Kwentong OFW: Maalaala mo pa kaya? Magpakailanman

Kwentong OFW: Maalaala mo pa kaya Magpakailanman

The Annie B. (Batobalani) Chronicles

The adventures and misadventures of a ‘not so average’ Pinay trying to make it in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai.

Annie B Chronicles – Illustrado Magazine

 

Kwentong OFW: Maalaala mo pa kaya Magpakailanman

 

Hey mga avid readers! Eversince, lagi na lang tungkol sa akin ang nababasa ninyo, for a change let us give way to another masugid na tagasubaybay of my column – this time sya naman ang kamuhihan at pagtawanan nyo – charot!!! Nang maiba naman ang ihip ng hanging ngayong buwan ng mga puso. Mga kabayan, kilalanin natin si … Shawie at ang kanyang Kwentong OFW.

 

Dear Ate Annie,

Hello po! Muzta na po u, Ate Annie? Sana po ay nasa mabuti kayong kondisyon patanggap ninyo ng sulat kong ito. Simula pa lang ay nais ko na kayong pasalamatan sa pagtangkilik ninyo ng aking liham. Itago nyo na lang ako sa pangalang Shawie. Tulad nyo, isa ring probinsiyana – tubong Liliw, Laguna – di rin gaanong kagandahan ngunit balingkinitan naman ang pangangatawan kaya’s panalo ako lalo na kapag suot ko ay Mango at Zara – ayan, pareho din nga pala tayong fahionista. Half Chinese ang father ko kaya nabiyayaan ako ng makinis at maputing balat…yun nga lang medyo may pagka-kinky ang buhok ko ngunit salamat sa Sheila Straightening Cream, Maine N’ Tail Shampoo at Hanabishi Flat Iron (my bestfriend, I swear!) ay paminsan-minsan ko rin na-a-achieve ang Gretchen Barreto hairstyle ko. Simula elementary hanggang high school ay honor student ako – oo, may pagka-nerd din t nahirapang mag-fit in sa mga kaklase ko noon. Dahil masipag akong mag-aral, Accountancy ang tinapos ko at top 5 sa board exam ng batch naming. Impressive ba?

Well, sa kabila ng lahat ng achievements ko, maituturingg kong empty at malumbay ang aking buhay, Ate Annie. You see, isa ako sa mga libo-libong kababaihan na kung tawagin nila ay “No Boyfriend since Birth”. Tumpak ka dyan – Never Been Kissed, Never Been Touched ang beauty ko – kaya ako lumiham sa iyo – para sana naman, dala ng iyong tunong at mga tips, ay makahanap na ako ng aking Prince Charming. Yun Na!

Ewan ko ba, lahat naman ng pelikula, tv shows, magazines at books ay sinunod ko na. Pero talagang mailap si Kupido when it comes to granting me my very own Papa. But don’t get me wrong, Ate Annie – I’ve never had a boyfriend pero madami nang boylets ang dumaan sa aking mga palad. I’ve met and have been with several na but not one single guy had been what you can call true love – or totoong naging boyfriend ko.

Take the case of Yñaki, my first-would be-boyfriend sana during my college days. He’s so coño and tisoy – dreamboat talaga ng buong campus and number 1 crush ng bayan. Akala ko noon, um-effect na ang kaka-Angel’s Breath cologne ko, kasi he always looks at me whenever I pass by.

Then one Friday afternoon, after watching his basketball game, I was about to take a sip from the water fountain when all of a sudden someone pushed me – napasungalngal tuloy ako sa faucet! Grabe, kakahiya talaga – everyone laughed – kasi there was blood coming out of my gilagid na – gosh! Then when I was about to confront na the salarin, I turned back – it was Yñaki pala! Ay nag-blush talaga akooooo. In my head, I started hearing this Close Up Jingle, “Hey where’s the look in your eyes….” habang he was wiping the blood from my mouth. “Hey it’s you pala…siguro you got so thirsty from game noh?” I told him. After he apologized, he asked for my number. Oh-My_Gaaaaawwwwd!!!

