May 31, 2015

What Would Push Someone to Walk Away?

Last week, my friend, Jamie* sent me a private message on Facebook telling me she has a problem. Though I already have an idea what her problem was, I still had to confirm it. And I was right, sadly. She walked out on her husband.
Why? How could a woman leave her husband of 20+ years and 6 children. There was only one explanation I had in mind. She was pushed to leave.
I guessed it right.
That night, my friend came over. When I asked her what happened, she said she couldn’t recall everything. She just remembered changing her shirt, grabbing her wallet and walking out the door without turning back. When I asked her about her children, she said she couldn’t take them with her.
Twenty and more years ago, Jamie met the man of her dreams, though she didn’t know it at the time. Unaware of what she really felt for the guy, she was shaken when she learned that the guy got his girlfriend pregnant and married her. Jamie was devastated. She lost her friend, her mentor and the guy she deeply loved.
She turned to the easiest and most inviting of ways, self destruction. She entered into a relationship in an attempt to mend her broken heart. Naturally, it didn’t work. It was then she met Alex. He got her pregnant so they got married.
But if Jamie thought she was settling down for good, she was wrong. Alex was a suspicious, spineless and slothful creature who wouldn’t work and wouldn’t let his wife work because she might flirt with another man. But the bills were piling and the kids were growing fast. So, Jamie had to push Alex to work and so he did, but what he earned was not enough for their growing family. So, finally, he let Jamie work. But with his constant nagging, Jamie had to stop working and with what very little Alex was making, Jamie was soon deep in depth. And to top it all off, Alex, sick and tired of Jamie’s complaints started to raise his hands on her.
Overwhelmed with physical, financial and emotional problems, Jamie sought for a diversion and found one in Dino*. The relationship which started in Facebook eventually became physical. But it seems like Jamie is unlucky in love, Dino turned out to be a jerk. So, Jamie had to put an end to the relationship.
Unfortunately, a year after Jamie’s clandestine affair had ended, Alex found out about it. Jamie was caught and she had no choice but to admit her sin. Things got from bad to worse. The beating became more often and Jamie started to fear for her life. And even though Alex forgave his wife for her infidelity, could not forget what she did and he brings out the issue every single chance he gets.
Then, that night, Alex, out of the blue, announced to their children that he had something important to say. Then, to Jamie, he said that he would file an adultery case against her so that everybody would know, especially their children, what kind of whore she was.
Jamie didn’t know how she could face her children when that happens. She picked up her wallet from the table and walked out of the house..
Sad. Isn’t it?
*not real name

May 30, 2015

When It Stopped Being Family

Mylene* is a widow. Her husband was murdered several years ago leaving her with three small boys to raise. As is tradition to us, Filipinos, she left her children to her older sister, who has a family of her own, while she worked abroad.
For years, she's been sending monthly allowance to her children. The entire time she was working abroad, she came home only once leaving her children under the absolute care of her sister and her family.
Last week, Mylene came home. She had with her a new nanny for her children and accused her sister of squandering the money she sent from abroad, the money that was supposed to be for her children. She asked her sister to pay her back all the money she sent her.
Mylene ranted on how her sister maltreated her children and how her sister's family benefited from the money she sent. Rumors had it that she ordered her sister and her family out of the house she was renting for her children.
I've known Mylene all my life. I know that she has a tendency to overreact and to be tactless most of the time, but to accuse her sister of all the things she said when all these years it was her sister who has been taking care of her kids, was for me a very sad thing :(
I don't know the whole story and I'm not sure if I'd want to know. All I know is that they are family, always were and always will be. I sincerely wish they settle whatever differences they have before that family falls apart altogether..
*not real name

May 29, 2015

How to Treat Our Neighbors..

Sometime when I was younger, I’ve heard in one of the homilies that one of the greatest blessings a man could have is a good neighbor.
Since then, any place I get to live, I made it my business to be in good terms with my neighbors. I could say I’ve always been successful (until now :D). Finding a good neighbor, however, is a two-way process. In order to have a good neighbor, you must be a good neighbor yourself.
You have to, first and foremost, show respect to your neighbors. To this I mean turning down the volume of your radio or television, not littering on you neighbor’s yard, not letting your pet eat your neighbor’s food, and not spreading gossip about your neighbor. They may sound petty, but they are true and they are frequently violated.
We have to be polite with our neighbor and treat him the way we want to be treated. After all, when something goes wrong, it is our neighbor whom we could ask the most immediate help from. He may not be able to help us but he may be able to cry for help.
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
Luke 10:27

May 28, 2015

What Else is Lacking?

