Sunday, January 22, 2012

Javier

Regret, they say, always comes when it’s too late. But for the seventy year old Tatay Javier, regrets, he said, are futile. In the fading years of his life, he’s not even asking for forgiveness. All he wants is a quiet life, to reminisce his golden years of prime while relishing the remaining days in this world who can’t seem to forgive him.

“Ako si Javier, sitenta anyos. October 2007 nang dalhin ako dito sa Anawim Home of the Abandoned Elderly.”

Among the over fifty elderly of Anawim, Tatay Javier is different. He actually has a family living in Mandaluyong in a house he built by his years of working abroad. Not rich, but with a wife and three professional daughters, life should be a lot easier for him.

“Naging ano ako…pumunta ako sa giyera sa Vietnam, nag-trabaho ako sa Saudi. After that nung nawalan ako ng trabaho, nag-litson ako, nag-manok ako, nag-gulayan ako. Lahat ng hanap buhay pinasok natin.”

But Tatay Javier is no saint. He admits having his fair share of trailing the damned path.

“Noong araw nagmamaneho ako ng jeepney may baon akong alak, umiinom ako. Kung saan huminto ang jeep ko puntahan mo ako doon, nakikipag-mahjong ako. ‘Yan marahil ang ikinagalit nila sa akin. Wala akong nalalaman na dapat ikagalit kundi yung bisyo ko nga na inom ng alak at sugal.”

His family deserted him. Tatay Javier didn’t utter a word. He packed his things, armed with only a folding bed, he camped in the street just across the very same house he built for his family.

“Yung anak ko dadaanan ako dyan ni hindi man lang magmano o gumalang, oh tatay andyan ka pala, o yung kumakain halika na kumain ka na. Wala na. Ano pa nga bang pag-uusapan namin? Wala na siguro.”

It was Lucita, Tatay Javier’s younger sister, who arranged matters with Anawim to have his brother taken under its custody. Of five siblings, they are the closest, she says.

“Masakit. Napakasakit para sa ‘kin. Nung unang gabi nga, umiiyak ako, kaya lang tinanggap ko na rin. Siya namismo nagbo-volunteer kaya sumang-ayon na ‘ko. Mas masakit naman na makita ko siya sa kalye.”

Anawim, for Tatay Javier, is his second chance to live a simple life, away from the bustling crowds and demons that the city brought him.

“Nandito ako ngayon…tawagin ko itong Paraisong Lupa. Oras-oras nagdarasal ka at oras-oras kumakain ka. Pagkakain mo matutulog ka. Ano pa bang tawag mo dyan, di pa ba paraiso yan?

He even boasted that since he took shelter in Anawim, his health just got better and better.

"Aba, malakas tayo, malakas! Malakas tayo! Nakita ninyo nakapanhik ako nang walang alalay, pumanhik ako diyan nang walang alalay. Pero noong kararating ko lang, hindi ako makapanhik dyan, nanginginig ang buong katawan ko. Pero ngayon, panhik panaog na ako dyan. Hindi naman tayo si Fernando Poe na maraming kwarta eh. Ang kinukuha lang ang maraming kwarta (laughs).”

But beneath the jokes and Tatay Javier’s boastings of his famous lechon, as he stares beyond the towering trees of Anawim, there’s a faint twinge that he’s still hiding somewhere.

“Nakiusap ako na kung may dadalaw isa man sa pamilya ko, ‘wag nang patuluyin. Ayaw kong maalala ang mga pangyayari." 

Tatay Javier paused for a long silence.

“Isa lang ang matatanggap ko dito, ‘yung apo kong lalaki tsaka yung kapatid kong bunso (Lucita). Yung batang yun mula pagkabata nun ‘pagka umui yan at nagbakasyon, pupuntahan ako sa aking higaan, aakayin ako nun at ‘tay halika na manood tayo ng basketball’ kaya napamahal ako. Siya ang susi. Kung hilingin ng bata na ang nanay niya papasukin, baka bumigay ako.”

