Friday, March 28, 2014

Searching For My Son #OFW28




I woke up feeling fresh, went outside the room where I found them having breakfast. I smiled at them and proceed inside the bathroom. The coolness of water splashed my whole being which energized physically and emotionally. I reached out the bath soap with amazing scent, rubbed into my body and triggered my wild imagination of what happened last night. Really, it soothed my being, thinking for another encounter with Ayah Isabel. I suddenly opened the faucet that splashed instantly of what I was thinking and reached the bath towel, wrapped around my waist. I went straight in the dining table, seated down and looked at Ayah Isabel with my natural smile when I’m in love.

“How’s your morning Marc the lover? It seems you’re fully satisfied today?” Edward greeted me with sarcastic remark.

“Oh...come on man! Don't start...," as I usually joked with Edward.

“I listed all the places that we need to strategize for easy access of our schedule. Eat your breakfast with gusto friend...more jobs to do ahead of us.”

“Yes my Lord Edward, and remember my vacation leave is only two months...I need results at once, understand crazy dog...”

“Marco, why not stay here in the Philippines for good, we’ll have to do business together?”

“I think it over Edward. Mike you’ll come with us, okay?”

“Yes Marco, I’m willing and able…..thank you!” Mike said with joyfully.



We left the house around nine in the morning heading to San Antonio Village in Makati City, where one of the manpower agency owned by Danielle Gustilo’s situated. Edward and Mike went inside the agency office to ask about the job opportunities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; while I was left behind inside the car at the other side of the road near the building to observe.

The manpower agency was built with complete sections where the job applicants can transact business with ease, with second floor for the administration personnel. The architectural design was quite modern in style, painted exterior with glass panels. Approximately, after thirty minutes, Edward and Mike were back in the car.

“Marco, let’s go to Intercontinental Hotel, we’ll talk over this case.” Edward said while I began to start the engine.

“Okay Edward.”

Again, we went to the hotel, added Mike Luna as another guest and the hotel personnel assigned us to another room for three people. We had our own respective beds, but one in dining and guest area. Edward ordered some food for lunch and wines to be delivered in our room.

“Marco, we filled up an application form for Mike to work in Dubai, and I asked about the manpower agency staff about Danielle Gustilo. She said, once a week and only Mondays...Danielle was visiting the four manpower agencies...Do you have any suggestions, Marco?”

“I have to talk to her personally Edward...and if she won’t, we have to take her by force!”

“Okay, listen, I’ll talk to the manpower staff for your appointment as businessman, so that...she’ll meet you..it’s okay for you?”

“Yes, Edward do it as early as possible...start now. Mike, please help us with this, okay? Don’t worry about the placement fee, Edward can afford for that...isn’t it Edward my rich-friend?”

“Yes boss Marco…ha-ha-ha-ha...no problemo Hitler,” Edward said laughing. “Good let’s eat Marco, Mike.”

We devoured our food and drinks like children that each one of us was enjoying this moment. But for myself, I believed that whatever I can do to help my friends, I will do it for the sake of our friendship and love.

After lunch, we took our afternoon nap and called Danielle Gustilo through the landline phone which the manpower staff had given to Edward.

“Hello, Ms. Danielle Gustilo, my name is Eduardo Go, a businessman...I’ve got your contact number from one of your manpower agency. You know I have a business proposal which truly interested you. Can we meet at the Intercontinental Hotel Coffee Shop?...Tomorrow morning, 9:00 o’clock?” Edward closed his telephone conversation, “Thank you Ms. Danielle.”

“Marco, it’s positive, tomorrow morning, 9:00 at the hotel’s coffee shop. What you want me to do?”

“I think, you have to disguise first, remember to wear something different...a moustache or something like James Bond...Danielle saw you before Edward?”

“No Marco.”

“Just wear something different, talk to her about recruitment or manpower agency...in Dubai and United Arab Emirates...then, excuse yourself to use the CR...I’ll appear before her in the table...okay Edward?”

“Okay boss Marco..he-he-he…James Bond huh...”

“And you Mike...you’ll be with us to observe the situation and we need help I’ll give a sign, okay?”

“Yes boss Marco Fernando, we’re just like in a movie…ha-ha-ha…”

“Okay, now we’ll going to her house in Greenhills and follow her...Edward you have the address of her in the business card, isn’t it?”

“No Marco, but the staff gave it to me...here in a piece of paper...”

We headed to Greenhills Shopping Center and observed the mansion house near it, where Danielle’s staying. The house has a perimeter fence made of wood and hollow blocks, guarded and had a beautiful exterior designs.

Mike used a binocular to observe the house surroundings and its activities. He spotted a lady, dressed in white who helped the boy carried his things going to the wooden chalet. Another woman in uniform was behind them with the baby’s stroller, and a beautiful lady looking to where the two were going.

“Marco, Edward, look at this...” Mike gave the binocular to me.

“Yes, a boy of seven year old with a maid...and a baby in a stroller...Danielle…you bitch!” I said while using binocular.

“Marc, behave...cool...we’ll follow our plans tomorrow, and not now...okay?” Edward warned me.

“Edward, Mike...quick, they’re going out...”




We hurriedly entered in the car and positioned ourselves to wait along the street where Danielle’s car will pass by. My calculation really gave us the edge to follow her car wherever way she wanted to go. Danielle’s car passed going to the main road, EDSA, that we followed her up to the Robinson’s Galleria, then to the lower level parking lot. We waited until Danielle, the maid and the boy entered the shopping center.

“Edward, Mike, I think, it’s better to have the boy be kidnapped by us...to make Danielle more miserable than Ayah Isabel...than me!” I said angrily.

“Cool Marco, this is not in our plan...and besides...it’s very dangerous...more guards in the vicinity of the mall...”

“Shut up Edward...they’re doing this for me, then, I’ll do it for them...come with me quick!”

Three of us were very careful not to make a disturbance that could affect my decision to capture the boy. We followed them at the third floor where Danielle enters the beauty parlor, while the maid and the boy were roaming around the mall.

Mike Luna made a move to distract the maid that he talked to her with a lover boy effect. The maid brought the boy to the first floor where he rode in an electronic toy ride. While Mike and the maid were busy talking to each other, Edward and I got the boy away from them going to the car park. I saw Mike was following us behind. We speeded up the car going to Shaw Boulevard up to Roxas Boulevard, then, going to Bacoor, Cavite. When we reached the subdivision; we stopped along the road.

“Edward, the boy must stay there at the house, until we can find a way for this?”

“Marco, I think, it’s better, I can handle him at Bantayan island? What do you think?”

“It’s okay, but be sure to take good care of him there?”

“Find your way to take him there...you know, authorities now are moving to find him. Go now, I’ll call you in Bantayan island. I’ll take care of your belongings and the meeting with Danielle.”

“You have to meet her? No, Marco, just stay here in Bacoor.”

“Okay, quick...go now...get a plane ticket...or any means, it depends on you...use your intuition my friend.” Edward and the boy got out of the car.

“Marco, it’s better, you have to take us to the airport, the earlier the better...isn’t it?”

“Okay, come inside the car, we’ll go there together.”



I dropped them at the Manila Domestic Airport, not telling Edward that we’re heading to Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City. Mike and I took a rest in the hotel room until I woke around ten in the evening. I lifted up the hotel’s telephone and ordered something to drink.

“Mike, get up....it’s over...let’s talk..”

“Hmmm...what?....why?...”

“Let’s talk, come on...”

“Okay, I’ll take a bath first...”

“Okay, go on..”

The hotel staff delivered my order and I gave a two hundred pesos tip. He smiled at me with gladness and said, “Thank you Sir!” I smiled back at him, “You’re welcome!”

“Sir, you need young beautiful ladies...for entertainment?”

“Hmmm...what’s your name?”

“Walter sir.”

“Okay Walter, just one young and beautiful...with smooth skin, okay?”

“Okay sir, no problem.”

“No problem for the hotel’s management?”

“Just a visitor...no problem sir.”

I started to pour whisky on my glass, put two ice cubes, swirled slowly and gobbled it. I poured again and put ice cubes. Mike finished bathing, toweled-dry, strapped the towel to his waist and I gave to him the glass. He drank it instantly, went inside the room to get dressed and sat in front of me.

“Marco, what you’re thinking about this thing...I mean, the boy?”

“Well, Edward knows best for that matter, he can do it very carefully.”

“I’m hoping that all’s well for us...”

“Mike, those people didn’t have the right to take my child without my consent...and wanted me to be miserable with my life?”

“Sometimes, I think, leaders are doing their job just for their personal interest.”

