My father brought me to his friend, a bakery owner at Estanza, Lingayen, Pangasinan. There I lived and helped the bakery owner to do their business.
Lingayen Gulf, Province of Pangasinan, Philippines – is a popular place, where American General Douglas MacArthur landed on 9 January, 1945, during World War II. “Douglas MacArthur Landed in Lingayen – http://pangasinan.gov.ph Website” See more details from this link.
While living at Lingayen, during Saturdays and Sundays, I am selling an ice cream stick in the barangay. Selling on the road and shouting “Ice cream stick! Ice cream sticks!” I am earning one peso (P1.00) for each ice cream stick I sold.
During Mondays to Fridays I am studying at school, after the class, I am helping the bakery owner by cleaning the bread trays, and cleaning the workstation area. I was grade five at that time, a ten years old young boy.
After five months, I returned back home in Villa Santa Barbara to continue my schooling. I don’t have an idea at all on what will I do with my life; I thought that I’m just a little boy who wants to enjoy playing games with other kids.
And so I did; and I enjoyed riding bicycle by borrowing from our neighbor, playing with otherkids, swimming in the river with my friends.
At the back of our village, there is a river coming from mountains, a free flowing water with about 15 feet deep, the land is covered with green grasses and tall trees named: “camachile fruit”, (Pithecellobium Dulce), the fruit is free to pick for those who wants to eat.
In the river, there’s a “bagging” (a long rope tied to the tree), like in the Tarzan movie, there’s a cool wind that touches my face, a clear blue sky that is nice to see, singing and whistling birds a good to hear.
It’s like a paradise and an adventurous place for me. I love the place. Every day, I am always going here and learning to swim, I am enjoying jumping from above the tree using the bagging and diving to the river to swim. It was very exciting! Worries and sadness has been forgotten for a while.
Since I am enjoying these activities, I always come home late. Then my father got angry and he punished me by striking his belt to my body.
One time he strikes my head with a pan, and one night while I am sleeping, he kicked my stomach. He was heavily drunk that night.
I think that my father doesn’t love me, because he’s hurting me so much, I thought that I am a useless Son. Since my mother died, there were no days that my father was drunk.
One time he freaks out, shouting on the street, holding a samurai sword, and he challenged an opponent to fight with him. I was scared… I saw his hard work of pursuing to rise again, to build his dreams, to generate money. But luck… Never came to him.
When I turned eleven, in the year 1996, I left my father’s house, to live alone, and to become a happy kid. This is all I wanted. I start finding a shelter. Many days that it was very hard for me. To live alone.
Once a dark night, I experienced sleeping in the vacant house without lights, without a fan, it was dark; there’s a lot of mosquitoes biting my skin, sipping my blood until I got sleep.
I woke up in the morning with an empty stomach. Oh… What a poor boy… I’m very hungry… so pity.
In the subdivision, I walk around, I saw that there’s a family-own canteen, I went there, and the canteen owner ask about my life.
I told them that: “I don’t have a home, I ran away from my father’s house because he always strikes me with his belt, I am afraid to go back home”.
So they told me to stay with them and assist the canteen owner by managing their canteen business.
During 2:00 in the morning, we’re always going to wet market to buy fresh meats, and vegetables. Then after the marketing, I am helping them at the canteen to perform daily task routine by washing the dishes and pots, assisting dine-in customers, cleaning table mess.
After my tasks were done, I do some extra work as a pedicab driver (A bicycle with sidecar) and I am earning a money with a maximum of P60 pesos per day, then by mid-morning at the same time if there is no passenger, I collect some garbage in the subdivision, and then the clients pays me ten pesos per sack of garbage.
I am collecting a minimum of one sack to four sacks of garbage bag for every each house.
Being a pedicab driver is not easy; sometimes I have to sleep in my bike to wait for passengers during at night, in front of the Subdivision.
Months had passed; I found a family which has a bakery business. I asked them to sell a “pandesal” one of the common bread that serves as a breakfast during morning in the Philippines.
And I started selling bread when I was twelve years old and lived with the baker’s house.
Everyday at 4:30 in the morning I am selling a bread, then by 7:00 in the morning, I am attending my class at school.
It’s a hard situation for me, because during the class, I felt sleepy. My life still goes on until I graduated from Elementary at Minien Elementary School, Santa Barbara, Pangasinan.
At the age thirteen, my dream began, I wanted to become a policeman; to protect and serve the people or to become a sailor man so I can earn more money someday, so I can buy my own beautiful clothes, and shoes like Nike, Adidas, Rebook, and Jordan shirts. So I can buy, and eat delicious foods.
But all of these are just a dreams. I think on how to achieve these goals, but I know in myself that I have no chance, because I am just a poor child…
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