Friday, May 22, 2009

“Go Home Yankees!” (Another Boy Story – A Replay)

By: JENA ISLE
My name is Pepe. I am 12 years old. People say nobody would read what I will write because I lack schooling and English is my second language but you see, I very much want to share with you the story of my friend Dave. I am confident that although I'm not really a writer, I hope I will be able to communicate the message I want to, through this story. My qualifications? I earned the "Best in English" in my grade six class. This is my story.

I met Dave one night in a bar. Right after I graduated from elementary, I worked as an errand boy for Paradise Bar. I wanted to earn to be able to continue my schooling the coming year.

Dave was not one of the "ugly Americans" as others call them. ("Go home, Yankees!" I often hear the cry of protesters in the streets.)

According to the women in the bar, he looked like Mel Gibson - the actor in Braveheart. (I watched that movie several times with them, and I had to agree.)

When the other airmen were noisily drinking, he was just in one corner, silently sipping his beer. He was also soft spoken and treated me kindly -unlike the other Americans. He always gave me a tip - not in coins but in paper- that was a lot for me.

Every night, he came to the bar, all by himself. The women would crowd around him and tried to talk to him, but in the end , he always preferred to be alone. One time when all the customers left and I was done gathering the empty bottles, he summoned me.

"What's your name?" he smiled.

"Pepe" I answered.

"Where do you live?"

"Gueco Street."

"Do you want to work for me?"

I was surprised, "What work?"

" A yard boy and someone to clean my house once a week," he continued smiling at me. "Lighter work, and more pay"

" Yes, " I nodded eagerly.

" You can start tomorrow."

I started working for Dave. He lived alone in a three - room apartment near their Military Base. I learned that he was a pilot - an officer - he had a "wing" symbol on his military uniform. At times when I was done cleaning the yard, he would talk to me about his family back in Wyoming. How he missed them. He said he had a younger brother my age. (Perhaps that was why he had helped me?)

He went less and less to the Paradise Bar as days went on. He allowed me to stay in the other room of his apartment. I went home during weekends to give money to "Nanay" (mother). I was earning more and I was able to save money too.

During evenings, we would barbecue at the backyard and just talk. He asked
me about my family and my plans. I told him about how I wanted to go to high school; that I was the eldest of 5 children and that my parents could not get good jobs because they were not able to go to college too.

I was not telling him this to ask for help. I was telling him because he was able to encourage me to talk and I didn't usually open up that easily. I think we were alike because we didn't talk openly about ourselves to other people.

One day when he came home;

" Myrna, this is Pepe, Pepe this is Myrna - my girlfriend."

I was shocked. I stared at her face and saw a smirk. I did not like her but I shook her hand anyway.

" Sige na, iwanan mo kami," (Go on, leave us alone) she said in the dialect, so I left them.

I could hear Myrna's laughter echoing in the house.

"You don't like her," Dave said when she left.

I did not reply.

"You'll like her when you'll get to know her better." he said and I nodded.

Everyday thereafter, Myrna came to the house even when Dave was not there. She ordered me around like she owned me. I am not new to this as bad people always do that to poor people like me.

"Pagkatapos mong gawin iyan, labhan mo ang damit ko!" (After you're done with that, wash my clothes!) She would bark the order at me.

I had no choice but to obey, she was my boss' girlfriend and I could see that Dave's happiness was complete with her around.

One day. when Dave was at work, Myrna came. She had a man with her. They went straight to Dave's room. I can hear her giggling.

" Eto, puede na ba ito? " (this one, is this okay?) She asked the man.

There was no reply and when they came out, she was carrying Dave's big camera in one hand.

"Ate," I asked " Saan po ninyo dadalhin iyan?" (Where will you bring that?)

"Wala ka na doon", (It's none of your business) she pouted at me.

I could not do anything when she walked past me. When evening came, Dave arrived and I waited for him to ask about the camera but he said nothing , so I presumed that everything was well.

During the days that followed however, I noticed that Myrna no longer came to the house. Dave went back to his usual silent moods. I tried to talk to him but he answered in monosyllables.

"If it's about the camera, .." I started.

"No, don't worry about that," he replied, and that was that.

He did not want to talk about Myrna and I did not dare ask. By then I knew that when Dave wanted me to know, he would tell me. As days passed, his mood improved.

We went back to cooking barbecue and talking about his experiences: how he had slipped into a pond because he was rushing to school; how he and his brother enjoyed their first rodeo and many others. These was all new to me so I listened with awe.

When it was my turn, I went on to talk too about how I enjoyed reading so much and my interest in poetry and writing. He gave me a box of pocketbooks to read the following day, "here, they are all yours." he said.

Several months later, I had saved enough money for enrollment but not enough to buy my school materials. That was good enough for me though, the rest can be remedied, I was sure.

It was after several months that Olive came into our lives. Unlike Myrna, I liked Olive immediately. She treated me like Dave did. Her kindness was from the heart, because even when no one was around she treated me like a younger brother. I came to know that she worked as a nurse in the Base hospital.