Gina* and Miko* met in college. They were classmates and they became sweethearts in no time. For years they were a happy couple until Gina got pregnant. Just so people wouldn't say that they got married only because of the baby, they didn't. Their daughter was already three years old when they finally settled down.
So, Gina became the mistress of the house, a role she played very well and very successfully. Though waited on by house maids, Gina personally supervises everything, from the food to prepare to Miko's suits. Even the schedule of regular car wash was managed by Gina. She was a hands on mother to their daughter helped only by the live-in sitter especially when she was out with Miko or busy preparing a party for Miko's friends.
Moreover, she didn't neglect her looks. She worked out and stayed slim and had a regular appointment with the derma and the hairdresser. She always made sure to look her best for Miko.
So, when Miko left her for another woman, we couldn't think of anything to say to comfort her and make her feel better. Because even we didn't know what else was wrong and lacking. And now that marriage is already annulled, we all wish the best for Gina.
*not real name

May 27, 2015

The Manager

Ruth* is every inch the manager. Smartly dressed complete with fashionable shoes and accessories, fluent in both English and Filipino and somehow intimidating.
When I met her, I didn’t know if I was scared of her or quite irritated. Scared because she can take my job away if she finds me wanting and irritated because she was making us all feel uncomfortable and completely stressed out. She is the kind of person whom everybody would like to be when she grows up. Though I, for one, would rather prefer to be more.. warm and approachable.
She told us a little about herself, how she started as an ordinary employee and became a fearless manager for the greater part of her nine working years. She was one successful girl. Then, she said something that I would never forget. She said that until now, she isn’t sure whether her career is the right one for her.
I was thinking, how could it be? How could such apparently successful individual question whether the thing she seems to excel in is right for her. How did she stand working in a kind of business that she didn’t like all these years.
I suddenly felt proud of the times when I was teaching. I never ever question whether it was the right job for me. I simply knew. Someday I would go back to teaching and continue educating young people.
 *not real name

May 26, 2015

A Memory: Another Dark Night

It was sometime in 1990. My father was about to close the billiard hall for the night and I was helping him pack up. My mother was behind me sweeping the floor with an old broom.
Then, a man materialized out of.. I really didn’t know, and begged in a husky voice.. ‘help me..’
He was clasping his belly with his hand. From it seeped the darkest red fluid I ever saw. It was blood. I froze. I couldn’t move, but when I heard my mother yelled at me ‘get inside!’ I ran and didn’t come back.
My father ran to call for help, the police station, the health center, the barangay hall, but it took almost an hour before the injured man was taken to the nearest hospital. We soon learned that the man passed by a group of drug addicts in the dark and was stabbed by one of them. He ran for help until he came to our billiard hall which was the only open place that night. Fortunately, the suspect was caught and eventually jailed. Unfortunately, the victim died.
Somehow, our town learned a lesson from that dark night, additional street lights were put up and police officers patrolled around the town every once in a while. Though it was sad that it took one innocent life before the town learned to be more vigilant, I guess we just had to learn to accept that.

May 25, 2015

On Love Triangle

Is it possible to love two people at the same time?
For as long as I could remember, love triangle has been featured as a theme in movies and romantic fiction. Among those were The NotebookTwilight Saga and The Hunger Games. I’m partial to these three because they are what I remember the most, Hunger Games being very recent, Twilight being super popular and The Notebook being one of my favorite movies.
Still, they are just that, movies. But the question whether it is possible to love two people at the same time is left unanswered. There are those who would say definitely not because if you really love someone, you will never get to fall in love with someone else. But, there are those who consider love a complicated thing and in which everything and anything is possible, and that a loving heart can accommodate a thousand let alone two equally deserving people.
So, is it really possible to love two people at the same time?
Theoretically, I go with the latter opinion but I wish never to be in the position to tell whether it is true or not.

May 24, 2015

Little League of Their Own

Sometime after Christmas, my uncle, Ray, feeling generous and in need of a little fun invited youth from our neighborhood to use his newly made drier (bilaran ng palay) cum basketball court to hold a mini league.

At first, the youngsters had misgivings, but then, when they found out that there was no registration fee and no uniform requirement, they started to form teams and sign-up. Initially, there were only three teams. But when the game officially started and everybody seems to be having so much fun, the three registered teams became six and closed at eleven. So, there were eleven teams in all, with no manager, no uniform not even shoes but with bright faces that shone with anticipation.

