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Keeping On


This morning while visiting some blogs, I noticed that some fellow bloggers have posted their resolutions. I have also made some resolutions but I feel mine are not worthy of a blog post :D. So I will just share to you a personal story and I hope I’ll get my new year’s message across πŸ˜‰

I vacationed in my hometown one unusually hot summer. The searing day temperature made me crave for a refreshing treat for some relief. I decided to buy halo-halo, a local cold treat which is a mixture of shaved ice, sweet preserved beans, jack fruit, sweet yam, sliced sweetened plantain, and pounded dried rice. I love it when the mixture is topped with ice cream.

I found a halo-halo stand just a few corners away from our house. The halo-halo stand was a wobbly wooden table placed under a mango tree. The leaves of the tree covered the stand from the intense rays of the sun. The vendor was a girl who was about 12 or 13 years old.

I ordered one serving and the girl immediately started to shave the block of ice with a shiny metal ice shaver. She then proceeded to take out small amounts of the ingredients which were inside the jars laid out in a row. She put the shaved ice and the delectable ingredients into a glass and topped it with a scoop of ice cream. The glass started to perspire and the scorching air started to melt the ice cream. I started to eat the colorful concoction.

β€œIlang taon ka na?” I asked the girl, wishing I was wrong in thinking she was only 13 years old. I had wished she was older.

β€œThirteen po,” she answered.

β€œSo next year high school ka na?” I said.

β€œGrade 5 po,” she seemed embarrassed.

Sige lang, basta aral lang ng aral,” I tried to encourage her.

Ayaw ko na po mag-high school. Wala kaming pera eh. Tapos, tinutukso pa ako ng classmates ko, amoy paninda raw ako,” she told me.

β€œBakit, wala namang amoy ang halo-halo ah,” I said.

β€œSa umaga po kasi nagtitinda ako ng gulay at isda,” came her reply.

The scorching air suddenly became a little cold and there was a sudden rush of memories in my head.

β€œ‘Wag ka mag-give up. Subukin mo lang mag-trabaho. ’Wag ka mahiyang magtinda. Matinong trabaho ’yan. Dapat nga proud ka eh,” I said.

β€œPero minsan po talagang nakakapagod na eh. Araw-araw gigising ako sobrang aga, magtitinda, tutuksuhin ng mga classmate ko pagpasok. Madalas ganun,” she explained. I noticed tears were starting to well in her eyes.

I told her a story about another girl who peddled on the streets when she was young. The girl peddled minoron, puto, ice candy, tamarind candy, and halo-halo. She was also teased from time to time by her classmates. At 13, she went to the city and stayed with a relative who paid for her school fees. It entailed helping out in the household chores. It wasn’t easy for her being away from her family at such a young age. Di pa kasi uso ang cellphone noon. When she would get sad and lonely, all she could do was run to a nearby church and cry. But she endured everything just so she could continue studying.

β€œAlam mo ba kung ano na ang ginagawa niya ngayon? Masaya na siya kasi may work na siya. Natulungan na rin niyang makatapos ang mga kapatid niya.”

β€œAh, kakilala mo po siya?” she asked.

β€œKakilala ko siya syempre kasi ako ‘yun eh,” I winked at her, handed her the payment for the halo-halo, and started walking home.

When summer was over, I prepared to leave for the city. On my way to the airport, the car I was in stopped at a pedestrian lane near a school to give way to children who were crossing. It was the first day of school. I saw a familiar face among the children. It was the girl, the vendor. She smiled at me and shouted, β€œMa-eskwela na ak!”

As the car bounced violently over the rutted dirt road, I looked in the rearview mirror after we passed by the school. I saw the girl waving her hand as she entered the school’s gate.


(The photo above shows a halo-halo vendor in a beach in Zambales. I was browsing the net yesterday looking for a photo that can accompany this post when I chanced upon this one. It is being used here with permission from the owner, Bryant, who also has a very interesting blog showing photos of the different places in Metro Manila then and now. Thank you, Bryant.)

Posted 8 years, 8 months ago at 9:01 pm.


32 Replies

  1. napakaheartwarming and inspiring. at naiiyak ako. that’s why i love/hate reading your entries. hahaha! πŸ™‚

  2. nortehanon Jan 4th 2009

    Hala! Ang bilis mo namang mapunta dito. Kapo-post ko lang niyan ah hehehe. Thank you very much!

  3. of course. i’m an avid fan. hahaha! πŸ˜‰

  4. nortehanon Jan 4th 2009

    I fell off my chair sa sinabi mo hahaha! Sige, magtatayo na ako ng fan club. Singular pa lang kasi iisa pa lang naman ang member hahahaha. Hala, naloka talaga ako sa katatawa dito.

  5. meron pa. sama ko na si GB. hehehe. πŸ˜›

  6. nortehanon Jan 5th 2009

    Speaking of GB, naku, hindi ko pa nga nadalaw lately ang blog niya eh. Tstk, tsk, talagang too little time lang ang naide-devote ko sa career ko sa blogging. Sa araw kasi, busy sa office. Sa gabi naman, katulong ako–naglalaba, nagluluto, naghuhugas pinggan, nagpupunas sahig, nag-aalaga ng aso hehehe. Kaya yung pag blog hop ko utay-utay lang hehehe.

