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“KAPALARAN” Chapter 1

Kapalaran

Ni: Baludoy Corrigan

Scene 1: Chapter  1:

Typical Urban setting. Time is 2 o’clock in the afternoon. A busy road scene. Pedestrians crossing in all directions.  Public transports honking. Sidewalk Vendors are heard calling for customers. Beside an overflowing public Bin, a beggar, in a dry  tattered clothes is seen sitting as he extends his dirty long hand to the people passing by.

Beggar: (In a barely audible voice) Maam, Sir, maawa na po kayo sa akin, gutom na gutom na po ako. Pahingi lang po.

A middle-aged lady, wearing a bright colored- dress approaches the beggar, then she slowly takes off the dark sunglasses she’s wearing, as she fishes out 50-peso bill from her seemingly expensive-looking purse.

Lady: (Gives the money to the beggar and comments.) Kawawa naman to, batang-bata  pa,          pero ito namamalimos na.

Beggar: (Takes the money quite gently from the lady.)  Salamat po Maam, maraming salamat talaga, napakalaking bagay na ito para sa  akin.

Lady: (Zips her purse, as she remains looking at the beggar) Alam mo, kung malinis ka, hindi kapani-paniwalang pulubi ka. Batang-bata pa ka seguro ano?

Beggar: (Shows embarrassment) Ah ha? Ah eh….

Lady: (Puts on her dark sunglasses again)Wag ka na mag-aatubili pa…negosyo nyo ‘to ano? Nasa sindikato ka ano?

Beggar: (Expresses bewilderment) Ano  ho? Anong sindikato?

Lady: (Paints a sarcastic smile) Sus, mala-inosente ka pa! Maiwan na nga kita.

The Lady exits. The beggar is left  still wondering about the lady’s words. He looks at the 50-peso note, puts it against his nose, as if to kiss it, then folds it and tucks it in his side pocket. Then he resumes the usual position of extending his hands to the passersby. A moment later, a guy, dressed quite smartly, comes closer to  the beggar and positions himself on the left side of the beggar,  as if he is going to do begging as well.

Beggar: (Still looking towards the other side of the street, he gives a  rough comment to the stranger) Hoy!  Desente ka ring pulubi ka ah, akala mo ba may magbigay sa’yo kung ganun ang ayos mo?

Stranger: Ho? (Though unprepared for the comment, he extends his hands to the beggar) Ako pala si Jude. Ikaw? Pwede  ko po bang malaman pangalan nila?

Beggar: (He extends out his hands to shake hands with the stranger, but then withdraws it immediately) Aba! Lam mo, isang buwan na ako dito sa kakalimos, pero ikaw pang una nagtanong sa pangalan ko. Lam mo ba, halos makalimutan ko na nga pangalan ko eh, kasi wala nang tumatawag sa akin. (Reflects a dramatic change of mood)

Jude: (Still offering his right hand to the beggar) Seryoso po ako, gusto ko malaman pangalan mo, I’m sure hindi Paul name mo ano?

Beggar: Sinong Paul?

Jude: Paul po,  Paul as in PAUL-Lubi, ( He laughs with sarcasm).

Beggar: Inaasar mo ba ako? Masakit na insulto yan eh. Kala mo kung sino ka magsalita?(He points his forefinger to Jude) Pareho kayong lahat. (He beats his chest with his fist)Dahil ba ganito ako, wala na ba akong karapatang i-rerespito?

Jude: (Stands up and moves on to the right side of the beggar and rests his left arm on to the latter’s shoulder) Naku po, patawarin mo po ako. Di ko akalain na masabi ko yun. Pasensiya na po kayo sa akin, gusto ko lang sana mapatawa ka eh… I am sorry talaga.

Beggar: (He looks at Jude straight to the eye) Ikaw kaya sa kalagayan ko, may panahon ka pa bang pagtawanan itong lintik na buhay na ito? Ikaw, masaya ka ba pagpapalimos mo? Wala ka pa bang narinig na insulto’t pagmumura? (He stoops down as if to stress his misery)

Jude: (With an embarrassed and apologetic look) Sorry po talaga, ibig ko lang kasing kumbidahin ka eh.

Beggar: (Raises his voice) Kumbidahin? Saan, sa sementeryo? Bakit, may hinukay ka na ba dun para sa akin?

Jude: (He moves on to stay in front of the beggar)  ‘Wag po kayong magsabi ng ganyan. Andito ako kasi kailangan kita eh. May pabor sana akong hiling sa yo?

