I’ve been trying to find a copy online (or at least a summary of) Gilingang Bato by Edgardo Reyes. The short story was published in the 1960s. It depicts a poor family who own a small millstone for griding rice; they sell rice cakes and other sweets to subsist.

What prompted my sudden urge to find the story? I’m kind of hazy on the plot of Gilingang Bato and I wanted to clear up some bits of what I remember from it. It came to mind, in particular, during a conversation with Clair about social relationships, particularly with families and what-not. Food can sometimes be used as a metaphor for these relationships— take a look at the difference between kalamay (ground glutinous rice cooked with sugar, coconut, peanut butter, etc.) and biko (a rice cake with caramel, etc.): the grains in kalamay are tightly bound together, while in biko you can distinguish these grains. Some relationships are tightly knit, some families are tightly bound in the same way as kalamay; while others are more loosely bound together, where each member has more individuality.

Just send a note my way if you find a copy.

Previously: I am not the man(1) system