Ms. Judith P. Bernardo: Lending Respectability and Sophistication to Housekeeping and Caregiving as Decent Jobs

Ms. Judith P. Bernardo: Lending Respectability

and Sophistication to Housekeeping and Caregiving as Decent Jobs

by Apolinario Villalobos

 

When Ms. Judith P. Bernardo shared with me how she managed her life while in the United States, she proudly mentioned how she tried her best to be respectable as a Filipino while doing housekeeping, garden maintenance, and caregiving jobs. She used to her advantage, the American culture which is founded on fairness for all who are willing to flex their muscles in order to earn a living while in the shadow of Uncle Sam. Another advantage of Ms. Bernardo up her sleeve is her social adequacy which enabled her to meld with the locals, be they Americans or immigrants from various nations who have been able to have a secure foothold and who belonged to the higher rung of the American society.

 

Without any qualm, she grabbed every opportunity to earn that came her way which enabled her to establish connections with clients, soonest as she was able to adjust herself to the environment. Her courage and determination were fueled by her former social status in the Philippines and her former job as a young member of the American diplomatic corps based in Southeast Asia, and which bolstered her self-confidence.

 

After a few years of doing the various jobs single-handedly, she was able to form a group of trusted house cleaners and gardeners, with her as the coordinator. Requests from clients were channeled through her, an arrangement which helped many immigrants. A little later still, she ventured into catering which was very much appreciated by her clients. Later, some of them requested that she also attend to their elders whom they prefer to be taken cared at home, rather than being sent to the home for the aged.

 

Social graces have always been part of Ms. Bernardo’ life while growing up and moving around her circles of cliques. This plus factor made her a sought after housekeeper and caregiver, as she was also trusted by her clients with the finances allotted for the homes that she maintained and elders under her care. She was also appreciated for her culinary expertise, always ready with suggestions about what food could go well with red or white wine and any liquor.

 

According to Ms. Bermardo, Filipinos who work as caregiver and housekeeper abroad need not be ashamed of their job. All that they need is try their best to project a respectable image. She added that teachers and other professionals who happen to land on such jobs should not be despised or belittled as they are in fact, well- equipped. She is right, for how can an ignoramus who has no knowledge on the proper housekeeping that deals with handling of fragile household furnishings, be trusted by a client? Or, how can one who can barely speak English be hired by a family that speaks such language only?

 

With her exposure to housekeeping as a job and social graces that have been part of her life, I asked if she is willing to be contacted as resource speaker for trainings and seminars that may require such, to which she replied in the affirmative, adding that she can also be consulted on banquet preparations.

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Pagpupunyagi (Kuwento ng buhay ni Elmer Festin)

Happy Fathers’ Day!

 

 Pagpupunyagi

(Kuwento ng Buhay ni Elmer Festin)

 

By: Apolinario B Villalobos

 

Ang landas ng buhay na ating binabagtas

Mahirap tahakin lalo na kung tayo’y nakayapak –

Mga lubak na hindi mapansin ay ating natitisod

Matatalas na batong di maiwasan ay nayayapakan

Pati tinik ng dahong mariang sumusugat sa ating talampakan.

 

Ang taong hindi handa sa pagtahak nitong landas

Sa ilang hakbang pa lamang niyang magawa –

Kahihinaan na ng loob at pangangatugan na ng mga tuhod

Hindi malayong babalik sa pinanggalingan

Di kaya’y mangingipuspos at sasalampak na lamang sa daan.

 

May isang taong sa murang gulang ay naglakas-loob

Nagpakatatag at taimtim na nagdasal sa Panginoon

Na harinawa sa paglisan sa sinilangang Bantoon, isla ng Rombon

Patnubayan siya sa kanyang paglayag at tatahaking landas

Bigyan din ng malinaw na pag-iisip at katawang malakas.

 

Masakit iwanan ang isang bayang tulad ng Bantoon

Islang animo’y tuldok sa mapa ng Romblon

Di man pansinin, ito’y mahalagang itinuring

Ng mga Kastilang dumating noong unang panahon sa ating bansa

Kaya’t sa aklat ng ating kasaysayan siya’y naitala.