Besides the free use of his drier, my uncle also donated a small amount of money for cash prizes and inexpensive trophies. Seeing how much fun he was bringing to the youth of our place, some other people including Councilor Mike Libunaoformer Councilor Nestor ‘Toy’ de LeonMr. Jose ‘King’ de Leon, and Mr. Narciso ‘Doyong’ Imperio started to hand in their own donations to keep the fun going. Special thanks was owed to Mr. Bitoy Silva and his family for facilitating the games with humor and passion and to Melody Silva Gaspar for keeping the league together.

All in all, the little league was successful. It was not just a short time of fun but a diversion from mischief and boredom. It was an example of spontaneous kindness, giving without expecting anything in return. It was fun for the sake of fun without any political or religious agenda but a purely neighborly gesture.

Congratulations to all those who participated in this little league. And to Mr. Ray ‘Pate’ Silva, may God bless you for your generosity that you may continue to flourish and may other people of better means learn from your example and emulate what you have done for the community. Salute to you!

May 23, 2015

The Third Time

As college students, my sister Liz and I lived in a boarding house. Since we are not permanent residents of the place (we were not even voters), we did not know the neighbors that well.
One night, as we were deep in sleep, I was woken by a commotion. Since I wasn’t brave enough to find out what was wrong, I waited until somebody turned on the light. I went out of the room and saw my landlady’s back on her way out. I waited for her in the living room. When she came back, I asked her what was the commotion about and she answered casually.
Eric was rushed to the hospital
Who the hell is Eric?
As if reading my mind, my landlady continued..
Eric is our neighbor’s only son..”
The gay next door..”
Ooohh! The gay..
Why, what’s wrong with him? Is he sick?” I finally asked.
He took sleeping pills.. the entire bottle”
“Oh, don’t be so shocked. This is the third time he has done it, I mean tried to kill himself. You may go back to sleep now..”
I wasn’t able to go back to sleep right away. I spent the night thinking how unhappy Eric is to want to die three times already. Then, I thought of myself, how I struggle hard to finish my studies in order to have a better life. Why do I want a better life when my neighbor does not want his life at all?
Strange how people deal with life.

May 22, 2015

Is Late Love Already Lost Love?

Thanks to Facebook we are able to get in touch with people we haven’t seen for a long while.
I felt so glad when I saw a friend request from someone I haven’t seen for more than 20 years. As I hoped, we became reunited and constantly chat online besides exchange of occasional text messages.
Then, on Christmas, she texted me saying that she had trouble at home, domestic trouble, as in husband and wife trouble. I learned that Facebook reunited not just her and me, but her and another person from her past as well, that person being special then and now. The person became her husband’s object of jealousy and caused a rift between them.
Last week, my friend confided in me that she’s in a very difficult situation. She’s been married to her husband for 20 years and has been in love with her old friend all this time. And now that old friend has come back into her life, with a domestic problem of his own similar to hers, making them all the more right for each other.
If only it’s as easy as breaking up and finding a new life with someone, but it isn’t. There are children involved and family extensions to consider. I asked my friend for how long she thinks she could hang on to being with the person she married. She said, she’s trying her mightiest but still couldn’t foresee how everything would end up.
I feel for her and for others who are in her position. But sympathetic though I am to her predicament, I could never solve her problems for her nor could I make decisions that are for her to make.

May 21, 2015

His Neighbor

Well, this story didn’t happen in my neighborhood but in somebody else’s. I just find it very funny that’s why I posted it here.
So, here goes. My new friend Frances* is a brave girl who doesn’t mind going home very late from work. For some reasons, she was so confident that nothing wrong was going to happen to her. But one night, after her shift from the airport, she left her work at midnight and was about to meet her boyfriend so he could take her home. But as soon as she left, she already noticed a suspicious looking man behind her. Scared that it was a hold-up-er, she didn’t look back nor did she slow down. She just kept on walking, hoping to reach the place where her boyfriend was supposed to meet her.
She felt relieved when she saw him waving at him, so she walked faster. But it was then that the man declared ‘hold-up’. So, as soon as she reached her boyfriend, she told him to keep on walking as there was a robber behind them. The robber ordered them to keep quiet, keep on walking, not to look back and to give him their wallets.
To keep both of them safe, Frances fished out her wallet from her bag while her boyfriend reached back for his wallet at his back pocket. But probably out of nervousness, his wallet slipped from his hand and fell down on the sidewalk. On impulse, he looked back to grab the wallet but recognized the robber. It was one of his neighbors, in fact, the robber was even in their house the previous weekend because there was a party.
The robber asked them to please be quiet about his job. He even apologized for that unfortunate event. He let them go and warned them to be careful in those parts of the city because there are a lot of robbers roaming around.. :D
 *not real name

