By Lourdes Syquia-Bautista
I don’t know exactly how it happened, but by some strange alchemy, time and distance were spanned, and I was once again a child of seven living with my parents, siblings, aunts and uncles and grandfather under one roof (Chinese-style) in our huge house in Binondo. And seated beside my mother at breakfast, watching my Tia Mercedes, across from us, dunking her churros into a small cup of thick chocolate and hearing her voice addressing my mother: “Que dices, Ching?” (Mamang’s name was Consolacion, but her nickname was Ching) “Vamos a llevar estas criades esta tarde al Jardin Botanico?”
My mother, Teresita Balisi Tamayo, phoned me one Sunday afternoon and sadly told me that her eyesight was getting worse. She said that her right eye could not see anymore. She said she had sought the advice of an eye doctor and was told that she had to undergo a refractive surgery due to cataract. During our phone conversation, she sobbed and it was the first time my mother requested me to pray for her in earnest. She said that she dreads the day she may no longer see me and my elder bother Rogie and our respective families.
By Renato N. Carvajal
I am very lucky to have known Mang Felix, from whom I learned life’s most enduring lessons. Mang Felix lost his father when he was five, then lost all his siblings shortly after. His mother became blind years later. He worked in the farm. Through sheer determination he finished his freshman year in college, and then he got married and raised a family of nine.
By Michael L. Tan
My balikbayan sister visited last January and told me she was thinking of selling her house and retiring to a two-level condo.
By Randy David
For almost a decade after the hanging of the Filipino domestic helper Flor Contemplacion in Singapore, I stopped going there. I couldn’t forget the insensitivity and arrogance that marked the handling of her final moments. But time heals all wounds. And—irony of all ironies—my youngest daughter decided to study, work, and raise a family there.