Pag-uwi ko ng dorm I made suhol to all the girls there by treating them to ice cream so that no one will use the phone muna before me. The around 3:30am he finally called! Super kilig!!! He asked me to go out with him, basta isama ko daw ang friend ko para hindi naman dyahe. So the next day I brought along Mika, Paola and Ronna Mae – my prettiest classmates – to my date with Yñaki. He brought din five of his team mates – we all had fun at Shakey’s! I was so kilig and ecstatic kaya I volunteered to pay for the bill na – syempre milestone in my teenage life yun kaya I wanted it to be perfect. The guys all exchange numbers with the girls then we went home na. I was expecting Yñaki to call that night pero almost 5am na the phone didn’t ring naman kaya I decided to sleep na lang. Baka sobrang nabusog sya with all the pizza and the mojos that he ate kaya baka maaga sya nakatulog.

After that weekend I saw him sa campus, I approached him and make kamusta. Sabi nya nadyahe daw sya after our first date. Hihihihihi!!! Kaka-kilig talaga. I told him there’s no problem. The he asked if I had merienda na (how thoughtful!) so I offered to treat him sa Digman’s Halo-halo. There, he opened up his heart to me. He said over the weekend he couldn’t stop thinking of this girl daw. He’s had a crush na daw on this girl since last sem pa and he’s glad he’s met her na finally. OMG!!! I was starting to sweat like a pig…could he be describing me???? But he’s torpe eh. He looked at the clock and had to eat and run lang kasi he had basketball practice pa daw. Anyway, I didn’t get to sleep that night. I played all of my Julia Fordham CDs and that made me feel more in love.

The next day, I waited for him sa may locker area but he had basketball practice na naman – so I waited pa rin until it finished at 7:30pm. After their practice, I surprised him by ordering 2 barrels of KFC – kasi I know na gutom na sya. He shared the food with his team mates and they made us kantyaw pa. Uuuyyy…kilig to the max naman!!! Kaya lang he was so tired na kaya he went home after eating na. It’s ok – I understand naman eh. It’s hard to have a jock for a boyfriend – he has to divide his time and attention between me, his studies and his game. Imagine? Dapat masanay nalang siguro ako. The next day he left a note with the tindera in our canteen. It said he wanted to meet me after class daw – very important – and that he took his 6 burgers na rin, abonohan ko na lang daw muna kase he didn’t have barya that morning.

So yun na – that moment that I’ve been waiting for. Siguro he’s finally going to propose to me. So I skipped my last period and nagpa-fresh ako sa ladies CR for one hour. I’ve waited for about two hours sa labas ng gym pero ok lang. The he came – with matching one dozen red roses and a box of Choco Mallows in his hands. Kunwari hindi ko sya nakita-syempre dedma muna konting pakipot noh??? The he covered my eyes with and asked, “Guess who?”  Aaaayyy…kilig to the bones talaga, Ate Annie!!! Then he said, “Shawie, I know you’re such a nice girl and that you won’t let me down. I’ve got this one huge favor to ask sana eh…” Ako naman, “Really???” Nakanganga lang ako waiting for him to say the right words… “Can you….” He said, nahihiya pa. “Whaaaatt baaaa??” (Dali, inip na inip na ako!)

“Can you give these flowers and chocolates to your friend Mika for me?”

“Yesssss!!! Bigla akong napasigaw! Pero haaaa??? Teka, parang mali yata yung narinig ko. Huwaaattt???!!!

I wanted to ask you if you can give these to Mika, she’s my crush eh,” sabi ng damuho.

Nagdilim ang paningin ko Ate Annie, umikot ang paligid at gumuho ang mundo ko. Lintek na Yñaki yan, matapos kong ilibre eh gagawin lang pala akong bridge para ligawan ang classmate kong si Mika!!! Nag-walk out ako, Ate Annie. Hindi ko matanggap na gagamitin lang pala ako ni Yñaki. Buong akala ko eh ako na ang napupusuan nay ayun pala yung kaklase kong tadtad naman ng anan sa mukha?!!! Lecheeee!!! At duon nagwakas ang kabanata ng lovelife ko with Yñaki. Ni wala man lang holding hands, grabe!

