I heard a sad story the other day when AM, one of the maids here, left permanently.
With all the maids that have made their way to my family's home since I was a kid, this is one of those "aalis na po ako" stories that I may never forget.
AM decided to go when she heard that her aunt, who's taking care of her father, passed away. She had some sort of disease that had the doctor no choice but to amputate both her legs to prevent the disease from spreading. I guess after the doc amputated the remaining leg, she couldn't bare to see another day.
AM has a monthly salary of 3,000 pesos. She sends 2,000/month back home for her family's spending while the remaining 1,000 she keeps for her life savings.
According to B, they never saw AM spend a single centavo of that 1,000. When B and the other maid go out to buy meryenda, AM would not join. She would simply eat whatever food is portioned for the household help, nothing else.
B even said that the slippers that she uses were so old that the soles of her feet are already kissing the ground since the slippers were so worn out. She never wanted to spend her savings.
But then her aunt died and she wanted to go see her for the last time. She had planned to go back with her sister who also works as a maid here in Manila.
But then, going back by sea is cheap but it will take them 3 days for the trip. She might not be home in time to see her aunt. Thus she and her sis decided to take the plane, a faster but costly route.
To shoulder the airfare, she had no choice but to use up her savings to fly back. Her 1,000/month savings, all gone.
Badminton, as you know, is the sporting craze nowadays here in Manila. Courts are popping up like mushrooms all around, and many people have taken up the sport ---much to the dismay of the missus.
Ten years ago, badminton was just like any other neglected sport here. But the missus and her friends were regular shuttlers, meeting weekly at Camp Aguinaldo to play. But ever since the sport picked up its popularity, she lost the energy to play.
Why you ask? Let me put it by this example:
Imagine you bought an album of your favorite artist/band. Some of the songs are already getting their regular airplay in the radio-stations, while there are some songs that are still unknown to the listening public.
You then find one particular song that hasn't been aired. You listen to it, and you love it ---more than the other songs, including the ones getting airplay. You christen it as THE song that you like most in the album and best of it all is that only you, and the other people who bought the album, are the only ones who get to listen and enjoy that song.
Then, after two weeks buying the album, you turn on the radio. Suddenly, you hear a familiar intro.
It's THE song that you love, and it's now being played on air!
Now everyone hears it. Everybody now knows it. It not only gets airtime on the radio, but you'll see it on TV, with the ultimate insult of some lame-ass forgotten hearthrob actor/actress trying to sing it on a non-favorite Sunday noontime show ---out of tune.
Your song, for all terms and purposes, has been mutilated.
Now use that analogy to the missus on badminton, you'll understand why.
She was ok with me starting to pickup the sport (Before, I didn't like badminton AT ALL). But then her dismay began to pickup when the basketball-clad guys hitting the shuttles came, then came the Sexbomb Dancers on the cover of Inquirer-Badminton magazine, then came Boy Abunda being interviewed in a weekly Badminton show.
Then, well, the last straw came:
Yes, that's good ol' Ronald McDonald hitting a shuttle.
Good thing football isn't that popular here.
Oh please no.
The missus and I went out last Thursday to watch "GaryV @ 23" at the Music Museum. This was our 3rd time to watch him live and, once again, he didn't dissapoint.
The crowd got excited everytime he'd walk towards the seats. This was where most of the fans would cry out, "Gary here!" to grab his attention so that they can have the opportunity to touch, hug, and even kiss him. The damatans were particularly the kilig-est of the bunch.
There was this old lady on our row who I assumed to be a die-hard fan. It was halfway thru the show that Gary then jumped to the aisle where she was and started walking. She, overcome with excitement, threw both arms in the air with hands signaling Gary to come on over. Kulang na lang eh sumigaw sya ng "Too! Too!" as if calling her favorite pet. Sad to say Gary didn't reach her and had to walk back up the stage. Later on there was another old-lady who was brave enough to walk towards the edge of the stage and Gary obliged by taking pics with her and kissing her on the cheek. Our old-lady then signaled his now embarassed husband to take her picture with Gary since she wanted to do the same. Unfortunately for her (and fortunately for the husband), the plan didn't pull through.
Seeing that Gary didn't reach their area (which was near the missus), a group of middle-aged women were crying out for Gary to come over. I was just smiling at how these women wanted to be near him. Good thing the missus wasn't like this, I thought.
Suddenly, I was surprised to hear a faint cry "Dito naman!" from my left side.
It was the missus.
Well Gary did walk her aisle but he was 3-5 rows short of her. Oh well, at least she got to enjoy the concert, as always.
Hmmm...maybe next year she'll request me to get the front-center seats. Hehe.
One of the things I like being back home is the numerous sporting options for the week. Here's what I have so far:
Badminton. There's 3 groups that I can join for this, 2 of which are from my ex-colleagues from Globe, and the 3rd are with my collegemates. I've started playing with the latter group every Sunday at Libis. The playing fee is cheap (P75/head for play-all-you-can) although the shuttlecocks are still pricey. If I only remembered to buy a bunch before I left Malaysia (sigh).
Basketball. I've started last Monday with my collegemates. It was an off-night for me since the last time I played was early this year. Rusty on the 3-pointers but I think with constant practice I'll be in shooting-form next time.
Football. Last but not least, my favorite sport. I used to play regularly every Saturday afternoon with my highschool's alumni football club. I hope they're still there since I want to play again. Hopefully tomorrow I get to go and play.
Golf. Naaah, just kidding. Maybe 5 or 10 years from now. Who knows?
Since I still need to help with the baby I have to limit myself to at most, 2 activities a week. It's just a matter of prioritizing which one to go for.
Of course laziness-level is a determining factor if I go or not. Last night I forced myself to workout with the missus' walker-equipment. I opened the garage cabinet, saw the walker, and looked at it for the longest time.
So I closed the cabinet, went back up the house and just passed the time on the laptop....with the missus' sauna belt of course.