Monday, April 17, 2006

 

PALANCA LETTER

Nu’ng high school (I’m not sure what year) ni-require kaming magdala ng palanca letter from our parents for our high school retreat. I mentioned this to my parents and didn’t give it much thought after. Or at least I pretended to. Ang totoo, I was alarmed nu’ng papalapit na’yung retreat pero wala pa ring inaabot na letter sa’kin ang parents ko. ‘Yung mga classmates ko nakapag-submit na. Ibabalik na lang kasi sa’min ‘yun on the day of the retreat para buksan.

So what I did was scribble some words on a paper and fold it as if it were a letter. Para habang nagbabasa ang mga classmates ko ng sulat from their parents, hindi naman ako mukhang pathetic na walang binabasa.

On the night of the retreat, biglang dumating ang mga younger teachers ko. Isa ru’n si Miss Afable na ninang ko sa kumpil. May dala siyang letter at inabot niya sa’kin. It was addressed to me in my dad’s handwriting.

Salamat! Hindi ko na kailangang mag-pretend na meron akong palanca. Hawak ko na’yung sulat nu’ng dumating ‘yung Religion Teacher naming si Mr. Balatbat hawak ang mga sulat para sa mga classmates ko. From the bundle na hawak n’ya, kitang-kita namin ang isang sulat na may kissmark pa! Tawa kami nang tawa. Naiyak at masamid-samid pa’ko sa kakahalakhak na the teacher had to ask kung OK lang ako.

Nang huminahon na kami, dinistribute na ang mga sulat. Hinuli pa talaga ng teacher ‘yung kissmarked envelope. Lahat kami excited kantiyawan ang recipient nu’n. Eh, ako pala! Galing sa mommy ko.

Ang galing, no? Ako pa’tong worried na worried at medyo nagtatampo na kasi akala ko walang pakialam ‘yung parents ko, tapos dalawa pa ang palanca letters ko – one from each parent. Samantalang karamihan sa klase, isang letter lang.

Just like the rest of the class, iyak ako nang iyak habang binabasa ko ang mga sulat ng parents ko. Pero mas naiyak ako sa sulat ng dad ko. Mas open kasi ang communication kasi namin ni mommy kaya wala na sigurong masyadong bago siyang nasulat kasi halos lahat naman napag-uusapan namin. My dad pa kasi is a writer kaya ang ganda-ganda ng pagkakasulat. Pinakanaaalala kong entry eh, ‘yung sinulat niyang “When was the last time I kissed you? You were still a baby then. But every night I kiss you in my prayers. When I go to work so you can have a good life, I kiss you…” basta something to that effect.

I’ve since lost both letters pero tandang-tanda ko pa rin ko sila.

Comments:
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the first time i had to write a palanca for my oldest son, i googled it and found this article of yours, along with the one of bassim, another touching palanca.

now i'm writing my nth palanca to my 2nd son, and this story of yours still moves me to tears. thank you very much for sharing! buti nahanap ko pa.
 
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