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Pinay lets go of 'American dream'

Pinay lets go of 'American dream'

I had second thoughts about sharing my life story with your readers. Eventually, I thought it really did not matter. Your readers do not know me anyway.
Panganay po ako sa tatlong magkakapatid na puro babae. Lumaki po ako sa lola kasi noong eight years old ako, namatay si Mama. Iyong dalawa kong kapatid kinupkop ng mga auntie ko. Lumaki kaming magkakahiwalay pero may komunikasyon. Yung father naman namin noong pagkababang-luksa, lumuwas na ng Maynila para magtrabaho. Pinag-aral ako ng lola ko mula elementary hanggang high school. Mahirap lang kami. Tandang-tanda ko katuwang ako ng lola ko sa pagtatanim ng gulay, kamote, saging, mais at kung anu-ano pa. Ang sabi kasi ng lola ko pag hindi raw ako tumulong, titigil na raw ako sa pag-aaral. Ulan at init ang dinanas ko. Tuwing Sabado, nagbubunot ako ng damo sa bukid. Gawain ko iyon hanggang nakatapos ako ng high school. Kahit na hirap ako hindi ako nagtanim ng sama ng loob sa lola ko. Sa dami kasi ng apo niya, ako lang ang lagi nyang isinasama sa bundok. Pinapasalamatan ko siya ng taos sa puso ko dahil sa kanya, nakapagtapos ako ng sekondarya. Ganun din mga kapatid ko. Pinag-aral din ng mga auntie ko pero katulong naman ang papel nila. (I am the eldest child in a brood of three. We are all girls. I was raised by my grandmother. My mother passed on when I was only eight. My two siblings were raised by our aunts. My father went to Manila to seek employment. We were poor. I was grandma's farmhand. I helped her plant vegetables, sweet potatoes, bananas, and corn. My grandma told me she would stop my schooling if I did not help her in the farm. Rain or shine, I tilled the land. I had a hard life but I did not take it against my grandma. I will in fact be forever grateful to her.)
Pagka-graduate ko, nangarap akong lumuwas ng Maynila. Namasukan akong katulong. Nag-ipon ako dahil nais kong makapag-kolehiyo. Nakakadalawang taon na ako sa amo ko nang napansin kong iba na ang tingin sa akin ng amo kung lalaki. Isang gabi, umuwi siyang nakainom. Pinagbuksan ko siya ng pinto, tapos bumalik na ako sa kuwarto ko. Kinatok ako ng amo kung lalaki. Ipag-init ko raw siya ng ulam. Sumunod naman ako. Habang ipinaghahanda ko siya ng pagkain, bigla na lang niya akong hinawakan sa baywang at pilit na hinahalikan. Pinilit kong makawala pero hindi ko kaya. May nadampot akong malukong (bowl) at inihampas ko iyon sa mukha nya. Ginising ko ang amo kong babae at isinumbong ko ang asawa nya. Nag-away silang mag-asawa. Matapos ang isang linggo, pumunta sa Boracay ang babae. Noon din pinalayas ako ng amo kong lalaki. Natigil ako sa pag-aaral. (After graduating from high school, I tried my luck in Manila. There, I worked as a domestic helper. I also put myself through college. After working for the same household for two years, I noticed that my male boss was starting to treat me differently. One night, after imbibing some alcohol, my male employer asked me to prepare him dinner. To my horror, he grabbed my hips and tried to kiss me. I fought him as hard as I could. I grabbed a bowl and smashed it into his face. I complained to his wife. The couple had a terrible row. A week later, my female boss decided to take a break in Boracay. While she was away, my male boss drove me out of their house. I lost my job. That meant that I had to quit school too.)
Nakitira ako sa pinsan ko sa Taguig at muling naghanap ng trabaho. Sa awa ng Diyos, natanggap ako sa isang water supply company. Stay-in at 8,000 pesos ang sweldo. Kumakayod ako ng halos 24 hours. Sa halip na ako ang mag-aral, pinag-aral ko na lang ang pangalawang kapatid ko. (I stayed with a cousin in Taguig, and eventually found work. Instead of going back to college, I decided to send one of my siblings to school.)
