remember my Mom having a small jar of it back in the year 2000. I always tag along my Mom when she drivers her owner-type jeep when making her daily client visits, so I know every street and every corner of the towns we go to: I know the house where we buy our tapa, right across a big Iglesia ni Cristo; where we source our rice at Intercity in Balagtas, and where we bring cavans of rice to – from nearby towns to two-hour drives to Pulilan; and of course, where her dermatologist is in Meycauayan, which is down the street across the bank where my sister used to work as an assistant manager.

Honey, I realized just recently, wasn’t as accessible back in those years as it is now, so it’s always been a curiosity for me – on how it had been included in her facial regimen by her dermatologist. The jar of honey will always be at the side of our fridge. It smells wonderful, which gives me an idea of how it would taste, if it wasn’t for my Mom forbidding me to eat it. With a thin brown stick, slightly similar to those wooden paddles included in those tubs of Non-Stop ice cream, she would pat honey on her face – I vaguely remember the sound: light but sticky thuds. Maybe it’s a lot like the grease used in heavy machinery. Miraculously, her skin would look taut after applying it.

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