Friday, July 10, 2020

What's Done Is Done

LAST WEEKEND, A MONTH after it arrived, the Ficus philippinensis balete ($150+$28 shipping) had recovered from its transport trauma and was ready to be styled. Repotted and freed in a deep and wide pot (this one was not cheap at $40 with Home Depot free store pick-up, and heavy at 20 pounds in itself) to support unchecked growth and burly trunks, it now looks a bit civilized despite its bandages (inspection tapes from CBP if you can read the label upside down) where incisions were made to graft and reposition a few aerial roots, and the cut water bottles to serve a couple of young guzzlers their fill, all to be removed by the end of summer if the grafts are successful. The trunks are tied together with wires at their point of juncture halfway to the top to see if they will fuse and conjoin, through a process that can take several years called inosculation. As Tatay said after the gapi was accomplished on his kaingin: "There, what's done is done!" The tikbalang, or maybe the mothman, of Mt. Olivet cemetery can't wait to take a spot. To terrorize Maspeth in the meantime, I have this piece from the good book that everyone will like.

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