My Uncle Gustave said the word combo was a popular word in his day.
“We had ragtime, rumba and tango combos,” he said.
“It’s been a while since I heard combo being used.”
Peetong, my cousin Dona’s husband, said: “I remember my own ye olden days also, Uncle. Some fans called The Beatles a band, while others said a combo. What difference does it make?”
A visiting cousin from Agusan, who became locked down when the enhanced community quarantine was enforced in Cebu City, joined the discussion. Amie said: “A band is a group of musicians organized for playing together. A combo is a small dance or jazz band.”
My Aunt Tita Blitte said: “Music is music. It’s semantics and syntax again. According to Apo, whether it’s epol or apple, it’s the same fruit we eat.”
This is the basis (singular) or is it these are the bases (plural) of my story today. Plural or singular, can we eat syntax? Maybe not, but we can eat combos. I organized a combo to honor the stars of every disaster relief operation: Sardines and instant noodle soup.
The basic step in making the combo produce a sound is to sauté garlic and onions with the other instruments. Yes, instruments. With no further ado, meet the 2020 de Lata Combo.
• Combo 1: Sardines and sliced sayote
• Combo 2: Sardines and sliced cabbage
• Combo 3: Sardines and carrots in sticks
• Fiesta combo: Sardines plus 1, 2, 3 and beaten egg
• Novel String Quartet: Sardines, instant mami, beaten egg and julienned carrots
• Novel Prize Duet: Drain sardines (reserve sauce). Mash, mix with egg and flour, and form into patties. Fry till golden brown. To serve, drizzle with sauce (sauté green onions and garlic, add sauce. Cook till bubbly.) Can we now sing together “chu-chu-wa, chuwa wap,” dear bandmates?