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

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, 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?


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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  1. such a great story,will eagerly wait for the next part.

  2. small world :) he is the son of your friend back home, what happened next? were you sanctioned? why did he reported you?

  3. oooohhh.. That's life. I hope he won't forget where he came fromm... and his Aya!

  4. His past life is now starting to haunt him and there's a new girl also in the picture.

  5. Can't wait for the next story! :D Will definitely check this again.

  6. Sucha cool post :-D Can't wait for the next story x

  7. Is Ilonggo Inasal Restaurant really existing? It's so exciting when you can match true life events and things to nonfiction.

  8. wow this is a nice story? I mean is this really happening or just a story I am looking for the continue.

  9. Wow, that's a good story. Totally got me hooked from start to end. I'll read the previous chapters.

  10. Sometimes if we're not over with the past, it will really haunt us. What's the big dream that's going to happen, can't wait for the continuation.

  11. I wonder if Ayah would ever know about Vivian.

  12. This is turning out to be a really nice story.

  13. Great flow of story! I can't wait for the turn of events.


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