I can see that Dave was happier with Olive than with Myrna. They were so in love. I was not surprised when they told me they were getting married that coming June. I was happy for them! They assured me, I can stay with them for as long as I wanted.

But that was not what happened. Fate had more surprises for me - the following June, Mount Pinatubo erupted. Tons of ashes rained and all US bases (Subic and Clark) were abandoned by fleeing US soldiers.


I was home helping my parents take shelter when the order for the evacuation of the US bases was given. I knew Dave would be looking for me. I braved the ashfall and rushed to Dave's apartment... but he was gone. Olive was there, packing things in boxes.

"Nasaan siya?"(Where is he?) I asked her.

"Umalis na siya" (He's gone), she said with tears in her eyes.

I can't help but cry too. Dave was gone! I couldn't believe it. I had thought we would be together for long.

"Will you be okay?" I asked her , knowing she was feeling the same way, even much more perhaps.

"He promised to keep in touch," she assured me. "He left something for you."
She gave me a camera and an envelope... the camera ?

"It is brand new," Olive said when she saw the question on my face. " He knew about the first camera. It was Myrna. " she continued.

I opened the envelope. There was green money - enough for me to pursue my ambition of going back to school. I cried all the more, thinking how generous he was. You can always count on him - my Boss Dave - NO - my friend Dave!

One important lesson I have learned is that, no matter what race one belongs to, there will always be the bad and the good!



Photo 1 by echoforsberg
Photo 2 by
Bob Jagendorf




41 comments:

  1. Hi Jena,
    I believed I've read this one already. Was this posted on another of your blogs? That's okay, though, because it's still nice to read it again.

    Have a great weekend.
    Tasha

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  2. Hi Tasha,

    Thanks for the visit. Glad your back online again. Take care.

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  3. I mean , I'm glad YOU'RE back...these keypads have a mind of their own.lol...

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  4. I enjoyed this story very much = I hadn't seen it before either.

    I like re-posting things from back when nobody came to see my blog (except someone called Jena Isle) - I think it's a good thing to do.

    :)

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  5. Lol. Ken, I was touched with your comment. A lump in my throat formed. You do remember in spite of all your successes.

    You're still the humble and pleasant fellow I've known before.

    You don't allow success to go to your head. I know you'll gain more achievements with an attitude like that.

    God bless you and all the best will surely be coming your way. Take care.

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  6. Jena, this is a great story, and has a good moral basis. You are excelling in your writing. I am experimenting with writhing in "anthers voice", and it's not as easy as it seems. I thought you did a great job staying in character. A sixth grader would not have the polished sentence structure of an adult.

    Great job, and I'll leave a comment as my alter ego in a moment.

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  7. Hi Jena, My Daddy reads youz bog all da time. He sayz youz a good person, and very nice. From this story, I can tell hes right. I likes youz stories.

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  8. Well done Jena, just like all the others have already said :). A very believable voice and a nice ending.

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  9. Dear jena, I do like this story and you gave this lesson a wonderful picture - a little dream to learn from...Thank you..

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  10. Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your generous words. I'm inspired . Happy blogging and take care.

    Jena Isle

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  11. whew! happy tuesday! hopping here again! take care!

    gagay

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  12. Hi Gagay,

    Thanks for the visit. God bless.

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  13. Good day!

    huhuhu!i am needing now your opinion!

    how to deal with long distance relationship?


    gagay

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  14. Hi, you been awarded a Triple Award.

    Hollow . Whispers
    http://puniaopuniao.nutang.com

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  15. thank u ms jena for your thoughts..appreciated those!


    gagay

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  16. Hi Gagay,

    You're welcome. take care.

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  17. Finally! I was able to finish reading this :) I seem to get slower at reading these days.

    Had I known it would touch Pinatubo, I would have stopped reading. No offense, but memories of those days still bring chills to me.

    But it was too late when I found out and I was able to finish the story.

    Our family was very much affected by the Base's pull-out. My parents, brothers and sisters all worked there. That's why I hate the guts of people who marched on the streets shouting "Yankees go home!" and if you look at them closely, they were wearing adidas shoes, levis jeans and hanes t-shirt as they were marching.

    and of course, it's a great story. one that I can really relate to.

    sorry, another long comment. :)

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  18. There's a continuation to that yell: "Yankees go home, and take me home with you."

    Indeed, correct observation.

    Happy blogging.

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  19. The moral of the story is correct. Goodness or badness is not race based but person based. Peper was so lucky to have found a real friend.

    Since this has a continuation, I bet Dave and Olive would end up together and maybe they'd take Pepe with them... hmmm... am thinking a happy ending this time. ^^

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  20. Hi Webbielady,

    Congrats for being Top 1 last week. I guess you're right. Happy endings are always my favorite. Happy blog hopping.