“Kung itinuturo ng Panginoon bakit hindi? Walang magulang na ‘di nakaka-alala ng anak. Anak mo pa rin ‘yan. Ngayon kapag magulang ang sumama, masamang-masama.

Despite having witnessed the shoutings and ill-treatment of his brother’s family, Lucita got one wish.

“Gusto kong patawin siya ng pamilya niya. Nadudurog ang kwan ko. Naaawa ako. Hindi ko pinapakita. Dito (puso) lang lahat.”

At the end, we asked Tatay Javier what is his prayer now.

“Panginoong Hesus patawarin po ako sa aking mga sala at nawa’y gabayan ninyo po ako sa magdamag na pamamahinga ko. Huwag mo po silang pabayaan, ang aking pamilya. Salamat po ng marami." 

___


*** 

Our team managed to find one of Tatay Javier’s daughters, a top professor in some distinguished private college institution within the Metro, for her side of the story.

She declined. 

She said she doesn't want to talk about his father anymore. 

***

Anawim is a lay mission foundation that provides shelter for the abandoned poor elders. For donations and information please visit their website at www.anawim.com.ph

16 reaction(s):

LJ said...

oh em.

i hope the lord will touch the hearts of tatay javier's family. kahit isang beses lang, para at least they will all find peace.

Nate said...

touching story, lil bro.. may kurot sa puso.. i hope tatay javier will be forgiven by his family..

Visual Velocity said...

Sad story, I hope everything goes well for Javier.

Hoobert the Awesome said...

I don`t know the whole story pero parang napaka-insensitive naman ng mga anak ni Tatay Javier. Bali-baliktarin man nila ang mundo, si Tatay Javier parin ang Dad nila & hindi mababago yun. And kung hindi dahil sa kanya, malamang ay hindi nakapag-aral yung mga anak niya (basing it from your story).

Honestly, may tampo din ako sa dad ko pero I don`t think na darating sa punto na ganito.

I hope naman na ma-realize ng mga anak niya na may ama pa rin sila. I'll include Tatay in my prayers.

ZaiZai said...

sana naman patawarin at kitain na sya ng family nya. naaawa ako sa kanya, lalo na at may edad na sya.

Leomer Apolonio said...

This story teaches people to learn how to think about their future by ensuring that family RELATIONSHIPS are taken care of, and/or finances are planned for a fulfilling retirement.

It's a sad state of affairs for most of the elderly in the Philippines. It breaks my heart to pieces.

YOW said...

Aww.. This is soo sad! Bigla ako nainis dun sa mga anak at pamilya niya.

Lalaki Daw Po said...

awww.. I understand him for this statement..

“Nakiusap ako na kung may dadalaw isa man sa pamilya ko, ‘wag nang patuluyin. Ayaw kong maalala ang mga pangyayari."



kakainis ang family nia..

rudeboy said...

Makes you wonder what grievous sin he committed that his wife and daughters would shun him so.

For there must be a deep, good reason why they cast him out so brutally. It cannot be caprice or whim.

Still, one has to pity the man. Then again, pity is a most treacherous emotion.

KikomaxXx said...

weee.. para lang akong nagbasa ng script ng Story LIne.. Idol...

red the mod said...

We just have to accept the fact that family values, or lack thereof, isn't the same as it used to. And that, in the name of progress, people these days are too eager and willing to let their roots perish in the wake.

Wonderful piece of expository writing.

citybuoy said...

What a sad story. :( I read somewhere how it's strange that at times, even just one parent can raise many children but those same children can't seem to raise that parent. :(

citybuoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pepe said...

:(

i remember one of our outreach programs many years ago. we chose this institution to conduct the activity. the only difference, we avoided asking questions that could trigger sad memories, so to keep the festive mood and feelings, light.

but i know, we know, what those sad eyes mean and what those hearty laughter mean.

and why we were there.

the green breaker said...

Oh, bless the old man. Your writings speaks of many things. Somehow, I imagined myself in the situation and growing older can be remedied, but the presence of family is definitely still a life-changer.

Désolé Boy said...
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