"Yes, look, for almost two decade, we’re under the rule of a dictator...that’s why, people under him really have the guts to do the illegal things...and we cannot do the same for what they’re doing? Unfair isn’t it?”

“We have the same point of view my friend. By the way Marco, I have to process my documents as early as possible. It’s okay for you?”

“No problem Mike, after this event, we’ll process your passport and NBI clearance.”

“Okay Marc, thanking you so much!”

We poured another two shots in a row. And another shots for us again.

“By the way Mike, I ordered a young beautiful lady, any moment she’s coming. This is for you, don’t worry...a present for you..”

“For me...how about you?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll continue drinking here.”

“Pareng Marc, how about two of us in one?”

“Okay, you make the first move...I’ll follow...”

Almost five minutes, we heard a knock on the door, which I opened at once.

“Sir, here’s your order....kindly check sir...”

“Walter, great, here’s for you.” I gave the tip for Walter and the lady went inside our room. Feeling groggy I introduced her to Mike Luna.

“Mike here’s your gift! What’s your name lady beautiful?”

“Merry.”

“Ahh,..Merry this is Mike...your partner tonight...have a seat beside us...”

“Okay..Mike..and you handsome...”

“Lady... I’m not handsome!!” I said flatly.

We drank, knew each other and talked together while Mike started his fast and furious tactics to our visitor. After playing basketball, volleyball, football...or anything in between. Mike and I went to the bathroom together to take a bath and back to the guest's area. Merry dressed herself up at once, I gave her five thousand pesos, and she smiled accepting the payment. She kissed me again on my lips with passion, felt she liked me so much the way she looked at me and gave her business card to me which I accepted and thanked her.“Marco, call me...I’m waiting for your call...I liked you...”

She opened the door, looked and kissed me again. I looked at her walking the hallway until she disappeared. What a lovely night with a young and beautiful lady!

The wonderful feeling of satisfying yourself and other people made me energized my being to its peak; tiring but inspiring to go on living on this world. A God-given way to procreate mankind, but depends on every human individual to use in a positive direction.

TO BE CONTINUED###


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Ploy of Edward Ramirez #OFW27




It was in the...

Year 1987 of November 4, when we left the Bantayan Island going to Cebu Airport, then, to Manila, Philippines.
We left the Bantayan island by boat going to Cebu International Airport, but along the way, I still recalled the history of this island. The provincial capital Cebu, was an important port known to Europeans with the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Its bustling port, protected by outlying Mactan island, handles most interisland commodities and second only to Manila in International trade. Already a thriving port when Ferdinand Magellan arrived in 1521. The Spanish made their first Philippine settlements on Cebu. Was it in my blood...a Spanish blood?

Edward purchased two airplane tickets schedule in the evening going to Manila. We settled in a Filipino restaurant and ate some of our favorite Filipino foods; bulalo, kare-kare, kilawin, sinugba na bangus and fresh fruits.

“Edward, it’s too heavy for me...can you cut some of the orders?”

“Marco, no problem, just a treat for your vacation, isn’t it you’re on vacation right now, be happy!....forget that problems first…let’s enjoy my best friend! It seems like yesterday….”

“Friend, why I am acting like this, I mean…I’m inclined to be influenced by anybody…as long as they’re good to me?...I mean, easily swayed and don’t know who are my enemies?....Can you explain it to me friend, in your own way?”


“Marco finish your food first and we can talk it over in the bar, okay?”

“You too, eat this kare-kare….yallah sadiqque…”

“Oppppps…don’t speak Arabic language…I know that too…” Edward laughed out loud that some customers looked at him.

“Shhhhhhhhhhh....behave friend, people are looking at you….you like tea or coffee?”

“I like brewed coffee, same for you…”

I ordered two black brewed coffee and two slices of tiramisu cakes. After three minutes, our order was placed on the table. We delightfully sipped our coffee and tiramisu cakes, when a lady wearing sunglasses accidentally dropped her purse near our table. She picked it up while looking at us and we looked at her too. She’s pretty enough to be somebody’s wife.

“Edward, what is this?”

“Ohhh, friend, just a blessing from above…”

Our scheduled flight came and we boarded the plane, settled on our seats and I looked around the cabin. I saw the lady loading her bag at the baggage compartment. I signaled to Edward, and he looked at her too, and smile meaningfully in my face.

“Edward, no…no, I have something in my mind, not that one…”

“Ohhh yeaaaahh?”

“By the way Edward, I am thinking to keep my family safe first before anything else, can we do that?”

“Yes Marc, we’ll do that for their safety. You know the Gustilo family they’re like lions in the wilderness of Kenya.”

“Honestly Edward, I don’t believe that you have the guts to trade your best friend with money. And that, your son too….look what it brought to Ayah….and our newborn son...”

“Friend, I’m so sorry for that, deep in my heart…sorry Marco.”

We arrived at the Manila Domestic Airport around ten in the evening where Edward contacted the Car Rental Company for us to buy something for Ayah and the children. But as we drove along the airport exit route, we saw the same lady riding in another car behind us.

“Edward, you recognize the lady in the car behind us?”

"Yes, a suspicious flower Marc, we moved along Sucat Road first to see if she’s following us.”

We resumed our fast speed going to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) where we turned left heading Mantrade intersection going to Makati City. She’s nowhere to be found, we’ve eluded her. We checked-in at the Intercontinental Hotel, took shower together, and drank imported wine; where we slept like a log.

I woke up around ten in the morning, looked around to find Edward, but nowhere to be found. I asked the information through the phone, and it’s positive that he was out in the hotel. Found a note that he’s in SM Shopping Mall nearby to buy something personal. I took a warm bath, drank coffee and went ahead in SM Shopping Mall. I roamed around the mall to find him.

“Marco, how are you today? Have a seat, order your coffee.”

“Just two shots of espresso will do….”

I ordered two shots of espresso and a sliced of black forest cake.

“Why so sudden…coming here in the mall Edward? Kindly next time, tell me what’s on your mind first, before taking any action?”

“Yes boss, sorry….Marco, I’m planning to buy something special for Ayah Isabel...you know, it’s been seven years now…I missed her and the children….”

“Ohhh, come on you moron!! What’s this, drama…. movie??”

“Marc, I’m serious….you crazy dog!!”

“Okay, just buy one for each of them...you know, we’ll transfer them to a safe place, remember?”

“Yes, but where...here in Metro Manila?”

“No, I think in Bacoor, Cavite…..a place near Manila, what do you think?”

“Yes, that’s a good idea Marco, we’ll do that, remember, I have the means….”

“Edward, order a slice of cake….that’s my payment for you….”

“Walllaaaahhh, thank you, thank you….you crazy dog! By the way, I observed something...you arrived last 27th of November...the fire gutted your house...then coming to me in Bacolod...Marco, tell me frankly, did you make love with Ayah when you arrived here?...I think no, am I correct friend?”

“So?...... mind your own business...you fool!!”

“No...no...you have to sprinkle-the-flower-with-your-fresh-juice my friend!!”

“Come you boar...we’ll go shopping now!”

Edward and I selected some items for Ayah Isabel and the children. From SM Makati, we headed to Baclaran area where we took turns at MIA Road going to the apartment. Every step we made, we were aware of the danger any moment, any time.

We carried the items inside the house, and I thanked God that all of them were present at that time, and I introduced Edward to them including Ayah Isabel.

“Ayah, you remember him? Mike, Lina, this is Edward from Bacolod City.”

Edward hugged Ayah Isabel tightly, then, the children and extended his arm to Mike and Lina. He gave the presents to all of them which the children accepted happily.

“Ayah how are you now, I miss you!”

“Edward, me too, I’m glad that both of you found each other in Bacolod City. How’s your life?”

“I’m fine and kicking…ha-ha-ha-ha…”

“Okay everybody please listen. We need to transfer in a remote area other than Metro Manila. This is for our safety. Mike and Lina, you’ll come with us?”

“Yes, Marco, we’ll come wherever you go friend, but I ask a favor from you, could you please help me process my documents in working abroad, I mean with you in Dubai...or in another company..” Mike said.

“Mike, there’s no problem, Marco will help you.” Edward answered.

Mike hugged me tightly when he heard positively what Edward had said, “My friend thank you so much!”

“Okay, now we’ll leave to transact the real estate office in Makati. Ayah, Mike, and Lina kindly help each other in packing important belongings for the transfer. We’ll be back in the afternoon or evening time to pick you up, okay?” I said.

“Okay Marc.” Ayah answered and the couple too.


