Saturday, 17 September 2011. It was a hot, humid day. The cab we had taken from Banawa had just conked out in the middle of the surface-of-the-moonlike road and we were waiting for Jim to get a cab for us. Sam and Anna were already feeling the warmth of Mr. Sun’s smile and were getting restless when, suddenly, a blue Toyota comes up and calls out “Ate Happy!” Good thing, a guy named Patrick from The Movement USC was on his way to school. He dropped us off at the corner of Forest Hills and we took a cab to Echavez.
Mommy didn’t know, of course, that we had smuggled Jim straight from UPLB* for her advanced happy birthday celebration. Happy, the kids and I went up to her room first and asked her to give Sam some water. Sam was in the kitchen downstairs. We went down with Mommy and Happy whispered something while she was nearing the kitchen. Jim walked in (he was hiding in the back) and hugged Mommy. Needless to say, she was so surprised and so happy that she burst into tears; happy tears, that is. 🙂 Still hugging him tightly, she kept saying ’bout how surprised she was. Happy and I were also teary-eyed ‘coz she looked so happy and grateful. It still brings tears to my eyes as I recall it now.
*UPLB or University of the Philippines Los Banos is in Los Banos, Laguna (in the island of Luzon) which is a one-hour plane ride from Cebu City. Jim, our brother, is studying Agriculture in UPLB because he’s dreaming of becoming a farmer and helping our nation’s economy improve through farming.