Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Coffee Cup from DAD


(DEDICATED TO MY ONE GREAT FATHER UP ABOVE, WHO NEVER FAIL TO COMFORT ME. THANK YOU LORD FOR ALL THE BLESSINGS!)


It was such a calm, fine morning.... 

I look out my window seeing the same sun rays that always greet me sa tuwing umaga. 
"Good morning Sunshine! Rise and Fight!" But there's a sudden kirot sa dibdib, malapit na nga pala ang pasko. Haaay..... Magpapasko na naman pala ako sa Banyagang Bansa. I went out of bed, got my morning towel wrapped around my neck, Bbbbrrrrrrrrr! Lamig! Lakad papuntang kusina na parang wala sa sarili, antok na naman because of waiting for the late News on Local TV....Iba kasi ang time zone dito sa Poland. SIGH! Rinig kong nagmula sa akin, as I pour a steaming hot coffee like I always did. Hmmmmm…. Dudungaw sa bintang mga banyaga rin ang makikita, some are rushing for work. Some are just walking freely, chatting. Kelan kaya ako ulit makakakita ng mga batang naglalaro sa labas, nagtatawanan at nagsisigawan ng TAYA!

Maliliit pa kami noon sa Batangas, I lived in a humble home with 6 members of the Family. I was the youngest and they say the Daddy’s Girl. Syempre! Ako yata ang bunso sa 4 na magkakapatid, I have 3 older brothers na may kanya-kanya nang pamilya ngayon We didn’t get much time to talk this time, twing pasko at birthday na lang yata.

Tahimik ang Tatay ko. Bihirang magsalita, Tikom ang bibig at palaging matatas sa mga bibitiwang bilin at pagalit sa aming magkakapatid. I used to cry whenever I saw those big black eyes kapag pinapagalitan na kaming lahat. Kapag kasalanan ng isa, kasalanan ng lahat. Lahat makakatikim ng parusa, lahat makakatikim ng palo. Pero hindi malupit ang Tatay ko. Mapagmahal sya at matuwid na tao. Hindi namin naririnig na nag-aaway sila ng Inay at ni minsan ay wala kaming narinig na kaaway nya.  Madasalin sya at may takot sa Diyos. I remember always hearing him shouting and knocking on each of our doors during the night.

“Don’t forget to pray!” Sabay-sabay naman sasagot, “Opo Tay!” Hagikgik ang kasunod pero magdadasal kaming sabay-sabay. Lumaki kaming puspos ng pagmamahal, at pangaral ni Tatay. Hindi sya nakakalimot sa kaarawan ng bawat isa sa amin. Lagi akong may uwing laruan at kendi pagka-galing nya sa trabaho. Nagmana ako sa kanya! Mahilig sa kape! Kapag malungkot, kapag masaya, problemado, nag-aalala. Walang ibang hahawakan kundi ang rosary at tasa ng mainit na kape sa kabilang kamay.

Nagta-trabaho ang Tatay ko sa isang Bangko sa Syudad naming hindi kalakihan sa Batangas. Nobyembre noon, medyo marami nang tao sa daan. Abala sa kanya-kanyang CHRISTMAS RUSH kumbaga…. Hindi magkamayaw sa pakikipagtawaran ang mga tao sa palengkeng dadaaanan ni Tatay bago makarating sa aming bahay. Ilang kilometro lamang naman ang layo, and he always walk himself home pagkagaling sa opisina. Routine na nya kasi yun, exercise nya daw sa gabi. Hehehe! Tatay talaga baliktad! Parang yung kape nya kapag tinitimpla, nauuna ang tubig bago asukal, kape at creamer.

Nang gabing yun, kasabay nya si Ninong Mario pauwi, kasamahan sya sa bangko na Ninong ko sa binyang, kumpil at baka pati sa magiging kasal ko, ninong ko na rin. Pagdating nila sa kanto, na medyo madilim, isang lalaking ang dagling hinablot si Tatay sa braso. Pilit inaagaw ang supot na dala nya mula sa Christmas Sale sa palengke. That was the most dreadful day ever ng buhay ko! We just got the story from Ninong that Tatay was refusing to give-out that small plastic he was holding. The culprit stabbed him. That was 1993 and I was just 9years old when he passed away. I couldn’t understand why people were too bad and will steal somebody else’s happiness. That night my dad’s happiness was captured on that small plastic he was holding. Then Ninong Mario hand it over to me, masyado daw matapang si Tatay at nagawa pang ibato sa lugar nya yung supot para lang maiuwi sa bahay bago sya panawan ng buhay. And to my dismay and excitement at the same time, I opened that a bit bloody small box and daw this small COFFEE CUP inside… with a cute little girl’s picture holding his dad’s hand. It was me and Tatay sa picture ng Coffee Cup na yun. I might be 3 or 4 years old. When I first had a taste of that home made coffee he used to grow sa maliit na taniman namin. At my early age, tears freely rolled down my cheeks, no sound just tears… Tears from my broken heart. tears because of hatred and tears because of my loss. Wala na si Tatay! He left me with this small coffee cup that supposes to be his birthday gift for me para sa Pasko.

And here I am, staring at my window, malayo ang tingin, naalala ko na naman ang papalapit na pasko, pagkawala ni Tatay at kasabay ng kaarawan ko. Tears rolled freely again, but not because of hurt and fear, but because I remembered him and that small note on the coffee cup box na bigay nya.


“Think of me with every sip. Katulad ng kape, I will always be with you, from the morning you wake up, till the moment you close your eyes at night. Whatever you will go through, Be strong, be squashy and be calm, andito si Tatay”

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