Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fool's Gold

January 1993

Dear Tatay,

I hope you are doing ok. It has only been a week since you left for Saudi again, but we miss you already!
Bunso had started crawling, and Nanay is having a hard time watching over him. But don’t worry because I help out too. Tay, I got a perfect score in our Araling Panlipunan and Science and Technology periodical tests. Diba you said you will give me extra baon if I have a lot of high scores? I gave my papers to Nanay so you can see them when you come home again next year.


PS. Tay, buy us lego toys and matchbox cars when you go home again.


July 1997

Dear Tatay,

How are you? Did Mama tell you already? I passed the UPCAT! I’ll be going to Diliman with a few schoolmates from Leyte High.

Tay, I just want to say thanks for the sacrifices that you’ve made for us. I know its not easy working in Saudi for almost 10 years now, just so you could send us to school and that we’ll have our own house.

Don’t worry Tay, when I finish my schooling I’ll get a job and will help out. Dodong will be graduating this school year and will probably enroll here too. Bunso is quite an artist. He draws very well and his teachers took notice.

They haven’t put up the walls yet in our new house, but its great since this is our own. Nanay went back to work in EVRMC and she takes me with her to work sometimes.

Hope to see you soon Tay! We are excited that you are coming home. Tay, why don’t you work here in Tacloban? I’m sure there are openings here for Med Techs. At least you wont have to be far from us.

Take care always.



September 2003
Dear Tatay,

What happened with you and Dodong? Pinagpasensyahan mo sana muna yun because he’s not mature enough and I don’t think he meant those words. He respects you, I know it, but he tells me nasasakal lang sya minsan. I don’t think the boys are used to having two authority figures because before when you were in Saudi, it was only Nanay they turned to.

Please don’t think na pinagkakaisahan ka nila. I hate to see you and Nanay fighting all the time. Lalo na ngayon nasa ibang bansa kayo. The decision for you to migrate to the US was supposed to be for the future of our family.

Please call me soon. My shift at work ends at 7am, so you can call me at my apartment anytime during the day. I’ll text Nanay and Dodong as well so I could talk to them. Wag na kayong mag-away.


November 2007

Dear Tatay,

It’s fall here in New York, and it’s very lovely. They say the coming winter is going to be very cold and even more so for me because it’s my first time here. I'm getting along fine with my workmates here (two of them are Filipino-Americans). Ok naman ako dito.

I miss you guys. I know we cannot remain as kids for the rest of our lives, but I really miss those times when we would all get together during the holidays. Remember the time when I would take the bus from Manila to Tacloban just so I could get home, since all the flights were always booked? I would bring presents for Dodong and Bunso, and I always laugh seeing the thrill in their eyes as they open their presents. Of course, we have all grown up now. It’s just that it has been a very long time since we got together as a family.

Does Bunso call often? I think he’s still very busy trying to get his promotion. I bet his ads will be all over Japan when they launch his ideas. I doubt if Dodong will have the time off from his job in Manila to go home this Christmas.

Have you spoken to Nanay at all? It really saddens me that you would give up on your marriage after 30 years. I know you guys had fights but I don’t think it should be something that you would allow to ruin your relationship. I always imagined you and Nanay growing old together, in a farm where I’ll build you the dream house I promised.

I’m starting to think we would have been better off if you guys haven’t migrated to the US. Or that you have not gone to Saudi for all those years in order to support our education and get a house of our own. Or that I haven’t gone to Diliman so I could have stayed with you in Tacloban. I could think of a thousand what-ifs, but they can do little to change reality. The truth is we pursued one thing alone: the quest for a more comfortable life- money in the bank, property, and luxury. We were so caught up that we failed to see those little snags and tears in our relationship. I always wondered why you acted so distant the last time you went home when I was still in Tacloban. My own father was a stranger to me; so unlike the man I looked up to- kind, laughter-loving, and wise.

I would trade everything I have now to have us back the way we were when I was little. But of course, that is not possible. Tay, we still have the capacity to make changes in ourselves now. If there’s anything Nanay did to anger you, or if there’s anything I did that you deemed disrespectful, please forgive me. Let us start over if we have to.

I’ll be home by New Year’s. It will only be a week’s vacation- that was all the time off I could get. I will see you and Nanay soon.




rOckY said...

I'm not that big a fan of novels written in "letter" format, but this entry was particularly good.

I liked this a lot.

runawaycat said...

I'm not sure who Brian is but it's nostalgic. And to go through the long time frame in a few letters and see how things have changed. I don't have the word to describe it :)

Wentle said...

oist! youre here! heheeh... leave your message and contact details on my mybloglog account =) lets grab some drinks.... im in the makati/ayala area =)

Phoenix said...

@ rocky: Thanks Rocky! Naku, I'm still experimenting hehe

@ runawaycat: It's based on my real-life experiences.. though some of it are already embellished

@ wentle: Naku I was only there for two days to take care of a few things, I was back in Tacloban since last Sunday.. Sayang I was not able to meet up with more bloggers- Rocky and you. Next time siguro if I go to Manila ; )

rOckY said...

darn it that's right! the dates slipped by me too.

dude, you so owe me a drink next time you're in town, hahaha

Anonymous said...

oh, just recently found time to read dis entry of yours... this piece could be included in any must read high school or college text book! truly amazing...

hi thad, its been a week now, so how's school? Give my regards to sis tata! :-) (psst, im blogging abt r EB soon!) Aim high in sch thaddie!!!

Phoenix said...

@ josh: Thanks! hehe let's hope it gets published ; )


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