May 20, 2015

Thy Neighbor

On the early summer of 1988, I was in second year high school. My friend and I were talking in front our house when we both noticed smoke coming out of our neighbor’s house. The house was across the street from ours, a little to the right. It was actually a house turned into a store and the fire probably started from the store and spread throughout the entire house. The family was not there as they stay at their big house during the night. There were, however, two houseboys inside but were lucky to go out when the fire broke.
I guess my friend and I were few of those who saw the fire first and we felt responsible to do something about it. My guy friend yelled for help from the other neighbors while I alarmed my parents about the fire. My father immediately turned off our power supply to try to stop the fire from spreading through the electric cable. Then, he, too, went out carrying buckets and helped the other men of our neighborhood put out the fire.
Maybe it just took less than an hour, but for me, it felt like forever. It was hot and the smoke made breathing difficult. In the end, the fire was extinguished. The house, though not totally burnt was beyond repair and the merchandise was everywhere soaking with water. The men were tired but happy except for the owner of the store. He said that at the confusion, some neighbors took some items from his store and instead of thanking the people who helped save his burning house, he expressed his disgust to the thieves, turned his back and went home.
The men were equally disgusted about how the owner reacted, but my father said to be still thankful that they were fast enough to stop the fire from devouring our own houses. The men found it reasonable and dispersed calmly.
The store was rebuilt right away. But it never again regained it popularity and its regular customers. After several years, the store was sold and it is now being operated by someone else.

May 19, 2015

Deeply In Love

I know of some people who love too deeply or thought they do. And some of them expect to be rewarded for loving another person too much. It’s as if they suppose the other person should love them as much as they love the other person and if they aren’t loved as much, they felt sad.. and mad.
Most of my childhood friends have very jealous spouses, both the guys and the girls, but mostly the guys. It wasn’t only once that I sent a text message to an old guy friend (to ask for another friend’s cellphone number) only to be texted back by the wife who, for some reasons, asked me ‘What do you need from my husband?’ (Ano’ng kailangan mo sa asawa ko?).
Wow! As if I needed anything from anybody’s husband (you know what I mean). And then another friend sent me an Instant Message which I answered very enthusiastically. But then, after 30 minutes of chatting with ‘my friend’ he, rather she, admitted that my friend was actually doing something outside and it was in fact his wife that I was chatting with. Gosh…
But at least one of my friends, (one of my closest in high school in fact) told me straight that he wouldn’t talk to me again or text me again because his wife didn’t want him to. Well, I knew I had to respect that and so I did.
Some people say ‘jealousy’ is part of love and I wouldn’t argue with that, but unreasonably jealous? Well, I guess that’s another story.

May 18, 2015

The Poor Employee

Arnel* was having trouble with money. He wasn’t earning much and his family’s needs are getting more. With his eldest daughter in grade school, the middle in preschool and the youngest one a toddler who lives on milk and uses diaper every night, Arnel was deep in debt.
He regularly borrows money from me and from numerous other friends. Maybe they feel as sorry for the kids as I do.
But one day, his wife came to the house very early. She said Arnel walked from their house going to his workplace. She said they don’t have enough money for fare. Since I knew how far the distance was from their house to Arnel’s office, I got worried if Arnel made it. I called him on his cell phone and he said he made it to work after walking for two hours.
When I asked Arnel’s wife how he would come home, she said he would probably walk again. Then, I asked if he had something to eat for lunch, and her answer was no. I took my wallet from my purse and handed her a couple of hundred bills.
I wish it would never happen to me…
*not real name

May 17, 2015

Unnecessary Grief?