We left the apartment headed to Roxas Boulevard, then turned to Pedro Gil Street going to Greenbelt Center. We found a real estate office and processed the transaction to buy the ready-to-occupancy house and lot in Bacoor, Cavite. I signed some papers, and we waited for almost two hours. I asked Edward to have a coffee in Greenbelt while waiting for the documents. We entered the coffee shop, ordered mocha crush, apple pie, for two. While waiting for our order, Edward read the daily newspaper which I asked him about the government.

“Edward, in your observation, the Aquino government is ever-ready to transform our country in proper democratic form for the Filipino people?”

“Well, Marc, I think it’s positive for Mrs. Aquino to do that in terms of her leadership and governance. Unlike the past, President Marcos wanted to control the lives of the Filipino people through his good governance, but changes must be applied through the voice of the people. Look in the past, I’m just a waiter in a restaurant, but I took the opportunity according to my desire to get rich, here I am right now, able to buy things I like, can afford to do what I wanted to do, and help my family and friends. And, one thing I’ve got to be sorry...for you my friend and for Ayah...and that boy of yours...” Edward held my hands; a gesture of him that I knew of his personal trait.

“It’s okay for me that you used your skills into a positive one. And, I’m hoping for my boy Edward.”

“I’ll help you all the way Marco.”

One hour had past and we went back to the real estate office. They gave the key of the unit, signed documents and promo offers. We thanked them and left at once.

The gloomy weather started to form into a windy afternoon when we arrived at the apartment. Instantly, everybody worked together to load all household items at the back of the truck for rent. Mike and Lina went with the truck that followed us through Molino Road up to the new house. Mike asked the driver and his assistants to help unload the household items and paid them. After arranging everything within the house, Ayah took care of the children to sleep, while five of us, arranged the table for food, appetizers and liquor drinks.

“Marco, guys I missed this get-together moment with you, cheers!!” Edward started the conversation and all of us smiled at him. “Starting tomorrow, Marco and I will begin the search of his beloved baby boy!”

“Mike where’s your children?” I asked.

“Marc, I have one child, since you left us in Frisco del Monte, very hard for us though, especially the fire gutted our house in Baclaran; he’s in Imus with my relatives.”

“Guys, I’m the only one without partner...what can I do Marc?” Edward asked.

“And why you’re not finding your partner?”

“Because I love my best friend Marco…ha-ha-ha-ha….”

“Good…ha-ha-ha-…”

We enjoyed our first night together until two in the early morning, and retired with our hearts full of hopes for the days to come. Mike and Lina went to their room first, then Edward too. Ayah and I went to our room, took off my clothing, and cleaned my whole body with warm towel that started my desire for lovemaking. For almost two years that I missed Ayah Isabel, it broiled the aloofness within me because of the sadness and damaged I brought upon her. Her dainty hands touched my innermost feeling coupled with the liquor spirit that engulfed me; I kissed her lips with fire, undressed her quickly, explored her body totally and she responded with fire too, until making love was the only thing that I knew at that moment. The fire that keeps on burning within us, molded our souls into one, and carried us into the ocean of ecstasy; after two years had passed. Our lovemaking lasted with total satisfaction for both of us. We hugged each other tightly and completely until our hearts entwined fully. In a minute, Ayah started again to clean my whole body and went to sleep contented.


TO BE CONTINUED###


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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Friday, March 21, 2014

The Conspiracy #OFW26




It was in the...

Year 1987 of November 3, when we stayed in Bantayan Island, part of Cebu Territory, Philippines.

We travelled for almost an hour when I viewed the small port of Bantayan island. It’s such a big waiting shade with restaurant, benches and a ticket booth. The men unloaded the passenger baggage and a car.

“Edward, your car’s with us too?”

“Yes, my friend. My house, I think… five minutes ride only….come on, let’s go!”

We arrived at the bungalow house where Edward parents greeted us, seated at the long-drawn sofa and rest for a while.

“Ma, please call Larry...” Edward told his mother.

A handsome lad appeared, smiled and gave respect to us.

“Marco, this is Larry, brother of Ronnie, newly graduated from Cebu Technological University....with Engineering course.” Edward introduced his son, and a handshake ensued.

“How are you Mr. Fernando?”

“I’m fine son, congrats!”

“Thank you Sir!”

“Larry, help your Grandma and Grandpa cook our lunch, okay son?” Edward said to Larry.

“Okay Papa, I’ll do it. Nice meeting you sir...Bye, sir Marco.”

“Bye son, see you!”


Edward parents prepared our lunch at the table with Larry; beef meat stew with red beans, broiled chicken, shrimps and crabs. I enjoyed eating with them; it made me forgot the troubled moments of my life and longing for a happy family living. After our lunch, Edward drove me near the beach; brought a tent, table and two chairs, two bottles of whiskey, bag of ice cubes and bucket. Also, brought some food as appetizers for drinking liquor and I had the feeling that this was it.

Together, we assembled the tent, table and chairs. Put the food, bottles of whiskey and bucket of ice cubes at the table. I poured mine and Edward too. We looked over at the vastness of the sea, felt the cool breeze, and settled with our drinks. For our second glass, I looked at him straight to the eye and began the conversation.

“How’s everything for you for the past seven years, since I left you in Bacolod City? I think you’ve got what you wanted in life?” I asked and smiled at him.

“Marco, my friend, not really...you know, since yesterday, you had asked me about the shooting incident inside my restaurant, isn’t it?

“Yes, who are they Edward?”

“You still remember, Danielle or Governor Gustilo?”

“How can I forget those people friend!!...they gave much troubled with my life? And why Edward!!” as my body temperature starting to rise.

“Cool friend, let’s be cool with our conversation okay Marco?”

“Okay Edward, I’ll try...fine...okay...go on...”

“Do you think, you as my friend, Marco Fernando, did not give much troubled to them?”

I kept my silence for his question which I thought to be true, or was it a consequence of my desire to uplift my life’s standards?


“Okay Marco, I have to tell you everything from where you left me behind...where I started this kind of life? You know, as a friend, you’ve left me here in Bacolod City without any weapon to Gustilo’s family. Of course, the Governor have lots of influences and armies to track us down. Joel Arevalo and I had been kidnapped by the Governor’s men; kept on that place where we saved you and Ayah Isabel. We were questioned, beaten, drugged and I did not say anything about you, but for Joel Arevalo, I don’t know...what happened...”

“Sorry about it Edward...and where’s Joel Arevalo now?....what happened next?”

“Marco, please listen to me, don’t blow your head without listening my story first, okay? The Governor offered a large sum of money to me...to make your life miserable...in Dubai City...”

“But how can you do this to me Edward...how!!! We're friends, isn't it, Edward?” I stood up and grabbed Edward’s neck where both of us were squabbling in the sand. We fought hand-to-hand for about half hour, that each of us were tired of what we’re doing, rested for a while and stood up back to our chairs. I settled on my chair, poured two shots of whiskey and gulped it bottoms up. Edward too, poured his drink and sipped a little.

“Okay Edward, go on...please...go on...I need to know why!!”

“Are you alright now, Marco?”

“I’m okay...go on...”

“You have to listen to my side first, then, that’s the time you’ll accuse me, okay Marco?”

“Okay! I said okay...go on...”

“Governor Gustilo got some information about you, told me to talk to Ronnie about going to Dubai for employment together with you. He influenced the Manpower Agency for Ronnie to be an assistant store manager. As far as I know, Danielle Gustilo owned and managed four manpower agencies as to date. I know everything what Ronnie did to you in Dubai....I’m very sorry for that Marco...please forgive me and my son Ronnie...I’m doing what the Governor had told me to do. I think you understand my situation friend? And, as far as I know, Joel Arevalo got the money and job through Danielle, but I don’t know where he is right now.”

“Okay tell me more Edward...I want to know all...”

“My restaurant business in Bacolod City is just my front in the eyes of Governor Gustilo, who threatened me from the beginning up to the shooting incident in the restaurant...you know, he had me watched all along, and I think, Danielle knew that you’re here in the Philippines. But, I kept my wealth separately from him, when worst comes to worst...like what happened to us...so, I have to hide from him too. Our government system was greatly changed since Former President Marcos was ousted by the EDSA Revolution, and that, our traditions...”

“What about your restaurant business in Bacolod City?”

“Forget that thing...matters will be undertaken by the government and of course, Governor Gustilo. He has the means to influenced people within his whims. I have to find another way to live outside the wings of Governor Gustilo. And, our problems right now cannot be depended upon by the proper authorities, leaders don’t trust other leaders, and we have to move on with our lives. I have my wealth...with me...” Really, sorry for the money that Ronnie...”

“I have to think of the future...the past still agitated me especially Ronnie didn’t send all the money to Ayah Isabel which made her miserable when I left her in Manila. The other thing that I greatly condemned about Danielle, she took my baby boy as payment. That’s why I’m here before you, to borrow an amount that I could use to track down Danielle.”

