“Mom, did we have a better car in the Philippines?” Gabriel asked me this morning on our way to their school.
“Yes,” I said. “We had a new ’93 Honda Civic. We got it the year you were born.” The Honda Accord I currently drive is ’91.
“Yeah, I can still remember the seat covered in plastic,” Mickey recalled. We had a good laugh about it. “Mom, is that a Filipino thing, the plastic?” Mickey asked. He mentioned that the sofa set in the house of his Filipino friend here was still covered in plastic.
“I think so,” I answered. Then I recalled how we. when I was still single, used to have a nice velvety orange living room set which we kept covered in plastic until the plastic got brittle and quite torn. Only then did we actually enjoy the couch's nice velvet feel. I remember that so well. I chose the set with my parents.
The plastic covering can make you all sweaty in the hot weather of the Philippines but it keeps the furniture (or the car seat) looking new longer. It protects the seat too especially when there are kids. Besides, there's too much dust in the air. I think we kept the plastic on our Honda Civic until we got car seat covers.
This plastic tradition is probably uniquely ours. It is so common among Filipino homes that it was parodied in the Pinoy sitcom Abangan and Susunod na Kabanata.
“I think we are the only culture who does that, Mom,” Mickey said.
I think so too. But here, I wouldn’t think twice about discarding it assuming I’ll get a living room set brand new. Nah. I like what I already have.