Hello everyone October is the month of Halloween. In America, we dress up in costumes and knock on neighbor’s doors to get candy, it’s called trick or treating. What are you doing for Halloween? What are you dressing up as? Whatever it is, be safe out there, take precautions, and never drive drunk. Speaking about drunk, Michael had a bit of drunk-like symptoms on his Saturday morning. Let’s see how Angel’s day after looked like.
Beep… beep… beep… Angel’s alarm clock wakes her up at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Opening her eyes, staring at the ceiling, she imagines Michael’s mukha and ngiti.
“What a silly guy. But he is sorta cute. I was so happy to be out last night. I don’t get to talk to anyone these days besides Rosie.” Angel covers her rupa with her pillow and belches a sigh. She falls asleep, and Rosie pops into her head and says “Gaga! Get up now!”
She laughs and rolls over onto the bare floor. Angel sleeps on a comforter on the floor in the living room. She has been staying at this house for the past 5 months now.
She looks at the clock, and it reads 6:40 a.m. “OMG! Oh no, I have to get going!”
She hurries to the restroom where it is locked, so there must already be someone inside. “Ahhhh, I have to use the restroom and pee.” Angel runs outside to do her business behind the hedges.
Heading back to the balay, lights are being turned on. She can hear the older lady yelling. Her name is Lydia. She is 43, a bit overweight, she has a boyfriend and three children. Her tatay is a rich Filipino-American businessman in China. She has lived in Hawai‘i for 20 plus years and took Angel in when she found her living on the beach at the lowest point of her life. Angel has been staying with her and has felt indebted to her ever since. Only thing is, Lydia has a bit of a temper.
“Angel! Where are you? These dishes are not even washed! Did you cook breakfast already? These boxes are not even put away! You are so sadot. Oh, you come to America and this is what you do? Where are you hiding?” Shouting at the top of her lungs.
Angel rushes into the kitchen. “Sorry Ma’am, I woke up late.”
“Woke up late? You are a waste of life. You sleep like you are a Queen! Do you think you are the Queen of this house?”
Angel stares at the floor. “No Ma’am.”
Lydia: “You are lucky you are living here! I should have left you in Waikīkī to live with the homeless. Do you want to go back?”
Lydia: “You think you can stay out late and go wherever you want?”
Angel: “No ma’am.”
Lydia: “Next time, I will call the Deportation office and have them take you away. Do you want that?”
Angel begins to cry. “No ma’am, I am sorr… ”
Lydia, enraged in anger shouts across the table. “Hurry up and cook breakfast. You have a lot of things to do today!”
“Yes ma’am.” Wiping the tears away from her nawong, Angel lights the gas stove and reaches for the eggs. One tumbles to the ground.
Lydia drifts towards the other side of the house, opening doors and yelling. The name calling doesn’t stop but becomes distorted as she moves further away.
Angel’s kamay are shaking, and she is breathing heavily. Hot oil is splashing onto her arms. She pictures her inang and tatang and how much they need her to succeed in America. Angel comes from a poor family back in the Philippines. Her tatay is disabled, a nasty injury working on the farm eight years ago and has left him bedridden. Her nanay can’t find any work, she was a housewife with very little education. They sent Angel off with a friend of the family named Billy 13 months ago. He promised the family that he found a company looking for workers in America and Angel could work. They spent all the money they had just for Angel’s passport and bus fare to Manila. They never heard from her since.
“Inang, I am so sorry.” Angel whispers while tears fall onto her shirt. “I can’t help you like I promised. I didn’t know America would be like this.” She looks up tries to hold it in.
Suddenly, Lydia pulls her hair and Angel falls backward. “Stupid girl, you didn’t wash clothes yesterday like I told you to.”
“I am sorr… ”
“Sorry? Everyday is sorry! Who do you think you are? You are so useless! And where were you last night? You stay out late, probably looking for men? Oh, I know you are so desperate for men! You think you are napintas but you are ugly. I’m going to pull all your buhok out. She grabs the other side of Angels head with her other hand, and clinches even harder.
“No! Please ma’am No!” as Angel cries in agonizing pain.
“No man will ever like you. I will make you so funge. From now on, you stay home and work all day. Do you understand?” Lydia screams while pulling her downward.
As tears fall from her mukha onto the cold floor, her arms blistering from oil, and her scalp throbbing from the roots of her buhok, Angel drops to one knee. Here, she can see clusters of her hair on the white ceramic tile around her and she extends her hands to brace her fall.
Angel whimpering in sorrow and barely able to speak, “Yes I’m sorry ma’am. I AM SORRY!”
Lydia releases her buhok, and walks away. “Stupid girl. Don’t forget, you are here illegally. I am the only one who came for you. I own you.”
Hi guys, a new twist in the story is happening here. It is very sad, but these things happen in real life every day. Can you imagine going to a foreign country looking for work? Can you imagine leaving your family behind and not knowing what is on the other side? In the Philippines, people do it all the time. Sometimes we hear horror stories and sometimes we hear success stories too. And that’s what I want to hear from you! Log on to our facebook page at www.facebook.com/letstalkpinoy and tell us your favorite rise to riches story!
Your homework this month is to say “You are beautiful or You are handsome” to someone everyday for the next four weeks. “Ang ganda mo.” “Nagpintas ka.” “Kay gwapa man sad ka.” “Ang pogi mo.”
“Nagtaraki ka.” “Gwapo ka.” Go out there and make a difference in someone’s life or put a smile and impress your loved one or someone special. Who knows, maybe it is even a great time to talk to that special crush in your life, and this is a great way to get started. Tell them Dulce made me say it to you.
Anyways that’s all I have. Keep an eye out for my article every issue. I’m Dulce, helping you to master your Filipino languages. Like always, let’s laugh, let’s 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 in Liberal Arts from Maui Community College and her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, specializing in Accounting, from the University of Hawaii – West Oahu. 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 recently became part of the Travel Club of Saladmaster and won an all-expenses paid trip to Cancun, Mexico with the love of her life. Butay recently returned from a trip to Texas as one of the delegates from Island Healthy Solutions, a dealer of Saladmaster here in Maui.