#30DayWritingChallenge: The story behind the last text I sent.

Day Sixteen: The story behind the last text I sent.

Lio's text message.

Last week, my friend and previous housemate Lio sent me a message asking if I was available this weekend. He said he has a friend who wanted to have her cards read. We agreed that I will drop by his place near Cash and Carry on Friday afternoon (yesterday) for the tarot reading.

I met Lio through a gay forum website which I admin. We met in person when he, I, and a few other members decided to meet up and exchange porn movies. Some time after that, when I was desperately looking for a housemate for my old apartment, Lio volunteered and we started living together.

Lio was, at that time, a slightly spoiled single child who had little concept of housework. He didn’t cook and his main contribution to the apartment was mostly bottles of alcohol in the fridge. He did mature over the years.

He is now living on his own in Makati. He fetched me outside Cash and Carry; when we arrived at his place, his boyfriend Drew has just finished cooking dinner: an unusual combo of plain pasta, spicy laing, and garlicky longganisa.

More: A frequent joke I threw at Lio was how he was one of the few Bicolano I know who has a low tolerance for piquant dishes.

Mango and tinapa lumpia from Markee.

Neighbor and soon-to-be new flatmate Markee decided he wanted to cook lumpia (fried spring rolls) for dinner. While I was asleep, he and Leo went out and bought the ingredients.

I woke up to see Markee in the kitchen just about done wrapping the last spring roll. For filling, he had thin slices of ripe mangoes, bell pepper, tomatoes, and tinapa flakes. Tinapa are locally-produced smoked fish, usually mackerel scad (locally known as galunggong).

The fillings were wrapped in rice paper and deep fried until the rice paper is crisp and golden brown. Markee obviously knows how to fry spring rolls: they came out perfect, unlike our turon experiments. (Turon are like fried spring rolls, but uses sliced fruits — usually plantain — and brown sugar as filling.)

It’s times like that when I wish I still have my own camera so I could easily take photos of food. We sliced open one of the lumpia and the colorful fillings looked attractive against the golden brown wrapper. And they were wonderfully tasty, with the flavors blending in an interesting mix.

It’s great that we’ll have a new flatmate who also cooks, and cooks well.