Saturday, August 16, 2008

His Loads

Walking under the oppressive heat that radiates the region, watching dancing sand and dust, Manong Manuel hopes that as he shouts around the town, he would save his wife and skinny son from starvation for another day, too. The afternoon was really hot that he can actually grill cheese and sandwich in his Anahaw hat. With his slippers and faded jeans bitten by an ambitious dog, he is carrying two burdens on his shoulders and a towel, circling his neck to catch droplets of tirelessness. His lips were more needful of water than the Sahara and on his forehead are inscriptions of ages.

For every step Manong Manuel is taking, he constantly questions himself on how far his 138 pesos wage would reach and no matter how much he thinks, he still arrives at the answer that it wouldn’t even reach his son’s esophagus. His eyes are full of visions of things: sumptuous meals, the one that will surely make his family happy and proud and a shelter with no holes to allow the storm to penetrate. He knows the easy way to achieve all these but for some reasons, he is still weighing conscience and needs in his shoulders.

On his way, he saw neighbors arguing about a garden. “Hey, this is my garden and these are my crops, you don’t have any right to reap what others have planted!” said a fat woman who is in rage. The other one answered, “But I do not have anything to feed my children,” and upon hearing their arguments, Manong Manuel proceeded to the next street shouting more loudly and forcefully, “Tahoooooooo!” with a curl in his lips and beads of sweat all over his body.

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