Goodbye 2020. What a year to remember or forget! It’s the year that didn’t turn out the way we expected it would be.
Was surviving the global pandemic on your plan or goal? It’s been a tough year for many of us as we experienced job loss, childcare difficulties, virtual schooling and most of all, not being able to see family be it far or near. We cannot visit them when they are sick or on the bridge of death, we cannot attend funerals to pay our respect to our loved ones. Instead, the government came up with these new normal things like wearing a face mask, social distancing at least six feet, avoid touching MEN (Mouth, Eyes, Nose), washing hands or use hand sanitizer and so on.
Now the year is over, we welcome 2021 with new absolute joy and take all of those life lessons we learned from last year and apply them this year to have a happier and healthier 2021.
Let’s see what’s going on with Michael this month and where they will be going next, shall we?
Susan: Are you on your way to the office? Where are you?
Michael: Hmmm… No. I just came from Pa‘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 ngayon (today). I’m afraid I don’t have any good news for you on this one.
Michael: Ano (What) do you have for me?
Susan: The name Angel Corpuz from Baccara doesn’t exist. I’ve looked up many different records from the United States government files all the way to Philippine birth certificates. There is no Angel Corpuz from Bacarra.
Michael: Anni? (What?) That’s impossible. Check the records again.
Susan: Sir, she doesn’t exist. The person you were looking for, she is not who she seems to be.
Michael gasps with horror in his eyes. His korason (heart) starts to pound and his knees tremble.
Susan: I’ve done a little bit more digging as well. I’ve looked into the immigration records and it seems an Angel Corpuz Ramos went missing around that same time. I forwarded the last available picture of her at the Philippine airport with an unknown man beside her.
Michael: Let me take a look at that picture. Send it now.
Michael stares at his phone, an-xiously waiting to receive the picture.
It seems like forever, he sighs, but only a minute just passed.
Susan sent one image.
As Michael opens the photo provided by his assistant there is no doubt this is the same girl.
Michael is hit with a series of emotions—anger, confusion, sadness, anger, worry. His puso (heart) starts beating at 1000 miles a second. “How could this be?”
Susan: Sir, she is wanted. There is a warrant for her arrest. Apparently there was a sheriff who was killed and she was one of the last people seen on camera with him. Immigration detectives are after her as well as the police department special investigation team.
Michael hangs up the phone. As he flings it aside, he pulls over.
After clinching his buhok (hair), he begins to rub his face aggressively. After a deep breath he grabs his phone to check out the photo again. Yes, this is definitely her.
He makes a U-turn to head back to Pa‘ia.
As he goes up and down Baldwin Avenue, he is desperately looking for a sign of Angel.
He gets out of the sasakyan (car) and starts to run up and down the kal-ye (street).
Deep inside, he just wants to burst out and shout her name. But he doesn’t have the courage to do so. He dashes towards an unknown balay (house) and raises his kamay (hand) to knock and then pauses and retracts his kamot (hand). He just doesn’t have the guts to do it.
“What if they scold me?”
“What if a dog jumps out?”
“What if it’s a big angry guy?”
Michael steps back and slowly walks down the hagdanan (stairs) staring at his gamat (hands). He looks around but his mind is racing. He cannot really gather any of his thoughts. He knows he should do something but his head is in a state of chaos.
Hurriedly going back to his kotse (car), he sees his phone ringing.
Like a linebacker jumping in for a fumbled ball, he leaps into his sakyanan (car), almost injuring himself on the parking brake. He captures the device and tries to unlock his phone.
As his lima (hands) shake, his pupils dilating, he enters his password. Incorrect. He enters it again. Incorrect. “Arggg,” he grunts. He enters his password for the fourth time. Incorrect. A panic attack comes on and he furiously taps on this phone screen for the fifth time. “Wrong PIN entered 5 times, try again in 30 seconds.” Grinding his teeth, he enters PIN after PIN after PIN. “Wrong PIN entered 12 times; try again in 10 minutes.
As fire comes from his mouth, he flings his phone into the bushes and it crashes into the cane grass. He stares into the field. In shock, he instantly regrets throwing his phone.
This time, wishful and playful words come marching out of his mouth. He begins his walk to the cane grass and gracefully makes his way into the Pā‘ia forest. As the coarse, sharp grass blades dig into the soft skin on his body, he winces in pain. Gingerly pushing aside lump after lump, he can’t see his phone anywhere.
Grimacing with every step, Michael can feel the tiny micro sharp bwak (hairs) on each blade of grass grab hold of him as he passes. His pants snags on every turn. Michael has never done any landscaping work so this is all new to him. Digging around feeling the ground, he feels something crawl up his braso (arm). He screams and shakes off his ima (hand).
“Aww man what have you done now Mikey? Geez, couldn’t I have just thrown it away in the lugan (car)? Why did I have to chuck it into the grass?” he whiffs under his nose.
Suddenly, a sound catches his ear.
Michael stops moving and holds his breath.
The sound again. He can hear it.
He hears his cell phone ringing!
“Riiinnggggggggg … Riiiiiinnnnng-gggg …”
Who do you think it is? Could it be Susan with more information? Could it be the cops looking for Angel? Or could it be his grandmother needing help with her television again?
Find out next month!
2020 is in the books! Aren’t we glad we have a fresh new start? Let’s kick off 2021 with some positive New Year’s resolutions. Please share your resolution with us on Facebook. Visit us on our Facebook page and leave us a comment or ideas at www.facebook.com/fil-amvoicemaui.
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.