Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Random Thoughts Part 8

My thoughts and my hands were a little cranky these past few days. Reading and writing seemed to have been banned in own little world. But now that blogger is back and my creative juices are spewing orange pulps all over the place, I might as well spill it all.

Thursday the 12th. That was five days ago. I just hated the fact that I was one of the representatives of our class for the Declamation Contest in the Mini-theater of our college. I know I suck because during the try-out, I forgot a paragraph of my piece. There was a lot of ad lib and that was a big deal. 

I wasn't prepared yet with my delivery and the contest was only hours away. We still have to finish working on the backdrop and do the letter cuttings which I made all by myself. Everyone was saying they can't do it. Hay! 

Come what may. That was what I placed in my head. But my greatest plea was that I will never forget a line of my piece. Alas! God seemed not to hear my prayer. After I recited the first paragraph successfully, the words which I have been reading in my head became blurry. Oh God! I can't afford to stammer in front of these people. Not now. That was where my ad lib abilities came out. Good thing I was still able to connect the thought and returned on track. From time to time, I missed a word or a sentence but I never showed my mistake. What I did was own the stage and walk from here to there. There were pauses but there were also valid emotions attached to it. Perhaps, that was the reason why, though I thought I was such a crazy woman shouting and crying in front of a crowd, I got the second place. (hehe)

First time to join a Declamation Contest after being deprived by my elementary teacher to perform and after all doors of opportunities closed when I was in high school. It wasn't that bad for a first timer. Thank you Lord.

Friday the 13th. That was four days ago. This day is always associated with negativism by many for they think that Friday the 13th is "demalas" (unlucky). More likely, it was based on some lame Chinese beliefs that enormously blinded and gave a great influence on present-day Filipinos. But my God, who is more humongous than any other beliefs, proved that Friday the 13th is never a day of "demalas." 

'Twas the day of my final examination in History 141. The teacher in the name of Dr. Ma. Ferry C. Valencia, who was such a spoon-feeder and well-loved by her students, gave us the pointers two days ago before the examination. But a procrastinator as I was, just like the rest of my Education gang, I studied the night before. I never prayed for a perfect score. What I told God was for me to have guidance from Him. And focus, too.

The result was final. I got a perfect score! Not to brag, but the examination was easy. The teacher was amused with my performance, including those students who had the same fate as mine. 

I miss the class and my crushes. (haha) History 141 was quite enjoyable. And I honestly learned a lot from it.

Tuesday the 17th. That is today. The day for our final demonstration in Developmental Reading 1. My long kept uniform has finally went out of the closet. Say hi to the world. It went well, thank God. There were more commendations than points to improve, but I will give more importance to that one thing that comprised my "to be improved" box -- discuss the story further. Okay! :)

Summer classes isn't that bad, I finally decided. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dumbfounded Me

"Okay Catanus, Ozoa,  and Trasmil. You will..."

I can't believe she uttered my surname. As I looked at her face, my memories brought me to the time when I got humiliated in front of my 11 classmates in our Developmental Reading I class when I delivered my piece. I forgot several lines and I had to invent phrases that might somehow rescue me from my mental block. It did not prevail, however, for I was too consumed by my nervousness. Minutes later, I was stuttering in front and though our teacher did not give any negative comments, I know I could've done better.

I am so cute when dumbfounded...haha
My dream of becoming an orator, or a pompous speaker, or a declamer ended when I realized I did not have that talent. I was grade six that time. I know my sisters can deliver public speaking better than I do, hailed as the best orator and best declamer in their school, respectively. I know I am just good in writing. 

A day before our teacher said that she will announce the participants for the Declamation contest, my friend asked me, "Do you want to be chosen?" My big NO came out. "I'd better write the whole day than murmur in front of a crowd like an inane virago."

Minutes before she gave the final list of participants, I was confident that I will not be chosen because I know how poor my performance was. But when...

"Okay Catanus, Ozoa, and Trasmil. You will be the representative of this section for the Declamation contest on Thursday in the mini-theater. There will be ten of you. I will invite some judges, especially President Sojor himself. I hope he's not busy that time. I will also ask VP Dinopol if she has time..."

The rest was a blur. My eyes were watery as I heard my classmates taunt the three of us especially me. Why in the world is this happening to me? Why? Is this a punishment for not coming to school early? I can't believe I'll be doing this. 