 

Kwentong OFW: Maalaala mo pa kaya Magpakailanman

 

Nang maka-graduate ako, nagtrabaho ako sa isang multinational accountancy firm – kokonti ang gwapo sa office kasi puro mga nerd at geeks sa math ang karamihan sa kanila. Isa si Robbie sa iilan lang na may hitusura at may porma sa department naming. Matangkad sya, makinis ang balat, at talaga namang japorms kung mag-outfit. Syempre, madaming girlash ang ume-emote sa kanya – super friendly sya kaya’t close sya sa lahat ng kababaihan sa office.

In one of our company outings, nagkasabay kami sa pagsha-shopping noon sa SM. I was so busy looking for a swimsuit nang mangkasalubong kami papuntang dressing room. He was trying on 5 different kinds of Speedos – talagang fashionable sya – imagine tatlo ang baon syang swimming trunks sa outing samantalang overnight lamang naman yon? Sya ang pumili ng swimsuit na binili ko – syempre para maging close kami kailangang tanggapin ko mga advice nya.  After paying for our swimwear, kiladkad nya ako sa Rustan’s para mamili naman ng lotion – sya daw ang bahala sa akin. Pumili sya ng walong iba’t ibang klase ng lotion – may SPF 20, bronzer, after sun, moisturizer with Vitamin E at at kung ano-ano pang halaman – tinuruan nya akong mag-proper skin care –  para daw hindi ako tumanda – grabe, na-feel ko talaga ang concern nya sa akin – mayamaya hindi na balat ko ang pinakialaman nya, sinamahan nya ako sa sa Propaganda Salon para ipa-style ang aking buhok – hindi daw kase bagay sa shape ng face ko ko ang hairo ko – oh dib a? Na-conscious ako bigla kasi wala akong kamuwang-muwang pinagdidiskitahan na pala nya ang aking fez! Eh ako naman, sige lang – discover me….control me…I’m yours!!!

After ng outing namin, mas naging close pa kami. Sabay kami nagla-lunch and that’s when he introduce me to the art of fine dining –  puro kasi sa fastfood ko lagi sya inaaya eh he’s so health conscious pa naman. He taught me how to appreciate gourmet food – pati tamang pronounciation ng French cuisine natutunan ko becoz of him. Sosyal di ba? At take note ha? Madalas sya pa ang nanlilibre sa akin. Kaya obviously wala syang balak perahan lang ako. He helped me bloom into a pretty swan – hindi na ako mukhang librarian kung manumit mula noon – naging fahionista na ako! Thank to him kasi every weekend pinapahiram nya ako ng mga collections nya ng mga magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair at Cosmopolitan. Pati mga favorite DVDs nya shine-share nya sa akin like My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Devil Wears Prada and Brokeback Mountain. Bukod sa pagiging stylish at gourmet eater nya, super sensitive din sya at very thoughtful. Tuwing lalabas kami, he always gives me 5 sheets of Gatsby’s Oil Control Paper Powder – para daw hindi ako oily. O di ba?

 

When his birthday came, I was so flattered kasi I was the only one from the office that he invited. He’ll introduce me daw to his friends – it’s time na daw. Aaaawww!!! Eton a yun…he will finally expose me to his friends – malamang to get their approval. Knowing how fashionista he is, I maxed out my credit card and got a Prada dress – the one he’s been convincing me to buy dati pa – all for the love of Robbie.

Na-late ako noon sa party nya nagpa-parlor pa kasi ako para siguradong super ganda ako when I meet his friends. When I came, puno na ang condo nya with all of his guest – puro boys! At puro cute gaya ni Robbie. Most of them are flight stewards, advertising executives and interior designers. Nakakatuwa sila kasi all they talk about is food, fashion, travel and showbiz – hindi tulad ng sa ibang parties ng mga boys na puro kotse, gadgets at babae na lang ang labing pinagbibidahan. Here, everyone is so cultured and sophisticated. Sa totoo lang, ang dami kong topics na hindi maintindihan – pero oo lang ako n goo kunwari hindi ako bobita. Napansin ko na ako lang pala ang only girl na guest and Robbie kept on calling me “girlfriend” in front of everyone with matching snap ng fingers – kaya halos matunaw ako sa kilig. Naghintay lang ako for the right moment when all of a sudden I noticed some of the guest – boys ha? Cuddling each other…na shock ako. Ate Annie. Weird sa paningin ko yun. I walked out dun sa eksena and looked for Robbie. When I opened the door nagdilim ang paningin ko, umikot ang paligit at gumuho ang mundo ko, Ate Annie! Nahuli ko si Robbie may kayakap na mhin! O.M.G!!! “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” ni Celine Dion ang tumugtog sa isip ko.