Doon din sa trabahong iyon nakilala ko ang mapapangasawa ko. Isa siyang Filipino-American. May edad na at balo. Dahil sa kagustuhan kong makarating sa Amerika, pinakasalan ko na rin kahit hindi ko mahal. Dito nag-umpisa ang kamalasan sa buhay ko. (I met my husband at work. A widower, he was a middle-aged Filipino-American. Because of my "American Dream," I agreed to marry him even though I did not love him. That's when tragedy struck.)
Pinag-resign niya ako sa trabaho, at kumuha kami ng apartment sa Cavite. Sa umpisa, sagana kami sa pera. Akala ko naka-jackpot na ako. Isang araw, nagpaalam siya. Magbabakasyon daw siya sa Amerika. Bago siya umalis, pinatira rin niya sa Cavite ang ama ko at kanyang asawa. Pati mga kapatid ko sa Cavite na rin tumira. Dalawang buwan akong buntis noon.
Bago umalis ang asawa ko, nag-iwan siya ng pambayad sa renta at utilities. Binigyan din niya ako ng allowance. Nakakatatlong buwan na siya sa Amerika, hindi man lang siya tumawag o sumulat sa akin. Paubos na rin iyong perang iniwan niya sa akin. Kinabahan na ako. Nagagalit na rin ang tatay ko. Limang buwan na akong buntis noon pero naglakas loob pa rin akong maghanap ng trabaho. Natanggap akong sekretarya at 6,000 pesos lang ang sweldo. Makalipas ang anim na buwan tinaasan naman ang sahod ko. Noong nanganak ako, pinautang pa ako ng amo ko. (I quit my job and we moved to Cavite. At first, everything was great. We had so much money. I thought I had hit the jackpot. One day, he told me he was going to spend a few months in the U.S. Before leaving for the States, he asked my father and siblings to stay with me in Cavite. I was two months pregnant at time. He also gave me a substantial allowance. Three months later, I started to get worried. My husband neither called nor wrote me. Five months pregnant, I went job-hunting.)
Dalawang buwan na ang baby ko nang biglang dumating ang asawa ko. Malaking gulo na naman. Nag-away sila ng tatay ko. Nasa opisina ako noon, at dumaan ang asawa ko. Pwede raw bang ipasyal sa park si baby? Pumayag naman ako. Tatlong oras na nakalilipas hindi pa rin sila bumabalik. Tinawagan ko siya pero off ang cell phone nya. Nag-panic na ako noon. Nagpasama ako sa tatay sa Tagaytay. Doon kasi nakatira ang auntie ng asawa ko. Noon ko nalaman na talaga palang plano niyang kunin ang anak ko. Iyong tiyahin niya ayaw ibigay sa akin ang anak ko. Nagka-isip na rin ako ng masama kaya tinadyakan ko siya sa balakang. Tumilampon ang anak ko! Sa awa ng Diyos nasalo ko naman. (My baby was already two months old when my husband finally decided to show up. My father naturally had a bone to pick with my absentee husband. I was at work when my husband told me that he was taking my baby to the park. Three hours later, my baby and my husband were nowhere to be found. I asked my father to accompany me to Tagaytay since my husband's aunt lived there. Sure enough, we found them there. My husband wanted to take my baby away from me. Desperate to get my baby back, I asked my husband's aunt to hand me my baby. She refused. Furious, I kicked her. She nearly dropped my baby. Fortunately, I was able to catch my angel.) I am thankful to God because despite everything that I had gone through, I remain strong. My child is currently studying at a private school. I was also able to help my father earn a living. More importantly, my family is whole again. My husband, I heard, is extremely ill. Despite all of the things that he did to me, I harbor him no ill will. I am praying for his recovery. My marital status however remains a problem. I want to have our marriage annulled but my husband refuses to do so. He said he would take us to the States. But I am a changed person now. I no longer dream of America. I am grateful to the Lord that He has brought me to Taiwan. In Taiwan, I found new hope.


Updated : 2021-10-16 11:07 GMT+08:00