Deep breath. Very deep breath. I still couldn't imagine myself screaming, crying, and walking like a fool in front of a humongous crowd, but I'll try. So help me God! Maluoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Something from a crumpled paper

I was lying in bed with my head hanging on the edge. As I glanced on the floor, I saw a crumpled paper. I picked it up and seeing that it had a familiar penmanship, I read its contents. I realized I wrote it myself long time ago, when I was dreamy and a bit younger. It said:

"I have so many plans in life but I believe I cannot accomplish everything especially those which require big time aspects and reliabilities. Well, my dream job is to become a teacher and handle classes in elementary where all the pupils are brilliant and smart. I am also dreaming of becoming a novelist and turning to fame like J.K. Rowling, Sidney Sheldon, Stephenie Meyer, Nicholas Sparks, and John Grisham who authored books that did not only astound readers around the world but also had the bestselling novels and top grossing films. I dreamed of establishing a school where I could conduct it my way. I even had a funny ambition of becoming an actress and be discovered because of anything within me that is unique from all others. Most of all, I dreamed of having a family of my own and have a husband, the man of my dreams who could answer the confusions that cover my emotions right now. I want my family to be there, to be where I am when I accomplish some of my wildest imaginations in life.

This was a product of boredom during one of those days which I haven't thought of anything but write.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ay Galit?

Pagkatapos malibre sa hapunan, diretso Ceres terminal na ako. Ang hirap nga namang sumakay pag gabi lalo na kung ang tangi mong kasama ay ang bag mo't clear book.

Dalawang pedicab na ang dumaan -- parehong ayaw ako pasakayin. Buti na lang sinamahan ako nila Ate Caroline, Cheeno't Japhet. At least feel ko safe ako.

Sa wakas. May nagpasakay din sa 'kin. Shortcut mode. Nasa tapat na kami ng terminal. Nag-abot ako ng 50 piso sa drayber. Mukhang ayaw yata tanggapin...pero tinanggap na rin. Nagtanong s'ya pagkatapos. "Wala ka na bang mas maliit pa d'yan?"

"Wala na po talaga." tugon ko.

Aba nama't nagbago ang ekspresyon ng pagmumukha n'ya. Itinapon n'ya ang pera sa harap ko sabay sabi, "Oh baba ka na. Mamamasahe pa 'ko."

Dahil masunurin akong bata, bumaba naman ako agad. Nagsimula akong mag-alala't nagtanong, "Hala manong, hahanap muna ako ng..."

Ay galit? Di man lang ako pinatapos at umalis? Masaya man ako dahil nakalibre ako di lang sa hapunan kundi pati na rin sa pasahe sa pedicab, di ko pa rin maiwasang mag-alala sa nalugi n'yang otso pesos. *hihi

Haha. Kebs! Umalis s'yang galit. Di ko na problema 'yon.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Mother's Mansion

Below is an evidence that the internet is not 24/7 reliable. There are times (so many times, even) that you have to rely on your own capabilities so that you can provide something good for the group. This is obvioulsy because the internet failed to give you what you wanted.

Here's a one-act play I made for 12 people. It's quite long, though, but it's nice.

My Mother’s Mansion
By Rolyn Jane P. Catanus
(One-act play)


Doña Teodora Katigbak (Mariel Ozoa)
Don Francisco Katigbak (Carmelito Sojor) – husband
Lucia (Rolyn Jane Catanus) – eldest daughter
Maria (Kathlyn Taer) – younger sister
Paciano (Christnal Hermosa) – gardener
Olimpia (Guadaloue Lado) – helper
Josefa (Carlyn Trasmil) – another helper
Jose (Albert Umbac) – boyfriend of Maria
Trinidad (Lhouriefel Pinili) – kumare
Soledad (Melchie Fausto) – kumare
Narcisa (Rhea N. Fortin) – Don Francisco’s sister
Leonor (Israelli T. de la Luna) – tutor