“Marco, there’s no problem about money, the thing is...right now, I think Governor Gustilo’s planning for something big for you and me...and Danielle too! They both damaged you!... but can I go with you with your plans?.....I’m on the run now, remember? I have the money remember?”

I looked him squarely through his eyes and, “Can we go tomorrow...for a start?”

“Yes, we can go tomorrow if you want, can I my friend...together again, best friend?”

“Hmmmmm...yes, but be loyal to our friendship, okay best friend?”

“Okay...fine best friend!”

TO BE CONTINUED###




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






Read More

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Lost Son #OFW25


The next day, we roamed around the Baclaran area to find an apartment for rent. We found one along the Santa Rita Street and we transferred at once along with Mike Luna’s family. We worked together and bought all the household equipments, utensils, furniture, beddings and food. The apartment was huge enough for us and the Luna family that we incorporated our resources to go on with our lives.

One day, Ayah Isabel wanted to talk to me personally that she invited me to a restaurant. We sat down, ordered some food and drink. She started to cry and looked at me into my eyes.

“What’s the matter? Don’t cry, tell me what’s on your mind Ayah, I’m here to listen...don't cry...”

“Marco, I’ll tell you everything, what’s going on while you’re not here...but I believed that I’ve done everything what I could do...”

“Okay go on...I’m here to listen...go on...”

“When you left us, it’s very hard for me to balance my new life with our children. The first few months, you’re sending money and I received it, after that day and until now, I did not get any amount at all. I sent you letters about my situation, but you didn’t answered me...I was still hoping that nothing bad happened to you. I had some debts and loans everywhere that I couldn’t pay it anymore. I was insulted with all these things Marco...," she cried even more where I embraced her totally, I condemned myself deep inside for what I’ve done.

“You want to go home now?”

“No Marc...I’m not finished yet...without money and no one to help me....I called Mike to tell Lina... if she could help me while I’m away...”

“What, away where?” I asked.

“Danielle Gustilo met and offered to help me with my situation...paid all my debts and the hospitalization expenses...I’m pregnant Marco when you left us going to Dubai. I don’t have a choice but accept her offer...”

“What, why did you do that?”

“Because you forget your obligation to us Marco, that’s why....”

“But I sent money through Ronnie Ramirez every month, that’s the truth Ayah!”

“The saddest thing was that...after the hospitalization...she had the baby, a boy...”

I was fuming with anger that I left Ayah in the table and went outside; in front of the restaurant, cursing Danielle and Ronnie. I got hold of the guard’s chair and slashed to the ground. Ayah Isabel went outside to calm me down. I returned to our table with nothing in my mind except to have a revenge for them and had my child back.

“Ayah, please forgive me for whatever damaged I had for you...please love...Ayah, please forgive me?” I cried asking Ayah’s forgiveness.

“I love you truly Marc, and our children...they’re the most important thing in my whole life...”

“Do you know where Danielle’s staying?” as I dried my tears with handkerchief.

“No, Marc, she didn’t give me anything...address, contact number...she just took it...and disappeared...”

“Okay love, calm down, okay? I have to go to Bacolod City...in Edward’s place to get some information and loan some amount from him. Ayah Isabel, for now, be very careful and our children too. Did Mike and Lina knew about this?”

“Yes Marco...they were here helping me coped with my emotional outburst...”

“We’ll go home now to pack my personal things..come Ayah...”

“Okay Marco.”

We went home to our new apartment where Ayah prepared some personal things for me in a bag. I kissed her goodbye and the three children. I hailed a taxi cab going to Manila Domestic Airport, got an emergency ticket which I was lucky enough to have one.

It was in the...Year 1987 of November 2, when I went to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.

I seated in a waiting lounge but my mind kept on wondering what and how to go on with my new challenge or was it a part of my dreams? I cursed Danielle more than ever, like a bursting fire of a dragon capable of killing her in an instant. Waiting for my flight schedule was like a thousand years of deluge within me. But everything has an ending, I thought; even the minute cells that lived for hundred years and even Danielle. The more I wanted to erase my thoughts about Danielle, the more it entwined within my soul.

At last, I boarded the plane going to Bacolod City for two hours without any hassles. I’ve got a taxi cab going to Lacson Street where the office and restaurant of Edward Ramirez. It’s seven in the evening when I arrived and observed the surrounding of the vicinity.


The Ilonggo Inasal Restaurant was beautifully constructed according to its concept. Edward really had made his fortune out of hardwork and determination, even though he never dreamed to work abroad. I never realized this notion before I knew Edward when I was a struggling student. He’s my best friend before, until now, but I thought, I did not give him much attention as he did to me. Ronnie Ramirez, his son in Dubai, got to be the reason why Ayah Isabel had done such decision in times of financial difficulty. But also, I had done so much damaged to her. My bruised ego as a father, confirmed deep inside of me that I had to do whatever it takes to be done. Nevertheless, it’s my life and my family that really put in danger after the aftermath of my never-ending dreams.

The restaurant was nearly full of people when I entered, seated near the counter and observed the guests. I stood up going to the counter, ordered broiled chicken and drink, and asked the cashier while paying the bill.

“Hi, do you know Mr. Edward Ramirez...I mean the owner, is he inside the office?"

“Yes sir, just a minute, I’ll send someone to call him.”

“Okay thank you.”

I got my order, seated and began to eat while eyeing for Edward to appear. It’s been half an hour that I stayed waiting for him. I approached the cashier and asked again.

“Hi, where’s Mr. Edward Ramirez?”

“Sir, he said, kindly wait for him, sorry...”

I sat back again and ordered a cup of coffee, still waiting for him. At last, he appeared with a briefcase approaching me at the table.

“Hello my best friend, how are you now?” He greeted me smiling extending his arms and embraced me.

“I’m just quite agitated...angry...here I am, just arrived from Dubai. You’re getting rich my friend!” I said while embracing him.

“Not at all...just luck!”

When he distanced himself from me, a bullet gone through the restaurant wall, hitting the wooden part of the menu board. Another bullets kept on coming continuously from nowhere which made the people inside to panic and chaos ensued.

“Marco, come with me...quick, follow me at the back door!!” Edward grabbed my arm.

I followed Edward not knowing what happened or why? We entered into his car and drove past the Lacson street heading to the city center, then, along the narrow alley going to the vacant lot near the devastated building.

“Marco, come on, quickly, get the spade and help me...quick...” Edward demanded.

“What’s going on Edward...what’s going on..tell me now!!!” I shouted at him.

“Marc, there’s no time...please...I’ll explain it to you later, okay? Trust me...”


I nodded without saying a word, “Okay friend.” We worked together to dug the two wooden boxes, brought to the car and drove up towards the north of Negros island. We stopped at the supermarket; got some food, personal necessities and other things that we needed in that moment. We continued traveling still heading north when Edward started the conversation.

“Marc, my friend, are you hungry? Help yourself.”

“I’m full...in your restaurant...waiting for you, isn’t it my friend?"

“Ohhhh, so sorry about that...and about what happened at the restaurant. I know them...those people...I mean...”

“What? You have knowledge about those shootings?” I asked perplexed.

“Yes, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you all when we get there.”

“Where my friend?”

“My place in Bantayan Island...I’ve told you before, where I grew up...remember?”

“Yes I remember.”

“Now, it’s the time to have a vacation there.”

“Edward, I’ve got two months for my vacation here in the Philippines and I have to go back in Dubai for my job. I cannot stay here.”

“Don’t worry my friend, I’ll tell you everything even the Dubai thing.”

“What Dubai thing, Edward?”

“Ahhhhh, forget that...we’re here at the small port of Cadiz City. But please...don’t say anything, I’m the one in-charge,okay friend?”

I looked at him believing that Edward Ramirez really has the guts to do things on his way. The other side of him that I didn’t know beforehand, a trait which made me thinks I'm the neophyte. The trusts that I showed to him really matter somehow.

Edward paid the two laborers to unload the wooden boxes, and also the whole payment going to Bantayan Island. He talked to the personnel for these baggage’s which I did not have much knowledge about it.

TO BE CONTINUED###




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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Monday, March 17, 2014

My Family #OFW24



Around seven in the morning, I smelled the air as fresh as the seaside breeze and met the crowd with much delight. Their faces were like thousands of flowers moving in one direction across the mountain. I moved my way to the airport exit, hoping that somebody will welcome me, but this travel was a surprise one for my family. Ayah Isabel didn’t have knowledge about this vacation.

