Before proceeding, Daily Laborer extends best wishes to Dr. Andrew Martin, former co-worker at Department of Health – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR), on his birthday.
A best friend, Dr. Martin (Daily Laborer calls him Ka Don), is such a man of principle and experience whose friendship is a treasure and exudes something consolatory and soothing, a certain charm in what he does and says that strangely softens the mind.
Whenever Daily Laborer was with Dr. Martin during his DOH-CAR years, the laboring breast was relieved, the sad soul became cheerful and the swelling heart vented.
In short, Dr. Martin enters into the spirit of whatever affects his co-workers and friends with an eagerness and sensibility peculiar to himself and his merry imagination broods continually over our interest which is constantly uppermost in his thoughts.
Dr. Martin’s bosom, like guitar strings never out of tune, like music instrument true to the touch of a master, is unfailingly in unison with his co-workers, friends and acquaintances.
Let wine flow where it must, Ka Don, – into this laborer’s thirsty throat.
On another front, how delightful having observed PSUPT Armando Gapuz of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) as he assisted senior citizens in their crossing the streets during occasion of the Silahis ng Pasko parade.
PSUPT Gapuz’s helping ways reflect the character of BCPO and its officers – men and women – which is the enduring association which enhances citizen pleasure in the name of a Friend.
BCPO’s men and women show that when the stroke of being aged falls upon us, the sympathy of a true friend takes away half its heaviness of being old.
And when wearied with the world with its harsh sounds and sights, we return to the communion of BCPO friendship, as we rest after a laborious journey in a soft garden of refreshment and peace somewhere in the nook and cranny of Baguio City. Kudos!
Now, where were we? Aaah, December’s charm. . .
Had we the tender expressions of angels to clothe our musings, we would dwell long and delightfully upon the lessons taught so sensibly, in December’s advent – gatekeeper of Christmas.
Shivering indeed must we look upon December’s nature and her changes, as she finds luxury of sentiment in contemplation of all her seasons. All are chords to that instrument which yields its tone to everyone and vibrates voluntarily to every human being’s feeling.
In December, fair melodies are made up of unmingled warblings of rapture, the overflowing of gladness which exude the timeless story of a poor, penniless, and unclad Boy born in a manger, watched by farm animals and from issues all that claims the name, the Son of the Almightiest of all – the fabled dweller of heaven.
In December, it’s mellowed into the harmony of hope, its progression tempered to the calmness of matured desire, its echoes unbroken by irregular responses of ever varying consonances of touches.
Such is December’s music, upon that deep toned instrument of ours – the heart.
Every December, it comes lightly upon the hearts of people of Cordillera, Region 1 and elsewhere, for that matter.
But it, too, come heavy on Cordillera and Region 1 persons working abroad – and other Filipinos called Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) – who have buried the better part of their hearts on Philippine soil where they were born, raised and grew and amused themselves no end.
Talking about amusement, it seems the better part of a person’s life is but one entire amusement.
Why so, you ask this deranged laborer? Looka here! Many of us amuse ourselves by work or ambition; others amuse themselves by interest. Some amuse themselves in pleasures, while still others amuse themselves with acquisition of glory or power.
Some amuse themselves by being idle like this lazy laborer; many amuse themselves by pursing only a passion called “pag-ibig” and nothing more. others amuse themselves of day-dreaming.
Many of us amuse ourselves by believing we are the handsomest or prettiest creature that walks on the earth.
But nobody ever amuses himself/herself to be called the ugliest living creature.
Arrah! One is amused to think that all these transactions in our lives are mere amusement and life itself is but an amusement.
That much for amusing matters. Back to December, OFW and others trying breaking their backs for a living.
For anyone in general, and to the OFW in particular, the call of home this December is the best hope in the midst of struggle, desolation, and a holy call to the weary and broken in spirit.
No marvel then, that everybody anticipates the influence of December that breathes with untold delight her sighing breezes, and settles an unwearied gaze upon decorated living plants and happily called “O Christmas tree” by children.
Our children! Yes, December lets childhood spring back to life and that childhood hang with enrapturing fondness over the beauty of Christmas trees seen anywhere.
So t’was, at the close of a day of December last year, a Cordilleran traveler was seen hastily proceeding along a road which led to Poblacion, Mangkayan, Benguet. His name was Pablo Dumilos, in his thirties, a middle-sized man and his countenance embroiled by toil and the scorching heats of many a summer’s sun.
Yet there was an expression of careless good humor, mingled with the noble frankness set on his handsome features which shone in his black eyes and reveled in his smile, which showed that though his life might have been toilsome, yet the anguish of conflicting passion had seldom been allowed to invade the calmness of his bosom.
Pablo had always left home and family in pursuit of work. Now this December, he was coming home. The sun was just sinking when he entered his village; the last beams of the sun’s splendor illuminated his home’s windows and cast a lingering gleam over the landscape.
Pablo stood for a moment and wondered, that nature, in her sportive mood, designed their village for rural innocence.
Pablo, too, recalled that once, long time ago, when he and her wife, Lorana, were viewing the rural scenes, he said to his wife, “Kuna eksperto, nu kanu ti lalaki mangasawa ket ikabalay na ti aswa na ti kastoy a naturnos a lugar, at-atiddug ti biag ti asawa a lalaki.”
Ket ti sungbat ni Lorna: “Sunga agpasalamat ka ta na-asawam siak a madi na agna-ed ti syudad.”
Pablo jokingly commented, “Sunga agbirukak pay ti maysa asawa nga kayat na agna-ed ditoy kabanbantayan ta umat-atiddug biag ko, eh?” And for Pablo’s comment, Lorana gave her husband a stinging whack on the head.
Standing, reminiscing and looking at the scenery he left for long, he also remembered when he said to his son, “Anak, tuladem din kuton, nagaget, adi basta menbulbulakbul.”
To which his son replied, “Huh, Ama, enmey tako id Burnham Park namingsan yan wada da met isdi ay menbulbulakbul.”
Pablo shook off his memories and strode towards their home, a peaceful abode made of wood, galvanized sheets and set on a grassy knoll. It was at home when illness one day nearly snatched away their son and they had to rush him to a hospital.
While their son was recuperating at that hospital, Pablo related a scene he witnessed (whether we believe Pablo on this, is up to the reader). One day at that hospital, Pablo saw a nurse who said to a doctor,” Doc, apay adda thermometer dita nay lapayag yu?”
Hastily the doctor answered, saying, “Hala, kaninong puwit ko kaya naisaksak yong ballpen ko.”
Pablo reached his house door; his heart beat. He knocked. It was opened by his mother. The delighted parents touched him. But for a moment, there were other beings absent, also dear to his heart.
Light steps crossed from their Sala, and there stood before him Lorana and his little son. He looked with heart-felt gratitude to the day of his wanderer’s return, back to his home-sweet home on that cold-clad December – exuding a mysterious charm that made his heart weep with mingled joy.