    In the living room of the Katigbak Family; one afternoon, around 3:00 pm

(Don Francisco was writing something when Narcisa entered)
Don Francisco: Uy, Narcisa, What brought you here?
Narcisa: Kuya mama is sick again.
Don Francisco: What?
Narcisa: She is coughing again, more often this time.
Don Francisco: What do you want me to do?
Narcisa: Help her of course. She’s your mother too.
Don Francisco: You’re here to ask for money, aren’t you?
Narcisa: Apparently kuya. This is for mama’s good.
Don Francisco: Money is scarce these days Narcisa. Mother’s cough can wait.
Narcisa: But the doctor said she has to take the prescribed medicine and we have to pay the hospital bills.
Don Francisco: You brought her to the hospital?
Narcisa: I did not know what else to do. She was coughing blood.
Don Francisco: So you really brought her to the hospital.
Narcisa: Yes kuya.
Don Francisco: How many times did I tell you about that? Inform me first before you make any decision of bringing her to the hospital.
Narcisa: That’s why I’m here kuya, to inform you that I brought her to the hospital. She’s sick, I tell you. Very sick. And more than any time, she needs the both of us now. We’re her only family left.
Don Francisco: I have more important matters to do rather than think about mother’s illness the whole day.
(Narcisa stands up and was about to leave. Don Francisco stopped her)
Don Francisco: Hey! Sit down. (to the kitchen) Josefa! Josefa!
Josefa: (out from the kitchen) Sir?
Don Francisco: Hand me my checkbook.
Josefa: Right away sir. (disappeared to the kitchen) (back again). Here sir.
Don Francisco: You may leave now. (both Narcisa and Josefa walked away)
Don Francisco: Only you Josefa. Narci come back here.(writing a check). How much do you need?
Narcisa: 5,000 kuya.
Don Francisco: Here (plucks a page) (gives to Narcisa)
Narcisa: 1,329.40?
Don Francisco: Any questions?
Narcisa: But, where will I get the rest of the amount?
Don Francisco: It’s up to you.
Narcisa: I was right about you all this time kuya. You have become greedy the moment you have married that loquacious woman. You have transformed into an evil rich old man because of your wealth. You’re not like that before. You even promised father on his deathbed that you’d support your sister and mother. Anyway, thanks for the P1, 329.40. At least mother knew you helped. (walks out ) (Don Francisco was silent) (Doña Teodora enters)
Doña Teodora: What was that woman doing here again? Stealing money like she used to?
Don Francisco: Our mother is in the hospital again. She needed money.
Doña Teodora: Alibis, alibis, alibis. She’s good at that.
Don Francisco: Where have you been by the way?
Doña Teodora: Asking me that question again, huh?
Don Francisco: I am your husband and I have the right to ask you where you’ve been.
Doña Teodora: From my kumare’s house.
Don Francisco: Doing majong again.
Doña Teodora: It’s part of my routine as a doña. You’d rather not tell me what to do.
Don Francisco: You’re not wearing our wedding ring for two days now. You said you just forgot to put it on. Now where is it?
Doña Teodora: (looks at her finger, trying to form the right words). Uh, it’s right here in my bag. You want to see it? (pretends to nuzzle in her bag)
Don Francisco: Never mind. By the way, did you happen to see Olimpia’s necklace?
Doña Teodora: Why? Are you accusing me of stealing her cheap necklace?
Don Francisco: The answer is supposed to be yes or no only. Well then, I’m going to the bank to check on the hacienda’s savings (exits).
Doña Teodora: Phew! (to the kitchen). Olimpia! Olimpia!
Olimpia: (from the kitchen). Ma’am?
Doña Teodora: Madame! How many times do I have to remind you?
Olimpia: Sorry Ma’am. I mean Madame.
Doña Teodora: Where’s our gardener?
Olimpia: He’s in the garden Madame.
Doña Teodora: Josefa?
Josefa: Madame?
Doña Teodora: Call Paciano.
Josefa: Yes Madame.
(Paciano enters with Josefa)
Paciano: Madame?
Doña Teodora: (mellow) Hi Paciano. (commanding) Josefa, get some tea for me. Quick! Give me some food Olimpia. I’m hungry. Make it fast. And give some to Paciano, too. I know he’s tired from his work.
Olimpia and Josefa: Yes Madame. (while walking away)
Josefa: She seems to like your boyfriend Ol.
Doña Teodora: What was that I hear?