When we graduated from high school in 1991, one of my classmates eloped with her boyfriend and became a mother in a matter of months. But life had been very difficult and my friend started working as a domestic helper abroad as soon as it was legal for her to do so. She worked like she’d never worked before, believing in her heart and soul that she was doing it for her kids.
Years had come and gone and her kids grew up. They grew up like strangers to her. She didn’t know them that much, their likes and dislikes, their moods, their dreams, their angers and fears. She didn’t know them at all. She felt sad but she couldn’t do anything. Working abroad is not for the faint-hearted, it is for tough people, and she met one tough guy. They got drawn to each other that when they came back here in the Philippines, she chose to go with him instead of go back to her real family.
More years passed. She kept on working as hard as she could and never stop sending money to her children and doing her responsibility, thinking that she was doing her part as a parent. So, she was surprised to learn that her eldest child joined a fraternity and allegedly got injured in the hazing, the boy was only fifteen years old. The boy’s injury led to a more serious illness. He was diagnosed with bone cancer and his leg was amputated. Even after the amputation, the boy underwent a series of chemotherapy.
Two years ago, I saw the boy’s pictures in Facebook. He died after fighting cancer for a year. My friend came home for the wake and went back abroad after a few days.
People say that things happen for a reason, but sometimes, it’s difficult to find the reason for a painful thing like this.. :(

May 16, 2015

Loving.. Knowing.. Accepting..

Love isn’t blind. I guess you would agree with me on that. It actually sees the flaws and the shortcomings, but it doesn’t mind..
Actually, we mind, but at the back of our minds, we have this wish that someday, somehow, the person we love would change, probably for us, for himself, or even for someone else. And when he doesn’t, we feel hurt, frustrated and sometimes betrayed. We keep thinking that ‘if he really loves me, he would do this or he wouldn’t do that…
More often than not, the person doesn’t change, wouldn’t change or wouldn’t want to change, whatever the case may be. Once I asked a cousin if she knew that her husband was overly jealous before they got married, she said yes. Then, I asked a friend if she knew that her husband was pushy before they got married and she said yes, as well. So, if they knew it right from the start, why are they complaining now?
My cousin got separated from her husband 5 years ago, and my friend has not been living with her husband for 3 years now. I could say I wasn’t surprised with the turn of events, and though I’m definitely not happy about it, I was actually kind of expecting it.
Sad, isn’t it?

May 15, 2015

The Heroic Woman

I was in high school when I heard about this story.
There was once a fat woman in our town. Most of the townspeople ignored her while children made fun of her because she was fat. Jeepney drivers didn’t want her because she occupied nearly two seats. Consequently, she didn’t have any friends.
One day, she rode the jeep to go to the city. During the trip, she looked out of the window and ignored four children who were talking about her. The children were sitting on a duffel bag on the floor of the jeep. The oldest was telling the young ones how she swallowed a dozen small children which made her very fat.
The fat woman was so used to that story she didn’t mind it anymore. She just kept looking outside. Then, she saw it. She saw another jeep going directly towards them. It was a head-on collision. The woman threw herself down the duffel bag to shield the children with her body and encircled them with her strong big arms.
Both of the drivers died and a lot of passengers were severely injured including the fat woman. But the four children were alive. Except for minor bruises, the children were safe, thanks to the fat woman.
I didn’t have a chance to meet her. But one thing I learned was that anybody can be a hero regardless of age, size and shape..

May 14, 2015

For the Kind Nameless Driver

This is a re-post. It originally appeared on another blog on Feb. 19, 2012. It is re-posted for sentimental reasons.
This post is for the kind tricycle driver who gave back my friend’s envelope containing very important documents.
My friend is a BS HRM student in Cabanatuan City. Early last week, in his haste to find a ride home, he left an envelope in the tricycle he rode on his way to the jeepney stop. It was already dark. He was so anxious to go home that he only noticed the missing envelope when he was already home. I asked him if there was any way he could find the tricycle, but he said there wasn’t any. First, it was already dark, second, he didn’t pay attention to details like the inside of the tricycle, the driver, anything. Third, he didn’t get on at the terminal, but just hailed it from the passing ones.
His only hope to get his stuff back was if, by any means, the tricycle driver would be kind enough to give the envelope back to him. The envelope has his name, his mobile number and the name and address of his school.
For me, that was a long shot…
LUCKILY.. I was wrong.
When my friend went to school. His envelope was returned by the kind tricycle driver who left it to the security guard of the school. According to my friend, the driver even sent him a text message to let him know that his envelope was already in school. My friend called the driver to thank him and found out that the driver, upon seeing the envelope, went back to the jeepney terminal hoping my friend was still there. Early the next morning, the driver just left it to the guard on duty in school.
For you, Mister, thank you. Thank you for giving us hope that there are still kind and considerate people like you. May GOD bless you and your family always..

