I woke up to the sound of a child crying. I sprung up from my place on the futon, exhaustion still heavy in my eyes. The night had gone by in an instant; it had seemed like only a minute ago that I retired for the night, yet the rays shining through the windows proved otherwise. I strode over to the cradle by the wall of the nipa hut to comfort my child. This was my life in the Philippine 1960's. Later I would go over to the hotel and clean for those richer than I, and then I would come home, sleep, and do it all over again. Holding my daughter, Oma, I looked at my reflection in the small mirror hung on the wall. These eyes bruised purple from fatigue weren't ones that should've belonged to an 18-year-old. On the floor laid my husband, who would also go out to work for the whole day. When it was time to go to work, I took Oma to a friend that babysat her for free. “Kumusta po?” How are you? she asked. She must have noticed my accumulating lack of energy, as she was sure to emphasize her willingness to support me. “Salamat,” I waved when I left. Thank you. At the hotel, it was another mundane day of folding bedsheets and vacuuming floors. Walking down the hallway carrying a stack of towels taller than me, a customer bumped into me and sent my stack flying. When I looked up hoping for a hand, all he said was, “Sorry, I'm in a rush.” I felt my hands shake from the stress and worried I might pass out from exhaustion. In my final room of the day, someone had left a $50 bill on the nightstand with a bill saying for the cleaning lady to take it. My heart warmed. Returning home, I was met with the smiles of my husband and daughter. I went to sleep with the thought that it could only get better from here.

comments button 0 report button


Subscribe and stay tuned.

Popular Biopages