The taste of Atlantic Ocean is through the oysters fried crisp, with its salty aftertaste evident in the heart of the meat.
It is its vastness that turns my head in a spin, like the vastness of the Pacific that limns my homeland's eastern coastlines, in turn separating it from other lands, other peoples, other languages. Even in this same eastern coastlines, we see the plurality of voices, the impossibility of mapping the numberless possibilities of outlining what the World is by virtue of Word.
It is Thursday now in this colonial city in this eastern state, this Williamsburg of Lolinda Ramos, she who had the vision to come here and say, "This, this could be the next settlement place for many Filipino Americans in the future."
In April 2006, Manang Lolinda died, leaving her Center Grill Resto in the hands of her two sons who had chosen to settle here rather than in Honolulu. The 2007 historical celebration is just seducing, seducing, seducing.
For a time, Manang Josie and I talked of going there and relishing a memory we have kept of the old friend departed.
But we resisted the idea: the people there would not know us, not even the Ramos children.
And so we settled for that fine dining resto down the road from the colonial city, some hundreds of steps away from the fenced off city, that colonial city whose road we tried to walk on, trod on as silently as we could, remembering as always the blood on which these roads were made of, invested upon, capitalized on. We knew one thing: we are walking on sacred ground. We could have kissed the ground like the way Pope John Paul II did each time he went to a new land but we resisted this idea as well, knowing that we could turn out to some exotic laughing stock.
And so to Captain Galley's Buffet on Richmond, the owner a Greek man and a Greek wife who had operated the resto since the early 50s.
The resto buffet had all the promises of a good meal, hearty and generous, the aroma of seafood wafting through the doors as we got in.
A. S. Agcaoili
June 29, 2006