The day had come for me to leave. It was on October 1, 1999. We didn’t have money to rent a van. We didn’t even have something to spend for our snacks while traveling from Olongapo to Manila. I only had one small traveling bag with me. I didn’t have anything with me. The money that we spent that day was the last money that I had received from my boss. We commuted. Victory Liner. My parents dropped me at the airport. But before that, I paid respect and said goodbye to my relatives next street. Four of them sent their packages. Small ones but made me weep. There were notes in front of the envelope “ate, buksan mo ito pag nakasakay ka na”. They were all sealed… Fast forward to the Airport scenes…..
The last words that my mom said “o yang katarayan mo iwan mo muna dito, at baka mapano ka dun…. Mag-iingat ka, wala ka ng mommy dun”.
As usual my dad, a man of few words said “ingat ka, tumawag ka kaagad pagdating mo dun”.
I don’t remember saying anything to them. I was weeping, literally just weeping…. But… I had to pause for a while… the drama and all. I had to check my baggages in. First time you know… I managed anyhow.
Inside the lane, while waiting to take off. I opened the envelopes one by one.
I opened the big one. It was from my lola. It was a big tube of Colgate.
Next was the one from Jamie my cousin. A small note with David Pomeranz’s cassette tape, yung Born For You. The small note reads, “Ate thank you po sa pagtulong sa pag-organize ng 7th bday ko. Sayang wala ka na dito nun”. By the way, she’s now a 4th year graduating student.
The third was one from Jamie’s sister Jowee. She’s my inaanak. She was only 6 then. She wrote Pangako song by Regine Velasquez, with a personalized note, “Ninang wag ka pong iiyak habang binabasa mo ito kasi tutulo sipon mo”. I’m not kidding, she really wrote those words.
Last one was from my niece, she’s my cousin’s daughter, Kaycee. As always, she’s serious. She simply said “Ingat ka po, tinang.” That’s a combi of tita and ninang. Wag mo po pabayaan sarili mo.
cry weep? And I still have these letters and cassette tape with me.
A true confession: I was crying while writing this post. 🙁