 

Ito ang kuwento ng buhay ni Elmer Festin

Isang taong may ngiting agad mapapansin

Napadpad sa Cebu kung saan siya’y nahikayat

Suungin ng buong tapang, masalimuot na buhay –

Na wala namang pag-atubili at matatag niyang hinarap.

 

Ilang taon din siyang dito ay nagturo

Naglinang ng dunong ng mga kabataan

Hanggang sa siya ay kawayan ng kapalaran

Na nangako sa kanyang sa dakong katimugan

Siya ay makakatamo ng pinapangarap na kasaganaan.

 

Dala ay kakaunting pera na sa bulsa ay kakalog-kalog

Pilit winaglit ang pag-aalala at takot sa dibdib na kakabog-kabog

Hindi rin alintana ang mga tuhod na nangangatog

Siya ay naglakas-loob na pumalaot at tumango’ sa tawag ng kapalaran –

Ipinasa-Diyos na lamang, magiging bunga ng kapangahasan.

 

Sa Notre Dame, sa Tacurong siya ay napadpad

Paaralang sa bayang ito ay pinagkakapitagan

Limang mga gusali nang panahong iyon ang kanyang nadatnan

Pinangangasiwaan ng mga pare at madre na Oblates of  Mary kung tawagin

At katulad ni Elmer, pagtulong sa kapwa ang sinusunod na adhikain.

 

Nakitaan siya ng kakaibang sigla sa pagturo

Dahil hindi lang sa mga aklat, mga estudyante niya ay natuto

Naibahagi rin niya ang kaunti niyang kaalaman

Pati sa gymnastics na para sa mga estudyante’y bagong larangan

Kaya napasigla niya ang dati’y matamlay na kapaligiran.

 

Anupa’t si Elmer ay nakilala hindi lang sa loob ng Notre Dame

Dahil ang galing niya sa pagturo, sa iba ay nakatawag pansin

Kaya nang magkaroon ng Polytechnic Institute sa bayang ito

Binuksan nila para sa kanya ang kanilang pinto

Upang makibahagi sa kagalingan ng kanyang pagturo.

 

Sa bago niyang malawak na kapaligiran at hitik sa iba’t ibang halaman

Lalo pang sumidhi ang kanyang hangad na makahubog ng kabataan

Hindi naman nasayang ang marangal niyang adhikain

Dahil taos-pusong pasasalamat ay kanyang naramdaman at natanggap

Mula sa mga estudyanteng binigyan niya ng pag-asa ang mga hinaharap.

 

Natupad ang pangarap ni Elmer na maibahagi ang kanyang kaalaman

Napatunayan niya na kakapusan sa pera ay hindi hadlang

Hindi rin nasayang ang kanyang pagpunyagi magmula pa sa kanyang kabataan

Kahi’t sa pagtahak niya sa landas ng buhay siya’y nakayapak lamang

Dahil alam niyang sa dulo nito’y mayroong walang hanggang kapayapaan.

 

 

(Si Mr. Festin ang nagbigay ng pagkakataon sa may-akda upang mahasa niya ang kanyang kakayahan sa pagsulat. Hinirang siya ni Mr. Festin bilang patnugot ng “The Green Ember”, pahayagan ng high school department ng Notre of Tacurong noong 1966, kahi’t siya ay nasa first year pa lamang. Ang tiwala at dagdag kaalaman sa pagsulat na ibinigay sa kanya ni Mr. Festin ang naging kasangkapan niya sa pagharap sa mga pagsubok ng buhay. Kulang ang mga kataga ng tula upang maipadama ng may-akda ang taos-pusong pasasalamat.)

elmer festin

Ms. Flor de la Rosa: Untold Story of a Sacrificing Woman of Tacurong City

Ms. Flor de la Rosa: Untold Story of a Sacrificing Woman of Tacurong City

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Despite her advancing age, beauty could still be discerned on her calm face. After more than fifty years, not only was I fortunate to meet her but had an intimate conversation with her at close range after a hearty breakfast hosted by Nita and Nito Bernardo at their home, and to whom I am so gratified for such opportunity. It was my first time to hear her speak with the typical melodious Visayan tone and delicate voice.