  7. tatluhin nyo na at ako yung pangatlo..hehehe
    nakakainspire talga kapag tumatambay ako dito..
    thanks alot N.

    ngapala i vote AC as president ng fans club hihihi…

  8. nortehanon Jan 5th 2009

    Whehehehe pati ikaw napatawa mo ako. O, meron ng president, vice president, at secretary ang fans club hahaha. Bukas ipapa-register ko na sa…ahm, saan ba? sa DTI? sa PRC? sa SEC?hehehe

  9. ahahahha. natatawa na naman ako. ang saya talaga nito. haha.

    oist muymuy, gusto mo escort si ADONIS? hahaha. sabi ko crush mo sya eh. crush ka na din daw nya. hahaha! πŸ˜€

    pero teka.. kayo na lang mag-usap.. ako pa bridge nyo..mahuhurt ako nyan. hahahahah! joke lang! πŸ˜‰

  10. nortehanon Jan 6th 2009

    uy, looks like there’s a brewing love affair hehehe

  11. ummmm…. no comment na. πŸ˜€

  12. nortehanon Jan 6th 2009

    hehehe…O siya, no comment na rin ako πŸ˜€

  13. wow! that’s truly amazing! nakahanap ka ng paraan para mainspire mo ang isang batang nagtitinda ng halo-halo. the world needs more Nortehanons! gusto mo i-clone kita? CHEERS! happy new year!

  14. nortehanon Jan 5th 2009

    Thanks, Rchrd,
    Sadly, I was not able to follow up on the girl. That was many years ago na kasi. I have no idea how and where she is now. Wala na kasi siya doon.

    Natawa naman ako dun sa iko-clone ako hehehe. Sabagay, mura lang production cost ng pag-clone sa akin kasi maliit lang naman body size ko hehehe

    Happy new year din!

  15. Kinilabutan ako sa story mo! Very nicely told. πŸ™‚

    You’re very much welcome to the picture, I really apprciate your asking for permission, and much more for crediting me. πŸ™‚

  16. nortehanon Jan 5th 2009

    Salamat, BCS. Salamat din sa pagdalaw at maraming salamat uli for giving permission for the use of your photo. As much as possible I try to give credit to the owners photos I use here which are not mine. Para fair, di ba? πŸ™‚

  17. ggya din b ko sa knila na naiyak? o mtutuwa na lang ko…

    nalala ko tuloy ung drama ni nanay samin…

    “Wala na kong maipapamana sa inyo kundi EDUKASYON… gus2 ko makapag tapos kau at wag gumaya skin na hanggang grade 3 lng ang inabot…”

    pno lagi din kcng nag tratrabho nnay ko dti

    ewan d talaga bagay sakin magdrama…

  18. nortehanon Jan 6th 2009

    Hi Jex,
    Naku, mabuti nga at hindi ka umiyak kasi hindi naman talaga intended ang post na ‘yan na magpa-iyak kundi magpatawa hehehe.

    Seriously, tama si Nanay mo. Kailangan nga naman talagang magtapos ng pag-aaral, di ba?

  19. Huhuhuhu! Para akong nanonood ng Maala-ala Mo Kaya.. grabe.. kung may sounds pa siguro ‘to, baka naglulupasay na ko.

    Beautiful story indeed Nortehanon. May you continue to be blessed as you bless other people through this medium. Kung hindi nga lang chikadora yung blog ko, gusto ko ring mag-entries ng mga ganito.. pero wa eh, panay Hayden Kho at Vicki Belo Scandal ang na-cho-chorva ko!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year pala… sayang di umabot yung bati ko yesterday, it would still have been Christmas yesterday… pero oks lang.. I know you are happy.

    God Bless!

  20. nortehanon Jan 6th 2009

    hahaha! Wag ka po maglupasay dyan. Wala po ako dyan para alalayan ka πŸ˜‰

    Okay naman po ‘yung blog mo ah, nakakaaliw nga eh. Pwedeng stress-eliever πŸ™‚

    Salamat sa greetings. Para sa akin, walang greetings na late hehehe. Speaking of late, hanggang ngayon I am still wondering what had happened to the package I have sent para sa inyong tatlo noon pang December 2007. Yes, 2007 pa po. Seventy years na ang dumaan, hindi pa rin dumadating. O ha, punung-puno pa ako ng hope sa lagay na ‘yan hehehe.

  21. happy new year! πŸ˜‰

  22. nortehanon Jan 6th 2009

    Happy new year, too, Yhen!

  23. Wow such a great story! I admire you for your perseverance and your ability to inspire πŸ™‚

    God bless you always Daydreambeliever!

  24. nortehanon Jan 6th 2009

    Thanks, Quinnie! Lahat naman yata tayo we inspire others in our own little ways πŸ˜‰
    God bless you, too!

  25. Thanks sis. By the way, I couldn’t help but blog about your story. Touched talaga ako and I want to share it with others. I posted it in my personal blog but will also be posting this on Friday in my Pinoysbest blog πŸ™‚ Will let you know when its up.

  26. nortehanon Jan 8th 2009

    I am honored, Quinnie. Maraming salamat.

  27. ayan N mukang dadami na miyembro ng fans club mo..hihihi

  28. nortehanon Jan 12th 2009

    Muymuy, may treasurer na ako hahaha!

  29. A very touching story… It’s worth it to be shared to anybody who wants inspiration…

  30. nortehanon Jan 12th 2009

    Thanks, Dodong. Your pictures, too, are worth sharing. They are constant reminders of how beautiful our beloved Philippines is.

  31. brotherutoy Jan 12th 2009

    poignant, inspiring and sweet.ΓΌ
    i’m glad i’m backreading your posts. all of them are great read.
    God bless!

  32. nortehanon Jan 13th 2009

    Thanks, Brother Utoy.
    I’m just too happy to have some time to write some posts here. Madalas kasi akong busy so I’m taking advantage of the times na pwede ako makapag-post. Salamat uli.

    God bless din!

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