After a day’s bonding with the daughter Sunday, we proceeded to a new shopping complex in the city. It’s a little exploration for her since she just returned to Bohol last week.
She had organic ice cream from The Buzz. We sat on the corner bench provided for The Buzz’s spa clients. A few minutes later, I had Batchoy at Binalot. It’s the food shop where everything you eat has to be wrapped in banana leaves. But the Batchoy was not wrapped huh!
Anyways, as I was relishing my Batchoy ala Boholano with gusto, it rained harder. Shiloh and I watched the rain as well. We absorbed everything in our present environment. In simpler terms, we tuned it. A utility man was busy mopping the wet floor. Customers from the complex hurriedly got inside their vehicles but were afraid to get wet. I thought they could have waited for the rains to stop. Wishful thinking. More cars arriving. The rain didn’t stop.
Then the head security officer (he looks the part) approached the utility man who was mopping the floor. I remember the guy from my high school days. I didn’t forget the face. I then narrated to Shiloh how I remember the guy. I told her the guy has been serving this business establishment since I was in high school. He used to wear the blue security guard uniform back then. Shiloh responded by saying, “talk to him Ma”. I rose to the challenge. I called him and said, Sir I remember you from my high school days. You were serving their original store. He smiled broadly and said, yes Ma’am; I have served this company for 35 years. I was 19 when I started working here and now I have produced an Engineer who works at Panglao Island Nature Resort; a Nurse who works at a local hospital, and a CPA. The company helped me educate them, he added. He was beaming with joy and pride as he shared his story. He said the bosses helped him. I also met my girlfriend who eventually became my wife at the same company, he further explained.
He asked, you do remember me Ma’am? I said yes. He looked glad I did.
We spoke about how city folks used to watch movies at the old movie houses located on the second floor of the original business arcade. In those days, those were the only air-conditioned movie houses. Boy, I remember the days.
Thirty five years is no small feat. It is loyalty etched in the heart and mind of this simple man. What an inspiring story.