 

Kaya pala, mahilig sya sa culture at arts – pati na sa beauty and fitness eh isa syang Dyosa!!!! Akala ko pa naman din nagagandahan sya sa akin kaya panay ang offer nya ng make over at tips – kasi type nya ako…ayun pala ginawa lang nya akong isang manyikang pilit na binibihisan at inaayusan!!! When he introduced me to his friends as his “girlfriend” eh amiga pala at hindi syota ang ibig nyang sabihin….walanghiya – natanso ako, Ate Annie!!! Nagdugo na naman ang puso ko – muli akong umasa sa wala.

 

Matagal ko ring ipinahinga ang puso ko. Everytime kasi may makikilala ako naging defensive na ko baka masaktan lang ulit ako at um-effort tapos saw ala rin naman mauuwi.

 

Hanggang sa napadpad nga ako ditto sa Dubai – to seek greener pastures – and more diversity when it comes to men. Since madaming foreigners ditto, the more chances of winning – ika nga ng promo ng Hope & Winston.

 

Hanggang sa makilala ko si Ahmed, Ate Annie. Nag-aabang ako noon ng carlift sa labas ng St. Mary’s pagkatapos ng misa – naligo na ako sa sarili kong pawis sa sobrang init sa labas ng biglang may humintong Ford Focus sa harapan ko. Bumukas ang bintana at bigla ako napa-hesusmaryahusep sa sobrang kagwapuhan ng driver nito – si Ahmed nga. Blue eyed at blonde sya – grabe sa kakisigan. He offered me a ride – miski gusto ko ng tumalon papasok sa bintana eh nagpakipot ako – ayoko nga, akalain pa nya easy to get ako noh? “No, thank you…I’m fine, “pa-girl akong tumanggi. “Are you sure habibi?” Coz there is blood coming from your nose already,” pangungulit nya. Aba, nang tignan ko sa bintana ng kotse nya eh nagdudugo nga ang ilong ko!!! Ang init kasi eh. Since wala namang dumadaang ibang sasakyan eh pinagbigyan ko na rin sya. Mukha naman mabait kaya siguradong safe naman sa kanya. After nya ako ihatid sa flan namin, we exchanged numbers. Since then, lagi kaming lumalabas – nanonood ng sine at nagsha-shopping tuwing weekend. In a span of two weeks naging super close kami – pero hindi naman nya ako nililigawan. Inisip ko baka since foreigner sya, hindi na uso ang ligawan sa kanila. Basta ako, sakay lang, enjoy the moment – ang sarap ng feeling kapag magkasama kami eh.

 

After one month of knowing each other, he invited me to his flat. Wala kasi yung flatmate nya nagbakasyon so wala syang kasama at nalulungkot sya. Excited at kilig akong pumayag, Ate Annie. Pagdating ko sa flat nya, nagulat ako dahing naka-boxer shorts lang sya. Medyo kinilig ako pero teka, hindi pa nga kami magsyota eh presko na sya? Nang umupo kami sa sofa eh bigla nya akong hinalikan. Aba, nataranta ako!!! “Wait!!! Shuhada, what is this?” tanong ko sa kanya. “What do you think habibi?” Sabay kindat at tingin niya sa kin ng super-lagkit. Napagtanto-tanto ko ang ibig niyang sabihin, so medyo panic ako. “Oh noooo no! I’m not even your girlfriend yet!” Biglang tawa ni Ahmed, “hahahahahaha”, para siyang si Ruel Vernal. “Habibi, you cannot be my girlfriend, not even my wife. You are Filipina.” Sabe ba naman? “So why do you go out with me if you’re not going to make me your girlfriend?” pangungulit ko pa. “Habibi, we have fun only…no strings attached. No commitment, no problem!” tigas mukha nyang pinadiinan sa akin. Ang kapal ng mukha nya, Ate Annie! Again, nagdilim ang paningin ko, umikot ang paligid at gumuho ang mundo ko. “How dare you, I’m Dalagang Filipina – Maria Clara all the way!!!” pagmamalaki ko. Binigyan ko sya ng mag-asawang sampal sabay walk out. Simula noon, hindi ko na sinagot lahat ng phonecalls, text at Facebook messages nya. Ano palagay nya sa akin, kalapating mababa ang lipad? Excuse me!!!

