Last month, a science expo was held at the kids’ school. It’s an annual thing, actually, so it wasn’t really anything earth-shaking for a mom like me. In fact, what I remember most about every science expo is the stress — to find materials, the endless expenses, the late nights preparing snacks for the kids who had to stay up late finishing their projects. There was even one time when Sam tore apart our lawn mower so she and her project partner could attach the thing to a bicycle. The project? A pedal-powered lawn mower. This year wasn’t much different except for one thing. But let me reserve that one thing for last. Let me write first about what wasn’t different.
Alex and her groupmates had this idea for a project — floor wax made exclusively with biodegradable and organic materials. Yes, right, environment-friendly twice over. The technique? Combine cold-compressed coconut oil with some wax. We must have squeezed half a dozen grated coconuts on six different occasions — well, Alex squeezed; I took photos. Yes, they needed photos too for the documentation. I can’t remember the exact number of times we did that. All I know is that we had grated coconuts in the freezer for more than two weeks.
Originally, they thought of mixing the coconut oil with paraffin. I can’t remember anymore how many places I went to looking for paraffin but couldn’t find any. Then, after all the searching, Alex said they were ditching the paraffin because it wasn’t organic. They wanted beeswax. The only place I knew where I could get beeswax was Ilog Maria. Considering the time constraints, it wasn’t possible to drive all the way to Cavite especially since people still have to work on weekdays — myself included.
Next best thing? Order online. I had done it before, delivery was fast enough and I thought it should end the issue. But Ilog Maria only accepts orders Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Irrespective of when an order is placed, if payment is made after Thursday noon, the products are shipped the following week. There’s only one exception. If Ilog Maria gets enough orders to make an extra shipment over the weekend. Bad, we made the payment on a Thursday afternoon. Too late. The order would be processed the following week and by the time the beeswax is shipped the science expo would be over.
I wrote to Ilog Maria owner Joel Magsaysay, practically pleading (hahaha) because my daughter needed the beeswax badly for her science expo project. Lucky Alex. The beeswax arrived the following Monday. Believe me, the first thing I did (after sending the house helper to deliver the beeswax to Alex who had already left for school) was to e-mail Joel Magsaysay once more thanking him profusely. He said Ilog Maria did receive enough orders that weekend to make that extra shipment. He was so nice about the whole thing. I e-mailed him again after Alex and her group won — BEST EXPO PROJECT: COCO WAX. I even attached a copy of the certificate.[Insert: Thanks to Eric, fellow HEdCen parent, for the pics]
Above, Alex and her group mates during the awarding ceremonies. From left to right: Sir Ramil (Science Expo Coordinator), Louise, Alex, Patricia, Jomar and Sir H (Science teacher — emeritus hahaha). Below, Alex hiding her face behind her certificate.
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Such is a mother’s life. You go around tearing your hair out looking for materials for the project and you feel like strangling your child AND her teachers already… then, your daughter comes home and hands you a certificate that shows she won and the angst and frustration and tension just all melt away. Then, came the announcement about that other thing.
There was a cooking competition, I didn’t even know there was one… and Sam and her groupmates won! They cooked a tofu dish and won! Oh, my… It was Iron Chef style and I wasn’t there! I didn’t know whether to berate Sam for not telling me (she said the announcements about the cooking contests came late) or whether to hug and kiss her for winning. The sappy part of me won and I was the ultimate proud mommy. In a way, it felt weird. Here was one competition where I was not required to go running around looking for materials and ingredients. The contest happened without my knowing it and the first time I heard about it, it was already a victory for Sam. Don’t ask me to describe the feeling — there are no words.