Sep 24, 2007

Gloria, Labandera!

Most people in the Philippines would think that laundry is a no-brainer in the US. I would say laundry is easier to do here. After all, I don't have to handwash anything. 

Yes, handwashing Philippine-style is a test of patience, strength and endurance. The Labandera must have: Perla, clorox, Tide (or Surf) powder/bar, that plastic scrub or net bag, downy, at least three basins, two pails, tabo, endless water supply, lots of sunshine and about three million clothespins.

Usually (at least what I do), the first part is to soap up the whites in Perla and set aside, letting them soak for about the time it takes to soap and scrub the first batch of colored shirts. Then kusu-kusu the whites, use clorox where needed and lay them out in the sun (ladlad). Then you pound the colored shirts with the wooden club while rinsing one by one. Yup! That's as challenging as it sounds. After the shirts are well-rinsed, you dip them in some diluted downy and hang them up to dry.

While not forgetting  to sprinkle the whites with water every now and then, next to work on would be the jeans. They are laid out flat, and scrubbed with the plastic scrubber that comes with that green soap brand that I can't remember right now. Then they are giving the same pound-and-rinse-and-downy treatment and hung out to dry. 

Hopefully by now, its not noontime yet because you want the whites to dry in the sun, otherwise they wouldn't smell as fresh. After the ladlad has worked its magic, the whites are kusukusu-ed rinsed, downied and hung. Undergarments are also washed with Perla, which is reputedly so gentle, you can use it to wash your face. 

So there. Doing laundry in the Philippines is a whole day affair. Tinunuang mongos for lunch gives the laundry person strength for the rest of the day. 

There really is no reason to even think of complaining about laundry here in the US. Everything is done by machine. There is just the added difficulty of me wanting everything to be folded perfectly (exactly the same size), arranged according to color and everything pressable must be pressed. Heaven forbid D or JellyBean should ever go out in unpressed clothes.

So there went my weekend. Four episodes of Law and Order: SVU and Blades of Glory while ironing clothes. There was that short episode of going out to Troy and Milka's impressive sukiyaki dinner. And then back to work.

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