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8:25 pm | my name is jonell

Posted by Paurong sa Huwebes, Marso 23, 2006

Howdy! It’s me again. I have just compelled myself to start writing again. I’ve missed this stuff… this is my hobby. I love writing but I ain’t saying I’m good at it. I just love to write. I have started blogging last September and had to create a few blogs before I came up (finally) on having my final blog forever. I just do not know if I am going to change this template since I want consistency. I fancy new looks yet this weblog seems to be stimulating and suitably platonic for my character.

Just fifteen. That’s right. It’s me Jonell Borbon Estillore. I am living with my grandmother and is supported by my aunt which is the half-sister of my father. My parents are not with me as well as my siblings. My father lives in Davao City with my three younger siblings namely Joy (14), May-may (13) and Din-din (12). Actually, those are their nicknames. It’s appalling to say that I really can’t discern what their real names are.. those starts with letter J, I recall. Joy’s name is Josen Kate, I’m sure of that. Then May-may is Joseff May? Din-din is Joset Faye? I really don’t know. Their names are puzzling. Anyways, just as I have said, my siblings are with my father. My father has a job there and he has a second family there. Meanwhile, I do not know, honestly, where my mother is right now.

For you to understand my background fully, I’ll begin from the very start.

As far as I know, I was born on January 28, 1991, a subtle Monday when my father was outside our house waiting for my mother to borne me. Around six in the morning, the cry of a sophisticated newborn baby was heard. An unexplainable jauntiness aroused within the house where I was born and the tension coincided with joyfulness.

I was raised in a typical family. Besides my parents and siblings, I lived with my grandfather (the father of the father) and my grandmother (the wife of my grandfather on his second marriage after my real grandmother died) and with their two daughters.

My father has three siblings: Clarita (which I call Tita Claire) residing at Batangas. Bernardito (Tito Beng) which, I think, died when I was about four years old. He committed suicide on our bathroom. I still remember one moment of his wake wherein I have to force myself on seeing who was there inside the coffin. I was small that time so I have to raise my heels to the fullest effort just to outstand the wonder in my head. And Alberto (is that his name?). He doesn’t live here anymore. As they have told me, he was evicted from this house because of his blameworthy actions. My father’s other sisters are Vivian and Lhea.

I studied my primary years in school at San Miguel Elementary School, where I started to learn things and to cope with different predicaments. I was the top in the class from Kinder to Sixth Grade. I graduated as the Class Valedictorian, left the school with great memories, and treasured friends.

However, many unanticipated events transpired in that small span of time. From Pasig, we moved to Mandaue, Cebu to live for some time. My father was not with us that time. We even went to Puerto Galera, Mindoro, and lived at my mother’s sister’s house for a couple of months. My father was not with us again, I suppose. The only time I remember that we dwelt outside Pasig is when we lived at Cavite for a couple of months, I assume.

My life was in a total misery. On Cebu, I experience living in a house with no appliances at all. My sisters and I would go to the neighbor to enjoy watching television. The memoirs are not that vivid. I really cannot evoke anything else than the picturesque description I can perceive in my mind relating the place of our existence there on Mandaue. I think there was a hut there where we were sitting there gabbing all afternoon.

On Mindoro, it was a tormented place despite of the relaxing ambience of the seaside. I lived with my aunt and his husband. I mingled with my younger cousins and learned, to be honest, hooligan stuffs, not to the extent that it can be treated as a “crime”, you know. I spent a lot of time walking along the seashore, picking up shells and listening to the fluttering breeze of the magnificence.

I remember that time when I first go there. Before going to the house, my mother bought a container of Stick-O for us, her children.

I remember my aunt promising me on swimming on the pool (she is working on the Puerto Galera Resort blah blah) if I would eat my dinner quickly. I want to laugh at myself for believing in that excuse.

To be honest, my aunt was really good to me. She is a caring type of aunt whom anybody would wish. She accepted me wholeheartedly and loved me as much as loving a child.

