2017 Recollections

Year 2017 has come to an end, as we all close another chapter to each individual’s life bend. We do so with thanks and laughter; for 2018 will be merrier.

As for Ah Kong, he ponders on his 2018 New Year’s resolution: to be quitter of all bad habits. But then it occurs to Ah that nobody really likes or loves a quitter.

Ah’s friends retort Ah’s going to be fine quitting because they swear to high heavens that Ah comes from a strong lineage of lunatics.

Caught between the dilemma of “to quit or not to quit,” Ah has decided, for the moment, to cherish and share instead, some of his nostalgia.

To Ah’s fine readers who, by nature always exude a happy mood, they can say recollection is a memory clipped from one whole story they have had the chance to store away in the pages of their minds.

To those more serious in demeanor, well, by all account, they can say that memory is a calendar of experience that happened in the past and stored, to become perpetually present when we experience something that recalls it from the vaults of memory.

Year 2018 is in. Ah remembers some memorable events he failed to convey to readers of Herald Express, that make Ah smile and laugh like a fool by his lonesome whenever he’s seated on a passenger vehicle bound for travel.

Many are, our memories. Ah shares his, of the many that occurred to him for the 12 months of last year.

One time, last January, while doing project monitoring in Pangasinan, a colleague routed a memo from higher-ups to be signed by Ah for approval. Having formally turned over the memo to Ah, the colleague pursued another chore.

Ah mistakenly signed the memo, “Not Approved.” When his colleague came back, he pointed out the “Not Approved” that Ah wrote on the memo.

Instead of changing the whole memo, Ah simply added the “E” to the word “Not,” making it “Note Approved.”

Last March, Ah hitched a ride for Halsema National Highway in the pick-up vehicle of Emilio Gaston, a farmer-friend in the Benguet highlands. Once inside vehicle, he discovered Emilio and his wife had a nasty verbal spat, for both never said a word to each other during the ride and not one wanted to concede.

As they passed by a herd of cows grazing along Halsema Highway, Emilio sarcastically asked, “Mebbeso, the are relatives of yours?”

Still enraged, Emilio’s wife answered, “Yes, they are my In-laws.”

Spoken like a true cynic. Last May, Ah accompanied Ismael Yabes, from Region 1, for medical check-up. After the check-up, the doctor gave Yabes his needed medicines with the instructions thus: “the white pills are for your swollen liver, the red pills for your heart and the yellow pills for your stomach. Understand!”

Yabes nodded dumbly and answered, “Yes doc. Only, I fervently hope the pills will understand where they are supposed to go.”

Democracy, er, Filipino style. Last July, Ah and friends were discussing about democracy, when Ansel Somera, from Region 1, suddenly waxed poetic, saying, “Filipinos are the strongest believers in democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of expression. But when someone utters a word against us; we are going to teach him/her a lesson. . .”

Are Ilocanos kuripot?  Last October, a wealthy lady from Manila underwent surgery and needed blood. Cedron Garbanes, from Region 1 donated blood. In appreciation, the wealthy lady gave a brand new car, and thousands of dinero to Cedron.

When the wealthy lady had to undergo corrective surgery again, Cedron was asked to give blood again. He did so willingly. In appreciation for his effort, the lady gave Cedron a new cellphone.

Dismayed at what he thought the lady didn’t reciprocate the kind gesture of his, he texted the lady.

The lady wisely replied, “Cedron, Meron na akong dugong Ilocano, intiende?”

Last November, friend Dalirio   Dagides from CAR and a bachelor, went to secure a new library card. He asked the beautiful librarian, “By having this card, you mean I can take out any book?”

“Yup,” the lady librarian said in a vibrant voice.

“So, I can take out encyclopedias and CDs as well?” Dalirio persisted.

“You can take out anything you want,” the librarian coolly answered.

Emboldened, Dalirio whispered, “Can I take you out then?”

“Sorry, manong. Librarians are for reference only,” the librarian said.

With due apologies to the Clergy! These two events were narrated to Ah by a friend (he wants to be anonymous but wants it known he’s a Cordilleran) last November.

There was a long-winded servant of God who preached from Genesis to Revelation in the Bible in every sermon.

One day, after having covered almost the whole of the Bible, he intoned, “Now, we come to Isaiah. Brethren, what shall we do with him?”

One church-goer, seated on a pew at the back of the church said matter-of-factly, “He can have our pew, Father, for we are leaving.”

Then there was this boy who became rude to his family that he was meted the punishment of eating at a small table all alone in a far of a room. Nobody in the family paid any attention to him.

When they were about to eat, they heard  the prayer of the boy who said, “I thank thee, Lord, Almighty, for preparing a table for me in the presence of my enemies.”

Last December Ah disappeared from work for two days.

When he came back he was summoned by their angry chief. “Where have you been? Don’t think for a moment that you can vanish for days on end without permission!”

“I was merely following your order,” Ah said.

“And what was that order, aber?”

“When I came to your office last month to seek approval for a vacation, you were not present. But I saw the notice on your desk which said – DO IT NOW – so I did.”

Last December, Ah went to buy a ceramic bowl, intending it as a gift for their home.  On the way, he tripped on a jutting stone. The ceramic glassware flew from his hands, fell on the pavement and shattered.

All, nearby, paused and turned around to see what occurred. They saw Ah, who picked himself up, dusted off his clothes as a crowd looked on.

Looking around him, Ah yelled in disgust to the crowd, “What in dang tarnation are you looking? Haven’t you ever seen a fool before?”

Happy New Year, everyone!

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