The name is Elaine or Ien or Pssst or Hoy ...or whatever suits you
...from the city of Davao
...26 with fine lines and wrinkles already
...short-haired, two-eyed na! (thanks to constact lenses), right-handed, flat-footed
...wants to be a Buddhist and a United Nations interpreter someday
...confused about life in general
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Seek & Find
Tuesday, November 29
no, it's not yet time. our batch still has 2 years before our 10th year. but i found myself taking a cab to my high school this morning. mukhang napa-aga homecoming ko. apparently, my mentor (yes, the one who signed my logbook before board exam) is in davao city. someone just texted me saying, "pumunta ka dito ngayon din!" tell me that does not sound "emergency-like". tell me that it's just me remembering my apprenticeship days when i had to follow her every order and request like a puppy. tell me i'm just excited to meet her... not! and so i got my butt there and wondered why i even have to skip a class to meet her. i mean, we never had the best working relationship and she never taught me anything. she just left me at the construction site, ordered me to give weekly reports, and instructed me to wear ma-ong for work the next day. for my whole apprenticeship, i can count with my fingers the number of times i saw her... chirstmas 2003 (just to deliver my gift), christmas 2002, signing of logbook, paalam for the "board exam leave", one site inspection together, first day of work, and interview. oh wait! interview day was also the first day of work. so a grand total of 6 meetings! wowowee!
and so why am i even meeting her?! i called that "someone" who texted me. i asked, of course, who she is. turned out it was Mrs. Amiscua, one of my high school teachers. she said, "VP *insert mentor's name* is looking for you (ok, now she's already the VP of my alma mater!). she will leave for manila tonight. so if you're not busy (oh please! i'm freaking busy!), please drop by the conference room (conference room? what conference room?). she wants us to meet her "super galing" apprentice (huh? sarcastic ba yun?!)." ...siguro dala na rin ng "utang na loob," i went to see her.
everything's different. the campus has so much cemented pathways (dati aspalto lang). when i entered the HS building, i was greeted by stares and lounges... lots of lounges! it already has a trophy room. the registration office is now a lounge. and then, by the corner, there's the conference room. i entered the room. there were 7 people doing different things, not noticing me enter the room. hello? am i invisible? alam ko na ang feeling ng multo...hehehe. and then i found her, my mentor. tumanda sya. puro uban na ang buhok. she was searching the drawings in her laptop, lifting her thick eyeglasses as if her vision has greyed as well. i tapped her shoulder.
"uy, elaine! how are you, dear? it's been years..."
"no ma'am, just a year (ang pasaway ko talaga!hehehe). so what brings you here? kelan lang dating nyo?"
"i've been telling everybody here you were a very good apprentice.
(oh gosh! how embarrassing! kill me!... notice that she didn't even asnwer my question)
blah, blah, blurb, blurb, yada, yada... i was lost in translation.
the reunion ended well. i got a different image of her when i left the room. i guess i just didn't spend much personal time and chika-chika with her when i was still her apprentice to really know her essence. she was a very busy person back then, and she still is now. i'm really happy i dropped by. kahit short encounter lang (with an alien...hehehe), it felt familiar and warm (and weird at the same time). makes me think, when will i see her again?
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