On a hot day, I went to the nearby coast and would put my feet on water. What a great time! Then I saw something yellow that was floating. Out of my curiosity, and assuming that it is a bone of an eaten mango, I wanted to pick it up and try to toss it as far as it would go. But then, a split second after picking it up, I then realized that it was nothing but a yellowish animal manure. Yuck! I was about to talk it over my siblings but had the insecurity. I want to laugh at myself again. What a silly person I am!

I experienced traveling by a boat—the usual type of having the sagwan thing. (What’s the English term for sagwan? You’re so stupid, Jonell! You do not know what’s the English word for sagwan! How brainless.) Is it pew? No. A pew is usually wooden bench with a straight back and often a kneeling bench attached to the one in front of it, used by worshipers in a church. But what is the English word for “sagwan”. I think it is called “oar”. I must know that. Am I that stupid? Anyways, you know, the feeling that you have thinking that the boat will capsize. The feeling that the waves are too immense that the boat will sink. Harharhar!

Notwithstandily, it was not really a tormented place. It was an ecstasy. I remember, that evening, while “Ghost Fighter” was on the television screen, my mother was hollering incessantly at me, spanking me and cursing me. I do not know why she turned berserk that evening. I just remember that I was sobbing greatly that time that I was thinking of dislodging myself on that place and go anywhere else just to alleviate the pain, physically and emotionally. I remember myself hiding inside the closet to escape the hanger my mother was holding which was all set to strike me.

I remember why youngest sister being maligned by evil spirits, one afternoon. My mother accompanied her to an herb man. I wanted to go with them that time but she insisted me to stay at home. It was also that time, as far as I recall, when I saw a rainbow in the sky.

I am still puzzled why I am pursuing myself to reminisce those events in my life.

I remember that time when I was inside the place where my aunt was working. There was this phone, which I think resembles the phone thing you see in the malls especially on the shoe areas where the sales clerks communicate with the people inside the shoe storeroom. I picked up the phone and then hung it up after hearing someone talking in the opposite line. My aunt discovered what I have done and chided me, of course.

Picking up shells and starfishes was my habit. Also, I loved spending time on the sea. One ordinary afternoon, urging myself to be proud of being afar from my sister on the sea, I went far away holding on the side part of a boat. I was ceremonially grand on that achievement yet all was turned to be absolute arrogance when I felt a sea urchin thumping every inch of my feet down the sea level. I cried for help. After hauling me from the sea, I was brought to our house. The remedy they procured was my own urine. They let me urinate and put my urine of my feet. I do not know how long my feet ached, but the idea of using my urine as the solution is still dreadful to me.

All in all, I spent a great time living in Mindoro. I just do not know if I will want to go there again. Still afraid of the urchins!

Another place was Cavite. Why did we have to go there? I do not know. We lived there. It was fun. But boring. Too inaudible unlike here in Metro Manila.

What I remember most about living in Cavite is that our house was quite elevated in a terrain. I also remember that I love eating at that plate wherein there are divisions or certain spaces provided for the viand, for the rice, for the catsup, for example. I also remember that there is pins of bowling toys. As well as the memory that I was surprised that my grandfather brought me to Cavite then left me when I was sleeping. After waking up, I asked my mother where is my Lolo. She told me he left. When I went outside, I ran for the tricycle bearing my Lolo but then failed to run for it.

Most of my childhood was spent here in Pasig, the same place, the same house where I am living right now. I remember the times we go roaming around the mall, eating at Jollibee, taking pictures, playing at the amusement part of the mall with those funny and entertaining cars which move when tokens are dropped. But then, there was still no sign of the future hurricane approaching. We lived in the other side of the house where my Lola’s sister’s family used to live. Birthdays were celebrating not extravagantly but filled with affection coming from each member of the family.

At a very young age, it came not half to my mind that my life will come to wreckage. In spite of the achievements I was garnering in school with the undisputed help of my grandparents, my life started to ruin itself.

One morning, I found out that my mother and my sisters were leaving. Bags packed, they left the house and when I asked them where they are going, my mother told me that it’s not important. I begged to come with them. My mother told me that I would come if I would take I bath right away. I didn’t move for awhile, and scrutinized if they would escape but when I thought that they really are waiting, I scurried to finish bathing and when I came back to the very place where I left them, they left already. I was bewildered. I was expecting them to return but nothing I believed happened.

