“The year, 2001.
The time, around 8:00 in the evening . Friday.
Either I was playing online games with my super-setup PC, or Karl (my childhood buddy) and me were playing with the just released XBOX console.
That afternoon, my friends from college might have jammed in my room/studio, were there’s a drumset, lead guitars, bass guitar, a piano/organ and a 6-track audio mixer, not to mention pedal effects, and such.
My attic room was really something to be proud of. All the rooms had bathtubs and aircons. We have two maids, a utility boy, food is served upon request and there’s always plenty of food in the ref.
There’s two cars parked at the garage, and catering tables, a griller and videoke machine were tucked probably after a night of hosting another party. The Bronx house was the ultimate party place. The veranda/balcony was perfect for hosting stargazing sessions and late drinking parties.
Our Benz van then arrives honking it’s distinct horn. Mama and Papa just arrived. With them are the usual small gifts they bring each week, plus of course a grocery of imported items from SBMA. They might have brought a cake or ice cream, and we all share dessert laughing and telling how our week went. Everyone still fresh from our U.S. family trip in 2000, Mama surprises us that we will be going to Bangkok for sembreak.”
Fast forward to 2013.
Papa has a new wife and barely visits us.
We sold all the cars. We have the Bronx house rented to a Korean pastor and now serves as their retreat house. We left our beloved Quezon City, now living in Rizal.
Only the three us siblings are living together, doing our own laundry, cooking our own food. Since all of us graduated college already, we were brought up to be responsible and not depend anymore on Papa’s earnings but on our own earnings from work.
Yes I have a car, but to save from costly repairs and maintenance, I opt to commute to work each day- queuing for a tricycle ride, and then walking for 10 minutes, and then queuing again for a shuttle to Makati.
Our travels, gadgets, food, transportation are all budgeted and are the resulting rewards from work. We have to take up rackets to earn a little extra. My lawyer sister selling wellness and beauty products, my doctor sister, who’s still saving up money for her specialization, sidelines home service dermatology services, and I teach martial arts occasionally.
We don’t have cable. We don’t have internet. Heck, we don’t even have PC at home. Yes we live in a village condo unit, but more often than not, it’s just a place to sleep and bathe.
There are times when we reminisce what we used to have. A mom that was always there to talk to. A comfortable place where everything is provided.
Must be the reason why I enjoy a homecooked food so much. (why I stay at Sarah’s for dinner, and if possible, during weekends even lunch!)
Must be the reason why I am excited to see free Wi-Fi everytime. (why times at Sarah’s are sometimes spent as an internet moment)
Must be the reason why I shed a tear each time I see a mother lost, or smile inside when I see a cool mom joking around her kids (why I felt like a marshmallow inside when Sarah’s mom kissed me goodbye that one time)
Must be the reason why I abhor these rich brats where everything is provided to them by their parents. (why I often get into a heated war with friends, either because I’m jealous of their status, or irritated by their irresponsibility)
Must be the reason why I don’t see the point of bragging something that you did not worked hard for…
Yea… looking back, we had quite a life back then.
But that’s how life is. I’m not saying that we feel bad or we pity ourselves now.
I am not whining. I used to. Sarah got tired of it. I got tired of it.
A little insight I came across while reflecting on my current state- I guess, what we DON’T have is what I would brag about. It shows how our parents trained us properly for whatever life throws at us.