 

Her family used to live in New Iloilo, a sitio of Tantangan which was then part of Tacurong. Today, it is occupied by Jaime, a younger brother, and his second family.  The late mayor of Tacurong,  Jose Escribano was always around when there were affairs in Tantangan. During the time, Flor, who at 19 was a student and about to finish a course in education. It was during one of the occasions in Tantangan that the mayor could have noticed the pretty Flor who was always invited during public occasions. While she was studying in Cotabato city, a bodyguard of Escribano discreetly followd her to make sure that no guy would attempt to court her. The mayor also resorted to “courtin” Flor’s mother and enticed her to put up a business in Tacurong. She was a dressmaker in New Iloilo, then and her husband was managing the logging company of a rich relative in Parang, but on a meager wage.

 

A building was put up then in Tacurong with the ground floor occupied by the Dainty Refreshment which Flor’s parents managed and the second floor was allotted for the whole family. The establishment became famous for its halo-halo and cake which competed with those of the Angelita’s. And, to ensure that it would earn much as expected, the bus terminal was relocated in the vicinity, from its former location in front of the Tacurong Pilot School. For 24 hours, the Dainty Refreshment was open and that was how the de la Rosa family was able to earn substantially.

 

The late mayor had the reputation of getting what he wanted by all means, but not in the case of Flor, for it took him 4 long years to finally get what he wanted. Courting went as far as Manila where Flor continued her studies. When she finally graduated, she taught at the New Iloilo Elementary School, moving on to Tantangan, and when the Dainty Refreshment was opened, she was transferred to Tacurong with the instigation of the late mayor. The principal then of the Tacurong Pilot School was Mr. Abadilla and the District Supervisor was Mr. Llavore. At the Tacurong Pilot School she taught Science and Pilipino subjects. Out of gratitude, Escribano built a building that was later used by the Home Economics pupils.

 

Flor confided that due to emotional pressure, she resigned from her job and went to Manila, although, she feared for the safety of her family who might earn the ire of the late mayor. But as she could not stop him from courting her, she finally softened a bit and accepted her fate…finally, going back to Tacurong to be with her family. While in Tacurong, she would occasionally show herself up in public to assist the mayor during special occasions. That was how she got to be known as the “mayor’s secretary”.

 

When she went back to Manila again, she finally told Escribano once and for all, that she wanted to end their affair and threatened to enter the convent if he won’t concede. It was at this juncture that she saw the good side of the brusque mayor…who begged her not to proceed with her plan, but for them to maintain a platonic relationship. She agreed and the arrangement encouraged her to be with her family in Tacurong again to help manage the Dainty Refreshements, the earnings from which practically sent her siblings to school.

 

During one of her trips to Manila, she met Gregorio Aragona but who used the family name, “Soncuya”. They eventually got married and settled in his hometown, Sara (Iloilo). At one time, her sister, Bernardita who was living in the United States, had a need for a trusted caretaker of her child. Flor viewed it as an opportunity to visit the United States, so she asked Bernardita to let her do the job. In no time, she flew to the States as a tourist and took care of her niece. When she was no longer needed to take for her niece, she took jobs discreetly as she had no legal papers. For 18 years of her stay in the United States, her status did not change as she declined to bite the options to become an American citizen, beside her passport indicated her status as “married”.

 

Meanwhile, her husband took in a lover which came to the attention of Flor only much later. What triggered their separation was the reply of her husband to one of her queries if he had been missing her to which he replied, “please come home and bring the bacon”. Such blatant reply immediately made Flor decide not to go home, as she felt that her husband was just after her earned dollars. Despite her decision, she could not hold herself from sending money to him when he got sick.

 

In year 2000, she went back to the Philippines but dropped by Iloilo to visit relatives and also surprised her late husband’s lover. As she did not harbor any hatred in her heart, she even gave the widowed lover of her husband, three thousand pesos…her gift to their two children. She then, proceeded to New Iloilo in South Cotabato to be with her mother. But not long after, she decided to buy a house in Tacurong City where she now lives with a trusted aide.

