One of the hardest things to do when you get back from vacation is putting away everything that you brought with you. There’s also the cleaning and the organizing. It’s so much work that sometimes you feel like you need a vacation after coming home from vacation.

We all clean our homes. It’s a universal thing. We all have brooms, rags, and mops.

They also use brooms in the Philippines, sort of.

Remember in my previous newsletter where we talked about how Filipinos use flip-flops and how they have one for indoors and another one for outdoor use? It’s the same thing with brooms. You have an indoor broom (walis tambo) and an outdoor broom (walis tingting).

Why have 2 different brooms?

According to my OFS Julia, the booms that most of us are used to are too flimsy for outdoor use but also too rough for indoor use.

She explains:

Most of us have plants and trees in our yards. A rake works but it can’t go into tight spaces or uneven terrain. A typical broom would break if you use it on mud or wet dirt. A “walis tingting”, which is made by binding the dried-up spines of coconut leaves, is the best tool for the job. The shape and flexibility of the “tingting” make it easy to use in tight spaces. It’s also strong enough to be used in mud and even push water (to clear out puddles) if needed.

We like the floors inside the house to be really clean. That’s why we don’t allow shoes and outdoor slippers inside the house. If possible, the floors inside the house have to be so clean, you’d want to walk barefoot.

A regular broom can’t sweep the fine dust that we can feel with our feet. A “walis tambo”, which is made from corn fiber or weed fibers, has really fine hairs that can sweep those up. The “tambo” is so good at sweeping fine particles, we use it every day and before mopping. The “tambo” removes as much loose dirt as possible, then use a mop to clean up the dirt that sticks to the floor.

Most older houses have wooden floors. To clean and polish them we have our leg-powered floor polisher called the “bunot.”

The “bunot” is half a dried coconut husk that you use to scrub and polish the floor. The modern version of this is a floor pad made from woven coconut or plastic fibers. If you want to make your floors shiny and have your leg-day workout, polish your floors with a bunot!