May 13, 2015

The Heart That Forgives

My friend Sheila* is a very kind girl. She may look tough in the outside with her booming laugh and outspoken tongue but she is soft hearted and generous. She is the only person I know who never, as in never, nurse grudges against anyone.
So, when I learned that she was in a relationship with Matt* I felt.. worried. Well, Matt is actually nice, very quiet and polite. But he has a tendency to be touchy and consequently rude. He gets mad at Sheila when she said something she thought totally inoffensive, but actually offensive to Matt. He takes almost everything negatively and puts words into Sheila’s mouth which usually starts a fight between them. When he is not in the mood, he wouldn’t send Sheila a single text message for a week and wouldn’t offer any explanation for his behavior but would get mad at Sheila when she doesn’t reply right away to his message.
Sheila is not suppose to point out his shortcomings otherwise he would get deeply offended and would say something harsh to her, apparently to hurt her. Time and time again, I told Sheila that Matt isn’t worthy of her but she would brush me off and would simply say she’s used to Matt by now.
I don’t know how she manages to be so forgiving though she said something that I could not forget. She said that she’s aware of Matt’s flaws but between losing Matt altogether and accepting his flaws, the latter is the one she could live with.
I just wish, for her sake, that she is happy with the way things are..

*not real names

May 12, 2015

Learning the Hard Way

A few years ago, my brother’s fellow tricycle driver Lucas* teased him for not daring to drive around when his registration paper got expired. Lucas called my brother ‘softie’ but my brother didn’t mind. Lucas said getting caught was just a matter of ‘luck’.
So, when Lucas’ registration got expired, he didn’t bother to renew it right away. Unluckily, he was caught by the Land Transportation officers. It was found out that besides carrying an expired registration papers for the tricycle, Lucas’ driver’s license was also expired and his tail light wasn’t working.
All in all, he spent several thousand pesos to have his tail light fixed, to have his registration renewed (plus the penalty) and to have her driver’s license renewed (plus the penalty), which was more than double of the amount he would have spent if he did it the right way.. :D
Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Talk about learning the hard way..
 *not real name

May 11, 2015

The Least Liked Person in Campus

When I was in college, I knew of a student who was known for being a good writer. She was a consistent winner in literary contests in school. At that time, I was an aspiring writer who wrote to my heart’s content but didn’t have the courage to show anyone any of my works. They went straight to the wastebasket with no chance of being read. Surely, that girl was out of my league.. errr.. I was out of hers.
After several years, however, our paths crossed again. We were introduced by a friend and I assumed that she liked me because the next day, she looked specifically for me and asked me if I wanted to join her for snack. Well, who was I to decline such invitation. I went with her and since then we were always seen together. I could say, we became friends right away.
At first, I really liked her. She was so smart and she knew a lot of things. I didn’t keep the fact that I admired her writing and that I really find her cool. After a few months, I began to notice something. She has a tendency to criticize anything that is not of her liking and she looked down on people that I thought were her friends. In fact, she looked down on everybody we knew.
I started to observe her really closely and I realized that this person that I considered my friend for a few months now had said nothing nice about anybody. It was always about her, about hers and about herself. Wow! This girl is self-centered. And there was something else I noticed, every time we join a group, people disappeared one by one. So, I tried to go alone and nobody left. But when she came, they gradually dispersed.
Then one day, I joined a writing competition and was notified after a few months that I won third place. Well, for a first timer, I guess third place wasn’t that bad. I was so happy. I looked for my friend and told her the good news. Contrary to what I expected, she just said.. ‘Oh, really?’ and that was it, no congratulationsno ‘good job’no pat in the backno anything..
Then it dawned on me, this girl had no other friend aside from me because no one could stand being with her. She only stayed with me not because she liked me but because I was the only one she got. And maybe she didn’t ridicule me the way she did to other people because for one I wasn’t ridiculous, second, because she didn’t want to lose a PA (personal assistant).
I started to keep my distance and I was kind of surprised when my other friends, when they noticed what I was doing,  began to keep me away from her. They would warn me when she was coming and they would send her away.
Last night, I was checking out some literary works and I came across an account in a poetry ‘something’ that bears her name. I read some and I found out that it was a list of poems that she criticized.. err.. evaluated. I didn’t like what I read so I just closed it.
Some things never change..