 

While in the city, she faithfully attended the early morning Mass every day. Later, she was enticed to join the Marian Movement of Priests (MMP) which prays the Holy Rosary after the Mass. She was in the middle of this hectic devotion when she met a friend who introduced her to another spiritual passion, and this time, as a member of the Servants of the Holy Trinity, a healing ministry and prayer group whose main base is in Negros Occidental. She joined her friends, Lina Lacanafrancia and Margie Calansag during their pilgrimage to the movement’s base on what the pilgrims consider as the “holy mountain” of Escalante where a “prayer house” is located, and where an image of the Holy Child Jesus in enshrined. She was also brought to the “holy mountain” of Calinog to visit another shrine. From then on, her small group would make an almost monthly visit to Escalante, while that for Calinog, they do during the Holy Week. The two shrines have become beneficiaries of her benevolence, as with the shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Candle in Tacurong.

 

Ms. de la Rosa is the eldest in the family raised by hardworking couple, Salvador and Fe. Her siblings are Elsie, Salvador, Jr., Manuel, Rodolfo, Aurea, Bernardita, Corazon, Jaime, Ricardo, and Lorena. Their grandfather on their mother side had a German blood, while their grandmother had Chinese. On their father side, their grandfather was an Ilocano who married a mestiza, and who belongs to the Navarro clan.

 

She has no regrets for not having a child of her own, for she presumes that her being in such situation prepared her for motherly missions – for her family and other people. Before we parted our ways, she confided that during her high school days in Notre Dame of Marbel, she was often chosen to play the role of the Virgin Mary during Marian processions.

 

Up to the time that I was writing this blog, I could not believe that I had been talking to Ms. Flor de la Rosa and even kissed her check…..she, who was the misunderstood woman in my youth, although, with a celebrated status, and whose life today is devoted to Jesus and Mary.

 

 

Disiplina

Disiplina

ni Apolinario B. Villalobos

 

Parang sirang plaka ang mga guro sa pagsabi sa mga mag-aaral na kailangan ang disiplina upang maging maayos ang kanilang pamumuhay paglaki nila. May mga iilan ding mga magulang na nagsasabi nito sa kanilang mga anak. Pati ang simbahan at gobyerno ay hindi nagkukulang sa paalalang ito.

 

Subali’t sadyang matigas ang ulo ng tao, kaya nakalakhan ng maraming bata ang kawalan ng disiplina na siyang dahilan ng kanilang paghihirap sa pagharap nila sa mga pagsubok ng buhay.

 

May mga katanungan na sana ay magbubukas ng kaisipan ng karamihan sa atin, hinggil sa ganitong bagay. Halimbawa:

 

  • Ilan sa atin ang nagtatapon ng tirang pagkain dahil may pera namang pambili ng iba pa para sa susunod na kainan?
  • Ilan sa atin ang nagtitira ng pagkain sa pinggan tuwing kakain sa labas, restaurant man o mall para maipakita sa mga nakaupo sa katabing mesa na tayo ay sosyal?
  • Ilan sa atin ang nagbibigay ng pera sa mga anak para magastos nila sa computer shops, perang dapat sana ay naitabi para sa iba pang pangangailangan?
  • Ilan sa atin ang gumagastos ng mas higit sa kinikita?
  • Ilan sa atin ang ayaw magsuot ng mumurahing damit dahil nahihiya at natatakot na makutya ng kapitbahay at kaibigan?
  • Ilan sa atin ang sumusunod agad sa kagustuhan ng nagwawalang spoiled na anak na may gustong bilhin sukdulan mang umutang, mapagbigyan lamang siya?
  • Ilan sa atin ang ayaw man lang turuan ng gawaing bahay ang mga anak dahil magmumukha silang kawawa at kukutyain ng mga barkada?
  • Ilan sa atin ang mas gugustuhing bumili ng mahal na mga gamit para sosyal ang dating, sa halip na ang mas mura para sana may perang maitabi pa?
  • Ilan sa atin ang ayaw kumain ng tinapay na walang palaman o di kaya namimili ng palaman?
  • Ilan sa atin ang nagtatapon ng basura maski saan lang?
  • Ilan sa atin ang may ugaling batugan?