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  21. Hi I just stopped by to drop on your Entrecard and wanted to let you know that you have been added to Blog Angel's All Above the Crease Drop List . I created the list because I was sick of wasting time trying to find people's Ecards. Your card and everyone on the list has their Entrecardsi in an easy to find location. Stop by and check it out.

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  22. Hi Jena, dropping by. nice story. ^_^

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  23. Hi Jena,
    I don't think I've read this before and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the moral.
    I've never tried re-posting some of my bits and pre-reader bits and pieces, but maybe I'll give it a shot.

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  24. Hi Angel,

    Thanks.

    Hi Snow,

    Good of you to come by. Good luck with the nomination.

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  25. Hi Jon,

    Thanks. I have done this a few times (twice? thrice?) when I didn't have the luxury to "think"..lol..

    I find it good, because new readers get to read one's previous articles. Yes, you could adapt the same method too. Good luck and happy blog hopping.

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  26. This is not in the story, but I love it: "Yankees go home, and take me home with you."

    Ah the story:

    1. It's a story that I have taken a great liking to.

    2. It is not too long a read for me. It's not even noticeable when there's so much enjoyment to be had.

    3. I will send a blistering memo. An erudite critique that can only be dished out by the likes of me.

    Ahahaha. Toink! Well done, Mam Jena. ",)

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  27. Hello Master Jedi Jan,

    You honor me with your visit. I know you're an erudite, and I welcome your blistering critique . Just PM me,,,,lol...

    I'm not as formidable as you are.

    All the best.

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  28. Awts. It's just an empty threat anyway. I was just amused by all this active voice and passive voice thingies.

    No, I'm not erudite at all. Well, to be fair, I used to be at one point. But I slipped on a pond and poor me - I have never recovered since. lols

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  29. This is a nicely written story. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Also, I agree with what you said that: "no matter what race one belongs to, there will always be the bad and the good!" There were those noisy airmen, and then there was Dave; There was Myrna, and then there was Olive. There was the bases, then there was none. (Oops. Didn't quite fit, right? :D )

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  30. I read this the first time I started blogging. At first I asked, what was the title got to do with the story. Ooops! I was thinking of the game, toink!!! The ashfall must have lingered in my brain.

    I have no excuse for not commenting then, but late is better than never, right?

    A very touching story about friendship and morality. I'd trade a Myrna for Olive anytime.

    Z

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  31. Hi Luke,

    The Jedi Knight has finally arrived, I have been scanning the horizon - the last few hours - for your "plane" (what do they call that?).

    Your generous words are appreciated. A true jedi knight's pronouncements are not subject to doubt. lol

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  32. Hi Doc Zayden,

    lol... sorry, doc Zorlone. Don't worry, you were still learning the ropes then, so I forgive you.

    Yes, Olive would certainly be your woman.

    But the letter does not begin with an O but with a G. he he he.

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  33. I mean the WORD, does not begin with an O but with a G.

    I have to repeat myself to clarify any misunderstadings. lol.

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  34. :D You haven't scanned our craft because we flew under the radar to avoid detection. Galing naman "not subject to doubt" pa! hehe. Just dropping by, ma'am Jena.

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  35. Hello Luke,

    I always feel safe knowing that there are Jedi knights patrolling the area.

    Thanks and you don't have to call me ma'am. Just call me Jen. lol.

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  36. It's true , that there is goodness among all races of people. But oftentimes people's minds are clouded with ignorance and discrimination. Even us Filipinos judge our own people.

    Well-written story echoing human tendencies.

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  37. Hi Bing,

    That's true. Sometimes, I too , am guilty of this.

    I admire your candidness to call a spade - a spade. Way to go , girl!

    Happy blog-hopping.

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  38. Hi Jena,
    I can picture my husband in this story, although he's more of the outgoing, sociable person. He definitely is not the silent type but sure he's got the big heart like your characterization of Dave... In fact, I was so happy that our graphics designer (from Manila) was able to pay the down payment for a small house (salary he got on working at our company) & still keeps his regular job:))
    It humbles me to know how a simple act of generosity can change some other people's lives:))
    Thanks for the wonderful story, as always!
    ~~~shawie

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  39. Hi Shawie,

    You could definitely relate to this because your husband is an American. And you're lucky, you've got a Dave, but he's luckier because he got an "Olive". (winks).

    Best regards.

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  40. Great story, Jena! I like it. I really do!

    You're absolutely right - every race has it's own share of the good ones and the bad ones. That's how humanity is. So nobody should make generalizations. Or label one race with this or that, because it's not fair. And those who do the labeling would just appear ignorant. And nobody would want to be called ignorant. So an open mind is always the best. :)

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  41. Hello Dee,

    Very well said. If everyone is aware of this basic fact, then the world would be a better place to live in.

    Even in the blogosphere, we can observe that there is a sort of "discrimination" because we tend to categorize blogs according to the country of origin. There are however, several authors, who would only consider the fact that you both belong to the same niche.

    I salute all these true bloggers who defy geographical borders to connect with fellow bloggers; that was one purpose of my Inspirational Book - to connect the east and the west.

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