It’s my favorite month! Why is that? It’s because it’s my birth month. I am happy when November comes because I am going to be a year wiser and older. I am forever grateful for the gift of life. Four decades and more is not an easy one. There were and still are bumps on the road but it’s what makes the ride exciting and fulfilling.
In the Philippines, November 1st is All Saint’s Day and November 2nd is All Soul’s Day. It is the day when we remember our loved ones who have passed away. A few days before the beginning of the month, people clean the cemetery where their loved ones are laid to rest. Some folks hire others to clean and repair the memorials. This year, due to COVID-19, there was a new normal for visiting our loved ones to comply with rules about social distancing and mass gathering. The officials created a schedule per baranggay to accommodate those visiting their loved ones.
Let’s see what’s going on with Angel this month and where they will be going next, shall we?
“That’s right! I will make it here no matter how hard it gets,” teary eyed, she says to herself in the mirror. “Michael, where are you? I want to tell you everything,” Angel says to herself.
Ding … dong. The doorbell rings. “Michael?” she gasps. Angel wipes her eyes and runs down the stairs. She lunges for the ridaw (door) with the biggest isem (smile) on her goya (face) and opens the puwerta (door).
In front of her is an older lady holding a basket full of utanon (vegetables).
Lady: Mapianga um-ma nikaw (Good morning) my child. Is Lydia here?
Angel: Magandang umaga (Good morning). No, she’s not home right now. Can I help you?
Lady: I just came here to give her some fresh kautanan (vegetables) from my backyard. There’s plenty and I don’t want it to waste. I also want to talk stories with her. It’s been a long time since we gossip about our friends. Where did she go? It’s very early in the morning and she’s out already?
Angel comes out and closes the pintuan (door) behind her.
Angel: Lydia and Henry went to Honolulu this morning. I don’t know why they went there but they will be back tonight.
Lady: Oh, is that so? Since I am here, I will give these gulay (vegetables) to you.
The lady handed the basket of nateng (vegetables) to Angel. She thanked her and accepted the basket.
Lady: Ana (What) is your name? You are not Lydia’s daughter, right? You don’t have any resemblance to her. You are too maganda (beautiful) to be her daughter.
The lady laughed and it became contagious that Angel joined her. Both of them were laughing so hard. The laughter turned into an awkward pause and then silence.
Angel: My name is Angel. Lydia is not my mother. She’s not my Auntie or my relative. I am not related to her but she was nice enough to let me live with her because I don’t have a place to go to.
Lady: Ah, ok. Nice to meet you Angel. I am Lisa. Lydia is my friend.
Angel: Nice meeting you, Auntie Lisa. Let me put these gulay (vegetables) inside so I can give you your basket. Do you want to come inside?
Angel opened the pasbul (door) and walked towards the kitchen. Lisa followed her behind and closed the ganhaan (door).
Lisa: Hani (What) is your last name Angel? Who are your parents? Nokarin (Where) are they from? Maybe I know them. Or maybe we are related.
Angel: Oh, Auntie. You have so many questions. My last name is Corpuz. My ginikanan (parents) are from Bacarra and they are still there. I don’t know if I have relatives here on Maui. I didn’t ask my magana (parents) if we have relatives here. I just got here a few months ago. Maybe when I call and talk to them, I can ask. Inno (Where) are you from, Auntie?
Angel placed the basket on the table and started to take the nateng (vegetables) out from the basket and put it in a big bowl. In her mind, she thinks about her parents again. She misses them. She hasn’t talked to them since she got to Hawai‘i. She doesn’t know how she will get in touch with them.
Lisa: Hoy, Angel. Did you hear me? I was asking if you have a boyfriend or if you are married. I have a nataraki (handsome) nephew. He is pogi (handsome) and you are malagu (beautiful). I think you both will be a cute couple. I am so naragsak (happy). My guapo (handsome) nephew will be masaya (happy) that I found a napintas (beautiful) lady for him.
Lisa winked at her, giggled and got excited. She finally found a gwapa (beautiful) lady for her nephew. “Her nephew will definitely like this lady for sure. He is such a picky man,” Lisa thought. “I’ve introduced dozens of ladies to him and none of them he wants. He didn’t even try to call any of them. This guy would always say ‘collect and collect, then select the best.’”
Angel: Oh Auntie. I am single but I don’t have time for that. I have to find a job and start making money so I can help my magulang (parents). My dad needs to buy his medicine so he can get better.
Lisa: Oh, perfect! I have a job offer for you.
Angel: Oh, but you don’t understand, Auntie. It’s complicated.
Lisa: Don’t worry Angel. My masanting (handsome) nephew will take care of you. He will be your Angel. An angel for an Angel. Let’s see if he is available now.
Lisa took out her phone from her bag and entered her PIN and started going through her contacts.
Who is this lady calling now? Will this lady be able to help Angel with whatever situation she is into? Or is she bad news and will get Angel in trouble?
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I’m Dulce, helping you to master your Filipino Languages. Like always, let’s laugh, let’s makinig (listen), and Let’s Talk Pinoy! Hanggang sa muli! (Until next time!) Ingat! (Take care!).
Dulce Karen Butay was graduated from Maui High School and earned her Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Maui Community College and her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, specializing in Accounting, from the University of Hawai‘i—West O‘ahu. She is currently the Administrative Officer at the County of Maui, Department of Finance. Butay is a licensed Resident Producer of Life Insurance with World Financial Group and an Independent Consultant of Saladmaster. She is now part of the Travel Club of Saladmaster and won an all-expenses paid trip to Cancun, Mexico with the love of her life, Paul Manzano. Butay has traveled to Texas, the Philippines and Thailand as one of the delegates from Island Healthy Solutions, a Saladmaster dealer here on Maui.