I hired an airport taxi cab going to Dimasalang Street, Bacalaran, got my baggages at the back and settled in the front seat. The traffic congestion filled with much excitement while waiting for every second of it. I asked the driver to enter the Dimasalang Street for easy access of my baggage. When we’re about to turned to the street, I was mesmerized frantically with the houses and people along the road. The taxi cab driver asked one of the residents about it and told me that there was huge fire devastation yesterday evening.

“Friend, can you drive faster going to the next block?” I asked the driver.

“Okay.”

My heart kept on pounding while we’re approaching the road in front of our house. The first glimpsed of my damaged apartment caused my agitated emotions to respond quickly. I opened the taxi cab door and ran in front of the gutted apartment which made my tears to flow even in the midst of people staring at me. I looked around to find my wife and children, but in vain. The taxi cab driver notified me that he unloaded my baggage. I felt my wallet at the back pocket of my pants and paid fifty dollars for my transportation fare. I stood beside my baggage, not leaving it and continued looking around.

When I heard someone’s calling my name I turned around and saw Ayah Isabel with my three children running towards me. My tears began to flow continuously; knowing that they were fine and missed them so much. I hugged Ayah Isabel tightly while she’s crying with joy and the three children. We forgot that we were on the street, forgot about our apartment and forgot about the fire devastation.



“How are you my love?” I whispered to Ayah.

“Marco, I’m fine, but still agitated with the fire yesterday.”

“Where are you staying right now with the children?”

“Inside the classroom of Baclaran Elementary School, it made as a refuge center and the residents were there.”

We rented two tricycles, one for my baggage and one for us; going to the school campus. I asked the school guard to help me with the baggage and we settled inside the classroom. I gave the children their chocolates, biscuits and also, I gave some for the children inside the room. “How many families here in this room?” I asked Ayah.

“Five families, including Mike and Lina.”

“Who are they, our friend in Frisco Del Monte?”

“Yes Marco, I’ll tell you later why.”

“Where are they now?”

“They went to Cavite.”

“Okay, let’s go outside and find a place to rent.”

“Yes, of course.”

“How about the baggage?”

“Let’s put it there at the corner and cover.”

“Okay Marc.”

We went outside the school and find a fast food restaurant to dine.

“Marco, there’s a newly opened KFC store in front of the church.”

“Okay, children let’s go!”

I ordered a barrel of chicken, side dishes and drinks. Ayah gave them the fried chicken on their individual plates including salads and drinks. They ate while I looked at them with happiness inside my heart.


After eating, we went to a shopping mall in Makati Center and bought something for them including Ayah Isabel. It’s nearly seven in the evening when we came back to the school classroom, where Mike and Lina were there to give a warm welcome. “Best friend Marco, how are you, how’s your life abroad?” Mike asked while hugging me.

“It’s okay Pareng Mike, better than working here.”

“Pare, I’m planning to work abroad too. Lina and I talked about it already. Could you help me?”

“Of course Pare, but I have to find an apartment first.”

“Pareng Marc, I’ll go with you...can you accommodate us too?”

“No problem! You’re my best friend, isn’t it?”

The next day, we roamed around the Baclaran area to find an apartment for rent. We found one along the Santa Rita Street and we transferred at once along with Mike Luna’s family. We worked together and bought all the household equipments, utensils, furniture, beddings and food. The apartment was huge enough for us and the Luna family; we incorporated our resources to go on with our lives.

TO BE CONTINUED###




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The First Vacation to the Philippines #OFW23



I took my store duty which released my little energy to think about the Philippines. Truly, my first vacation's fast approaching which made my mind went wild. I called Vivian over the landline phone, “Vivian, good morning, how are you?”

“Marc, it’s you, I’m fine. I heard you’re going on vacation?”

“Yes, my friend. Could you come tomorrow night at Ryan’s place in Al Maktoum Street?"

“Yes Marc, I know that place but I call you when I’m there already.”

“Okay Vivian, see you there.”

“Marco, I have something for my children and money too. Could you please give this at Libertad, Pasay?”

“Sure my friend, bring it and I will give that to them.”

“Okay Marco, thank you.”

“Thanks Vivian, bye!

The thing that I liked most about any party was that, I had the possibility of knowing other people; their personalities, status in life and interests. The farewell party were prepared by Ryan Mallari and Glenda Teruel which they branded them as party organizers. My expectation for the party and excitement for my vacation molded my perception to increase with nothing to be considered to them. In fact, I had the positive feeling for them as friends.

“Friends, let’s celebrate this night for our friend Marco. Let’s have a toast for his forthcoming first vacation to our native land, the Philippines. Cheers everyone!!” Ryan announced.

We cheered with joyous feeling to each other which made me the attention of the party. But, my heart kept on watching for Vivian who didn’t arrive yet.

“My friends, since our friendship was sealed by our loyalty to each other, this farewell party was held to help us all, not only Marco, but also to our friends who wants a vacation in the future. The financial assistance extended by us could help him in any way while staying in the Philippines. I ask your support for him. Let’s pass the collection box please... Thank you.”

Everybody's eager to give their share and support. A happy celebration just for my vacation which made them enjoy totally with devotion.

Vivian Montoya didn’t arrive at the farewell party which made me think negatively. I went home alone with a reverie in my heart, but excited enough for the result of the party and my forthcoming vacation. At the stairway, Ronnie Ramirez told me that Vivian was there in their room waiting for me. He accompanied me to his room.

“Hello Vivian, what’s up?” I said to her in a casual voice.

“Marco, I’m so sorry for not attending the party.”

“Vivian, you know the rules here in our flat; female is not allowed....can we talk at the nearest restaurant here? It’s 11:30 in the evening; we have more time to spend. Want to eat shawarma...and fresh fruit smoothies?”

“Sure, okay.”

I told Ronnie to observe the surrounding and watch while we went outside the building. We’re on the main road when the police car stopped in front of me. Ronnie and Vivian were walking ahead of me.

“Kabayan good evening!” the police greeted me.

“Good evening Sir!” I answered.

“May I check your iqama please....”

I gave my iqama but I’m worried about Vivian at that time, she's a TNT without any legal papers at all. I gave a signal to Ronnie to continue walking while I was talking to the police inside the car. He understood at once and went on walking normally.

“Sir, how are you tonight?”

“I’m fine kabayan, where are you going at this hour?”

“I’d like to eat shawarma in the restaurant, over there....,” pointing in the reverse direction.

“I see, come inside I’ll bring you there.”

“Okay Sir, thank you.”

The police brought me to the Shawarma Restaurant without any complaint and left. I saw Ronnie and Vivian hiding at the small junction of the road behind the parked cars. I stood in front of the restaurant to give them signal that it was okay to proceed.

We sat at the table and ordered five shawarmas and three fresh fruit smoothies.

“How are you Vivian?” I asked her squarely.

“I’m fine Marco. By the way, the package for my children is in the room, I gave to Ronnie, the address and the money too, inside the envelope. Please Marco...I thank you for this...Tell my parents that I'm okay here in Dubai.”

“Don’t worry my friend I’ll do that for you.”

“Good luck to your first vacation in the Philippines....” Vivian said looking into my eyes and a warm handshake.

“I will my friend, thanks for everything...”

Vivian left us in the restaurant that I began to keep my silence in front of Ronnie. I finished eating my shawarma and consumed fruit smoothies wherein Ronnie still finishing his, which I looked and observed him. The character of his father really resembled some of his traits, but my feeling for him was not fully coherent like Edward.




It was in the...

Year 1987 of October 28, when I departed the Dubai International Airport going to Manila, Philippines; my first vacation.

The weather was quite hazy when we departed from my accommodation in Satwa District. We’re six of us in a taxi cab which made the back seat like a canned sardines. The situation did not matter to my friends, as long as they had me with my first departure. Everyone wished me good luck, got inside the airport and seated in the waiting area. I kept on wondering what will be the outcome of my vacation, the condition of my family especially the children and the love for my wife. Really amazing to think that after two long years of sacrifices and vices, here I am, waiting for the most memorable moment of my life. The love of my family still the best thing I ever wanted in my whole life; but within the challenges that I encountered, I didn’t have much weapons or eluded it. It’s only my weaknesses that showed and comprehended things within the facets of my personality.

At long last, I stepped inside the plane cabin with much thought still lingered in my heart. I seated and looked at each passenger as if, they were happy and contented. Their faces contrived to their strengths in facing their own destiny with vigor; that unlike me, still learning how to make things the basic way.

Sleep cannot gave me the power to erase temporarily of what I was thinking about the past and the future. Even the in-flight music, movies and food, couldn’t remedy from thinking the same. I resumed my non-sense drifting of my thoughts which changed like a roulette of images. Never had I experienced this kind of feeling; a mixed feeling of excitement, fear, sad, unknown, glad or anything what I had in my mind.


