December? Where did the time go? If you are having a hard time believing that it’s already the last month of the year, you are not alone. Most of us stayed home so we don’t get this global virus–the COVID-19. Some workers were laid off because their place of work was closed. Others worked because they were so called “essential.” I don’t know about you but I felt like I didn’t accomplish anything this year. My planner was blank after March 16, 2020 because it’s either cancelled or postponed indefinitely. Well, regardless, let’s make the most of what is left of the month and finish the year off great. On this holiday season, let us spend our time with our family, our loved ones and show that even in the face of crisis, it won’t ruin the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas? Well, ready or not, it’s here. The holiday season is here and the year is coming to an end. How are you celebrating Christmas this year? What is the new normal to celebrate the holidays? What’s the most treasured or practical gifts this year? Toilet paper? Clorox wipes? Lysol spray? Gloves? Mask? Whatever you receive, be grateful … it’s the thought that counts.
Let’s see what’s going on with Angel this month and where they will be going next, shall we?
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.
Lisa: Ah, that Mikong, he didn’t give me his new cellphone number. That boy is always busy. He is always hiding from me. Anyways, I will contact him. I want him to meet you. You are perfect for each other.
Lisa put away her phone. She stood up and took her basket.
Lisa: Tell Lydia that I stopped by and I will come back.
Angel walked Lisa out the pintuan (door).
Angel: Maraming salamat (Thank you) Auntie for the vegetables. I will tell Auntie Lydia that you stopped by.
Angel heaved a sigh of relief when she closed the lukub (door). “Thank goodness she wasn’t able to call whoever she’s trying to call.”
Meanwhile, Michael watched in astonishment as these men, these homeless men that came out of nowhere to tulong (help) him change his flat tire.
“Uncle, uncle! Wait!” He ran after them. He was panting when he finally caught up with them.
Man: What is it boy? You need more uffun (help)?
Michael: I just want to say daghang salamat (thank you) Uncle for your tulungan (help). I wanna give you something for snack. Here, Uncle.
The man reached out and grabbed the twenty-dollar bill, gazed for a blink and snatched the fifty dollar bill from Michael’s kamay (hand) without hesitation as well.
Man: Eh, right on boy! You get any more? I stay hungry.
Michael, unprepared as usual, pats down his chest, pats down his pockets.
“Ah, I know,” Michael says as he bent down to his shoe. “I always keep extra salapi (money) in my sock just in case of emergencies,” he says to himself. Taking off his shoe and removing his dark damp sock from his bony foot, he pulls out another fifty-dollar bill.” He raises his ima (hand) to the air “Yes!” he says and immediately is snatched in thin air by the man.
Michael smirks and gives a thumbs up.
Man begins to walk away and then turns around.
Michael’s demeanor quickly changes from calm, back to frightened.
“Oh, dili (no)! He’s going to hurt me now! He knows I have some kwarta (money), he is coming to get more. And if I don’t have anymore, he is for sure going to hurt me,” Michael thinks.
As the man approaches him quickly, Michael instinctively covers for impact.
Man: Ey boy.
Michael shaking, whimpers: Stop! Hindi (No), Saan (No), Indi (No).
Michael looks up and the man is holding out his kamot (hand) offering to give him something.
Michael reaches out and accepts the contents of the man’s hand and the man walks away. As Michael brings his lima (hand) down to his lap, he slowly opens his kamot (hand). The man gave Michael half of a cigarette and a soggy pack of matches with one match.
In awe, Michael looks up and the man is gone. As Michael gets to his feet, he looks around quickly to scan the area, not a trace.
Frightened, he runs back to the sasakyan (car) and slams the ganhaan (door) shut, locking it immediately. He turns on the ignition, shifts to drive, releases the brake and starts to drive. He pulls onto Hāna Highway at blazing speed.
While in his car, he opens up his kamay (hand) and there it is, the cigarette and a pack of matches. Out of disgust, he tosses it on the floor and wipes his gamat (hand) on his shirt.
“Disgusting!” he says as he reaches for the container of Lysol wipes.
Michael wipes his kamot (hand) once, twice, three times. Then he grabs the bottle of hand sanitizer and squirts it on his ima (hands). “You can never have enough sanitizer nowadays. I have to protect myself from getting sick. You don’t know what those men have so I better clean up when I get home…”
“Nasaan (Where) is my phone? Inno (where) is my phone?” Michael scrambles in the car to look for his phone. “I want to call Rosie so she can bulig (help) me,” he thinks to himself. “I bet she knows nokarin (where) to find Angel.”
Suddenly his chest starts to vibrate. “Oh heck, it’s been in my front pocket this whole time!” he scolds himself. As he dislodges his cellphone from his front pocket of his shirt, the phone slips out of his ima (hands) and tumbles onto the floor near the half-smoked cigarette.
“Oh shoot, forget it! I’ll just answer through my lugan (car) bluetooth!” he says to himself.
Susan: Good morning Sir! I have an update of the things you asked me to research and the information you wanted me to look into.
Michael: Good morning Susan. What are you doing in the office on a Saturday umaga (morning)? Last time I checked, we only work from Monday through Friday and I gave you Saturday and Sunday as your day off.
Susan: Sir, you told me this is a special assignment and it’s very urgent. You gave me 72 hours as my deadline to accomplish this assignment.
Michael: Really? I said that? … Oh … Well then,… you have an update? Wow, I’m excited. Is it good news? Is it good info? I hope it’s a good one especially if you call me this early on a Saturday buntag (morning). Let me dengngeg (hear) it … What do you have for me?
Susan: Are you on your way to the office? Where are you?
Michael: Hmmm.… No. I just came from Pā‘ia and I had a flat tire. I am driving to the shop to have my tire fixed and then go see someone. Should I be in the office on a Saturday?
Susan: Well Sir, I think you have to call me when you are not driving or when you are done with all the things you have to do today. I’m afraid I don’t have any good news for you on this one.
Not a good news? Uh, oh… what is it now? What is the information that Michael will dinig (hear) about the research? Does he want to dungug (hear) it or wait till Monday when he gets to the office? Should he go to the shop and have his tire fixed or should he go to the office and malalam (hear) the result of the research? How do you handle bad news or unpleasant news? How do you react and how do you deal and cope with it?
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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.