TOMORROW it’s my daughter Sherah’s 32nd birthday. She’s my first born, followed by my only son, Von Erick, a seafarer who’s turning 31 this September. My youngest daughter Meriel, on the other hand, is going to be 26 in October.
By a strange coincidence, the three have a common birth day – the 28th day of their respective birth month. Their late mom’s birth day was 29 while mine, 12. We have one common denominator though – the number 2.
I don’t believe in numerical symbolisms but a Chinese-Filipino friend shared with me her expertise on feng shui as far as birth dates are concerned. There may be luck, but these could also bring disasters, she said. People you thought you could trust in times of trouble could turn their backs on you.
What I went through for more than a decade was painful. Not that I’m complaining but I am getting scared. Have I become jaded, hardened?
I am approaching my 69th birthday. This has given me a chance to reflect on the so many blessings I have had, and even the days I struggled in my stormy life.
I’ve been tormented at an early age while working at Hotel Enrico, Manila as a room boy in the first few months after Martial Law was declared in 1972. Don’t get me wrong, I was not a victim of military abuses under the command of then Army General Fidel V. Ramos who eventually became president.
There was a time when the hotel industry was put under the supervision of the Department of Tourism (DOT). Any related hotel misdemeanor committed by employees the hotel management had to make an incident report for investigation.
I was ordered by the hotel’s Human Resource Department to immediately report when a foreign guest complained that he lost his money in his room under my floor assignment.
At the DOT office located at Rizal Park, I was ordered to strip naked by the investigator in front of his colleagues as he kept asking questions that left me puzzled. After an hour of humiliation I was freed. I was proven innocent. No charges were filed against me.
My dearest Sherah, you don’t monopolize the world’s cruelty. While struggling as an overseas Filipino worker in Dubai, continue chasing your rainbows until all your dreams are fulfilled.
Happy birthday, my first born. Love you. ([email protected]/PN)