Josefa and Olimpia: Nothing Madame.
Doña Teodora: Come here. Come here. I don’t want anyone backbiting me, especially illiterate maids like you. What did you whisper to her Josefa, huh?
Josefa: Nothing Madame.
Doña Teodora: You’re lying, (stands up) I heard about a bad smell. Do I smell bad, huh? Did you smell yourself before you said that I smell bad?
Josefa: That’s not what I said. I said boyfriend, not bad smell.
Doña Teodora: Madame. Never forget that word.
Josefa: Sorry Madame.
Olimpia: We did not talk about you Madame.
Paciano: Calm down Madame. You might have a headache again. (leads her to the nearby chair)
Doña Teodora: (acts like having a headache) Thank you Paciano. You’re such a kind creature. (to Josefa and Olimpia)  Where’s our food? My goodness, you’re so slow. Hurry to the kitchen. (Josefa and Olimpia exit. Paciano follows) Uhm, Paciano where are you going?
Paciano: I’m going to help them Madame.
Doña Teodora: Oh no, you sit here. Your work is in the garden, not in the kitchen.
Paciano: It’s all right Madame. I can still manage. Besides, Olimpia might need my help.
Doña Teodora: Olimpia? (to the kitchen) Olimpia! Olimpia!
Olimpia: Your food is here Madame.
Doña Tedora: Sit down. You, too, Paciano. Is he your boyfriend Olimpia? Answer me!
Olimpia: Uh, uhm…
Doña Teodora: Stop stuttering. Answer me. Quick!
Olimpia: Uh, yes Madame. (Josefa enters with tea and spoke)
Josefa: Really? Since when Ol? You did not tell me. Let’s talk later, ok?
Doña Teodora: Op, op. Sit down Josefa. Is this true Paciano?
Paciano: Yes Madame. I love her very much. She’s everything to me.
Josefa: Oh, how sweet. When’s the wedding Ol?
Olimpia: Shhhhh.
Doña Teodora: Stop filling-in Josefa. You’re not helping. Did you not know that in this mansion, there is no free love, ha? I once told you about that.
Josefa: I did not remember you say that to us Madame.
Doña Teodora: Maybe you just forgot about it. I really said that before. Because of that, I will give you three days, the two of you. If you Paciano will not separate Olimpia within that span of time, I will fire the both of you out of my mansion. Is that clear?
Josefa: How about me madame?
Doña Teodora: And that includes you, too.
Josefa: But madame…
Doña Teodora: No buts. That’s final. Now get out of here, the three of you. My kumares are coming here any minute from now and I don’t want any mess from any illiterate maids.
Josefa, Olimpia, and Paciano: Yes madame.
(they exit, the two kumares enter)
Trinidad: Hi kumare. (beso)
Soledad: Kumare. (beso) What is wrong with you? You seem flustered.
Doña Teodora: Oh I’m alright. Sit down, sit down.
 Trinidad: (looks around the place) Your house looks old and small.
Soledad: Hey! Don’t say that kumareng Trining. But you know what kumare, what she said is true. I think you need to renovate this place.
Doña Teodora: I like it better this way. This is my grandmother’s grandmother’s ancestral house, way back 1500’s.
Trinidad: Oh I see. So these furnitures are also antique?
(Doña Teodora nods)
Trinidad: Good. Do you have maids?
Doña Teodora: My goodness kumare. Of course I have.
Trinidad: I can’t seem to find any of them. Why is that?
Doña Teodora: My mansion is big kumare. They might be somewhere out there, cleaning rooms and taking care of my gardens.
Soledad: How many maids do you have?
Doña Teodora: Uh, I have ten. (lying)
Soledad: Ten? (surprised) (Doña Teodora nods proudly)
Soledad: Only ten? (laughs) So few. Right, kumareng Trining?
Trinidad: Yes. At home, I have twelve. I’d rather call it home than mansion. I think that’s what you do with yours, too kumareng Teodor.
Soledad: I agree. Back at my place, I have someone doing my hair, my nails, and my skin.
Trinidad: Really?
Soledad: And someone brings breakfast in bed.
Trinidad: What a good life. I think I have to hire more maids at home. I’m feeling like a princess myself.
Soledad: You should be kumare.
Trinidad: How about you kumare? (to Teodora) So you have plans of doing the same?
Doña Teodora: Oh! I don’t need to. My maids are all educated fellows. They do things very well.
Soledad: Is that even possible?
Doña Teodora: In my world, nothing is impossible.
Soledad: By the way kumareng Teodor, we heard your hacienda will be sold anytime this month because of so many debts in the bank. Is that true?
