03 September 2007

Beloved

"TARA Bud, tano ta dai ka nagbubuhat dyan? Maeskwela ka baga!" I asked Budi while preparing to go to work early as we have a Management Committee meeting at 7:30am during Mondays.

Budi however wouldn't budge, his face still lying smack on the sofa.

"Pigprobaran ko nang gibohon yan project mo. Dai ko makua ang patama. Magsabi ka na lang ki ma'am mong pigtabangan na nantig ako ni papa pero dai talaga kaya. Mas maray na yan kisa mag-submit kang binakalan sa sentro na bako man ika naggibo."

"An importante kayan, su experience. Bako man talaga su gayon," I added to buttress my point. "Toltol man bagang titser si ma'am mo, bakong arog kan iba."

My wife Lynn came down the stairs, bringing our youngest Mika with her and deposited her on the kuna. "Sige na Bud ta gibohon ko," she said. As if Heaven smiled on him, Budi quickly got up and started working on his project again -- a flower leaf woven from colored cellophane-wrapped manila paper tubes.

"Su mga taga-Urban ngani ma'am, nagbarakal na lang sa centro," Eve, our household help during the day who resides at the adjacent Green Valley urban poor community -- more popularly known as Urban -- butted in, volunteering an info that seemed to lift up Budi even more.

Meanwhile, Pep was letting loose plaintive cries alternating with deep sobs from the second floor. "Baba na igdi Pep. Darha na mga notebook mo igdi sa baba. Igdi ta na lang tapuson," Lynn called out.

Concerned, I quickly gulped some coffee, left my breakfast and went up to Pep. "Madya na baby. Apod ka baga ni mama mo. Sa baba na lang daa gigibohon assignment mo." But she wouldn't budge and the sobs continued.

Left with no other choice, I scooped my Grade I daughter up -- she's one of the biggest in her class even at 6 -- and her stuff and carried her downstairs. Seeing her mother helping Kuya Budi out, Pep knew she had nothing to worry about: they will have something to submit once classes start. And the sobs became fewer and finally stopped moments later.

"Tara Kulot? Ready ka na mag-school?" I asked Sofie as I came down. My future little teacher was already dressed up in her Grandview school uniform, then combing her rather large, Farrah Fawcett-like locks. "Balon ko Pa?" was her reply.

After dropping Pep beside her mom, I rejoined Buddy -- who had been helping herself at the already cold champorado -- at the breakfast table.

"Haen si Banok?" their mother asked, referring to Nokie.

"Oto, torog pa sa higdaan."

Checking on my watch, it's already 6:50. Sensing I might be late, especially because I still have to print out the usual two sets of the ManCom minutes, one for myself to help my notetaking, the other for the Big Boss, I quickly cleaned my plate up, finished my coffee and then brushed my teeth.

A few minutes later, with my backpack on, I was set to go on my scooter. "Babay Papa. Ingat," our big burly Buddy cried out repeatedly.

When I texted her at midday, I found out Lynn, burdened with our kids' projects and assignments -- some of which are no longer reasonable, and of which I intend to write the concerned teachers about -- did not report for her geometry class at Cam High anymore. She's now trying to help fix our eldest's science project -- a rather elaborate model of a virus -- in Pili, at the shop of our niece Glenda. In another hour or so, we'll be motoring back to Grandview, back to our seven wonderful blessings, and another long day would be done.

To think that only three mornings ago, she fired me an angry, deeply hurt text message: "Magtatagapaaram ka man daw maski agom mo lang ko ngarig gwa man lamang ako maisimbag sa mga aki mo! Kun mayo ka pakiaram, mgsuway ka na samu!"

"Sori," I texted back, explaining I was having a quick breakfast with guests of the city government. Last night, I whispered the remainder of that message on her ear before I went to sleep. "Ta masaen pa man baya ako kun mayo na kamo?"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems any typical day in the life of every Juan de la Cruz - -but what a touching entry!

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Thanks for the kind note.

Unfortunately, my wife did not quite like it. Sort of washing one's dirty linens in public.

Everything's OK now, after I told her that's how DepEd people I know dismiss the truth, lol.

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