Spectacular: Two

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2.

Naglalakad ako sa pathway ng university kinabukasan nang makasalubong ko si Ninang. Madalang ko lamang siyang makita sa university nang ganito kaaga.

“Good morning, Ninang.” bati ko. “Ano pong ginagawa nito dito?”

Ngumiti siya sa akin. Nakasuot siya ng slacks at cream na blouse. Napaka formal niyang tingnan. Yong tipong alam mo agad na isa siyang professor o lawyer.

“May inayos lang akong ilang schedule ng klase ko. Kumain ka na ba?”

Sa totoo lang papunta ako sa cafeteria para maglunch noong oras na yon. “I'm about to.”

Tiningnan niya ang kanyang wrist watch. “Let’s have lunch together.”

Hindi na ako nakatangi nang yayain ako ni Ninang sa isang malapit na café sa university. Matapos mag order ay umupo kami malapit sa glass wall kung saan makikita ang building ng College of Arts and Social Science.

“Matagal na din pala mula noong nakasabay kitang kumain.” sinabi niya nang dumating ang orders namin. “When was the last time? I think noong birthday ng Kuya Francis mo.”

I nodded. It was almost a month ago. Noong birthday ng eldest son niya na si Kuya Francis. Kuya Francis is twenty two years old. He’s three years older than me.  Pero third year college pa lang siya tulad ko dahil papalit palit siya ng course. First he took a business course, then shifted to nursing, then nag engineering, hangang sa napunta siya ng culinary.

“Kamusta na po siya?”

Napapaused sa pagkain si Ninang. “He’s good.” sinabi niya. “Mukhang masaya siya sa course niya ngayon. Nakatagal na siya ng one year and a half which is an improvement.”

Naalala ko laging nasasangkot sa gulo si Kuya Francis sa loob o maging sa labas ng school noon. Hindi siya pumapasok sa klase. Na-dropped siya sa mga subjects.

I remember his Father’s birthday wish for him. He hoped that Kuya Francis figure out what he wants to do in life and hoped it makes him happy.

Dati hindi ko pinapansin ang tungkol sa bagay na yon. I wish it makes you happy or I wish for your happiness. Naisip ko napaka general ng hiling na yon. Napaka common para sa isang birthday wish. It almost seems like the default birthday wish kapag wala ka na talagang maisip sabihin.

Pero habang tumatagal, unti unti kong nakikita ang kahalagahan nito. Are you happy? Is such a difficult question. If someone would ask me this right now, I wouldn’t know how to answer it. I don’t know if I’m happy doing the things I’m doing or if I’m only doing things out of someone else’s happiness.

“People always notice how good he is in the kitchen.” Ninang said. “It was almost natural for him to cook.”

Kuya Francis is good in almost every dish. Kapag may handaan, you would think you’re in a high end restaurant kapag siya ang naghahanda ng pagkain.

“Pero kapag tinatanong ko siya dati, lagi niyang sinasabi na hindi niya ito sineseryoso. Katuwaan lang kapag may handaan, pampawala ng stress. But I think he’s just afraid.”

Natigilan ako sa pagkain. “Why is that?”

“Francis finally found his passion.” Ninang said. “But he’s afraid to face it head on because this time if he’s going to mess up, he’s going to mess up something really important to him.”

Hindi ako nakapagsalita.

“How about you, Isabelle?” Napakurap ako at humarap kay Ninang.

“Other than being student, what do you want to do? Saan ka mahilig?”

Something SpectacularTahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon