My Nanay Bating — that’s what we call Aunt Beatrice — she taught me a good number of things when I was young. I was always being instructed to be quiet, to observe and to just listen. It was only years later when i was just a tad wiser when she told me the significance of those instructions. She said if you want to undertand people better you not only have to listen to what people are saying, you also have to listen to what they’re not saying. You also have to listen more to what they do rather than to what they say.
Over the past weekend I purchased a ‘tapis’ — a hand-woven wrap-around skirt from this lady from the Ifugao highlands. Her eyes reminded me so much of my Nanay Bating and her lessons.