 

Kaya heto ako ngayon, Ate Annie – sugatan na naman ang puso at bugbog na bugbog na ang damdamin. Bakit ba nangyayari ang mga ito sa akin? Mabait naman ako at masunuring anak, mapagbigay sa kapwa ko at lagging nananalig sa Maykapal – pero bakit parang sinasadya ng tadhana na paglaruan akong tuwing mapapasabak sa romansa ang puso kong ito? Bakit ako pa, what’s wrong with me?!!! Help naman, Ate Annie. Alam kong iksaw lang ang tanging makakatulong sa akin – given your extensive experience and world-renowned exptertise when it comes to matters of the heart. Bigayn mo naman akong na advice on how to catch the perfect guy and avoid the mistakes I did before. Puhleassseeeeee???

Lovingly yours,

Shawie

……………………….

 

Dear Shawie,

Sa palagay mo mauuto mo ako porque pinuri mo ako? Kung ako nga walang jowa eh sa palagay mo ikaw pa uunahin ko? Ako muna noh?!!! May pa-perfect guy ka pa dyang hinahanap, bakit perfect girl ka ba? Wala ka bang blackheads sa noo at warts sa leeg mo? Maputi ba ang batok mo at siko? Wala ka bang split ends? Hindi ka ba bad breath kapag bagong gising ka? Kaya mo bang sabihin ito ng paulit-ulit: “Peter Pieper picked a peck of picked pepper…???” May multiple entry US visa ka ba? Pwes, kung hindeh eh wala lang karapatan mag-ilusyon ng perfect guy kasi ikaw mismo hindi ka naman perfect girl. Gets mo?

Pasensya ka na kung medyo harsh itong sasabihin ko. Tatanga-tanga ka kasi eh. Sus, sa simula pa lang hindi mo na nakita ang signs? Campus heartrob papatol say o eh inamin mo na ngang hidi ka naman kagandahan – eh ano ngayon kung balingkinitan ang pangangatawan mo – si Zorayda Sanchez din naman maganda ang katawan ah? May kilala ka bang tunay na lalaki na nangongolekta ng bawat issue ng Cosmopolitan at Vogue? Yang mga foreigner akala mo uubra dyan ang pagpapakipot at pag-iinarte mo? Next time gamitin mo yang kukote mo ha, hija?

 

Sabi mo matalino ka, CPA ka – sana next time read above the lines – if it’s two goods to be truth, magpakatotoo ka, sister! Tigilan mo na ang kakapanood ng mga telenovela na yan – hindi ka naman kasing ganda ni Marian Rivera para mag-expect na may Dingdong Dantes na naghihintay sayo noh? Harapin mo ang katotohanan – huwag nang mag-ambisyon ng hindi mo naman kayang abutin.

 

Pag may nanligaw sa yo na mabait at masipag, miski maitim ang gilagid at high waisted eh patulan mo na. Huwag nang choosy, tigilan na ang Dairy Crème, Dapat sayo mag-Fita – Fight to Win!!!! O sya, take care b’coz I care.

Lubos na nagmamahal,

Ate Annie J

 

Find more Annie B Chronicles and Filipinisms here.

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Author: IllustradoPGB

From the Middle East to the rest of the world, IllustradoLife shares the stories of Filipinos expats from around the world, providing a global venue championing the world class Filipino. IllustradoLife features articles on fashion and beauty, travel, lifestyle, business, events and other topics of interest to the international Filipino community from its mother publication, Illustrado Magazine.

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