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An Ending for a New Beginning - 20 August 2008 Back to stories index

Manila Bay at sunset October 6, 2007, Saturday. I woke up earlier than usual due to strange noises coming from the outside, a typical thing in the city. My housemates were already up and busy for some stuff I could hear them talking. I bet it was not an ordinary day. I was about to get off from bed when I realized that I was not alone in the room. Right next to me was my cute little nephew whom I always shared his bed with. Since I had graduated from the university and started working, I stayed here in this apartment with my sister and her family. That was why I intended to share room with my two nephews, the elder was seven, and the younger was three. I did not see the elder inside the room, perhaps he was already outside playing with his “gang”. The one who was beside me is not only my nephew but a godson as well. That is the reason why I adore him most. I cuddled him until he was awakened. When he opened his eyes, he did not cry for his sleep was destructed. Instead, he cuddled me back and gave me a kiss on my cheeks. He was just three years old but the way he spoke was like he was seven. He then asked me his usual breakfast, his milk in a feeding bottle.

I laughed while I was preparing his milk for he started talking in a child way about the things he would do for the day. Suddenly, the door was opened and along came my sister who greeted his son good morning with a bear hug and kisses. She then told me that the breakfast was ready at the dining table. After I prepared the milk, I quickly went to the wash room and cleaned. When I was finished I went straight to the dining area to see my other nephew, my sister, my brother in-law, my other sister and my mother (who just came by two days ago) waiting for me to start our breakfast. Then they kid me that I should eat as many as I can for it would be my last breakfast in the Philippines. I thought for a while then I realized that they were right. Tonight, I will go to Thailand.

I only ate a little though the foods that they prepared for me were all my favorites. What I kept busy most is checking my checklist of the things that I will bring to Thailand. My friend who invited me to go there had called me the other night and reminded me to buy seasoning for a Filipino dish “sinigang”. My mother had just gone out to market and bought already the things that I needed. While I was packing my things in my luggage, my nephew came and kept asking a lot of questions. Since I’m his godmother, he never calls me as his auntie but addresses me as his “ninang”. “Ninang, you will ride in an airplane?”, “Ninang, you will see many big elephants?, “Ninang, you will eat spicy foods?”. These were some of his questions I intended to answer. But what I was astonished most was when he asked me “Mom said you will work there and come back here for a long time. Is it true? How about me?” I hugged him so tight for I was about to cry but I could help it. Yeah, I really want to experience working in another country but I don’t want to leave my family.

To avoid being emotional, I quickly grabbed my digital camera and told him to take a pose. This caught his interest and did many poses. We only stopped when his mom called him to take his bath. It was a long day for me.

All of us (except my brother-in-law who went to auto shop to get his car), had taken our “siesta” (a Filipino hobby whereas taking nap during the afternoon) and was awakened by knock from the outside door. My mother attended to our guest but I was still sleepy that I was too lazy to entertain whoever he/she is. When I woke up, my sister told me that the guest is her godmother, a well respected person in their village who just came by to give me a simple remembrance to guide me in Thailand. It was a silver plated Immaculate Concepcion face. I was amazed for I never expected this kind of gift. When I went out to give her thanks, her housekeeper told me that she went to the church. I just told my sister to send my deepest thanks when she sees her.

We had our early dinner at 5:30 pm and I noticed the sadness on the eyes of my housemates even though they were not talking. After that, I got ready and waited for my nephew to wake up because I wanted to hug him for the last time (since I’m not sure when I will go back). My sister told me that they will go with us to the airport.

At exactly 7:00 pm, we were ready to go to the airport. Though our village is just a 15 minute drive to the airport, I was informed to go there at least three hours before the flight to avoid long lines and huge crowd. My flight was scheduled at 10:30 pm but I bet it will be delayed because of some unavoidable stuff in the airport. We were seven in the car. My brother-in-law, fresh from the auto shop and just came in time, my sister with her two sons, my other sister, my mother and I. My sister kid my mom, for I was the youngest in the family, she was sure my mother will cry when we got to the airport and see her daughter leave. My mother just smiled.

A fifteen minute drive became thirty minutes because of tight security in the vicinity of the airport. But I was not annoyed for I spent another fifteen minute with my family before I entered in the departure area. I wanted to take pictures with them but the police officer did not allow us because other people might do the same thing and they forbid people in the departure area who do not have airline tickets. I just gave my family especially my godson a special hug and kisses before I waved them goodbye.

I had my luggage checked-in, paid the immigration fee and prepared myself being interviewed by an immigration officer. I was confident enough that they will never asked me anything but I was wrong. The first officer I lined to had asked about my hotel reservation in Thailand. I was stumbled for a while because I did not get any hotel reservation. That officer rejected my excuse and proceeded to interview with other Filipino. I was about to cry as I called my friend in Thailand, she said I should try again my luck in another officer. I also called to my sister and she said she will pray for me. When I tried another officer, I succeeded. He just asked me where I will stay in Thailand, what will I do, and how long will I stay there. After I answered all of his questions, he smiled at me and said. “Well, good luck. God bless you in Bangkok!”

I was very happy that time. I remembered the Immaculate Concepcion and kissed it as my way of thanks to God. I called my sister, and my friend. They were both happy too. As I entered the waiting area for my scheduled flight, I looked the night view of the city outside the airport. I smiled alone for I was too happy. I told to myself, “this is it, tonight I bid farewell to the view of Manila, and tomorrow I’ll let the view of Bangkok welcomed me!”

By: Myra R. Bago

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