Even as sick as i was. i could not help going to this place we call Kanto.. it was not the kanto, nor there was the corner, but we just knew it as that.
their lives there are not that easy. Nanay Gloria, who is very old, still peddles vegies for an income of, sometimes, just five peso, twenty, at most. kuya fido and ate nora keep a small store the kanto guys are running to as loan center. kuya ruffy gave up his installment-paid motorcycle for they could not keep up with the payment. ate marivic’s family is barely eating, barely supporting the schooling of the daughter i call “Bendita”. then, of course, there is Manuel’s family….
i could not comprehend how poor they really were until i dipped myself in visiting them and constantly fellowshipping with them.
at first, they were positive, so positive about the hog raising and the poultry that our church pastor launched. then, of course, there was also the silly farm. (kidding, i mean, jalapeños- sili) but then, the hog raising seemed not to go on with the selling season, and the grass were as diligent as ever. we lost hearts, that the question was “Ilan ang lugi mo” (how much did you lose?) instead of “Ilan ang tubo?” (how much is the profit), for there was no profit..
they were barely eating. it saddened my heart that they ate RIMAS, a local produce, in the morning, in the afternoon,and in the evening. good, if there was rimas. if there was none, there was really none.
yesterday afternoon, as we were having the much-needed rest from the “silly” farm, we happily talked about heaven. we were envisioning it as one glorious place for us. it was so touching when ate lucille mentioned about her daughter’s prayer to take us all to heaven fast, right away tomorrow. there would be gold elsewhere-no hunger, no envy-just praising the Lord, day in and day out.
that night, we went to the house of kuya Jony. and ate eden said: “kung walang baboy, kung walang lugi, kung walang manok at walang silihan, wala sana tayong pag-uusapan. pero dahil dito, umunlad ang ugnayan natin sa PAnginoon at sa kapwa natin, kaya walang lugi” (if there were no hogs, no bankruptcy, no poultry, and no pepper farm, there would be nothing to share on and talk about. but because of those things, we grew closer together and our relationship with Lord grew more intimate. truly, that’s more than monetary profit!”
and nanay gloria, who was sitting by the big stone outside ate marivic’s house said, “Aba’y paupo-upo na lang ako maharil sa langit!“(I will not do anything anymore in heaven) which, i countered with a joke: “Nanay, walang bangko dun. puro gintong kalye lang!”(There is no single chair there. only streets of gold!) with a smile, that super funny smile,she answered back, “ aba. ay di lulupagi..“(oh, then, i’ll lay back on the golden street!) what ever God gives them, they sure are happy about it.
so i thought, even if a signal number one storm could sway their houses down, they would still stand up, for the Lord is with them. their houses are built upon the rock.