Doña Teodora: (laughs) Be sold? No. That’s foolishness. That’s not true.
Trinidad: And we also heard you could not afford to hire workers so you just left it untilled.
Doña Teodora: You know what kumare, you’d rather believe me than those foolish lies. Whoever told you that has a grudge on the Katigbak family.
Trinidad: How are your daughters now? You know what, I heard from somebody else that your eldest eloped with a poor farmer’s son. Is that true?
Doña Teodora: Where are you getting those rumors?  They are all lies. Believe me. She went to Manila to study in Ateneo.
Soledad: Wow! That’s a prestigious school. How did you afford?
Doña Teodora: I am a doña. In my world, everything is possible. She’s studying engineering by the way and also takes up a vocational course in the University of Santo Tomas.
Trinidad: What course?
Doña Teodora: Expert surveyor my dear.
Trinidad: Good. That’s good. How about your other daughter?
Doña Teodora: We’re here for our majong session, right? Enough of this. Let us just play.  (to the kitchen) Olimpia!
Olimpia: (Olimpia enters) Yes madame?
Doña Teodora: Bring out the best tea and serve us well.
Olimpia: But we don’t…
Doña Teodora: (stands up and approaches Olimpia) Hep, hep. (whispering) What are you trying to say, huh?
Olimpia: We have run out of tea madame. Just this morning.
Doña Teodora: What? Then do something about it. If you can’t present three cups of brewed tea after five minutes, I am going to humiliate you in front of my kumares. Is that clear?
Olimpia: But madame…
Doña Teodora: Out.
(Olimpia exits. Doña Teodora returns to her seat)
Soledad: What’s wrong?
Doña Teodora: Nothing. Let us continue.
Trinidad: I’m bored. I want to stroll around your mansion kumare.
Doña Teodora: Huh? Uhm, are you sure?
Soledad: Why? Anything you don’t want us to see?
Doña Teodora: Oh no. I am always open to visitors. Wait. I’ll have this place cleaned. (to the kitchen) Josefa!
Josefa: Madame?
Doña Teodora: I want this place cleaned.
Josefa: Yes madame.
(Soledad and Trinidad stand up and look at the helper)
Trinidad: Your maids don’t look educated at all.
Doña Teodora: Wait ‘till you see them all.
Soledad: Do you even have ten? It’s a wonder you memorize all their names.
Doña Teodora: I am good at memorization kumare. I am intelligent, just so you know. (stands up) This way to the garden. (exit 3)
(Josefa begins to clean and murmurs)
Josefa: The bragging queen just can’t stop lying. What a pretentious old hag.
(Lucia comes in)
Josefa: Here comes the offspring.
Lucia: Where’s mama?
Josefa: In the garden, entertaining some visitors ma’am.
Lucia: Did you happen to see my new book about the Travels in the Philippines by Dr. Feodor Jagor? I can’t seem to find it.
Josefa: Pardon madame?
Lucia: Oh. I’m sorry. I forgot you can’t read. Did you happen to see a new book, light blue in color. It has a drawing of the Philippines on the cover. Intendes?
Josefa: Yes madame. I’m sorry but I haven’t seen that kind of book.
Lucia: Alright then. I’ll be in my room if someone needs me, okay?
(about to exit when Maria entered with Jose)
Lucia: Oh! Here’s my kind little sister. With a man?
Maria: Good afternoon ate. Hi Josefa.
Josefa: Oh hi Maria, I mean madame. Do you want some snacks?
Lucia: You offered her snacks and to me you did not?
Josefa: What kind of snacks do you want me to give you Maria?
Lucia: Do I even exist? (to the kitchen) Olimpia!
(Olimpia enters)
Olimpia: Yes madame?
Lucia: I want some snacks.
Olimpia: What kind of snacks madame?
Lucia: Something that won’t make me hungry forever. Can you give that to me?
Olimpia: Madame? (confused)
Lucia: See. You can’t even get what I mean. Just milk and sandwich for me.
Maria: Ate, this is Jose by the way, the one I was talking about. 
Lucia: Do you have a bank? Can you feed my sister? Can you even afford to go to Ateneo after high school?
Maria: Ate, that’s not the way to treat a visitor.
Lucia: And how? He’s not even thinking of answering any of my questions.
Jose: Good afternoon ate.
Lucia: Don’t call me ate. I have not known you yet.
Jose: Sorry. What then do you want me to call you?
Lucia: Madame. Just madame.
Jose: Wouldn’t that make you older?
Lucia: Pardon?
Jose: What I am trying to drive out is that your face is still too young to be called madame. I’d rather call you ate.
