Sa kalagitnaan ng Edsa, hindi napigilan ni manong drayber ang paghikab sabay exclaim na inaantok sya. Bandang alas-singko iyon ng hapon, nagmumuni-muni ako habang nakasakay sa taksi papunta sa opsina at naramdaman ko rin ang antok.
“May radyo ba kayo manong?”, baka nga naman magising kami kung magpatugtog sya.
“Wala e. Pero kahapon, nung inaantok din ako – kinantahan ako nung sakay kong pasahero.”
Hindi ko maimagine kung paano naging pampagising ang pagkanta sa kanya nung pasahero – unless fireworks or Moves like jagger ito.
“Kuya, pag ako yung kumanta baka lalo kang antukin.”
For a moment napag-isipan ko ngang pwede akong kumanta – to break the ice and stay awake myself. Pero nahirapan ako sa song choice – baka maging mala-lullaby ang awit ko.
To make the long story short, I had a long chat with manong driver to give him the benefit of staying up to hit the road. He happened to be from Bicol and formerly worked at Jedah for 8 years before becoming a taxi driver. He had no children, i knew because I asked. He did not mention having a wife but boasts of his hometown with a nearby sea where he has a motor boat. He invited me to look for him some time when I visit the province, tour me around to see a butanding and lend me a snorkling gear. He boasted of the coconut’s there, too – which happened to be my favorite.
Coming from previous meetings that day, I’m at an introvert mode that time but enjoyed listening to him; and sometimes responded back to his questions.
When he found out that I’m not married yet (yes, he asked of my status), he gave an unsolicited advice:
“Dapat pumili ka ng lalaking may kabuhayan. Hindi lang trabaho – pero negosyo. Mahirap kasi ang buhay ngayon. Pumili ka ng lalaki na maghihintay hanggang ikasal kayo”
He actually guessed my age right and had seemingly peeked thru my thoughts when he said those words.
Isang malaking tsek kuya. I believe starting a family is something that has to be prepared for. Considering the realities of life, financial sustainability is essential especially that couples will be raising children.
Love matters more, but its language is not thru mere words but actions.
Love for family is why many Filipinos strive to work hard and take risks even in other countries. Love is why a man walks the longest mile to pursue her beloved; and love is why a woman also surrenders herself to his husband.
But another face of love is counting costs; planning steps to make the relationship stronger and considering the other person prior to making necessary commitments .
Hala, ang layo ng narating ng aking gunita. Salamat kay Mang Edgar (ang drayber na nakausap ko) dahil hindi ako nainip sa byahe. Pero lahat ng byahe ay may destinasyon, kinailangan ko na ring bumaba.
Try mo rin chikahin si Manong drayber minsan, baka may mapulot ka. 😉