 

Ang mga nakikitang ginagawa ng magulang at matatanda, kahi’t na masama ay iisipin ng mga bata na ang mga ito ay tama, matatanim sa kanilang isipan at gagawin din nila sa kanilang paglaki. Nakalimutan natin na sa murang edad ay dapat hubugin ang kaisipan ng mga kabataan. Alam nating lahat iyan, nguni’t marami sa mga magulang na tumatandang tanga.

 

Ang masama, kung  malaki na ang mga bata  na naging suwail ay saka pa lang magtatanong ang mga tangang magulang ng….”saan ba ako nagkamali?”

Habang Hindi pa Ulyanin, Pairalin ang Common Sense Bilang Paghahanda sa Pagtanda

Habang Hindi Pa Ulyanin, Pairalin ang Common Sense

Bilang Paghahanda sa Pagtanda

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Kapag umabot na sa retired age na alam na ng lahat kung ano, dapat ang taong tumatanda ay palaging gumamit ng “common sense” habang hindi pa siya ulyanin at kaya pa niyang mag-isip ng maayos. Ang mga sumusunod ay mga suggestions na dapat gawin o pag-isipan bilang paghahanda (pero, take it…or leave it…walang pilitan):

 

  • Para sa mga mag-asawang parehong buhay pa, dapat ay dagdagan pa ang pagiging mabait sa isa’t isa upang ang unang mamatay ay hindi libakin ng naiwang nabuhay na partner tungkol sa mga kaaliwaswasang pinaggagawa nito (namatay). Marami akong nakausap na biyudo at biyuda na sa mismong lamay ng kanilang namatay na asawa ay pinagkukuwento ang mga katarantaduhan nila pero idinadaan sa biro, sabay sabi ng,”parang nabunutan ako ng tinik nang mategok yan (sabay turo sa kabaong)”.

 

  • Maging mabait sa mga anak para pagtanda mo ay may mag-aalaga na mabuti sa iyo, hindi yong hahayaan ka na lang na namamaho o nangangamoy sa isang tabi kung saan ka tumae o umihi, o di kaya ay pakakainin ka ng isdang maraming tinik, etc….bilang ganti sa pagmamalupit at pagpapabaya mo sa kanila. Maraming ganyang uri ng anak ngayon na mas mahal na mahal pa ang gadget kaysa magulang. May nakita akong matandang nanay na halos hindi na makakilos, pero kinakaladkad ng anak sa labas ng bahay upang paliguan, hindi pwede sa banyo sa loob ng bahay dahil baka madumihan ang tiles na sahig! Ang isa ko pang nakita ay isang lola na wala nang ngipin na pinakain ng malaking hiwa ng karne kaya halos mamuwalan ito, pero dahil gutom ay nguya lang siya ng nguya gamit ang mga gilagid (gums) habang pinagtatawanan ng mga anak at apo.

 

  • Magtabi ng pera para sa katandaan at piliin ang anak na mapagkakatiwalaan na siyang mangangalaga sa naipong pera na gagamitin mo pagdating ng panahong hindi ka na makapunta sa bangko. Ang anak na ito rin ang mangangalaga sa iyong mga pangangailangan gamit ang perang inipon mo. Kung walang anak na mapapagkatiwalaan, pumili ng kamag-anak na matagal mo nang kilala at mas maganda ang ugali kaysa iyong mga anak .

 

  • Kung lahat ng mga anak ay suwail, at ang mga kamag-anak naman ay puro mukhang pera kaya walang mapapagkatiwalaan, pumili ng isang “home for the aged” na ang nangangalaga ay mga madre at makipagkontrata tungkol sa balak mong pagtira sa kanila at ang kapalit ay donation mo. Ipaalam o sabihin sa mga mapapagkatiwalaang kaibigan mo at mga anak nila ang iyong ginawa upang pagdating panahon ay mati-check nila kung inaasikaso kang mabuti ng mga madre. Huwag nang asahan ang mga anak at kamag-anak tungkol sa bagay na ito.