After long nine hours, I glimpsed my beloved country with depth emotions coming from a dreamer like me. The plane touched the runway like my feelings kissed my native land. I cannot fathom my agitated mind and heart, flowing like running water in the river, and the emotions that I cannot explained even in a single word.


Around seven in the morning, I smelled the air as fresh as the seaside breeze and met the crowd with much delight. Their faces were like thousands of flowers moving in one direction across the mountain. I moved my way to the airport exit, hoping that somebody will welcome me, but this travel was a surprise one for my family. Ayah Isabel didn’t have knowledge about this vacation.

TO BE CONTINUED###



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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Saturday, March 15, 2014

They Are Lying or Fooling Me? #OFW22



That night I can’t sleep thinking of my past life in Bacolod City, and the new events that kept on popping up. Was it my way of living? Or was it the result of dreaming something big? Or was it I’m weak or my way of thinking into the future?

The next day, I received a memo from the Main Office from Sharjah about my transfer to Al Ain, United Arab Emirates branch. They gave me a week to endorse to the incoming manager of the store and to vacate the room. It was Ronnie Ramirez being promoted as a store manager and the new occupant of my room. I was glad with his promotion and at the same time, troubled and felt that he’s using my vices to put forward his ambition.

I talked to my Area Manager, that I will take my vacation first before working to my new assignment in Al Ain. They scheduled my flight going to Manila, Philippines which I met my friends one-by-one. I visited Ryan Mallari to his flat in Deira side unannounced which made him a little surprised.

“Friend Ryan good morning!” I greeted him.

“Fine my friend.”

“You know what happened to me? I mean in my work?”

“No, what about?”

“Been transferred to Al Ain, but I asked for vacation. I come here to say goodbye to you.”

“You want a farewell party? Or something exciting?”

“No, my friend thanks.”

“No, no, so that we can give you some gifts or money for your vacation? How about that? Excuse me first, I’ll take a bath first...have a coffee first...” He went to the bathroom, when the phone rang. I knocked the bathroom door and told him about it. “Marco, maybe it’s Glenda, answer the phone for me, that we’re coming in 30 minutes...” I lifted the telephone.

“Hello, Ryan’s residence, good morning!”

“Are you Ryan’s friend?

"Yes mam!”

“Tell him to call me here in Manila Office.”

“Okay madam, may I know who is calling so that I can tell him?"


“Tell him Danielle.”

“Okay...okay...okay bye.” I returned the receiver doubting Ryan Mallari at once. I wanted to be sure, if Danielle Gustilo on the other side of the phone was the same Danielle that made a scar on my forehead?

Ryan finished taking a bath, drying excess water on his hair, and seated at the sofa near me. “Friend Marco, whose calling. Glenda?”

“No my friend wrong number.”

“Ahhhh okay...”

“Where’s the happening today?” I asked.

“At Glenda’s flat in Karama. Come and we’ll introduce you to her friends.”

“Okay, then, I’ll come with you.”

We settled in his sports car going to Karama. Along the way, I tried to find something about him, thinking negatively. “By the way friend Ryan, what’s your business here in Dubai?”

“Ohhhh...I’m the manager of Aquarius International Manpower Agency at Al Maktoum Street. We have a branch office in Makati, Philippines. Didn’t I tell you this information to you?"

“No, just now.”

“Yes, we’re here in Karama now, at least no heavy traffic today.”


We arrived at Karama apartments, which housed different nationalities, and very accessible to the city life. We entered the apartment at the second floor with large guest area, five rooms and a kitchen. Glenda and a female guest were busy preparing the food and drinks. Other female and male guests were sitting at the carpeted floor already drinking liquor. I settled near the kitchen drinking bottled beer talking to Glenda about food preparations.

“Glenda babes, can I use your landline phone, I’ll call in the Philippines,” Ryan asked Glenda.

“Okay, babes, go on, over there, near the guest’s area.”

Ryan went directly to the guest’s area, and dialed the phone. I immediately excused myself to Glenda, followed him secretly at the guest’s area near him. I talked to a male guest just to be near Ryan.

“Hi, my name’s Marco Fernando, and you?”

“Ohhhhh, handsome, me, my name is Julio...during the day, and Juliet at night...”

"Ahhh, I see, nice meeting you. Can I sit beside you?”

“Ohhh, sure, sure handsome.”

I drank my beer, settled my ears to what Ryan’s conversation over the phone.

“Madam Danielle, good morning.”

“No, Madam, I didn’t know about it.”

“Maybe one of my friend.”

“He’s scheduled for vacation there.”

“Within a week’s time.”

“Well, it’s okay, there’s no problem.”

“Yes, Madam, I’ll do that.”

“Thank you, bye.”

I was surprised when Ryan patted me at the back. “Hey Marco, why are you there beside Juliet?”

“Just drinking...that’s all.”

“Come, I’ll tell you something.”

We entered at Glenda’s room and seated at edge of the bed.

“You know what Marco, that Juliet has a crush on you. He’ll pay large sum of money, if you’re good in...you know...”

“What?...why me?”

“He finds you handsome, and you need money for your vacation that’s all.”

“Ahhhh, let’s drink outside, come on!” I said to Ryan.

“Okay friend.”

“By the way Ryan my friend, why Glenda been working in Jumeirah and also, she rented a flat here in Karama?”

“You know, here in the flat, she rented it and accepts bed-spacer to augment with the apartment rental. Isn’t it practical?”

“Yes, really my friend.”


We enjoyed the night with Glenda’s friends; telling amusing stories, jokes, watching movies and listening to music. Around eight in the evening, Ryan invited us to the nearest hotel where there’s a newly arrived Filipino music band.

We were ten in a group going to President’s Hotel for another event of the day. The fa├žade of the hotel was stunningly beautiful with multi-colored murals in the ceiling. The place was conducive to the city center, wherein almost resident expatriates spent their evening listening to the music band. The manager greeted us, finds a long table for the group, and got our orders with appetizers. We enjoyed the night with contentment and satisfaction. I got a taxi cab for me, but Ryan told me that he will drop me at my place in Satwa, I nodded positively.

“Marco, friend, the next day after tomorrow, we will have a farewell party in my apartment. Be ready my friend, this is the big night for you.”

I heard him and only nodded my head. He dropped me at the other side of the road and left. The police car saw me walking in the road going to my flat. They approached and asked me.

“Good morning kabayan?” The police greeted me.

“Ohh, it’s morning now, sorry, I thought it’s still evening time; good morning too officer.”

“You’re drunk my friend, go to your flat now.”

“Yes officer, thank you.”

“Thank you kabayan.”


The sunrise moved its cycle but I cannot sleep; took a hot bath, made a strong coffee and listened to a mellow music in my collection. My mind kept wandering from many different topics and angles. I could not decipher what I felt, for what I was thinking at that time. I doubted my true wisdom on how to balanced things into proper perspectives. I wanted to go to the Philippines now, to solve my hunches and doubts. Is it really Danielle Gustilo, talking over the phone with Ryan Mallari? How come and why? Besides, I missed my best friend Edward Ramirez in Bacolod City. He’s financially stable now with his fast food business and his son Ronnie Ramirez was just promoted recently. He’s leveling-up his life than me. How about my life now?

I cried silently in my room and self-pity engulfed my loneliness inside my heart. I enjoyed my nightlife here in Dubai, but my true life was nothing compared to Edward Ramirez. My ego was intact with me like the water in the ocean deep. My family’s damaged because of me, and my feelings were bruised like the rotten animal in the jungle.

TO BE CONTINUED###



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Assistant Manager - Ronnie Ramirez #OFW21




I called Vivian in the telephone booth, and travelled via taxi cab going to Al Guhrair Center. It’s a place for shopping and dining out for most residents nearby. I entered the coffee shop, ordered two shot of espresso coffee, and that’s it. It energized my will power to survive.

Vivian came in wearing a flowery-haltered blouse with blazer as overcoat. She smiled, approached me at the table and said, “Hi Marco, I’m late?”

“No, my friend, have a seat, would you like something hot or cold?”

“I think a shot of espresso will do. We cannot stay here for long, you know, I’m a woman and you’re a man. You know what I mean?”

“Okay” I paid the bill. “Let’s go…. Where to?”

“I think we have to make around-the-globe today, so, that we can share things over a mug or a cup?”



“I think over a mug. Ha-ha-ha-.” I laughed. We traveled from Al Riqqa Road to Hilton Hotel by taxi cab, went to “The Cassanova’s Place,” ordered two mugs of Heineken beers and seated. Vivian hand-in a bottle of “Joop” perfume.