Beggar:  (He looks at  Jude) Ano ba talaga gusto mo sa akin? Nakita mo na, walang-walang ako. Wala na pati pagkatao ko, wala na dignidad ko, wala ng natira pa sa akin. Oh ano? Ano pang gusto mong mangyari sa akin?

Jude: (Apologetic) Alam ko pong nasaktan kita. Pero sa tingin mo ba’y, dito ka nalang talaga? Wala ka na bang ibang pangarap sa buhay?

Beggar: Sus, kung nakaka-yaman yung mangangarap, matagal sa seguro akong milyonaryo. Dami ko nang pangarap sa buhay, pero bagsak lahat, lam mo yun di ba?

Jude: (He taps the beggar’s shoulder) May magagawa ka pa. May  bukas ka pa kung talagang gugustuhin mo?

Beggar: Gugustuhin ko man, wala na, wala nang pag-asa. (He nods his head with disapproval) Wala na. Narinig mo, wala na.

Jude: Kung gusto po kayo, mag merienda tayo dun  oh. (Points towards the fastfood chain across the road)

Beggar: Ikaw? Dyan? (Looks towards the fastfood chain) Di mo ba ako ikakahiya? Pulubi ako, sinabi mo yun, at ngayun gusto mo ako isama dun?

Jude: (Stands up) Maniwala po kayo sa akin, may pag-asa ka pa. Gusto kitang matulungan. Please naman oh, maniwala ka sa akin.

Beggar: (Shows unbelief and disapproval) Eh pulubi ka rin di ba? Eh di pareho lang tayong walang  pag-asa!

Jude: (Grins and taps the beggar’s shoulder) Hindi. Hindi po ako totoong pulubi, gusto ko lang makipag-usap sa ‘yo. Isang linggo na akong namamalagi dito at palagi kitang sinusubaybayan. Pare, naniniwala akong labag sa kalooban mo ang mamalimos, kaya nais kitang maiahon dito.

Beggar: (Shows restlessness and embarrassment) Ah ha? Paano?

Jude: (Insists) Maniwala ka lang po sa akin oh.  At  tanda nyan, sabihin mo sa akin pangalan mo. Please naman oh…

Beggar: (Gives in) Bahala na, wala namang mawawala sa akin kung sabihin ko pangalan ko eh. Tawagin mo lang akong Jay-r.

Jude: (Extends his hands to Jay-r) Salamat ha sa pagtitiwala mo sa akin. Ngayon, tawagin mo na akong ‘tol’ okey?

Jay-r: Salamat. Salamat ‘tol’ sa imbitasyon mo. (Picks up his few belongings and stands up) Tayo na nga, gutom na ako eh… ‘tol’

Jude gets a spare shirt from his backpack and hands it to Jay-r to wear to replace his tattered shirt. Jay-r takes it, and they both go to the fastfood chain nearby.

Jude: (to Jay-r) Oh pili ka na ng gusto mo dyan. Ano ba gusto mo dito? ( Shows Jay-r the menu)

Jay-r: Di ko alam tol, ngayon pa kasi ako nakapunta dito eh.

Jude: Sige na nga, ako na mag-order para sa atin, basta kahit ano ha?(Skims through the menu)

Jay-r: Kahit ano, basta pampatawid gutom, okey na sa akin. At di nakakalason.

Jude: Tol, ‘wag ka mag-alala, safe sila dito. (Signals the waitress to come) Ahm Miss, dalawang Chickenjoy nga at Iced tea for drinks. Thanks so much.

The waitress departs. Jay-r seems to be mesmerized by the unbelievable situation where he is in, he sits restlessly.

Jude: Tol? Maitanong ko lang? Taga-saan ka ba? Taga dito ka lang ba sa Maynila?

Jay-R: Hindi tol, taga probinsiya talaga ako, Pangasinan po. Lumuwas ako para maghanap ng magandang trabaho, kaso walang tatanggap sa akin eh, high school graduate lang kasi ako eh. Kaya yun, napunta ako sa pamamalimos.

Jude: Ilang buwan ka na ba dito sa Maynila?

Jay-r: Five months na nga eh. Nung nakaraang buwan, nagtrabaho ako sa isang bodega. Napakahirap dun eh at malapit na nga ako mapatay dun eh…kaya…

The waitress arrives bringing their order.

Jude: Oh eto na pala order natin tol. Kain na muna tayo, mamaya na natin ituloy pag-uusap natin.

Jay-r: Wow, ang sarap nito tol. (Takes the piece of chicken and gobbles it hungrily) ‘Lam mo tol, ngayon lang ako nakatikim nito….wow ang sarap…

_______________to be continued______________________

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