I was not very alone since my father was still with me. We were living on my Tita Claire’s house few blocks away from my grandparent’s house. My father became fund of playing billiard on the nearly pool hall. I was aware of that girl he was with everytime he was playing there. The first time I saw the girl was when I was running home to find out the girl kneeling in front of my father who was washing clothes that time. I couldn’t be mistaken. She was kissing him. I was about to leave the scene when my father, instead of yelling, summoned me to go inside to introduce his workmate. I ignored his invitation and run away.

Some time later, my father left, the only difference is that he told us he was leaving—leaving for work. I believed him. We even had a picture together the last time he was there for me. But after a while, my mind set off to be progressively mature enough to understand fully what had happened and what factors should be considered.

I was left on the side of my Lolo and Lola. No news about my father, my mother, and my siblings. My father seldom sent money for me. Likewise, my mother became idle in my life. I was caressed by my Lolo and Lola. They took care of me ever since my parents left me. They gave me hope to see life as we know it.

My two aunts were great helps also. My Ate Vivian would usually go out with me and spend time eating at fast foods, watching movies which was really enjoyable. My Ate Lhea would then normally teach me things, bring me pasalubong, pioneered me to the world of computers and the likes, and she was the one who introduced Harry Potter to me.

I loved it when either or both of them have visitors here in the house. Maybe it is because of my loneliness. And I must admit, I believe I am attention deficit.

When Ate Lhea had a Filipino boyfriend from the States, she had a PC in this house and so I learned a lot of things about computer just because of my curiousity. But then, my Ate Lhea had to marry this guy. He is Kuya Danny. They got married. I was the one who read the First Reading then. My aunt had to flee to America to live with Kuya Danny. And so it was just my Lolo, my Lola, my Ate Vivian and me left.

My Lolo was a great help to me. He was really kind that no other grandfather could replace him. His deeds for me were priceless. He brings me to school each morning by his bicycle and he’s also the one who fetches me. He helped me in my assignments and did everything possible to support me. He always accompany me to the library everytime I want to read. That’s my first step on loving books. He was there to put on the medals I received. He was very proud of me. And I am also proud of him being my Lolo. But then he was sick. He had a stroke. He started to be inaudible and had to stay on bed. My Lola took care of him. One time, I wasn’t expecting my father to come. He returned because he was alarmed with the situation of his father. He was with a seem-to-be four-year-old boy named Emjey. I have realized that he is his son. After some day, my father left and so is the moment I thought I would be spending with him. My Lolo’s illness became severe that he was wailing so hard we did not know what to do. One night, the pain had came to an end. And so is my dream for him to be the one to put on my medal for the last time in my elementary days. It came to an end. The morning after that evening, I woke up, being ready for the next school day, seeing no one downstairs and seeing no one lying on that bed where my grandfather was fighting for recovery. I was shocked to know that he had gone. I didn’t cry. The days for the wake run across me without weeping at all. But when he was about to be brought to his final destination, when the coffin was opened for the family to bid last goodbyes, I was ceaselessly whimpering, tears falling rapidly. I had the chance to take my final “mano” to my Lolo as tears were gushing down my eyes. But then I had to accept the truth that he had gone but will still remain inside my heart… forever. And so it was just my Lola, my Ate Vivian and me left.

Then Graduation came, I was stated as the Class Valedictorian of our school. I faced issues involving my genuineness on being such but outstood that with a smile. On the morning of the Graduation day, I was astonished to know that my mother, my father and Joy was here in our house. They went to be there on a special moment of my life. I was thrilled on seeing my mother. When she was about to embrace me, I locked myself inside the bathroom and behind that door, I cried. I can’t distinguish my emotion that time. I ain’t happy and I also ain’t sad. I was mad! They went here and they were gone again.

I entered high school, and I loved it. Everytime I go to school, I forget the emptiness life had bestowed unto me even for a while. But still, every single detail of worthlessness lingered in my life.