 

  • Huwag piliting gawin ang pinagbabawal ng doctor dahil nakakasama sa iyong kalusugan, tulad ng pag-inom ng alak, pagsisigarilyo, pagkain ng mga pagkaing magbibigay ng sakit sa iyo, etc. Pero kung talagang ayaw mo nang mabuhay nang matagal, itodo mo ang pagkain ng mga bawal, magpakalasing at manigarilyo ka rin sa loob ng 24/7. Huwag ka lang magsisi kapag nagkaroon ka ng kanser, o na-stroke kaya nagkandangiwi-ngiwi ang mukha o hindi na halos makalakad, o di kaya ay bumubuga na ng dugo kapag umubo….dahil lumigaya ka naman sa mga bisyo mo!

 

Ang “common sense” ay hindi binibili kundi likas na bahagi ng ating diwa mula pa noong tayo ay ipinanganak at nadi-develop habang tayo ay lumalaki. Nakakatulong sa pag-develop ng common sense ang pagmamasid natin sa ating mga kapaligiran lalo na ang ginagawa ng ibang tao. Kung minsan, nalalaman natin ang ating pagkakamali kung nakita nating ginawa ito ng ibang tao…kaya dapat palaging handa tayong tumanggap ng pagkakamali upang hindi na maulit pa lalo na pagdating ng panahong tayo ay matanda na.

 

Palaging nasa huli ang pagsisisi, pero paano kung hindi na tayo makakilos habang nakahiga, o di kaya ay may Alzheimer’s disease o ulyanin na tayo, kaya makikita na lang tayo na nagtatampisaw sa sariling ihi o naglalamutak ng sariling tae?

A Simple Celebration…

A Simple Celebration…

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

When I visited the children of my elder sister who passed away followed by her husband, one of them remarked about the wedding anniversary of their parents on that day. Right then and there I decided to help them commemorate the occasion with a very simple celebration. I purchased a 3-kilo chicken to be cooked as adobo, two kilos each of mudfish and catfish to be broiled; turnip (singkamas), pineapple and radish for salad to be garnished with sweet onion and sprinkled with palm oil vinegar; and, sweet potato to be boiled as snacks in the afternoon to be downed with a cocktails of melon, avocado and papaya.

 

Being Sunday (21 May), the family of Joy, with husband, Junjun, and children, Marianne, Brianne and Zian Josh came for a visit from Polomolok (South Cotabato). Joy is the eldest daughter of my niece, Mary Anne who works in Canada in the company of her other daughter, Micah. Completing the family were Jonathan, and Nonoy and his wife, Bingbing.

 

On that Sunday morning, everybody had something to do. Junjun took charge of the broiling. Jongjong, the husband of my niece, Neneng, cooked the adobo, the no-frills way that he knows best as a retired soldier – only soy sauce and vinegar as flavors. The rest of the children, Nicole, Kate, Kris and Joy prepared the salad. My deaf and mute elder sister, Nida, took care of Joy’s youngest child, Zian Josh. The rest of the children, Chubs and Johnhon were on standby for errands.

 

The highlight of the celebration was the visit to the grave by the children at the Shangri-La Memorial Park as a gesture of respect and love, complete with the lighting of a candle and a gift that consisted of a bouquet of orchid from the family garden. My sister loved to raise orchids and other rare plants when she was still alive.

 

What we had was a kind of celebration that I would like to implant in the mind of my sister’s children – no taint of unnecessary luxury, but simple honesty of affordability….none of ice cream, barbecue, fried chicken, sandwiches, cakes, or pancit, the usual simple fare. I would like to make them understand that a celebration does not necessarily mean sumptuous food.

 

IN MY MIND, WHAT COUNTS MOST IN COMMEMORATING THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE, IS THE MEMORY MADE ALIVE FOR AT LEAST A DAY AND PRAYERS THAT GO WITH IT…NOTHING ELSE.