Lucia: I don’t like to be called ate by anyone who’s not close to me. I also don’t like to be considered old. Calling me by my first name might do. I am Lucia. You are?
Jose: I have been introduced by your sister already but for formality’s sake, I am Jose Dimas Alang de la Mercado y Alonzo Luna. For short, Jose Luna. (extends his hand for a hand shake but was refused)
Lucia: So, who’s your father? Do you have a hacienda? What is the name of your mother?
Maria: Ate, I think you have to stop asking him those questions now. We are here to study. My tutor is coming any minute from now.
Lucia: I don’t care. This man has to know that he is not officially welcome in this house. I also think it would be fair if you stay quiet and let me do the talking first Maria. Am I understood? Besides, I am the eldest here.
Maria: Go ahead.
Lucia: So Jose, what course are you taking?
Jose: I am an Education student.
Lucia: A teacher? Hear that Maria? He’s just a teacher. Teachers don’t do much.
Jose: That’s where you’re wrong Lucia. Teaching is the only profession that teaches all other professions. That is why they do much. They matter a lot to the community.
Lucia: You sound so confident of your answers.
Jose: I have to.
Lucia: Whose son are you?
Jose: Son of a janitor, Lucia. Son of the janitor of Santa Isabel College.
Lucia: (to Maria) Did you hear that Maria? He’s a son of a janitor. Where did you put your common sense ha? We are the daughters of a haciendera and your boyfriend is a janitor’s son?
(Maria smirked)
Jose: Though I am a janitor’s son, I am not ashamed to face any challenges. I excel in any field. I hate to brag but that is the truth. And if Maria had any regret of accepting my love, she could’ve not brought me here.
Lucia: What kind of person are you? Are you not ashamed of showing yourself here?
Jose: I would be a hypocrite if I’d say no. I am a bit inferior about my status but I don’t make it my weakness for I know I can overcome all odds and ends.
Lucia: Your boyfriend is freaking me out Maria. (to the kitchen) Olimpia!
Olimpia: Madame?
Lucia: My snacks?
Olimpia: I still don’t know what kind of food to prepare. I haven’t seen or heard of any food that won’t make anyone hungry forever.
Lucia: Urgh! I told you I’ll have milk and sandwich.
Olimpia: Ay. Okay madame. (exits to the kitchen)
Lucia: I’ll be in my room. (to the kitchen)
Olimpia: Yes madame! (from the kitchen)
Lucia: As for you Maria…I really don’t know why you agreed to be his girlfriend but when mama finds out about this, you’ll both be in a big trouble. (to Jose) I warn you young man. If you can’t present any dime to mama, you better get going now. Her kumares are here, those social climbers. If she finds out you’re here, you’re dead meat.
Jose: I am ready to meet my end, all for the sake of love.
Lucia: You’re creepy. (exit)
Maria: (laughs) You’re good ha! You’re very good. You have really made her believe it. (Jose smiled. Josefa enters)
Josefa: Leonor is here Maria.
(Leonor enters)
Leonor: Hi Maria. Read for our lesson? Oh Jose is here.
Maria: Yes. He’ll teach me about Biology.
Leonor: What’s with your smiling faces ha?
Maria: Just had fun with my ate. We made her believe that he’s my boyfriend.
Leonor: Don’t tell me you’re going to tell your mama the same story.
Maria: Actually, that’s the whole plan.
Leonor: No way.
Maria: Yes way. I want to teach my mama a lesson.
Leonor: But this time, let’s go to our lesson. (Olimpia enters) (to Olimpia) Done with the chores?
Olimpia: Uh-huh.
Leonor: Then come here and let us talk about the life and works of Pepe Rizal. Josefa, come join us. This will be an enjoyable topic.
(Olimpia and Josefa join in)
Maria: Grab a chair Josefa and come sit beside me.
Leonor: Studying his life and background is like watching a movie. It is filled with different adventures.
Olimpia: (to Josefa) Just like Josefa. (smiles)
Leonor: Maybe. But the both of you are confined in this mansion while this man is confined in a big world.
Josefa: She’s just daydreaming Leonor. You see, Doña Teodora found out about their relationship with the gardener.
Leonor: You mean Paciano?
Josefa: Uh-huh. And the doña seemed to like him.
Maria: Mama is flirting with the gardener? Papa has to know about this.