“What’s this?... What for?”

“For you just a present for a new friend.”

“Ohhh…come on…thanks!”

“You know, for the first time that I’m with a male friend, roaming around Dubai.”

“Okay, thank you.”

“How do you know this place? I observed that this is a white men’s place, I mean British, even the music band.”

“I worked here temporarily as server, that’s why.”

“Oh..I see. Good place to dine and talk.” We sipped our drinks and listened to the band’s music.

“You like to request a song? Go on, tell them.” Vivian said.

I requested a song of “Whitney Huston, I Will Always Love You,” and a British lady soloist sang it beautifully while we listened and smiled each other.

“Beautiful isn’t it? A theme song from the movie, “The Bodyguard.”

“Yes Marco, I loved the lyrics. You want to know more about OFW stories here in Dubai?”

“Yes, if you want to...yes of course.” I ordered another mug while Vivian started to talk.

“Some TNT’s were catching other nationalities for marriage, money and for visa. They made it a point that they got what they want before living with them secretly. Women wanted other nationalities than Filipinos, but some liked Filipinos because they’re romantic and easy to love. So, the thing is, Filipino men working abroad has been married before in the Philippines, but they’ve got this relationship along the way. Dubai environment is really conducive for us Filipinos to work in a service industry. Some house helpers eluded their employers by running away; find a house to stay and work part-time, like me. Other, housemaid got involved in loving their house counterpart like driver, helper, and others. But some really have good intention in working as housemaid because of poverty. I really hate to see Filipino housemaid walking along their employer at the mall. That’s why I’m a runaway.”

“Our embassy’s helping them when they needed?"

“Yes, for some who are true with their intentions; but like me, naaaaaahhh....Dubai’s the best for people who can bear sacrifices of saving money; like working only without spending, or roaming around the malls.”

“You mean to say, work, eat and sleep only?”

“Yes, the WESO type OFWs, Work-Eat-Sleep-Only, but later on, your sacrifices will be paid.”

“Some married Filipina women had been entangled with some Filipino men too?”

“Yes, there’s lot of them, but they’re very careful...with some huh...other women just left their husband and family in the Philippines, just because they found new love here. You know Marco, it’s very strange to know that this was happening to all of us, I mean the new environment really make us a “bait” just because we need money for our family. Weird isn’t it Marc?”


I hesitantly said, “Yes” but deep inside of me I remember Ayah Isabel with my children. I looked at her, really felt her, but we were on the same situation, I needed support too, for people like you, for a friend like you, that could gave inner help to survive.

“Vivian, you like to dance?”

“Yes, let’s go to Al Nasr Leisureland, there’s a disco house over there, the best ever! Come Marco!”

“Good, you’re the best friend! Let’s go!”


We traveled by taxi cab going to Al Nasr Leisureland situated near Karama Center, got inside, seated near the round-dancing-floor and I ordered one mug of beer and margharita cocktail for Vivian. We settled with our drinks, she stood and asked me to dance. I smiled and said, “Okay.” We continuously danced for an hour which made us perspired profusely, took our seats, and rests drinking our drinks.

“Marco, I released my bad moments, I felt revived!”

“Yes, me too, perspired like a dog, ha-ha-ha-ha-…”

“Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-…” She laughed too.

“Let’s talk something special, this moment in time.”

“Okay, what about? How special is that special?”

“About us...if we can be partner?....I mean special partner?”

“Marco Fernando, you’re too fast....what kind of partner?”

“Here in Dubai only...if you like, if not...then, friend?”

“Ohhh come on, Marco....can you give me some time to think it over?"

“Of course...yes...let’s dance...sweet music for us...”

“Okay Marc.”


I held her soft hand going to the dance floor, looked into her eyes, I touched my two sweaty hands on her hips, smelled her sweaty neck and perfume, felt her body into mine and her heart beating like a racing bulls. I touched tightly into her hips which made her held me tightly. The music halted in time when I released her. We’re holding our hands together approaching our seats.


“Marc, I think we’re going home now...please...”

“Okay.” We halted a taxi cab going to Al Riqqa Road near her apartment where she stayed. She went down the cab without a word.

“Vivian, thank you for this special night with you,” while holding her left hand. She looked at me straight in the eyes, and said, “Welcome, Marco Fernando.” I continued riding a taxi cab going to Satwa area. I went inside the building of our flat when Ruel Mondragon met me at the stairs.

“Still awake, how’s the store operation?” I asked him.

“It’s fine Sir.”

“What’s the problem?"

“Sir, thank you for helping me with my problem, I thank you so much.”

“No problem, we’ll talk inside my room. Come.” I opened the door, and we seated. “Ruel, give me a strong coffee.”

“Okay Sir, for a while.” Ruel walked into the kitchen and I observed him while making my coffee. He’s back, gave my coffee and seated beside me.

“Sir, you’re so kind and very helpful to me. My conscience to keep silent about this matter hurts me. Sir, this is about Ronnie Ramirez.”

“What about him?”

“He reported you to our Area Manager about taking cough syrup, attending parties, drinking liquor, absenteeism and other things about your performance inside the store. Besides, I’ve got his letter for him. Kindly give it to him.”

“Ruel are you sure about this?” while accepting the letter.

“Yes Sir, I heard their conversation personally.”

“Okay, I’ll give this letter to Ronnie and I’ll talk to him. Thanks Ruel!”

“Okay sir, but don’t divulge this to Ronnie...for what I said to you?”

“Okay, trust me with this.” I drank my coffee with heavy feelings towards Ronnie. I fingered the letter in my hand, seated at the sofa, and looked again to the forwarding address.

From: Mr. Edward Ramirez
Ilonggo Inasal, Inc.
P.O. Box 555 Lacson Street
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Philippines


It’s two o’clock in the morning that all the evening shift employees were resting, washing or cooking their food after the day’s operation. I hurriedly come down the stairs at the first floor of the building and looked for Ronnie, where I saw Ruel at the lobby.

“Ruel, where’s Ronnie?”

“He’s washing his uniform in the washing area. I’ll call him Sir?”

“No, I’ll go there at the washing area to talk to him. Kindly refrain from walking in there, okay?

“Yes Sir.” Ruel answered.

I went to the washing area where I found him looking with his clothes inside the washing tub. I distanced from him a meter away to give me enough space and time for him. I think he noticed someone's coming inside because he moved his head a little sideways.

“Ronnie, it’s me Mr. Fernando!” My greeting, echo inside the washing area reverberated which made him face instantly.

“Sir, Fernando, it’s you, why...why Sir?”

“I heard a report that you told our Area Manager about my vices, and what’s your right to do that, huh?”

“Sir, it’s just...”

“It’s just what?” I held my anger which he noticed and kept silent. “Tell me Ronnie, it’s just what!!!” Another shout coming from my anger.

“Sir, I’m so...sorry, I cannot...explain...,” he pleaded.

“Cannot explain...what!!! Why!!!” I shouted at him and punched his face but he kept on pleading, “I’m sorry Sir….” Blood oozed from his nose that I called Ruel to bring him in my room upstairs. Ruel got a hand towel and pacified the flowing of the blood. He’s back to normal when I spoke to him in a low voice.

“Are you alright now Ronnie?”

“Yes Sir...I’m sorry...,” he started to cry silently.

“You have a letter coming from Edward Ramirez. What’s your relation with him?”

“He’s my father Sir.”

“In Bacolod City? Do you have a picture of him?"

“Yes Sir, here...in my wallet.” Ronnie hand in the picture, I looked at it, did not move at first, I was shocked because the person in front of me was Edward’s son. I knew Ronnie with his family name was Ramirez, but didn’t expect that Edward Ramirez, my best friend in Bacolod City was his father. I observed him while he’s drinking coffee given by Ruel. He’s really like his father, but why? It’s been almost seven years now...Edward my friend.

“Ronnie, where’s your father now?”

“In Bacolod City Sir.”

“He married again?"

“No Sir.”

“Is he working right now?”

“He has a restaurant business Sir, Ilonggo Inasal Restaurant.”

“I see...Ronnie, next time don’t do this again, okay?”

“Okay Sir.”

“You can leave now; you too Ruel. Thank you.”

That night I can’t sleep thinking of my past life in Bacolod City, and the new events that kept on popping up. Was it my way of living? Or was it the result of dreaming something big? Or was it I’m weak or my way of thinking into the future?

TO BE CONTINUED###


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

OFW Friends and Stories #OFW20



I was glad that Ronnie will send the money. I was excited to know that Ayah Isabel can repay her debt. I trusted Ronnie since we worked together. Ronnie encouraged me again for the cough syrup addiction. We were doing our ploy to support our vices and I continued using the “cough syrup overdosed”.

