6 April 2022
Aurora (right) with Andrea (left).
“One apple in the Philippines is worth six in a family.”
Aurora, who lives in a Junction property in the north-western suburbs, has always remembered this quote from her dad.
“Apples are rare in the Philippines – it’s the wrong climate for them,” Aurora said, “So when dad would bring one home, we would always split it 6 ways evenly. That way, we would all get a taste.”
Rooted in her family values, it is this generous mindset and want to share that has helped her form strong connections with her neighbour Andrea and others in her neighbourhood.
Having migrated from the Philippines about 30 years ago, Aurora raised her three children, now adults, as a single mother after escaping an abusive marriage.
The Filipino dishes she cooks not only remind her of family but are also a great way of introducing her neighbours to her culture.
“She’ll never give you day-old dishes,” Andrea, Aurora’s neighbour, said. “If she makes something and you’re not home, she’ll cook you something fresh the next day. That’s just how she is.”
An avid gardener, Aurora is also generous with the produce she grows.
“This garden was grown over time,” Aurora said. “I take plants, I give plants away and then my neighbours will give me more back. It’s a shared effort.”
Having nurtured lush plantations of vegetables and flowers, her motto is to ‘always grow too much’ so that she can share it with those around her. She will also take in sick or dying plants to regenerate and return, better than ever.
“Every so often you get lucky, and you meet a neighbour like Aurora,” Andrea said. “She just has so much to give. Even when she doesn’t have much.”
Now that COVID restrictions are beginning to lift, Aurora looks forward to travelling to England to visit her children.
“When I do, I already know that Andrea will take care of my garden for me.”