Leonor: Wait. Hold on. Continue Josefa.
Josefa: Olimpia, you continue.
Olimpia: Why me?
Josefa: It is your story. It would be better that we get the firsthand information.
Olimpia: The doña wanted to fire Paciano if in three day’s time, he won’t break up with me. I know she will do what she says and I pity Paciano for loosing the job. He’s the onl breadwinner in their family and without his job, there won’t be food for his mother and siblings. I could not also quit as a helper in the mansion because my sister is in the hospital and she needs my help.
Maria: Why did you not tell me about that Olimpia? Don’t worry. I’ll talk to mama and papa about that.
Leonor: Pepe Rizal had that same story. In another angle, that is. he was a rich man himself but his heart was for the poor. He always wanted to help them. There was this one woman who hindered his mission, though.
Jose: His mother?
Leonor: That is right.
Jose: As always.
Leonor: He tried every way possible just to reach out to the poor. He usually goes to his close friend’s house named Pablo Ramona and they both save some of their allowance to give something to the poor.
Jose: Pepe Rizal is like Maria in some ways.
Olimpia: That’s a guarantee.
Maria: My papa taught me humility. And he taught me well.
Josefa: No wonder Lucia is brutish. Doña Teodora taught her well.
Maria: Oh no! Don’t say that. They’re still my family.
Josefa: Sorry Maria.
Maria: (surprised) I have noticed Olimpia. You are not wearing your necklace.
Olimpia: Oh! That one mama gave? I lost it.
Maria: How come?
Olimpia: The other day, Doña Toedora borrowed it. She was holding the necklace when the phone rang. She told me to answer it. While on the phone, she said that she will just place the necklace in the nearby lamiseta because she has some things to do in the hacienda. When I went back to retrieve the necklace, it’s gone.
Maria: It would be impossible if it just walked away by itself.
Jose: Someone has stolen it.
Josefa: That’s a mystery.
Leonor: Actually, it’s not.
Maria: What do you mean?
Leonor: It’s simple. Doña Teodora did not return the necklace. Olimpia, did you see her place the necklace on the lamiseta before she exited?
Olimpia: No.
Leonor: That explains it. She wanted you to answer the phone so she can have time to hide the necklace.
Jose: And what’s her motive of doing so? She’s rich and she doesn’t need any necklace from a maid.
Olimpia: My necklace was an antique, an authentic gold one.
Maria: My mama has plenty of those.
Olimpia: I asked her if she has returned my necklace. She said yes. She even got angry.
Leonor: Suspects always deny the crime that they did.
Maria: We still can’t be sure of that.
Leonor: Well, that’s also true Maria. We cannot really judge someone in our own point of view. We need evidences.
(Doña Teodora enters, tired)
Maria: Hi mama. Where are your visitors?
Doña Teodora: They’ve went home. What are you all doing here? Why are you with them Josefa? Olimpia?
(Josefa and Olimpia stand up)
Josefa andf Olimpia: We’re about to leave madame.
Doña Teodora: Maids should stay in the kitchen. Not mingle with my daughter or her tutor or… (to Jose) who are you?
Jose: (stands up) I am Jose Dimas Alang de la Mercado y Alonzo Luna. For short, I am Jose Luna, the boyfriend of your daughter.
Doña Teodora: What? Boyfriend? Maria, explain this to me.
Maria: Which one mama?
Doña Teodora: Him. (to Jose)
Maria: It’s crystal clear. He’s my boyfriend.
Doña Teodora: (to Jose) Whose son are you?
Jose: Son of Ferdinand Blumentritt Luna.
Doña Teodora: I haven’t heard of such name.
Jose: Perhaps you’ve heard of the janitor in Santa Isabel College. That’s him.
Doña Teodora: What? (hysterical) Maria, were you even thinking before choosing this man?
Maria: Why? What is wrong with him? You are trying to protect the name of the Katigbak Family again? You’re ashamed that someday somehow, no matter how you conceal it to them, your kumares will still discover the truth. That’s true right?
Doña Teodor: That’s not what I mean.
Maria: Then why are you so hysterical about my boyfriend?
Doña Teodora: Couldn’t you look for someone more decent than him?
Maria: He’s the only decent person in the planet. The rest are rich but irreverent. They are good-looking but playboys. You want that for your daughter’s boyfriend? (stands up) Mama, it is not about the prestige. It is all about common sense.