May 10, 2015

A Memorable Dance

I think I was 16 at the time. I was a cute little thing with bright and curious eyes and infectious laugh, or so they say.
Anyway, I was invited to a dance on the eve of a wedding. Well, the groom was a brother of my soon-to-be boyfriend so, I was somehow a, I don’t know, waited-upon guest, I can’t say honored because I didn’t feel honorable at the time.
Perhaps because of my being from another place, every guy wanted to dance with me and I felt too shy to turn anyone down. My soon-to-be-boyfriend just watched over throwing occasional winks at me. Was he having fun at my expense?
Then, I saw HIM, the cutest guy in the dance (aside from my date of course). I’ve noticed him before but I didn’t see him on the dance floor.. yet. I was too absorbed with him I nearly failed to hear what my partner was saying. It seems like somebody asked him to get my name. Well, sure, I told him my name and he politely led me back to my seat. Then, the lights went out save for the blue and red. Then, Enchanted Melody (the most popular song at the time because of the recently shown movie, Ghost) was played. Then, he, the cute guy himself stepped out and walked towards me. As he gently swept me into the dance floor, I could barely hear the announcer saying that this particular song was requested by the youngest brother of the groom who was studying in the city and came home for the wedding. It was a number played especially for us.
What? Brother? No… This can’t be happening..
But it was.
Cute guy introduced himself to me and started asking me questions about myself. He also told me that he was the one who asked someone else to dance with me to get my name. As if on cue, my date materialized beside us, smiled warmly and spoke..
Tol, kilala mo na pala ang pinaka espesyal na babae sa buhay ko..” (So, brother, I think you’ve met the most special girl in my life).
It didn’t take long for comprehension to register on the cute guy’s face. Then, he looked at his older brother with reverence, at me with admiration and unspoken regret before he willingly turned me over to my date. My date never left my side since then and I never saw cute guy again, ever.
That was 22 years ago..

May 9, 2015

The Magical Pebble

Sandra is a very smart girl. She was a consistent honor student from grade school to high school. She went to college through a scholarship and graduated with honors. But though unquestionably smart, Sandra is also a very shy girl. Her parents have assured her time and time again of how good she is but she still feels uncomfortable around people and prefers to be alone with her books.
When she graduated from college, Sandra started to feel sad. Though she graduated with honors and her chances of being hired was good, she wouldn’t be hired if she wasn’t interviewed and she dreads the interview. She was sure she would be tongue-tied and would blow up her chances of getting the job.
Then one day, she saw an ad for a job that she really really likes. She looked at the ad the whole day and pondered on how she would get the job. Her mother noticed her pacing nervously back and forth across the living room. Mother asked Sandra what was wrong so Sandra told her.
After hearing her daughter’s problem. Mother asked Sandra what her plans were and Sandra answered she didn’t know yet.”
I would go if I were you..’ i mother simply said.
But mother, what if I get too nervous and fail to answer the interview questions?’
‘But why would you? You’re smart, surely you would be able to answer the interview questions..’
I don’t know mother. If only there’s a potion I could drink that will give me courage to go through with the interview, then maybe I could get my dream job..’
Mother’s face lit up. Suddenly, an idea occurred to her. She went inside the room she shared with father. When she came back, she had with her a round shaped flat pebble.  She handed it to Sandra and said.
‘Here, take this..’
What is this? And what am I supposed to do with it?’
It was mine. Your grandmother gave it to me on my interview for my first job. I put it in my pocket and every time I felt nervous, I touch it and my nervousness would go away, and because of that, I got the job..’ Mother explained.
‘Really? Wow! Why didn’t you give it to me before? Do you think it would work for me?’
There’s only one way to find out..’
The following day, Sandra went for the interview. She put the pebble in her pocket and every time she got nervous, she would touch it. She would feel calm and would be able to answer the interview questions casually and very confidently. When the interview was over, she was told she was hired.
Sandra went home very happy. She told her mother what happened and thanked her for the pebble.
‘It really worked, Mother! I wished you’d seen me. I was so good. I was very confident and the interviewer was obviously impressed. This pebble is magical. Where did grandma get this?’
From our backyard.’
What!? But how come it got magic?’
Did I ever say it has?’
But… but it worked. I got the job because of it..’
i didn’t work, Sandra. You did. It didn’t get the job for you. You got it for yourself..’
Sandra stared at the pebble on her palm for a long time. Then she closed her hand around it and smiled.
Yes, I got the job for myself. Wow! I didn’t know I was good and this ordinary pebble showed me that I am.’
Sandra reached for her mother and hugged her..
Thank you, Mother. If this pebble isn’t magical, then you are…’
Most mothers are, Sandra. And someday, you will be, too..’
✿✿✿ Happy Mother’s Day! ✿✿✿
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

