ANGEL…THE YOUNG FEMALE COBBLER
OF BARANGAY REAL DOS, BACOOR CITY (CAVITE)
By Apolinario Villalobos
When I passed by the small “hole on the wall” shoe repair shop on my way to the bus stop, I took notice of a girl who was busy repairing shoes. I got curious so I stopped for a while for a short chat. She was pretty and with all sincerity replied to my queries. I found out that she is living in with the younger brother of the owner of the shop who also works at Quickie, a well-known, bags and shoes repair outfit. She is Angel, just turned twenty, and from a district in Leyte, near Tacloban City. Her live in partner is Junel who works full time in a store in Molino, but earns extra cash at the shoe repair shop on his days off.
Angel admitted that in her earnest to learn the trade, she had to go to the shop in time for a close observation at how the intricate manual sewing is done by Junel or his brother. She goes to the shop as early as eight in the morning when Junel’s elder brother, Noy opens it before reporting to work. Noy who is barely past his thirty years is also living in with an equally hardworking young woman, as a crew of a pizza outlet. Tuesdays are Noy’s days off, so both he and Angel man the shop, while on weekends, Junel takes the place of Noy. On days that both Noy and Junel are in their regular job, Angel has the shop all her own.
What struck me is the seriousness of Angel in facing the challenges of living with a young husband, and without a stable financial support that would prop them up. She has no qualms in doing a man’s job to earn honestly for their future. She could have worked in a bar where easy money is, or aspire for an entertainer’s job in Japan because of her good looks. On the contrary she preferred mending shoes and does not mind the glue messing up her candle-slim fingers.