 

 

May Isang Roger…

May Isang Roger…

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

May isang Roger (hindi tunay na pangalan) akong nakilala sa barangay na aking dinaanan. Napansin ko kasi ang isang magandang resort na pang-international and kalibre. Nang magtanong ako ay binanggit ang pangalan niya kaya hinanap ko. Ang nakilala kong may-ari ay naka-short ng maong at t-shirt na kupasin at may mga butas, parehong halatang binili sa ukayan.

 

Ayon sa kanya, hindi siya degree-holder dahil kapos sa pera ang kanyang mga magulang. Magsasaka ang kanyang tatay at may maliit na tindahan naman ang kanyan nanay. Pagtatanim at pag-aani ng palay ang kanyang kinalakihang trabaho at isa pang kapatid na lalaki na si Zaldy (hindi tunay na pangalan). At kahit sa baryo ipinanganak at lumaki, hindi naging hadlang ang kanyang katayuan sa kanyang pinangarap na maginhawang buhay pagdating ng tamang panahon.

 

Wala siyang diplomang pinagmamalaki , pero proud siya dahil ang kanyang kapatid na babae ay naging degree holder at nagkaroon ng mataas na puwesto sa isang government agency, at tatawagin kong Myrna (hindi tunay na pangalan). Hindi rin siya naiimbitahan sa mga pagtitipon sa bayan dahil ang mga barkada niya ay tulad din niyang mga taga-baryo. Lahat silang magkakapatid ay nagsikap sa abot ng kanilang makakaya upang mapakinabangan ang kapirasong lupang kanilang nililinang. Ang buong pamilya nila ay nagsiksikan sa isang maliit na bahay na unti-unting dinugtungan upang magkaroon ng kaluwagan sila sa pagkilos sa loob lalo na sa pagtulog.

 

Hindi siya nasiraan ng loob nang pumanaw ang kanilang mga magulang, at sa halip ay pinag-ibayo pa niya ang kanyang pagsisikap bilang panganay sa mga lalaking magkapatid. Sinubukan niyang mag-buy and sell ng palay at nagtagumpay naman hanggang makapagpatayo ng gilingan (rice mill) at makabili ng trak ng panghakot ng mga palay. Lalo pa siyang nagtagumpay nang makapag-asawa ng isang masinop at magaling humawak ng pera. Sa pag-usad ng panahon nagkaroon sila ng mga anak na naigapang nilang mag-asawa upang lahat ay makatapos ng kolehiyo.

 

Dahil ang kanilang baryo ay nasa paanan ng burol kung saan ay natuklasan ang isang bukal, naisipan niyang magpatayo ng isang maliit na resort na sa kalaunan ay lumaki at lumawak ang nasasakupan. Nagkaroon ito ng mga overnight facilities at mga fish pond na ang inaaning tilapia, hito at dalag ay binebenta rin sa mga taong hindi naliligo sa resort. Sa kabila ng pagiging busy ay nagawa pa niyang tumakbo bilang Barangay Chairman at nanalo naman. Lalo pang naging tanyag ang kanyang resort dahil sa kanyang katayuan bilang opisyal. Sa kabila ng natamong tagumpay, hindi nakitaan ng kayabangan si Roger. Naka-tsinelas pa rin siya palagi, naka-maong na short pants at t-shirt na binili sa ukayan.

 

Bilang pasalamat sa natamong tagumpay, regular na nag-aambag si Roger sa isang parukya (parish) na nag-iipon ng pera na magagamit sa pagpapatapos ng simbahan.

SI ROGER ANG PATUNAY NA HINDI KAILANGANG MAGKAROON NG DIPLOMA UPANG UMASENSO. KAHIT ANG ISANG TAO AY GRADUATE PA SA ABROAD O KILALANG UNIBERSIDAD KUNO (NA ANG MGA ESTUDYANTE AY MAHILIG MAG-RALLY PARA LANG MASABING MATALINO KUNO DAHIL ALAM ANG MGA NANGYAYARI SA GOBYERNO), WALA RIN SIYANG SILBI KUNG WALANG DISKARTE SA BUHAY….ANG NABANGGIT KONG URI NG MGA ESTUDYANTE ANG MASASABI KONG NAKAKAHIYANG BATIK NG LIPUNAN!