Doña Teodora: (holds her elbow and spoke) I warn you Maria. You break up with that man if you don’t want your allowance to be cut off.
Maria: Aw. I am hurt. (released her mama’s grip) You’re always after your own good name. What a selfish person you are.
Doña Teodora: Come again?
Maria: Selfish!
(Doña Teodora slaps her. Olimpia, Josefa, and Leonor stood beside Maria)
Leonor: That’s not quite right.
Doña Teodora: And what do you think is right?
(Don Francisco enters)
Don Francisco: What is happening here?
Doña Teodora: (to Leonor) You’re just a tutor here Leonor. Don’t try to meddle with family matters.
Don Francisco: Why are you talking to the tutor that way?
Leonor: I’d better be going now Don Francisco. This is a family issue and it would be best if you settle this yourselves. (to Jose) Are you coming with me?
Doña Teodora: No. He stays.
Leonor: Farewell then. (exits)
Don Francisco: What  is wrong Teodora?
Doña Teodora: Ask that good daughter of yours.
Don Francisco: (looks at Maria) Any explanation?
Maria: She’s against our relationship father. That is Jose by the way.
Don Francisco: Your boyfriend?
Maria: Yes papa.
Don Francisco: What’s wrong with him? He looks decent and educated.
Doña Teodora: He’s a janitor’s son.
Don Francisco: And so?
Doña Teodora: And so? You’re asking me?
Don Francsico: Our daughter is old enough to make her own decisions.
Doña Teodora: But he is just a janitor’s son Francisco.
Don Francisco: I don’t find anything wrong about that.
(Maria laughs)
Don Francisco: Why are you laughing maria?
Maria: Well papa, honestly, he’s not my boyfriend. I hired him as my personal Biology tutor. And we had this plan of making up a story. See papa, mama is always against poor-rich relationships especially when it involves her daughters.
Josefa: And you know what sir, she warned to fire Paciano after she discovered that they have a relationship with Olimpia.
Olimpia: Hey! You should’ve not said that.
Josefa: He has to know.
Don Francisco: Is this true Teodora?
Doña Teodora: Uh, uhm…That’s not just the reason.
Don Francisco: What else then?
Doña Teodora: Paciano is not doing his job well already. They are always talking with Olimpia.
Olimpia: That is a lie Don Francisco. Pacinao even over-times just to finish his job.
Don Francisco: We’ll talk about this later. In private!
Doña Teodora: You have all set me up huh. I’d better go to my kumare’s house and find a friend. In this house, everyone is against me. (gets a compact mirror in her bag. Then, a necklace fell to the floor)
Olimpia: Oh Madame! That’s my necklace – my lost necklace.
(Don Francisco picks the necklace)
Don Francisco: This?
Olimpia: Yes sir! That’s what I told you about, from my mother.
Don Francisco: (to Teodora) Can you explain why this is in your bag Teodora?
Doña Teodora: You’re accusing me of stealing that cheap necklace? I don’t know how it came to my bag.
Don Francisco: Just tell me the truth.
Doña Teodora: I did not get that.
Don Francisco: Don’t lie.
Doña Teodora: Well...uh…I just borrowed it. And I told Olimpia I’d return it.
Olimpia: You did not say that doña Teodora. Oh please don’t lie.
Doña Teodora: Alright! Alright! I got it. So what? This is my house. I can have everything I have.
Don Francisco: Here Olimpia. This belongs to you.
Olimpia: Thank you sir.
(Don Francisco stands up and turns his back)
Doña Teodora: Francisco, where are you going? Don’t leave me here.
Don Francisco: I am going to visit my mother. She needs me now. I’ll return the moment you’re normal again, the moment you’ll realize how evil you are. (exits)
Doña Teodora: Francisco! (to the maids) You’re all fired!
Josefa: That’s just what we’re waiting. Thanks madame. We never liked you in the first place. (exits with Olimpia)
Doña Teodora: (to Maria and Jose) And you? What are you looking at? Get out of here!
Maria: Let’s go Jose. Someone has escaped from the mental hospital. (exits with Jose)
Doña Teodora: (to herself) Finally! Peace and quiet. (pause) Wait! Where is everybody? Olimpia? Josefa? Francisco? Maria? Where are they? Lucia? Francisco? Where have they gone? Don’t leave me. (exit)
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