The nutty aroma of dark coffee filled the air as I brushed aside the curtain that acted as our door. When I stepped outside, I heard the cry of roosters in the distance. Beneath the wooden roof, my grandmother was weaving. Every day, she would wake up at 5 am to feed the chickens and then weave in the shade of the nipa hut.
“Good morning, Nina,” Apong Cora said. She removed her feet from the treadles of the wooden apparatus and offered her hand. I walked briskly towards her, took her hand, and pressed my forehead against it to show respect. “Sit there,” she said while pointing at a white plastic chair in the corner. I sat and played on my phone.
The small nipa hut, with its four acacia columns, had no walls. My grandfather, Toribio, built it in the 1950s as a gift to Apong Cora. She grew up with the tradition of weaving in Ilocos and, after moving here to Maitum, had my grandfather build the handloom.