TIME AFTER TIME
We were all classmates in the elementary and we all graduated in 1966. Elmo Abad became a lawyer, Boy Tabayoyong became a US Federal postal officer and Oscar Carreon a sales advisor. In my case, I became a functionary in an agency in the national government. We never knew what kind of wind we would be inhaling during our grade school years although from a safe distance, we could see an active kid, brilliant and dynamic not only in academics but also in extracurricular activities. We believed in him and we subscribed to the idea that one day, he would help us from the morass of unemployment. We knew that Elmo would become somebody in the future. Indeed, he became a lawyer but we were nowhere near him.
All of us have scattered around. We never moved as a batch but rather crawled in various directions.
I do not know what happened to the rest of the boys in our batch though. Only the four of us, boys, left for the virtual interaction in Facebook. The rest are nowhere. Well, with Elmo’s demise, there is only the three of us—-Boy, Oscar and I—left to guard the ramparts of our respective turf in cyberspace. Oooops, I am sorry. There are also handful of classmates who are netizens—Art Galindez, Sonny Salvador, Palos Matinez and Rod Espanol. I knew a little about them though except for some abstract backgrounder. Art is in the advertising field, Sonny has a big farm in Luzon although he shuttles to and fro his residence in US, Palos is a successful entrepreneur with a chain of restaurant and a vast agricultural farm and Rod, a resident of Singapore and an engineer. That is the most that I could gather. I do not know if they have retired. Suffice it to say that they are alive, hale and healthy.
For the girls in our batch, there is no problem. Almost all of them, save for a handful, are very active in the FB front. They have a group chat and everybody could be heard. They are almost reachable and they pamper me with ”likes”, more so I have a regular blog and status posting.
On the whole, we were a bunch of elderly netizens in their early 60s and had stopped counting. We would rather freeze time and continue our youthful thoughts. Let time fade away after all it is only an invention of man and never a part of nature. There is no such thing as time after time.
We are always on the move.
Boy Tabayoyong decided to stay in the Philippines after retiring as a US Federal Postal officer. He would rather spend his dollar pension in the country, not only as a sign of nationalism but for practical reasons. For every buck he receives from Mother America it is multiplied 50 times when converted in local currency. Now, that’s not only business but it is tantamount already to robbery!
Boy loves to see the country side. For starters, right after organizing his dwelling place in Baguio City, he decided to take the south road. It led him to appreciate almost all provinces he would pass through. He would also take selfie in every spot he would take fancy. From Luzon to the Visayas and eventually to Mindanao. He would rather spend his time traveling and if at all he must stop to stretch, he would rather chill in an appartele. In his estimation, expending a dollar for meals and less than 10 bucks for lodging lead toward economic pragmatism. That means handing out $300 for the whole month, and it is but loose change compared with that which he is receiving as dollar pension. He can even afford to have his own version of philanthropy if his mood allows it. He is already a made man.
Oca Carreon on the other hand remained in the country and worked in the private sector. Although he is a dutiful son of a military colonel, the most that he could follow his father was the hobby of practice shooting of live bullets in the target range. He was a confirmed marksman for a number of years. He never bothered to enter the Armed Forces. There was disappointment in the military when his father, a bemedalled soldier, feared wherever assigned, would be held and suspected of attacking a member of the judiciary.
Oca almost hated the criminal justice system because of that and instead stayed the course. He stayed home after work and as a consequence, he had a number of children, all of them by now are established and professionals already. They were nurtured not only by the mother but the fatherly Oca. He would even shower his children’s children with warm attention and parental concern. He loves domestic life. He is an ideal parent.
I could only appreciate my peers, Boy and Oca. We were the only ones left in the field of cyberspace to interact and exchange thoughts, ideals, even suspicions and comic responses. Boy may have culturally evangelized a big sector through his traveling; Oca may have convinced future parents that parenting is next to godliness. In my case, observing people, more so my friends, I could discern lessons which may be shared. Lessons that make life truly stimulating and worth spreading.