I was a section one student during my first year at Rizal High School. What would it be at Rizal High? How would I cope with nine thousand students? My life as a high school student was full of adjustments. Being in the section one class was hard yet enjoyable since I gained friends. I started to appreciate knew things. At first I thought that entering the gargantuan RHS would be massively perilous but then as time went by, I noticed that high school life is a great fun. At the end of the school year, I knew that I was demoted to section two since my grade was the cut-off. I was not that tormented with the fact that I would go see new classmates and a new environment during my Sophomore year.

I spent my vacation at home with my sister Joy who wished to spend his vacation here in Pasig. She left before the School Year would begin.

Being a II-2 student was more exciting than being a I-1 student. I experience a lot of things I never imagined. A lot of things transpired that I have to set some other time talking about those things. One thing I am sure is that I love being a Sophomore.

During the vacation, my sisters asked my aunt and my Lola if they could spend their vacation here in Pasig. I was totally happy on seeing my sisters and also flamboyant on the idea that I will spend my vacation worthily with them. And so they were here. I was really gleeful.

One time, my father phoned and told my sisters that he will be getting them. He told my sisters that they will be no longer staying on their respective places but to the side of their father. My father asked me if I would like to go with them. I refused. Then a little later, I realized that I really missed my father and I am longing to see him again. And so, the four of us went to Davao by airplane. It was my sisters’ first time to travel by airplane.

My first time was years ago pa when I left Cebu for Manila. I was then alone. It was just me. My father accompanied me to the airport in Cebu but then I was all alone. Imagine, I’m only a child that time. Perhaps, six years old. I was sitting between two strangers who helped me in eating the food. I even asked, without trepidation, the one beside me to help me in hitting the straw to the tetra pack juice. When I was already in the airport of Manila, I do not know what to do. Hey, I’m just a kid! Could anybody help me? Nah. Whatever! My Lolo and Lola was there far away waiting for my arrival.

And so I was the one responsible for my sisters. We arrived at Davao, safe and unharmed. I breathed so hard that I couldn’t believe I will be living in Davao. With my father. With my sisters. I left Pasig for my father. For a family.

It would be a new tomorrow.

Outside the airport, there waiting, was my father. A wide smile was hidden behind my equivocal character. It was evening then. I felt the warmth of acceptance and longing from my father. He introduced us to his family: the wife and the two children, one of whom I knew already, the one he brought with him the time my Lolo was ill. The other child is younger, a girl. The tenderness was killing me and something touched my heart: the manila paper in his scooter saying welcome to us. I was touched, mind you.

With our bags, the wife and the children, with the two elder sisters hailed a cab. Meanwhile, the youngest sister and I rode the scooter with our father. In the middle of the journey, my father was stopped by a police and his plate was confiscated because he’s license is not legal. It is just a mere student license, I think. And so he had to leave us for a while to find money. A little later, all was fine. Yet for me, I was horrified with what I am facing.

They live in just a small space. Inconsiderably a house. Just a space. Just a room. They had a small television, a player, a rice cooker, a lampshade, a range beneath the sink, a pair of small monoblock chair and no more but a medium-sized foam considered as the bed and sofa.

I thought I can stand it. But I went back to Pasig since I could not help thinking that I would be living beneath a roof with his family. At night, I would be writing letters for my father telling him that I hate him for ruining my life. I told him I cannot help staying there thinking that he cannot support each one of us. 4 plus 2 plus 1 wife that’s seven people he has to fed. What kind of life would I have if I would stay there? What kind of life would he promise if I’ll stay there? I spent nine days in Davao and asked help from my Ate Vivian, through internet. I wanted to return to Pasig. My life is there so I had to return. Again, I was alone. I was alone.

When I was already back here in this house, I remembered the letter I found on my luggage. I read it and tears started to fall. He explained to me the bitterness he felt when he was a child but then it had no other effect to me. I am still mad at him for ruining my dreams and my life.

Right now, I still have no news about them. My mother? I do not know where the hell she is. My life is totally wrecked. And it is really hard to mend it. My studies is being affected as well. The pain is inevitable.The scar is hard to mend.


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