A cousin of mine, who is also a Japanese trained potter, owns the Crescent Moon Cafe in Antipolo. It’s a quirky space where she has her kilns, a small shop for pottery overruns and a restaurant that operates rather casually. Family members gather there every few years for the birthday, anniversary or gathering of some sort. It’s been a rather bucolic retreat until recent rumors that a humongous SM mall is about to rise just up against her one hectare personal piece of mountain paradise. We always have a buffet spread of gorgeous local food there, but I can’t speak for the restaurant operations as I have never actually tried it that way. But this post isn’t about their food or pottery, it’s about the ginormous carp she has in a big pond in the yard.
The dark, nearly jet black pond is punctuated with the most vibrantly colored carp, some of which must weigh in at 6-8 kilos at least! They are so domesticated, when you stick your hand out at water’s edge they come close hoping for some food pellets. They come so close in fact, they nibble on your fingertips if you let them.
My mom used to have a couple of carp ponds in our home when I was growing up, part of a Japanese garden aesthetic that must have been rather cool in the early 1970’s… But our carp never quite got this big. It’s fascinating to watch these beautiful and graceful creatures, and it’s doubly fascinating when they are in a pond set in the midst of carefully maintained plants and trees.
I guess nostalgia of some sort prompted me to put this seemingly totally unrelated post up today… Manila is so darned devoid of public parks and spaces where the public might get to enjoy things like this. I know, I know, there are some such ponds at malls and such, but they are woefully inadequate in my opinion. There are few if any adequate public parks (Luneta? Quezon Circle?) that are properly maintained for the nearly 15? million residents of Metro-Manila to enjoy and the city just keeps getting more and more congested by the day…