May 8, 2015

The Egg-Roll Man

About 8 years ago, I was a STAY-AT-HOME mom to my 3 kids: a grade school, a pre-school and a toddler. Being in charge with all the house works and the children, I didn’t have any single time for myself. I felt like a fat, lousy, worthless bag of flesh.
Then one day, as I was about to pick up my middle child from school, I heard a loud voice yelling “LUMPIA! (Egg roll)”. It was the man selling eggroll in our subdivision. He was a tall, dark, lean young man who smiles at everyone he came across with. I suddenly felt the urge to buy some eggroll. Honestly, it didn’t look good, hehe.. But I just wanted to talk with him.
But before I was able to say anything, he spoke, thus began our conversation. I found out that he was a high school graduate. He couldn’t find any job that could support his family. His wife was 6-months pregnant and was at home taking care of their 2-year old son. I asked him why he didn’t he apply for a regular job. He said a high school graduate like himself has a slim chance of getting a job unless under employment agency and he had bad experiences with employment agencies like not being paid on time, not being given over time pay, not being given SSS remittances, among others. So, he just decided to sell eggroll.
When I asked him if it’s not difficult. He said everything is difficult and selling eggroll is better than not doing anything at all. He also expressed his regret for being not able to finish his studies and said that he would do everything he could so that his children will have a better life than what he had.
More than entertained, I was enlightened. If Eggroll Man with such very little in life had so much hope, how come I felt this way?
That day, something has changed. I started to see beauty in everything. Moreover, I became more hopeful that I had ever been.. Thanks to the Eggroll Man..

May 7, 2015

Tough Guy

I knew Jun-jun* since we were young. He was one of those dirty looking kids who roam the place around. Since my father had been operating a billiard hall from time immemorial, my chances of watching over it was a given. Needless to say, Jun-jun was one of our regular players.
He was the usual bum, smoking at 10, drinking at 12, gambling as soon as he learned to talk. He was also known for being rude to elders, talking obscenely with ladies and cheating on games no matter how small or high the stakes were.
So, I wasn’t the only one who was shocked when we saw him in clean and respectable shirt and with decently cut hair. Come to think of it, he smelled nice, too. Our shock doubled over when we saw him among the sacristans. Well, it seems like our parish priest was giving him a chance, so, why won’t we?
Though I still had misgivings, I started to talk with Jun-jun just like I do with everybody else. Before, I used to avoid him every chance I get. After a few months, Jun-jun became one of us, at-ease, funny and nice. I noticed, however, that he liked talking to me more than the others and I could understand that, we’ve known each other for a long time and now that we’re beginning to be friends, why not catch up for the lost times. Then, we were randomly paired in a newspaper dance where I had to step on his feet and put my arms around his neck just so we could win. Well, we lost.
But since then, Jun-jun started to take a new interest in me. That’s when I found out his weakness. No matter how tough a guy he was, he was extremely shy to the girl he likes. I knew he was starting to like me but he was too shy to tell it to me in person. So, he started giving me stuff, sweets (through his friends) and a cuddly little stuffed dog (through his friends as well). It went on and on until he finally realized he wasn’t getting anywhere unless he talks to me personally.
Sadly, he chose a very unfortunate time. He came to our house at the same time another suitor did. He smelled of beer, but instead of disappointment I felt only pity for this tough guy who needed to drink just so he could speak up. It seems as if my other suitor understood Jun-jun’s predicament, he left earlier and even gave him an encouraging tap on the back.
So, there we were, Jun and I, Jun-jun making unintelligible noises, probably convinced that I understood what he was saying, and I, waiting for Jun-jun to pack up his courage and get it over with. Fortunately, after two hours, Jun-jun finally spoke, and without looking at me in the eye, told me how much he likes me because I was cute, I was smart and that I treated him very nicely.
I didn’t want to break his heart so soon, but better sooner than later. So, I told him how nice it was of him to think I was cute and smart. I told him I like him too, but I like him only as a friend. And I would be happy if we would be friends in the years yet to come.
Jun-jun was broken-hearted nonetheless, so, I gave him time and space. After a while, he started to talk to me again and we, indeed, became friends, until now. Every now and then he would remind me of that night and we would laugh over it agreeing with each other that it was one of the funniest moments in both our lives.
*not real name