“Friend, Marco, I heard you’re rich now?” Ryan Mallari called me up one day.

“Ohhh come on, still the struggling Marco Fernando, “What’s up man?”

“Some of my wealthy friends, have a party tonight, at the Jumeirah’s house?"

“Wallah, are you sure, saddique?”

“Yes my friend, I’ll fetch you in your accommodation seven in the evening. Are you alright with that time?” asked Ryan.

“Yes, I do. Do we need to energize or not?" I asked.

“No, not at all, we need to be in normal state to gather their beauties and riches….ha-ha-ha-ha…”

"Okay then, I loved it. Bye!”


At the Jumeirah beach, we arrived at the mansion house with awesome feeling about this special party. Ryan Mallari parked the car near the gate where some bushes camouflaging the vehicle. The gate was near the front door wherein we can view people inside. The Indian guy asked our names politely, and we introduced ourselves with unusual names. He nodded his head, up and down ...left to right, as an Indian customary gesture. He guided us going to the swimming pool where the party was held.

“Hi Glenda…hi girls...this is my friend Marco!” Ryan introduced me when we reached the poolside. Glenda and the girls greeted me in unison. I saw some girls were beginning to undress me the way they looked at me. But I noticed a female helper looking at me with soulful eyes. Some of the males were busy preparing food, drinks and other accessories to be used in the party.

“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we celebrate my birthday, my 28th birthday. I’m one of the worker of this house, and this house belongs to my employer who’s vacationing in Italy. But don’t worry I have a permission to use this pool as my birthday venue and the adjacent guest rooms too. If you want to eat now, just do it, and...if you want to drink liquor or soft drinks, we have a table over there,” as Glenda pointing at the beverage table, “Enjoy my friends!”


Ryan and Glenda began to pour their drinks, I started to pour two shots of tequila, and drank bottoms up, with sliced of lemon and salt, my favorite. I came nearer to a lady that I spotted before who’s tending in the BBQ grill, “Hi, my name is Marco, and you?” I extended my hand to her with energy within me.

“Vivian...Vivian Montoya,” she accepted it and looked at me.

“Good Vivian, nice to meet you. Can you give me your address or contact number. I’ll visit you in the flat.”

“Here’s my number, 04-4558098, landline, call me first and I’ll give you my address.”

“Okay thanks.” I helped her grilled some marinated meats and seafood while drinking liquor. We’re laughing because of my polo shirt smelled fish, Vivian’s too.

“Marco, come on, the water’s cool!” Ryan shouted at me.I undressed instantly besides Vivian, went to the pool and enjoyed the water. Every visitor seemed agitated when I approached Vivian again for another shot of tequila and a stick of BBQ. I did not know why but I enjoyed being with her. She knew how to handle my questions with sense.

Ryan Mallari introduced another lady named Susan Magtoto. We chatted near the pool almost an hour which made Vivian Montoya to act differently. I glanced at her, still grilling but now, drinking canned Heineken beer. Susan gave her mobile number and address. Left my place and chatted another male guest at the end of the pool. Around one in the morning, I was quite tipsy, tried to find Vivian around the place. Glenda told me that she wanted to go home.


“Glenda, she left just now?” I asked.

“Yes, she told me to ride a taxi.”

“Okay, just a minute, I’ll call her.” I went outside the gate, and saw her at the main road waiting for a taxi cab. I shouted at her, “Vivian, it’s me Marco!”

“Yes, Marc, why are you here? I’m waiting for a taxi cab...,” she answered shouting too. When I approached her, “Come inside, we’ll wait until morning to go home, but at this hour, it’s very dangerous for you to travel alone.” We spotted a police car approaching us, Vivian told me to hide, but I grabbed her and run near the mansion house. We hid in a prone position under the bushes, near Ryan’s car. After awhile, we embraced totally feeling our hearts like a thunderstorm. The police car left and we got back inside the house. We enjoyed chatting together telling some amusing OFW stories.

“You see, what happened to us, we’re running and hiding like rats in a desert, but I believed that this city could give us hopes to fulfill our dreams. Do you believe that Marco Fernando?”

“Deep in my heart, I can say yes, but it depends on us, as OFW, to take good care of ourselves. Vivian, how long have you been here in Dubai?” I asked seriously.

“Okay, Marco, give me another doubled shots and I’ll tell you my story? Okay?”

I got a bottle of whiskey and six canned beers on the table, bucket of ice cubes, slices of dried beef meat and green mangoes. We sat at the sculptured Bermuda grass, positioned a small table at the center. I prepared these stuff alone, and she’s quite groggy, I observed. But she wanted to tell her story. I mixed the two shots of whiskey to a canned of beer in a transparent glass, put some salt and gave to Vivian. She grabbed at once and tasted it. I also mixed the same for me, but I squeezed the lemon-halves on my drinks. “Vivian, go on tell me your story, I’m interested to know about it. Come on, go on.”

“Okay friend Marco, I’ve been hired as a domestic helper, so, my visa status is in domestic helper with white card. For you a blue card isn’t it? Because you’re in a service industry. Actually, I graduated in BS Nursing, but I’ve got pregnant with that bastard, you know, got two kids for him and left me. My family got messed up for our financial capabilities to survive with our daily existence. So, I applied even as a domestic helper. I’ve applied for a loan to process my departure, got bored with my job and missed my two kids.”

Her tears started to fall which I wiped it out with my bare hand. She wiped it too and smiled. Vivian Montoya began to tell me her story.

“I left my employer without permission...and I stayed with my friend hiding from authorities like a criminal. But I need money to send with my family, and for my unpaid loan. So, I worked, part-time job for hotel catering, but I’m very careful not to get caught and came into contact with people in authority. I’m a TNT here in Dubai.”

“What’s TNT?” I asked.

“Tago ng Tago...So, I stayed for more than six years now without any documents; passport, white card, etcetera...etcetera...If I want to go home in the Philippines, deportation process must be applied to me. And, there are some Filipinos who offered to help me, but in exchange, I’ll have to live with them as partner. I turned them down...and here I am, still chasing my dreams. But I do believe that this place can give financial freedom on my part. By the way, call me tomorrow so that we can talk some more, okay Marco Fernando?”

“Yes, it’s my day off tomorrow. I’ll call you in the afternoon, that’s fine for you?”

“Yes my friend. It’s six o’clock in the morning now, where’s the other guests?”

“I think they’re sleeping in a guest’s room.”

“Want to go home in your flat? I’ll go with you then.”

“Okay, let’s wash ourselves first.”



We got a taxi cab going to Al Riqqa Road where she stayed, and I headed to Satwa District. I went down the taxi cab, walked upstairs to my room, but Ruel Mondragon, one of my staff greeted me.

“Good morning Sir!”

“Yes Ruel, what’s up? Anything I can do for you?”

“Sir Marco, can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Yes, come inside. Want some coffee?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Okay, make a strong coffee for me too I’ll take a bath first.”







When I finished bathing, I went outside the bathroom drying my body with towel and sipped my coffee. I observed Ruel crying silently. “Ruel, why are you crying? Is there any problem?”

“Yes, sir, I received a letter yesterday from my mother...that my wife left my children. She eloped with her boyfriend.”

“Ohhh, my, my, my…why on earth!.....it’s a fashion now? What can I do to help you?”

“Sir, I want to go home in the Philippines, but I don’t have enough money for my plane tickets and extra money for my children. Could you help me please...”

“Don’t worry, I’ll help you.”

“Thank you so much Sir, you’re the best Sir! Bye!” When Ruel left, I began to close my eyes to sleep, ready for another encounter with Vivian Montoya. When I awoke, another knocked on the door, I opened and Ronnie came in. “Sir, there’s a problem with our stocks yesterday. We ran out of some important items needed for today’s operation.”

“Make an emergency order to the commissary at once. You send my remittance as always?”

“Yes, yes Sir!”

“I trusted you about this remittance. Be sure you send it on time, so that Ayah Isabel can have it for the children. Okay Ronnie?”

“Yes Sir!”

"I wonder why I did not receive any letter from her...Anything I can do for you?”

“Sir, I observed that you’re getting closer with Ryan Mallari? Are you fine with him?”

“Yes of course! Why? What about?”

“Nothing, sir.”

“What’s this, why and nothing? Okay, I have an appointment now.”

“Okay Sir, bye, enjoy your day off!”

I smiled at him and went to the shower to cool myself. When I reached the bath soap I remember Ayah Isabel, that encounter, I loved it. Whenever I am in front of the mirror and saw my scar on the forehead, I remember Danielle.

TO BE CONTINUED###



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.






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